Ohio News Briefs

Arrested teen denies threatening Ohio classmate with knife

MILAN, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio teenager accused of threatening a classmate with a knife at school denied that allegation and said he carries the blade for protection because of the prevalence of school shootings.

The Sandusky Register reports the 16-year-old student from Edison High School in Milan was arrested this week after an argument in the cafeteria.

Sheriff’s records show he told deputies he’s been carrying a knife clipped to his waistband while at school.

A principal said two other students reported that the boy unfolded the knife and brandished it at a classmate. The boy denied that and said he reached toward the knife only to make sure it was still there and concealed.

He’s been charged as a juvenile with aggravated menacing and carrying concealed weapons.

Ohio girl, 14, arrested in fatal shooting of teen brother

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot in northwest Ohio, and his 14-year-old sister has been arrested as the subject of the murder investigation.

Police say officers responding to a report of a shooting in Toledo found the wounded teen shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The Lucas County coroner tells The Blade newspaper that the boy suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at a hospital, and an autopsy was planned.

Police didn’t immediately release information about the circumstances of the shooting or any potential motive. The boy’s father told WTOL-TV he was puzzled by what happened and couldn’t explain it.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify juveniles charged with crimes.

Clark County school closes after possible norovirus outbreak

SOUTH VIENNA, Ohio (AP) — A Clark County elementary/middle school will close after more than 100 students and some faculty members were out sick following a suspected norovirus outbreak.

Northeastern Local Schools Superintendent John Kronour announced that the South Vienna School will be closed on Thursday as health officials examine what caused Wednesday’s absences.

Clark County Combined Health District officials will conduct testing to determine whether the illnesses are linked to norovirus, a gastrointestinal virus that typically lasts 24 to 48 hours.

Kronour says additional custodians have been called to disinfect the building.

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson has urged parents to keep their sick children at home for at least one day because the virus can spread even after symptoms have ended.

Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea and potentially a low-grade fever.

Ex-Smithfield mayor sentenced for insurance fraud, theft

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The former mayor of an eastern Ohio village has been sentenced to seven months in corrections facilities after being convicted of charges including insurance fraud and theft in office.

Ex-Smithfield Mayor Patricia Freeland was reprimanded at her sentencing hearing Monday in Jefferson County, with the judge stating that the 74-year-old became a criminal immediately upon taking office.

Prosecutors say Freeland forged a document that was then submitted as a fraudulent insurance claim tied to a break-in at the village’s wastewater building in July 2009.

The insurance company made a partial payment for pumps that were never installed following the incident. The cash was instead deposited by Freeland into Smithfield’s general fund.

Freeland apologized, saying that her job as mayor along with the village’s shaky financial standing was too overwhelming.

Man gets prison for Ohio theft ring of hair growth products

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials say a Florida man has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution for his role in a theft ring that stole the hair growth product Rogaine and other over-the-counter drugs.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office says 36-year-old Andres Arias, of Boca Raton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a racketeering charge in Warren County in southwestern Ohio and was sentenced.

The attorney general’s statement says Arias was part of a criminal network that stole Rogaine, a dietary supplement and an over-the-counter weight loss drug, from drug stores throughout Ohio. The statement says Arias flew to targeted cities where he stole the drugs and shipped them to associates in New Jersey.

Arias’ attorney says Arias is remorseful and the plea agreement is fair.

Retiring court justice to head Ohio Judicial Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s judicial advocacy group has appointed a retiring state Supreme Court justice as its next executive director.

Paul Pfeifer will lead the Ohio Judicial Conference beginning in January as he leaves the court under rules prohibiting justices older than 70 from running for a seat.

The 74-year-old Pfeifer succeeds Mark Schweikert, who retired earlier this year after holding the position since 2006.

Pfeifer, a Republican, has served on the Supreme Court since 1993, with previous stints in the House and Senate.

As a state senator Pfeifer was one of the architects of the state’s current death penalty law but has since come to oppose capital punishment.

The judicial conference represents more than 700 judges and works to establish judicial policy and express the consensus of judges on issues.