Ohio News Briefs

Witnesses: Man sets himself on fire after post-election rant

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio man is in stable condition after he set himself on fire following what witnesses described as a rant about post-election protests.

Akron Police Sgt. Dennis Woodall says the 69-year-old man was wearing a U.S. Marine Corps uniform when he set himself ablaze Saturday morning on a city street.

Witnesses told the Akron Beacon Journal the man had become increasingly agitated after discussing the need to protest President-elect Donald Trump. They say the man had walked into a coffee shop and asked whether anyone knew who had organized a recent anti-Trump protest. They say he then left the store and set himself on fire after he doused himself in gasoline.

Woodall said Sunday that he couldn’t confirm the witnesses’ comments and he had no further details.

Mussel die-off in Ohio river still a mystery, concern

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Biologists and environmental officials remain stumped on why mussels are dying in a central Ohio river known for its biodiversity.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says water tests back this past week show normal levels of chemicals, algae, metals and pesticides along the protected Big Darby Creek.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that dozens of dying or dead mussels have surfaced along miles of Big Darby Creek since October.

The creek west of Columbus is a designated National Scenic River and considered one of the most biodiverse streams in the region.

Some federally endangered mussel species are among those that have been found dead.

Student from Ohio chosen as Rhodes Scholar for 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A college student from Ohio is among the 32 Americans chosen as Rhodes Scholars to pursue post-graduate studies at Oxford University.

The Rhodes Trust announced the recipients on Sunday.

They include Pasquale Toscano, of Kettering, who attends Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He’s a senior who is majoring in English and classics.

The Trust says Toscano plans to pursue a career as a scholar of literature, with a particular interest in literary reception. He was partially paralyzed in an accident several years ago, and he developed an interest in studying disability in literature while working on rebuilding his capacity to walk. His research has ranged across millennia.

The scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at the prestigious university in England starting next October.

Mural of kids brightens wall dividing Cleveland neighborhood

CLEVELAND (AP) — A wall that has long isolated one of the country’s oldest low-income housing projects from the rest of a Cleveland neighborhood has been covered with a colorful mural of local children as part of an artistic effort to brighten the area.

The Plain Dealer reports the wall splits the Ohio City neighborhood from the Lakeview Terrace housing complex. The complex opened in 1937 and is now home to mostly minority families, who worry that encroaching development may eventually leave them displaced.

The Brazilian painter who created the mural was struck by the underlying strength of black culture there and the vulnerability of the children. She decided to paint a few of them on the wall, with some of them surrounded by patterns meant to reflect protection and majesty.