Ohio News Briefs


Fatal overdoses double in Cuyahoga County compared with 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) — A medical examiner says Cuyahoga County saw the number of fatal overdoses from heroin and fentanyl double during the first two months of this year compared with same period in 2016.

Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson said Friday there have been at least 109 fatal overdoses attributed to heroin and fentanyl during January and February compared with 55 for the first two months of 2016.

Gilson says another 70 overdose deaths this year have attributed to cocaine overdoses, with 50 of those fatalities involving a mix of heroin, fentanyl or a combination of the two drugs.

Blacks comprise about one-fourth of the heroin and fentanyl fatal overdoses thus far this year, nearly double the rate from 2016.

Ohio unemployment rate holds steady at 5 percent for January

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5 percent in January, matching the rate from December and from January 2016.

It was slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday that the state’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased by 2,100 in January from the previous month.

The sectors that saw job gains included construction, financial activities, manufacturing and local government. Job losses were reported in educational and health services, leisure and hospitality and information services.

At least 5 tornadoes hit southern Ohio in this week’s storms

CINCINNATI (AP) — The National Weather Service says at least five tornadoes touched down in southern Ohio as stormy weather battered the state earlier this week.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports all five were considered relatively low-intensity twisters. They were classified with ratings that indicate wind speeds between 65 mph and 110 mph.

The tornadoes hit just east of Cincinnati in Anderson Township and Amelia, as well as further east in Leesburg, Greenfield and New Market Township in Highland County.

Damage also was reported from straight-line winds and flash flooding during Wednesday’s storms, which brought heavy rain and hail to various parts of the state.

Further surveys of damage were slated to happen Friday.

Ohio rebate program extended for overdose antidote naloxone

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say agencies in Ohio have saved nearly $400,000 on the overdose antidote naloxone since 2015 under a rebate agreement that is being extended for another year.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says the agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals allows non-federal public entities in Ohio to receive a $6 rebate for each of the company’s naloxone syringes purchased until March 2, 2018.

DeWine says overdose deaths in Ohio would be significantly higher if not for first responders who carry naloxone. It can limit or stop an overdose from heroin or a prescription opioid by reversing the drugs’ effects on the brain.

Fire departments, emergency medical services and county health departments are some of the agencies eligible to receive rebate payments. Over 100 agencies have received reimbursements so far.

Ohio company recalls more than 40,000 pounds of veal

CRESTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio company has issued a recall on more than 40,000 pounds of meat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday that Ohio Farms Packing Co. is recalling several thousand boxes of boneless veal products for possible E. coli contamination. Company officials say the products were produced from Nov. 30, 2016 to Feb. 3, 2017.

Officials say the products were shipped to distributors in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Canada.

A full retail distribution list will be posted on the Food Safety and Inspection Service website.

Police and health officials crack down on imported stimulant

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio are cracking down on an illegally imported organic stimulant.

WBNS-TV reports that Reynoldsburg police were alerted after several students were caught chewing betel nut at the Reynoldsburg High School Summit Campus. Police say the students were visibly off balance.

Betel nut is an oral stimulant used by millions in different regions of Asia. Areca nuts are wrapped in betel leaf and then chewed. Some betel products also contain tobacco.

Health officials say the product isn’t a controlled substance but note that researchers link it to oral cancer and tooth decay.

Officials say Columbus area international markets sell the illegal import.

Franklin County Public Health food inspectors continue to search markets to remove betel nut. Officials say the Food and Drug Administration is now involved.

Judge’s order blocks release of Ohio school shooting video

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A judge has temporarily blocked a sheriff’s office from releasing video that captured a nonfatal shooting by a 14-year-old student at a southwestern Ohio school last year.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a judge this week granted Madison Local Schools a temporary restraining order to block the Butler County Sheriff’s Office from releasing the footage to the newspaper or other media. The Associated Press is among the media outlets that requested the video.

Another hearing is set for later this month.

Two students were wounded by gunfire in the February 2015 shooting, and two others were hurt by shrapnel or while running away.

The shooter, James Austin Hancock, pleaded guilty to charges including attempted murder and was sentenced to spend six years in a juvenile facility.

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