Ohio News Briefs


Bill makes Ohio back-to-school tax holiday an annual event

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio sales tax holiday that benefited back-to-school shoppers the last several years will become an annual, three-day event under a bill passed by state lawmakers.

During the first weekend in August, shoppers wouldn’t pay sales tax on qualifying purchases, including clothing items under $75 and school supplies under $20.

Lawmakers backing the legislation say the tax holiday encourages families to shop in the state and helps Ohio businesses and other industries that support the retail segment.

The measure now heads to the governor’s desk.

This year’s tax-free weekend will begin Aug. 3.

155-foot-tall SkyWheel comes to Cincinnati’s Coney Island

CINCINNATI (AP) — A giant Ferris wheel will take a spin in Cincinnati starting in late May.

Officials say the 155-foot (47-meter) SkyWheel will be ready for riders when Coney Island opens for its 132nd season on May 26. It will remain in operation through July 8.

The SkyWheel features 36 six-person gondolas. Each 10-minute ride includes four rotations and views of the entire park and the Ohio River.

Coney Island officials say the ride will be lit at night and visible from miles around.

Tickets for the ride are $5 and will be available for purchase online.

OSU and NFL quarterback now an Ohio deputy sheriff

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — The redshirt freshman quarterback who helped lead Ohio State University to victory in the 2015 national championship game is getting fitted for a uniform of an entirely different kind.

The Port Clinton News-Herald reports Cardale Jones was made an honorary Ottawa County sheriff’s deputy last summer. Jones spoke at a father-son church banquet in Ottawa County on Friday.

Sheriff Steve Levorchick says he and Jones, a Cleveland native, have become good friends and that he loves him “like a brother.”

Levorchick says Jones will serve as a special ambassador to help the Sheriff’s Office bond with young people. He says that when Jones shows up in the uniform he’s being fitted for, children will realize “cops aren’t necessarily bad.”

Jones is on the roster of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

College to offer new programs to address regional job needs

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio college will be offering new degrees designed to fill in-demand jobs in the region.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College says it’s creating four-year bachelor’s degree programs in land surveying and in culinary and food science. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports both programs were approved by the state Department of Higher Education last week. Classes in those programs could be offered as early as this fall.

The programs address regional workforce needs. Jobs in those fields are in high demand but aren’t being filled.

A Cincinnati State spokesman says graduates could immediately make between $45,000 and $70,000 annually and in some cases even more. He noted that surveying jobs typically pay higher salaries than culinary jobs.

Columbus police body cameras should be rolled out by June

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s largest city says the process of outfitting police officers with body cameras is ahead of schedule and should be completed by early summer.

Columbus officials say more than 850 city officers already wear body cameras and a total of 1,300 should be in use by late June. The Columbus Dispatch reports the city began purchasing the cameras in late 2016.

City officials say initial plans called for getting cameras to officers throughout the department by year’s end, but implementation has gone more smoothly than expected.

Assistant Director of Public Safety George Speaks says the project is under budget.

Speaks says the Columbus Police Training Academy has expedited training on how to operate the cameras using instructional videos.

A police union official says officers have become accustomed to the technology.

Propeller signed by Orville Wright heading to Denver museum

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A wooden propeller signed by airplane inventor Orville Wright is leaving Ohio’s National Aviation Hall of Fame to go on loan at a Colorado museum.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame inside Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton has owned the Wright Model K propeller since it was donated in 2004. The Dayton Daily News reports the propeller will be on display at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver for five years.

NAHF President Michael Quiello says displaying the artifact in Denver will expand NAHF’s national brand recognition and help tell the story of the birthplace of aviation to a new audience.

A museum crew recently flew to Dayton to pick up the propeller.

Body found in garbage can ID’d as missing Ohio woman

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say the body of a woman found in a garbage can at an abandoned house in Cleveland is a 31-year-old woman reported missing earlier this month.

Cleveland.com reports the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the woman as Miriam Johnson, of Cleveland Heights. She was reported missing in Cleveland Heights by her mother on March 6.

A cause of death hasn’t been determined. No arrests have been made.

Johnson’s body was found Thursday on Cleveland’s east side.

Cleveland Heights Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg said Friday that detectives have been following leads since Johnson was reported missing.

A sister said the last time their mother saw Johnson was when she dropped her off at home Feb. 25.

Police: Officers kill woman during SWAT standoff in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio’s capital city of Columbus say a woman who shot at officers during a SWAT standoff has been killed.

Columbus police in a statement Saturday afternoon identified the woman as 25-year-old Kaitlin Marie Demeo, of Columbus. She was fatally shot around 8 a.m. Saturday during a standoff that began several hours earlier.

Police spokesman Sgt. Dean Worthington says officers initially responded to a home after a report of shots being fired. Worthington says Demeo had barricaded herself inside the home, armed with a rifle.

Worthington says Columbus SWAT and Negotiation Team officers tried to persuade Demeo to surrender.

He says Demeo fired at officers from an upstairs window at around 8 a.m., prompting two SWAT officers to kill her.

It’s the fourth police shooting in Columbus this year.

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