Ohio News Briefs

Officials: Student hit by school bus near high school, dies

NORTON, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old high school student was hit by a school bus and killed in a Cleveland suburb.

District officials say the crash happened Wednesday afternoon near Norton High School.

Police say the student had fallen off of a skateboard moments before being hit. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office declared the student dead at the scene from severe head trauma.

The student hasn’t been publicly identified.

The accident remains under investigation.

Officials say city schools will open normally on Thursday and Friday. Counselors will be available on Thursday.

Ohio fire chief resigns amid prostitution allegations

SHARONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio fire chief has resigned after being placed on administrative leave because of prostitution allegations.

Sharonville City Council approved a resolution Tuesday allowing Ralph Hammonds to resign and remain a consultant for 30 months to assist with the transition in the hiring of a new chief.

A police report says Hammonds’ vehicle was spotted in a parking lot of a Reading apartment complex where police were investigating complaints of prostitution and drug activity. Police say Hammonds acknowledged paying $60 for sex. He wasn’t charged criminally.

Hammonds will remain a full-time consultant but will be paid the minimum wage while forfeiting accumulated vacation, personal leave and sick days.

His attorney sent a letter to the Community Press newspaper saying Hammonds deeply regrets any negative impact his actions had.

Ohio court nixes complaint over Cleveland minimum wage issue

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has dismissed a complaint from supporters of an effort to raise Cleveland’s minimum wage.

Backers collected 18,000 signatures in support of putting the proposal on the November ballot, but Cleveland City Council instead opted for a special election next May.

Supporters argued the signatures should have compelled the council to let the issue be decided in the general election. Cleveland.com reports the high court dismissed their complaint Wednesday, saying the matter “is not yet ripe for review.”

The proposal would raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour starting in January 2018. Then it would increase $1 annually over three years, to $15. The minimum wage would then be based on the cost of living index.

Ohio’s current minimum wage is $8.10.

Middle school, neighboring high school evacuated for threats

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio school district says it evacuated two schools after receiving a pair of threats.

Clermont County sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Sellars says a blanket threat to the West Clermont School District came around 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Glen Este High School and Glen Este Middle School in Cincinnati were briefly placed on lockdown.

Sellars says an email received several hours later threatened Amelia High School, about 2 miles away in Batavia. He says that threat indicated several people would harm students and that explosives had been planted throughout school grounds.

People inside Amelia High School and its neighboring middle school were evacuated to a nearby church as a precaution.

Explosive-detecting dogs found nothing in a search of the campus.

Investigators are searching for those responsible for the threats.

Chief embarrassed over officers’ drunken driving charges

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Several Akron police officers have been charged with drunken driving in the past two months and the department’s chief says he’s determined to solve the problem, not hide in embarrassment.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports an Akron police lieutenant and two sergeants have been charged with drunken driving since July.

Police Chief James Nice says the situation has been embarrassing and he expects his officers to act responsibly. He says he plans to encourage officers to seek counseling if they need it.

Police union president Frank Williams says no formal union action had been taken to address the drunken driving incidents. He says officers are reminded through monthly newsletters to “do the right thing” while socializing.