Ohio News Briefs


Federal authorities probing Ohio helicopter crash, 2 killed

STONY RIDGE, Ohio (AP) — Federal investigators will try to determine what caused the fatal crash of a helicopter used for inspecting power lines.

Both men aboard died Monday. FirstEnergy said they were contractors doing transmission line inspection work in northwest Ohio.

The Wood County sheriff’s office has identified the pilot as 32-year-old Tyson Snyder of Wooster, Ohio, and his passenger as 62-year-old Jeffrey Fluharty of Fairmont, West Virginia.

The sheriff’s office said a 911 caller reported at 11:41 a.m. EST that the helicopter went down suddenly, into a snowy farm field in the crash Monday just south of the Ohio Turnpike. Both men were dead at the scene.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said there was no sign of fire and no indication that the aircraft hit any utility lines.

Authorities said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

“They will take it into a building somewhere and completely dissect it and try to find out if it was human error or mechanical failure,” Wasylyshyn told WTOL. “But it will be many months before we know the actual cause of the crash.”

Ohio authorities warn of Muskingum River ice jam hazards

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in eastern Ohio are watching for hazardous ice jams on the Muskingum River during the latest winter freeze.

Emergency management officials say four people were rescued from high waters over the weekend and several homes were evacuated. A large, miles-long, ice jam caused water to rise quickly.

Muskingum County Emergency Management Director Jeff Jadwin said some docks have detached and a boat was washed into the river. Authorities are checking bridges to make sure they aren’t damaged.

Authorities say the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has shut down water from the Wills Creek Dam to help control water flow.

However, new snow could add to river volume.

Bail tops $1M for man charged after hostage standoff

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A magistrate has set bonds totaling more than $1 million for a man accused of firing shots while using a 10-year-old boy as a shield during a hostage standoff that lasted about 30 hours in southwest Ohio.

Butler County Magistrate John McNally informed 31-year-old Donald Gazaway of the bonds on charges including kidnapping during a court session Tuesday. The suspect appeared via video. Gazaway didn’t have an attorney yet.

He was jailed Sunday after surrendering to authorities who had been called late Friday night to an apartment in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Liberty Township.

Authorities said the man fired as many as 30 shots, hitting an armored vehicle. There were no injuries.

The gunman later barricaded himself with the unrelated child inside a vehicle in a garage.

Man fatally shot by off-duty officer ID’d

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man who police say was fatally shot by an off-duty, veteran officer working security at a bowling alley in Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County Medical Examiner’s Office says the man killed was 21-year-old Thomas Yatsko, whose hometown wasn’t available.

Police investigating the shooting Saturday night say a fight broke out in the bowling alley’s bar area, and Sgt. Dean Graziolli escorted several men outside. Police say Yatsko returned and assaulted Graziolli, who fired and hit him.

Cleveland Fraternal Order of Police President Brian Betley says Graziolli was bruised and cut and needed stitches.

Cleveland.com reports Graziolli is a 26-year police veteran who in 2014 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor falsification charges and was fined for misrepresenting working time on his pay records.

Port of Toledo in northwest Ohio saw more cargo in 2017

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Port officials in northwest Ohio say the cargo moving through the Port of Toledo in 2017 increased by nearly 16 percent compared with the previous year.

The Blade reports that a rebound in iron ore traffic help boost the cargo tonnage figures. The tonnage of iron ore shipments more than doubled from 2016 to 2017. By weight, it accounted for more than one-third of the cargo through the port last year.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority says the port saw more than 9.6 million tons of cargo overall last year.

The authority’s vice president of business development, Joe Cappel, says a new plant slated to open in the area in 2020 and produce hot-briquetted iron is expected to eventually give the port’s iron ore traffic another boost.

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