Ohio governor lowers flags in honor of Dallas officers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich is ordering flags at public buildings and grounds in the state to be lowered in honor of the slain police officers and other victims in Dallas.

The attack on the officers began Thursday at a downtown Dallas protest over the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

Kasich’s order on Friday follows a similar federal proclamation by Barack Obama.

The Republican governor’s order directs the flags in Ohio to be flown at half-mast until Tuesday.

Court: Clinic suit over Ohio abortion changes can proceed

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Cleveland abortion clinic’s legal challenge to restrictions placed into a 2013 state budget bill has been allowed to proceed.

In a 2-1 decision Thursday, a panel of the 8th District Ohio Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County on Thursday reversed a trial court’s ruling that Preterm-Cleveland lacked standing to sue the state over the abortion-related amendments.

Changes included prohibiting public hospitals from providing emergency backup under required transfer agreements and requiring clinics to check for a fetal heartbeat before conducting an abortion.

The panel said the provisions clearly caused injury to Preterm, giving it standing. That sent the case back to trial court, where Preterm can make its primary legal claim that the amendments violated Ohio’s single-subject rule.

The Ohio attorney general hadn’t decided Friday whether to appeal.

Ex-Traficant aide heading to prison in mortgage scam

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A staff attorney for former U.S. Rep. James Traficant who testified at the Ohio Democrat’s corruption trial is heading to prison after pleading guilty to federal bank fraud charges.

Cleveland.com reports 52-year-old R. Allen Sinclair of Suwanee, Georgia, was sentenced Thursday to more than three years behind bars and ordered to pay $830,000 in restitution. He pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges in connection with a mortgage investment scam.

Sinclair made headlines in 2002 when he testified at Traficant’s trial that he kicked back $2,500 a month from his congressional salary to the Youngstown-area congressman. Traficant served seven years in federal prison after a jury in Cleveland found him guilty of bribery and other charges. He died in 2014 after a tractor tipped over on him.

Coroner works to ID remains believed to be missing Ohio man

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Human remains that officials believe are those of an Ohio man missing since 2002 are badly deteriorated, an Ohio coroner said, and authorities are trying to make a positive identification with dental records and partial tattoos.

The Lorain County Coroner’s office told The Morning Journal in Lorain on Thursday that it hopes to have a positive identification next week.

Clarence Thomas was reported missing from Lorain in early 2003, several months after he disappeared from the city about 30 miles west of Cleveland. Authorities found what they believe are the 31-year-old man’s remains on June 22 buried two feet below the surface of a rural farmer’s field in Lorain County.

“It was quite decomposed because it’s been in the ground for years,” said County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.

Police say a man serving multiple life sentences for several murder cases in West Virginia is a suspect in Thomas’ disappearance and pointed them to his remains. The investigation is continuing.

A police report said Thomas’ mother said her son had been involved with drugs and had “troubles.”

He also had a domestic violence warrant with Lorain police, police said, and his family initially thought he was homeless.

Detective Buddy Sivert said separate investigations were conducted in 2003, 2004 and 2007. Police then received a tip about a month ago.

Sivert said Thomas’ family believes he may have traveled to New York City and ran into some trouble there.