Ohio News Briefs

Task force, researchers get $3M to probe, study results

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland-area task force and researchers are getting $3 million to continue investigating thousands of reported sexual assaults in which evidence was collected but not tested for DNA.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports the Department of Justice is committing $2 million in grants to Cuyahoga County’s Sexual Assault Kit Task Force to pay investigators and victim advocates. A portion of that money will also go to Case Western Reserve University to continuing analyzing data generated by the work of the task force.

The Justice Department is also awarding a $1 million grant for an initiative to make the Combined DNA Indexing System more robust.

The task force has worked on roughly 6,700 rape cases since 2013. It still has more than 3,400 cases to investigate.

Western Lake Erie’s walleye hatch below normal this year

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s wildlife experts say this year’s walleye hatch in western Lake Erie appears to be below normal.

The Department of Natural Resources says its early data also show that the yellow perch hatch is near its annual average.

The forecast comes after wildlife agencies sampled the waters of western Lake Erie looking for young walleye and yellow perch.

The Sandusky Register reports that the data will give biologists an estimate on how many young fish will be part of the fishable population in two years.

While this year’s walleye hatch is below normal, last year’s was the fourth highest on record.

Wildlife experts say that average to excellent hatches from four of the last 10 years means there’s a broad range of walleye ages and sizes in the lake.

Rare LeBron James rookie card could fetch $200K at auction

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A rare piece of Cleveland Cavalier history — a LeBron James autographed rookie card — was put up for auction and could fetch up to $200,000.

Just eight bidders had vied for what’s being billed as the world’s rarest and most valuable James basketball trading card as of Friday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. But the leading bid was expected to grow from its figure that day of $85,000 before the auction closed Saturday.

The one-of-a-kind card from Upper Deck’s 2003/04 Ultimate Collection series features a picture of the Cleveland Cavalier taking a shot, along with a swath of the NBA logo from his game uniform. It was randomly placed into a pack of cards more than a decade ago.

The card is graded as a “MINT 9” but Professional Sports Authenticator group and the card “reflects an untouched, impeccable appearance.”

Officials at New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions haven’t disclosed the identity of the seller, but they said the card would be sold, as the minimum $50,000 bid had been met.

While sought after, James hasn’t reached the collector’s status of “Mr. Basketball” George Mikan. A mint condition version of Mikan’s 1948 card fetched more than $400,000 last year.

Trial set for ex-sheriff’s deputy charged in 2 Ohio killings

WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — An ex-sheriff’s deputy in Ohio who was indicted in two separate fatal shootings has a date for his first trial.

The Chillicothe Gazette reports former Pike County Sheriff’s deputy Joel Jenkins goes on trial Nov. 28 for an on-duty killing. Jenkins was indicted on charges of murder and reckless homicide for his role in the March 28, 2015, high-speed pursuit that ended with the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Robert C. Rooker.

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office says Jan. 9 is the backup trial date.

Pretrial hearings also will be held Nov. 28 and Jan. 9 in Jenkins’ second case. He was indicted on involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and tampering with evidence charges in the Dec. 3, 2015, fatal shooting of his neighbor, Jason Brady. Jenkins says a gun misfired.