Ohio News Briefs


Ohio police locate girl, 4, who was in car as it was stolen

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in central Ohio say a 4-year-old girl who was sleeping in the backseat of a car when it was stolen has been found unharmed after a three-hour search.

Columbus police say the car was located less than 2 miles from where it was stolen near the Ohio State University campus Monday morning. Police indicated the child wasn’t initially found with the vehicle, but they didn’t immediately provide details about where and how she was located.

Investigators say the girl’s mother put her into the running vehicle as it was warming up, then went inside a home to get another child and returned to find the car gone.

Police say they believe the car was taken by a black male wearing a dark coat, but they haven’t named a suspect.

Vandalism has damaged 600-plus grave sites at Ohio cemetery

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The large Ohio cemetery that includes the grave sites of humorist James Thurber, five governors and a grandfather of President George H.W. Bush has seen more vandalism this month, adding to a tally of more than 600 damaged grave sites there over the past two years.

The Columbus Dispatch reports all that vandalism at the nearly 170-year-old Green Lawn Cemetery, southwest of downtown Columbus, has caused damage estimated at over $1 million.

The latest round marred eight grave sites and a century-old mausoleum on Jan. 9. A security camera also showed the vandal grabbing some American flags from veterans’ graves, setting the flags on fire and tossing them in some brush.

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information to convict whoever is responsible for the vandalism.

Ohio’s average gas price is lowest in US as week begins

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is beginning this week with the lowest average gas prices in the country.

The state average for a gallon of regular gas was $2.02 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. Ohio edged out neighboring Indiana by a penny to claim the lowest average.

Prices in Ohio have dropped from an average of $2.35 a month ago and $2.13 last week. But they haven’t fallen enough to match the state average at this time last year, which was around $1.66.

The national average was $2.27 on Monday, down a few pennies from a month earlier but higher than the average of $1.80 a year ago.

AAA says increases in U.S. oil production contributed to gas price decreases in recent weeks.

Woman pinned under own car in fatal crash

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman has died after being ejected and trapped under her car in an accident.

Police say 62-year-old Rita Matthews, of Middletown, veered off the road and hit a curb around 12:45 a.m. on Sunday. Police say Matthews was not wearing a seatbelt when she was thrown from the car. Officials pronounced Matthews dead at the scene.

Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in the accident. The crash is still under investigation.

Ohio Statehouse remembers McKinley with carnation day

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Statehouse is honoring the memory of President William McKinley with the celebration of an event known as Red Carnation Day.

An exhibit on the life and legacy of McKinley, who was also an Ohio governor, is scheduled for Monday in the Statehouse Rotunda in downtown Columbus.

The Carnation League of America was founded by Dayton native Lewis Reynolds in 1903. It encouraged Americans to wear a red carnation on McKinley’s birthday on Jan. 29.

The carnation was said to be the favorite flower of McKinley, who was shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo on Sept. 5, 1901 and died nine days later.

The Statehouse commemoration includes discounts at the museum shop for individuals wearing red carnations or dressed in scarlet.