Ohio News Briefs

Sensors to measure ‘fan quakes’ at Michigan-Ohio State game

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Stadium is sure to be rocking on Saturday when the rival Ohio State and Michigan football teams take the field.

Geologists will find out just how much.

They’ve planted sensors around the stadium this year to measure the seismic activity created by fans.

Ohio State and Miami University professors teamed up with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to devise the “FanQuakes Magnitude Scale.” It converts the shaking coming from fans into the perceived magnitude of a naturally occurring earthquake.

So far this season, the biggest quake came after Curtis Samuel’s touchdown catch at the beginning of the second half against Nebraska.

The shaking lasted over two minutes and reached a FanQuake Magnitude of 5.2.

Researchers say they’re expecting fans at Saturday’s game to “take it to another level.”

Hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer in Ohio youth gun season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say young hunters in Ohio harvested nearly 6,000 deer in the state’s youth gun season for hunting deer.

The Department of Natural Resources says the harvest from the two-day season last weekend totaled 5,930 white-tailed deer. Last year’s total for the season was more than 7,200 deer.

The youth gun season for hunting deer is one of four special youth-only hunting seasons designed to offer a dedicated hunting experience for young hunters in Ohio. Youth hunting seasons are also available for small game, wild turkey and waterfowl.

The young hunters were allowed to pursue deer with a legal shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun or specific straight-walled cartridge rifle. They were required to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

GOP’s Pat Fischer wins seat on Ohio Supreme Court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Democratic judge in Cleveland has conceded to his Republican opponent in what was an extremely tight Ohio Supreme Court race, meaning the court will continue to have six Republicans and one Democrat.

The race between Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O’Donnell and state appeals Judge Pat Fischer was too close to call on election night because there were more than 260,000 uncounted provisional or outstanding absentee ballots.

Those votes were counted by Wednesday, and O’Donnell conceded that Fischer won by more than the narrow margin that would trigger an automatic recount.

The court’s second open seat was captured by Republican Pat DeWine, the state attorney general’s son.

Two seats were open because two of the six Republicans on the Supreme Court reached mandatory age limits and must retire.

Ohio coal sales dropped in 2015; Trump gives industry hope

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio coal sales dropped by 31 percent last year.

The Department of Natural Resources reports Ohio coal sold in 2015 had a market value of about $753 million, putting it below $1 billion for the first time since 2007.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a drop was expected because of the long-term shift to fueling power plants with less expensive natural gas.

Still, coal-industry leaders have optimism because of the election of Republican Donald Trump as president and his comments about rewriting environmental rules and bringing back coal jobs. The president of the Ohio Coal Association says it’s giving the industry hope.

Over half of Ohio’s coal production last year came from Belmont County. Coal producers were active at 43 mines, mostly in eastern and southeastern Ohio.

Ohio troopers find drugs wrapped as Christmas gifts in SUV

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says troopers found 71 pounds of marijuana and other drugs wrapped as Christmas gifts in a vehicle that was stopped for a driving violation in northwest Ohio.

The patrol says the drugs seized Monday on Interstate 80 in Wood County, south of Toledo, have an estimated street value of $330,000.

A trooper stopped the rented sport utility vehicle for following another vehicle too closely, and that led to a search of the SUV with help from a K-9. Investigators found the drugs in 10 gift-wrapped boxes.

The patrol says the 31-year-old driver from Eureka, California, was jailed on suspicion of drug trafficking. He has a court appearance scheduled next week.

Self-driving truck hits the road as Ohio discusses research

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio is making new investments to support innovative transportation technology like a self-driving truck that will begin traveling next week on U.S. Route 33 and the Ohio Turnpike.

They say a vehicle from self-driving truck maker Otto will travel a 35-mile stretch of U.S. Route 33 on Monday between Dublin and East Liberty, home to the state’s Transportation Research Center. A human driver in the truck will be positioned to intervene should anything go awry.

Officials say that section of Route 33 will become a corridor where new technologies can be safely tested in real-life traffic, aided by a fiber-optic cable network and sensor systems slated for installation next year. Gov. John Kasich is expected to detail that investment Monday before the truck hits the road.

Ohio police agency’s gun gift card raffle draws criticism

CAMPBELL, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio police department has drawn criticism from some gun-control advocates for its plan to raffle gift cards for guns to raise money to replace its injured police dog.

Campbell police Officer Eric Manning tells The Vindicator in Youngstown that the three winners of the raffle still would have to pass a background check and meet standard regulations to get the guns.

The gift cards are for amounts equivalent to the cost of the guns advertised as the prizes. Winners would have the option of buying other hunting, fishing or camping gear from the same store instead.

Manning says having the gift cards as the prize allows people who are restricted from buying firearms to participate in the Dec. 4 fundraiser.

Damage from Cincinnati-area flooding doesn’t qualify for aid

CINCINNATI (AP) — The state says damage from August flooding around Cincinnati wasn’t enough to qualify for financial aid from a disaster relief program.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Ohio Emergency Management Agency has denied that aid for Aug. 28 flooding that affected Norwood, St. Bernard and some northern Cincinnati neighborhoods. Some areas got several inches of rainfall in just a few hours.

The agency says Hamilton County had just over $2 million in qualifying damage, falling short of the threshold for aid calculated on a per-capita basis.

Local governments and groups submitted claims for millions of dollars in damage, but the agency concluded the qualifying damage was far less. For example, the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati sought $26 million but was found to qualify for only about $1 million.

Video shows Ohioan loading gun day before daughter’s slaying

CLEVELAND (AP) — Surveillance video shows that a suburban Cleveland man accused of fatally shooting his adult daughter in the head at home loaded a revolver at the gas station he owns the day before the shooting.

Sixty-four-year-old Jamal Mansour, of Rocky River, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges in the September shooting of 27-year-old Tahani Mansour.

Jamal Mansour told a judge after his arrest that it was an accident, but prosecutors allege he planned the killing.

Cleveland.com reports prosecutors point to the gas station video of Mansour loading a firearm as evidence that he had a “calculated plan.” Police say Mansour rarely took the weapon home.

Court records indicate Mansour said he shot his daughter “out of anger.” Authorities haven’t released further details about a potential motive.