Ohio News Briefs

Ohio State band trainer seeks leniency in sex assault case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio State University drum major instructor accused of sexually assaulting a student is seeking leniency and asking that he not be put behind bars.

Stewart Kitchen pleaded guilty to a sexual battery charge last month and could face up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced next Wednesday.

Court documents allege the assault occurred at Kitchen’s Columbus home in April 2015 after he and the 19-year-old woman went out drinking. More serious charges were dismissed as part of his plea deal.

In a court filing this week, his attorney says the 29-year-old has taken responsibility for what happened and has been remorseful. The lawyer says Kitchen has an otherwise exemplary background, including extensive community involvement in Kenton, where he grew up.

Storms knock out power, down trees in parts of Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — Severe storms knocked down trees and power lines in parts of southwestern and central Ohio, causing thousands of power outages as rain produced some flooding in low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service planned to investigate Thursday to see whether storm damage overnight in an area around Warren and Clinton counties in southwestern Ohio was caused by a tornado. The Weather Service says there was some damage to barns and other pieces of farm equipment from storms that swept through an area from near Waynesville to Wilmington. No immediate injuries were reported.

Utility companies in parts of southwest and central Ohio were working to restore power to several thousand customers. The overnight storms also knocked out power for more than 25,000 early Thursday throughout central Ohio, and sporadic flooding was reported.

Police warn of bucking rodeo bull that escaped pasture

WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a bucking bull that was bred for rodeo work escaped from its enclosure and is on the lam in southwest Ohio.

Police officials in Clearcreek Township say the bull was last seen in a wooded area on Wednesday about 15 miles south of Dayton near a Springboro park.

Police say the bull escaped from a Waynesville pasture off state Route 73 and has been missing for nearly two days.

Police are urging people not to approach the animal and to call police if they see it.

Officials say the bull’s owner has a recovery team out looking for it.