Ohio News Briefs


Ohioans warned of call scam reported in the state

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohioans are being warned about suspicious calls reported recently in the state from callers asking if those answering the phone can hear them.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says similar calls have been reported throughout the country as part of an alleged scam to trick people into responding “yes.” That response is then used to place unauthorized charges on a consumer’s phone or utility bill.

DeWine’s release says those reporting the scam calls say they often appear to come from a local number and sometimes claim the consumer has won a vacation or cruise.

DeWine advises Ohioans to let calls go to voicemail or hang up, if they seem questionable.

Consumers also are advised to check phone bills and credit card statements regularly and report any suspicious charges to providers.

Ohio air force base holding active shooter drills this week

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in western Ohio is conducting training drills involving an active shooter scenario this week.

The training that runs through Thursday will test employee responses and force protection measures.

Residents of communities surrounding Wright-Patterson may see and hear more activity near the base’s gates. Additionally, some security measures may lead to blocked roads and traffic backups.

People working at Wright-Patterson may also hear messages over the base’s loud speaker and see more emergency vehicles while training exercises are being conducted.

Wright-Patterson is located just east of Dayton.

Columbus police use pepper spray to disperse protesters

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Columbus have used pepper spray to break up a large crowd of people that gathered to protest President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Hundreds of people gathered downtown Monday night and blocked a major intersection, prompting police action.

Earlier Monday, protesters held a peaceful gathering at the Statehouse before some began marching through the city, chanting and carrying signs.

As the crowd grew and people began to block the intersection, police warned them that if they didn’t move they’d be forced to use pepper spray. After officers failed to push the crowd back, they used the spray.

The crowd eventually dispersed and the intersection reopened.

Ohio death row inmate files appeal over DNA evidence testing

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A death row inmate seeking DNA testing on a cigarette butt in hopes it could help exonerate him in a 1990 double murder has appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Tyrone Noling wants access to results of DNA testing previously completed, plus new testing on shell casings and other evidence from the Portage County crime scene, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

The state’s high court previously heard arguments about Noling’s case when it considered whether a constitutional appeals process is available to condemned prisoners who are denied DNA testing after a trial is over. The court cleared the way for the DNA testing appeal when it sided with Noling in that matter last month and ruled that part of a law denying that appeals process is unconstitutional.

Noling, 44, was convicted of killing Bearnhardt and Cora Hartig, both 81, at their home. He maintains his innocence. No execution date has been set.

Authorities say Noling was part of a group involved in home robberies of elderly couples. Three others in the group implicated Noling in the slayings of the Hartigs during a burglary but later retracted their statements, saying that police pressured them to name Noling as the shooter.

Attorneys for Noling argue that technological advances make it possible to identify who smoked the cigarette found near the scene and to determine whether that person was among other previously undisclosed suspects. The original DNA tests of a cigarette butt found in the Hartigs’ driveway didn’t match Noling or the others in the group.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci had said he doesn’t expect the Supreme Court’s allowance of the appeal to change the ultimate outcome in Noling’s case.