Ohio News Briefs

Kasich order creates hotline for oil and gas emergencies

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has ordered creation of a single-call notification system for oil-and-gas emergencies and authorized two state departments to start setting it up.

An order Kasich signed Tuesday follows his veto last year of budget language he found inadequate that sought to streamline reporting of spills of oil, brine and other hazardous substances, fires, explosions and other emergencies.

Rick Simmers, oil and gas chief at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, says the new system will allow multiple state entities to coordinate and respond more quickly. The ODNR and the Ohio Department of Commerce are authorized to begin making the system’s rules.

ODNR technical experts will help the Division of State Fire Marshal, EPA and Public Utilities Commission at the toll-free hotline at 1-844-OHCALL1, or 1-844-642-2551.

Ohio State Fair attendance drops; manager points to weather

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Organizers say an estimated 921,000 people went to this year’s Ohio State Fair, putting the attendance total short of the record crowd from last summer.

The 12-day event in Columbus drew about 61,000 more visitors in 2015, when the weather was clear and sunny for most of the fair’s run.

A statement from General Manager Virgil Strickler says rain and extreme heat on a few days during this year’s fair probably affected attendance.

The 2017 Ohio State Fair will run from July 26 to Aug. 6.

Memorial set for husband of Ohio woman hurt by thrown rock

MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) — A memorial service for the husband of an Ohio woman severely injured when a 5-pound rock was thrown from a Pennsylvania overpass onto her car has been scheduled for Friday at a funeral home in northeast Ohio.

Authorities say 55-year-old Randy Budd died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Uniontown home Saturday.

His wife, Sharon Budd, underwent numerous surgeries for her injuries from two years ago. She remains impaired and needs help with daily tasks.

Four men were convicted and sentenced to prison in the case, which attracted national attention.

Pennlive.com reports the Union County prosecutor in Pennsylvania says the men bear responsibility for Randy Budd’s death.

Paquelet Funeral Home in Massillon is handling the service.

Ohio maintenance man accused of recording in bathrooms

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A maintenance worker suspected of installing video recording equipment in female residents’ bathrooms at a southwest Ohio apartment complex has been charged with voyeurism and burglary.

Warren County’s prosecutor says 65-year-old Gerald Rowe was indicted on nine felony counts of burglary, five misdemeanor counts of voyeurism and a felony charge of having criminal tools.

Court records listed no attorney for the Milford man.

Prosecutor David Fornshell alleges Rowe misused his job as a maintenance worker at a Deerfield Township community to access female residents’ homes and put recording equipment in their restrooms in February and March. Fornshell says the case began when a resident discovered a camera in an overhead vent in her restroom.

Rowe’s arraignment is scheduled Aug. 26.

Man with rifle fatally shot after calling deputies for help

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio sheriff says a man who called a crisis line for help in the middle of the night was fatally shot after confronting responding deputies with a rifle.

Pickaway County Sheriff Robert Radcliff tells The Columbus Dispatch it doesn’t appear the man fired during the Tuesday morning encounter outside a home northwest of Circleville. His name wasn’t immediately released.

Radcliff says the two veteran deputies who were on duty took cover when they encountered the man with the rifle and called for backup from neighboring Madison County. Before those officers could arrive, deputies at the home radioed that shots were fired. Why remains unclear.

Radcliff says the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will investigate what happened.

He says the man’s wife and two children were home but weren’t hurt.

10 Michigan teens hurt in crash coming from Ohio theme park

NORTHWOOD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Ohio say 10 teens from Michigan have been hurt when their van rolled over near Toledo while they were coming home from Cedar Point amusement park.

The State Highway Patrol says the crash happened early Tuesday on Interstate 75 when the driver tried to switch seats with a passenger.

Two of the passengers suffered serious injuries after they were thrown from the van. The eight others were being treated at a Toledo hospital.

Most of the teens are from the cities of Howell and Brighton, Michigan, north of Ann Arbor.

Troopers say the driver was wearing her seat belt at the time of crash.