Ohio News Briefs


Rival campaign to fight state senator’s map-making proposal

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to change the way Ohio draws congressional districts are opposing a competing plan brought forward in the state Legislature.

Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio member organizations, including the NAACP and League of Women Voters, said Monday they plan to fight the rival proposal of Republican state Rep. Matt Huffman. The organizations say they will continue to gather signatures to put their plan on November’s ballot.

Their group’s proposal is modeled after a plan overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters in 2015, which changed map-making for state legislative districts.

Huffman’s proposal, introduced last week, is intended for the May ballot. It calls for at least one-third of Democrats to approve any new 10-year map, a proportion that critics say is intended to divide minority lawmakers.

Ohio ex-trooper gets 30 days in jail for theft of seized gun

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — A former State Highway Patrol lieutenant has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation on a theft conviction for stealing a gun seized in another Ohio investigation.

WCMH-TV reports that a Delaware County judge last week also sentenced 48-year-old William Elschlager, of Marietta, to perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.

Elschlager’s attorney, Sam Shamansky, said Monday that the judge was impartial and the sentence was appropriate.

Elschlager was previously a Marietta post commander in southern Ohio’s Washington County. He is separately accused of stalking a subordinate’s wife after she ended their affair.

He has pleaded not guilty to federal charges including deprivation of civil rights in that case. That trial has been rescheduled for early March.

Fire investigated at Ohio plant where molten steel spread

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Officials investigating a fire that damaged a steel plant in southwestern Ohio say it could take weeks to determine the initial cause and full cost of the blaze.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports crews responded to AK Steel’s Middleton Works on Saturday morning.

Middletown fire Chief Paul Lolli says a vessel released molten steel before it was poured into molds. Officials say the molten steel ignited equipment and spread throughout the building.

Workers were evacuated from the facility. The company says no employees were hurt.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Spaulding says one firefighter was treated for minor injuries and was released.

Lolli says it will take several weeks to determine the initial cause of the incident.

Trio rescued on frozen Lake Erie after ATV falls through ice

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in northern Ohio say three people were rescued after falling through the ice on western Lake Erie.

The Blade in Toledo reports the trio was riding an all-terrain vehicle on the frozen lake near East Harbor State Park when the ice cracked and the vehicle sank on Sunday. The newspaper says all three people got themselves onto solid ice until rescuers responded to their distress call and got them to safety.

WTVG-TV reports that the U.S. Coast Guard indicated the individuals had been ice fishing.

Authorities didn’t release further details about the people who were rescued or their conditions.

Police investigate death of woman who was lying on roadway

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus police say they are working to identify a woman who was found dead on Interstate 70 after she was struck and killed in the early morning.

Three vehicles struck the woman, who was lying on the roadway, around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The Columbus Dispatch reports the first vehicle left the scene but the other two drivers stopped, called police and attempted to help.

First responders pronounced the woman dead at the scene.

Sgt. Brook Wilson says detectives were working Sunday to discover the woman’s identity. Authorities are unsure why the woman was on the roadway in the first place.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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