Ohio News Briefs

Study shows continue growth in Ohio tourism industry in 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials have released data from a study showing continued growth in the state’s tourism industry last year.

The data released Wednesday show direct visitor spending in 2016 was estimated at $34 billion. That was an increase of about a billion dollars from 2015. Officials say direct visitor spending generated an estimated $43 billion in sales, up from $42 billion the previous year.

The number of tourism visits to and within Ohio increased from 207 million in 2015 to 212 million visits last year.

Nearly 42 million of those 212 million visits in 2016 were overnight trips. Officials say research shows that overnight visitors spend, on average, more than three times the amount spent by daytrip visitors.

Longwoods International conducted research for the study, in partnership with Tourism Economics.

Lawsuit alleges excessive force at Cincinnati-area jail

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges a jail officer shoved a 61-year-old Cincinnati man headfirst into a cinder-block wall, then left him bleeding and unmoving on the floor of an isolation cell.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the complaint was filed Tuesday over a Hamilton County jail officer’s alleged excessive force against Mark Myers last August. It was recorded on surveillance video.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday for the sheriff’s office.

The lawsuit says Myers suffered a head injury and broken hip. He’d been arrested in a store theft. The lawsuit says there was an error over an online payment.

Records say Myers became upset and belligerent. The lawsuit says Myers posed no threat but the officer got angry when Myers asked to use a phone.

The officer later resigned.

Ohio proposal aims to clarify wrongful imprisonment payments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Cincinnati lawmaker says a provision added to the pending Ohio budget bill aims to address an improper court interpretation of a law providing financial compensation for wrongfully imprisoned inmates.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that backers of the change say some former inmates have been wrongly denied compensation.

The Ohio Public Defender, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Ohio Innocence Project agree on the proposal.

Republican Rep. Bill Seitz says the Ohio Supreme Court wrongly interpreted the 2003 law to limit payments to cases where constitutional procedural errors occurred after a defendant’s sentencing, not during investigation or trial.

Seitz’s provision to address that was part of the state budget bill approved by the House. Seitz says he also anticipates passage in the Senate, which is considering the legislation now.

Authorities: Ohio man killed by police fired rifle at them

TIFFIN, Ohio (AP) — Investigators say a suspect in a stabbing at a northern Ohio home fired at responding officers with a high-powered rifle before being fatally shot.

A sheriff’s deputy was injured in the gunfire Tuesday afternoon in Tiffin, roughly 50 miles southeast of Toledo. The Advertiser-Tribune reports the deputy was hit in the shoulder and hospitalized in stable condition.

Tiffin’s police chief says the deputy’s car was “riddled with bullets.”

Authorities arrived after a woman reported that a man threatened to shoot her son and then stabbed him. The 25-year-old stabbing victim was recovering at a Toledo hospital.

Investigators identified the dead shooter only as 34-year-old Scott Bloomfield.

Two Tiffin officers who fired at him are on administrative leave while the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation reviews the shooting.

Man wanted in $3M Ohio school scam captured in Spain

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man accused of helping to scam an Ohio school district out of more than $3 million has been returned to the U.S. after being captured in Spain.

David Donadeo was arraigned in Cleveland on Tuesday, more than four years after being indicted by a grand jury. He pleaded not guilty to charges of mail fraud and money laundering.

His attorney, John McCaffrey, told Cleveland.com that Donadeo and his family moved after his indictment to Germany and then Spain, where his wife and children still live.

Prosecutors say Donadeo and others formed companies to charge the Cuyahoga Heights school district for work that was never provided. Three other men, including the district’s director of information technology, were convicted in the scheme.

Small plane clips truck, embedding landing gear in trailer

FREMONT, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio truck driver who heard a strange thud while driving down a state highway says he pulled over to find landing gear sticking out his trailer after it was clipped by a small plane making a low approach.

No one was injured in the collision near the Fremont airport Tuesday. The pilot of the plane landed the aircraft on its belly.

Truck driver Russ Street pulled over at the airport, thinking he might have blown a tire, and saw a small tire sticking out of the top of his trailer.

State police say it’s unclear why the plane was coming in low. They say the pilot, 71-year-old John Randall, was out for a short practice flight.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to arrive Wednesday.