Ohio News Briefs


State wildlife division to introduce new K-9 program

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio’s Division of Wildlife is joining more than 20 states in adopting a wildlife K-9 program.

One wildlife officer from each of Ohio’s five wildlife districts will become handlers of K-9s in the program. The dogs are trained to detect hidden wild game and other non-game scents like ginseng and gun powder. They will also have the ability to track people and can be used to find lost hunters and people hunting without permission.

Three K-9s and their wildlife officer handlers will begin a 10-week training academy starting next week. The program will be in line with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy standards for law enforcement K-9s in Ohio.

Wildlife officials say the K-9s also will be socialized to participate in conservation programs and youth events.

Mayor says city will hire 30 more police officers for 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus mayor says the city will hire an additional 30 police officers on top of already scheduled hires this year as Ohio’s biggest city struggles with record high homicide rates.

The additional 30 officers announced Wednesday by Mayor Andrew Ginther would give the city about 100 new officers this year. The Democratic mayor also announced an additional $2 million to pay for the extra officers and other neighborhood safety initiatives

The head of the police union representing Columbus officers has said the city needs a minimum of 200 new officers.

Columbus tallied 143 slayings last year, four more than the previous record set in 1991 in the midst of the crack cocaine epidemic. The city has had eight homicides so far this year.

Ohio police kill dog while responding to stove fire

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police in Toledo say an officer shot and killed a dog they say attacked him as he responded to a stove fire.

Police Sgt. Kevan Toney says the dog charged the officer after he went into the home Tuesday afternoon to make sure everyone was out. The dog bit the officer’s leg and latched onto his arm. Toney says an officer has to make a decision quickly when a dog “is attached to your arm.”

He says the officer suffered lacerations, but is expected to return to duty.

The dog’s owner tells WTOL-TV the American Pit Bull Terrier, “Duke,” was his emotional support animal and shouldn’t have been killed.

Police say the case will be reviewed, and that the family could be charged because the dog wasn’t restrained.

Woman charged after leaving child in car that was taken

CINCINNATI (AP) — A 67-year-old grandmother has been charged with child endangering after she left a child in a running car that a man then drove off with.

Janie Smith of Cincinnati has pleaded not guilty. No attorney was listed for her, but she has another court hearing Feb. 6.

WXIX-TV reports she went into a convenience store Jan. 2, leaving a 7-year-old boy in the back seat with the engine running with frigid temperatures outside. A man took the car, then dropped the unharmed child off about two miles away.

Police later arrested the man on charges of kidnapping and robbery.

Cincinnati police say there have been numerous car thefts this winter after people left them unattended with engine running in the cold weather.

Fire that destroyed part of historic mansion ruled arson

FAIRLAWN, Ohio (AP) — Investigators say a fire that tore through and destroyed part of a historic Ohio mansion was arson.

Fairlawn firefighters were called to the scene of the fire Saturday night to find part of the Cornus Hill Firestone Mansion engulfed in flames. The department spent nearly 12 hours fighting the blaze, with a portion of the roof and floor collapsing in the fire.

Fairlawn Fire Chief Russell Hose said Tuesday that investigators were able to rule out all possible accidental causes, in spite of damage to the vacant mansion.

The 10,864-sq. foot mansion, built in 1935, once belonged to the son of Firestone Tire Company founder Harvey Firestone.

The Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is offering a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Ohio Guard names veteran pilot first female base commander

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio National Guard has named a veteran pilot the first female commander of a Guard air base in the state.

The Guard says Col. Allison Miller has supported numerous overseas deployments and has more than 400 combat hours flying over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Miller is scheduled to take command of the 179th Airlift Wing at Mansfield’s Lahm Air National Guard Base on Sunday during a change of command ceremony.

The 46-year-old Miller is currently the National Guard’s director of safety. She succeeds Col. James Camp. He was named the Ohio assistant adjutant general for Air for the National Guard last month.

The 179th Airlift Wing supports the C-130H Hercules transport aircraft, which provide tactical airlift capabilities to both missions at home and overseas.

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