Ohio News Briefs


Ohio House passes bill to protect personal info about judges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House has passed a bill aimed at protecting information about judges’ homes and families following a shooting last year that wounded a county judge.

The proposal to exempt judges’ residential and familial information from disclosure under public records law was overwhelmingly passed by the House on Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Democratic state Rep. Jack Cera, of Bellaire, introduced the proposal after an August attack on a Jefferson County judge in his district.

Judge Joseph Bruzzese (bruh-ZEES’) was shot while walking from his car to the courthouse in Steubenville, roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The judge was carrying a gun and fired back. A probation officer then shot and killed the suspect.

Bruzzese returned to work in October.

Justice’s ties to embattled e-school prompt ethics complaint

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An ethics complaint says an Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell should recuse himself from hearing a case affecting funding for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the giant online charter school for which he was commencement speaker in 2013.

The complaint asks the court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel to review whether O’Donnell’s ability to be impartial is affected by his relationship with ECOT founder William Lager, including receiving a financial contribution from Lager’s company in 2012.

The liberal policy group ProgressOhio and good-government group Common Cause Ohio say they filed their complaint Wednesday.

A message seeking comment was left for O’Donnell.

The court hears arguments Feb. 13 in the case involving ECOT, which recently closed. It’s challenging how Ohio tallied student participation to determine ECOT should repay nearly $80 million.

Man charged with biting trooper’s ear seeks insanity defense

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — An attorney for a man facing charges for biting off part of an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper’s ear has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports 44-year-old Cornelius Carey Jr. is charged in Lorain County with felonious assault, resisting arrest and kidnapping. The insanity plea was filed Tuesday.

Carey’s attorney, Jack Bradley, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Authorities say Carey became confrontational, hit Trooper Lance Deshuk in the face and then bit him during a struggle before Deshuk managed to subdue Carey and handcuff him. The confrontation occurred after Deshuk spotted Carey walking in the middle of road near the village of LaGrange.

Carey is being held on a $1 million bond.

Supreme Court won’t hear Cleveland gun registry case

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court is refusing to hear Cleveland’s appeal of a lower court ruling rejecting the city’s efforts at creating a gun offender registry.

Cleveland.com reports the court’s refusal on Wednesday to hear the appeal means most of the measures passed by the City Council in 2015 to address gun violence remain invalid. The registry would have required residents charged with gun offenses to register within five days of being convicted or released from prison.

The 8th District Court of Appeals in Cleveland ruled last year that some of the ordinances conflicted with state laws.

Mayor Frank Jackson says he’s disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision. Jackson says the lower court ruling weakens cities’ home rule powers and efforts to protect citizens.

Airport police officer on leave after gun found in bag

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An airport police officer has been placed on leave for trying to pass through security at the Columbus airport with a loaded gun in his bag.

Lt. Scott Bekemeier is an officer with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority police department. Officials say he was off-duty Wednesday when Transportation Security Administration officers found the gun in his bag. Bekemeier told investigators he forgot the gun was there.

The airport authority said it is taking the situation seriously, but that Bekemeier’s actions were not intentional and not criminal.

Bekemeier is on paid leave until an investigation is complete.

Threat, swastika on wall spur extra security at Ohio school

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — A message on a high school bathroom wall that included a swastika and the phrase “kill them all” has prompted a police investigation and heightened security throughout a northeastern Ohio district.

The threat mentioning Thursday’s date was found after school on Tuesday at Wooster High School, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cleveland.

Wooster school officials say that the threat seems to have little credibility but that they’re taking it seriously as they continue classes with extra security.

Superintendent Michael Tefs tells The Daily Record in Wooster that those security changes include keeping school buildings on lockdown and not having recess.

He says officials are reviewing security camera footage to identify which students were in the restroom before the message was found.

Ohio Statehouse features events during black history month

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Statehouse is featuring several Black History Month events in February including an art exhibit and historical presentations.

“The Power of One” is an elementary student art exhibit with works based on students describing what they would do if asked to take on something courageous like Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat.

The exhibit will be in the Statehouse map room on the first level.

Each Tuesday at noon in the Statehouse Atrium, visitors can meet interpreters portraying black history makers such as black Civil War soldiers and women who participated in the Civil Rights movement.

Events are free and open to the public.

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