Ohio News Briefs

Ohio city ignores panhandling law after ruling in sign case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s capital city has stopped enforcing its panhandling law after similar laws were challenged successfully using a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Arizona case about church signs.

Assistant city attorney Joshua Cox tells The Columbus Dispatch that First Amendment case had “an unintended consequence” on panhandling enforcement.

The court struck down a law that set tougher restrictions for signs directing people to church services than for signs for political candidates and real estate agents. Lawyers challenging panhandling laws then drew parallels to people being prohibited from asking for money in spaces where they’re free to talk about other things.

Joe Mead, a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, says cases brought in Ohio have led to repeals of panhandling laws in Akron, Dayton and Toledo.

Girl receives Girl Scout Award after rescuing grandmother

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A 13-year-old girl from Ohio has received a national Girl Scout Award for helping save her grandmother’s life.

WJW-TV reports Lila Szojka received an award for courage under pressure Sunday at the same Applebee’s restaurant where she rescued her grandmother.

Laura Noar says she was dining with Lila in March when her food got lodged in her throat. Lila had just completed a first aid and CPR training course, and performed the Heimlich on her grandmother.

Now she is only one of five from Northeast Ohio to receive the Girl Scout honor in almost a decade.

Lila says she doesn’t feel like a hero. She encourages other girls to join Girl Scouts because “you never know when something like that could come in handy.”

RTA bus hit by gunfire in Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police say one rider was knocked out of their wheelchair and another suffered cuts on their face after a bullet broke the window of a bus.

Officials say the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority bus was struck by gunfire Sunday evening in Dayton.

No one was struck by the bullet. Police believe the bus was the unintended target after the occupants of one car began shooting at another car.

The shooting is still under investigation.

Researchers to study why Columbus area has so many evictions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new research project is intended to help determine why the county that includes Columbus has Ohio’s busiest eviction court and such high numbers of people forced to leave their homes.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Franklin County has nearly 18,000 eviction cases filed annually. The newly announced research led by graduate students at Ohio State University will aim to find out why.

They’ll use data, field observation and interviews with tenants and landlords to study various factors, such as employment, housing quality, rent increases and changes in personal circumstances.

They anticipate providing city and county officials with policy recommendations that could be implemented to help address causes of the high eviction numbers.