Ohio News Briefs


Ohio district closes schools after reported clown attack

CINCINNATI (AP) — A suburban Cincinnati school district has closed schools after a woman reported being grabbed around the neck by a male dressed as a clown who she said made a threat against students.

Reading Community City School District officials referred to the threat in a Facebook posting announcing district schools would be closed Friday. School officials said they take all threats seriously and were concerned about the number of students who walk to school in the early morning.

People in other parts of Ohio and other states have reported scary or suspicious encounters with people dressed like clowns in recent weeks.

Police in the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township say they arrested a juvenile Thursday in connection with a clown threat there involving threatened harm to Colerain High School students.

Officer who shot Tyre King returns to the force in new role

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus police officer who fatally shot 13-year-old Tyre King has returned to the force, although not in his prior assignment as a patrol officer.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 31-year-old Bryan Mason is performing administrative desk work at the police training academy while the investigation into King’s Sept. 14 death continues.

Chief Kim Jacobs says officials have been discussing where Mason will work in the future because he likely won’t be back on patrol.

Mason was just two days into a new assignment when he responded to a robbery call in Olde Town East. There he encountered 19-year-old Demeterius Braxton and King, who fled.

Police say Mason shot King after the teen reached for the gun used in the robbery, which turned out to be a real-looking BB gun.

Ohio’s minimum wage to increase by 5 cents starting in 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state minimum wage will increase by 5 cents next year to adjust for inflation.

Officials say non-tipped workers must be paid an hourly wage of at least $8.15 beginning Jan. 1, 2017. Tipped workers are slated to receive a minimum of $4.08 an hour starting next year — a bump of 3 cents.

The rising minimum wage reflects an increase in the Consumer Price Index, which rose 0.7 percent during the past year. There was no increase in minimum wage made for 2016.

The new wage only applies to companies with annual gross receipts of more than $299,000 a year. Ohio’s minimum wage for employees at smaller companies along with 14- and 15-year-old workers is tied to the federal minimum wage set by Congress.

Boy arrested for bringing BB gun to Ohio high school

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a teenager who took a BB gun to a southwest Ohio high school was arrested after a classmate tipped off the staff.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the BB gun wasn’t fired and no one was hurt before it was confiscated and the boy was removed from Middletown High School on Thursday.

School Principal Carmela Cotter says the student was charged and taken from the campus, and classes continued without incident in the community roughly halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton.

A district spokeswoman says the student is automatically suspended pending potential expulsion for breaking school rules.

Ohio launches system for those in crisis to text for help

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has launched a system allowing people in stressful situations to text counselors for help, day or night.

Tracy Plouck, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services director, says the program doesn’t replace counseling but allows for people feeling completely overwhelmed to connect with someone.

Plouck says that while crisis phone lines have been used successfully for decades, technology is changing and it’s important to offer other ways for Ohioans to get help.

The program, which began Thursday, allows people to text the keyword “4hope” to 741741.

Trained crisis counselors will be available to respond and share information on a range of issues, including thoughts of suicide, bullying, depression and self-harm.

Man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, son loses appeal

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio appeals court has affirmed the conviction of a man sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 slayings of his ex-girlfriend and their 5-year-old son.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Ninth District Court of Appeals denied 42-year-old Daniel Tighe’s appeal in the killings of 31-year-old Wendy Ralston and their son, Peyton.

Tighe was arrested in their deaths after Ralston’s mother found the decomposed remains wrapped in bedding in woods near her daughter’s home in Tallmadge. Tighe was convicted and sentenced to life behind bars without parole.

He argued in his appeal that statements he made to investigators should not have been allowed during his trial and that police violated his rights.

His attorney, Donald Hicks, says he’s not sure whether they will appeal further.

2 accused of chaining girl in basement now charged with rape

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A father and son accused of chaining a teenage girl in their Ohio basement as punishment have now been charged with rape.

Timothy and Esten Ciboro were indicted Thursday on the new rape charges.

The men are being held in jail and are due to go on trial in October. They’re also acting as their own attorneys in the case.

They were arrested in May by Toledo police after the girl ran from the home.

The girl is a relative of the two men and told police she used a spare key to escape.

Timothy Ciboro has told media outlets that the allegations aren’t true and says the girl wasn’t mistreated. His son has not responded to requests for comment.

Ex-officer facing 2nd trial pleads guilty in wife’s death

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio policeman imprisoned for over a decade in his wife’s death before his conviction was overturned has pleaded guilty to charges alleging he hired her killers, though the deal lets him maintain innocence and remain free on probation.

Former Springboro Lt. Thomas “Jim” Barton was scheduled for a new trial Nov. 3, but the 61-year-old entered an Alford plea Thursday on involuntary manslaughter and aggravated burglary charges. That plea means he doesn’t admit guilt but concedes prosecutors had evidence to convict him.

Investigators alleged Vickie Barton was killed in 1995 in a botched burglary that her husband paid to have staged.

His involuntary manslaughter conviction was overturned based on prosecutorial misconduct and questions about witness testimony. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider reinstating his conviction.

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