Ohio News Briefs


With $2.6M, Ohio creates network to support violence victims

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general is providing $2.6 million in grants to create a network of five trauma recovery centers to provide support services for hospitalized victims of violent crime.

The office says Ohio is the second state to have such a network, after California. The Ohio program is modeled on California’s network.

The funding will be split among hospitals and partner organizations in Cincinnati, Columbus, Springfield and Cleveland, which has two pairs of grant recipients.

The trauma recovery centers are intended to provide advocacy and mental health support for patients who have been victims of violence such as shootings, sexual assault, human trafficking or hate crimes. Center counselors will help such patients access victim services after they leave a hospital, too.

The grant funding comes from federal settlements, fines and fees.

Police seize heroin at Ohio home, arrest trafficking suspect

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say they seized heroin at the southwestern Ohio home of a woman accused of being in a group that sold drugs linked to a spike in overdoses.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office says investigators searching the Morrow home of the 28-year-old woman on Tuesday found “bulk” amounts of heroin, plus guns, packaging supplies and cash.

She was arrested and charged with drug trafficking, drug possession and permitting drug abuse. Authorities say a man who lived at the home also is expected to face charges.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the woman is alleged to be part of a group selling drugs linked to an increase in overdoses.

Prosecutor: Police justified in fatal shooting of Ohio man

CINCINNATI (AP) — A prosecutor says the fatal police shooting of a man who authorities say raised a gun at two officers when they responded to a domestic violence call in suburban Cincinnati was justified.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a letter to Springfield Township that his office determined the two officers’ actions were justified and didn’t violate any criminal statutes.

Springfield Township police said 42-year-old John McLaughlin was fatally shot Jan. 1. Authorities said the two officers were responding to 911 calls about a domestic disturbance between McLaughlin and his wife, when McLaughlin produced a concealed handgun.

Authorities said McLaughlin wouldn’t comply with the officers’ orders to drop the gun. Police said the officers fired a total of seven shots after McLaughlin raised the gun in their direction.

Judge blocks Ohio law that would ban some local hiring rules

CLEVELAND (AP) — A judge has blocked an Ohio law that would have barred local hiring regulations for public projects, such as Cleveland’s requirement that city residents get to work on certain projects.

Cleveland.com reports that a Cuyahoga County judge concluded the state overstepped its constitutional authority, and he granted Cleveland an injunction blocking Ohio from enforcing the law.

The state could choose to appeal. A spokeswoman for Ohio’s attorney general says the office is reviewing the ruling.

Cleveland had enacted the hiring requirements over a decade ago. It argued that the state law passed last year violated home rule powers guaranteed in the state Constitution.

The law’s sponsors contended local hiring rules hurt job opportunities for workers from elsewhere. The state argued the Legislature has authority to govern workers’ welfare.

GateHouse Media buys Dix Communications newspaper chain

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Dix Communications newspaper chain, with operations in northeastern and east-central Ohio, has been sold to GateHouse Media for $21.2 million.

The Dix family announced the sale to Pittsford, N.Y.-based GateHouse on Tuesday.

Dix Communications operations include a printing facility in Wooster and more than 30 daily and weekly newspapers, online-only publications and specialty publications. Its larger newspapers are the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, The Daily Record in Wooster, the Ashland Times-Gazette, The Review in Alliance and The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge.

GateHouse Media owns The Columbus Dispatch, The Canton Repository and about 50 other Ohio publications and websites. It operates in more than 520 markets in 35 states and owns more than 125 daily newspapers and more than 300 weekly newspapers, along with other publications and websites.

Ohio ex-detective who stole pills from home avoids prison

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A man who admitted stealing prescription pills from a home while working as a police detective in suburban Dayton has given up his Ohio peace officer certification but won’t have to spend time in prison.

Former Kettering detective Ryan Meno was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days of home detention and five years of probation. The 37-year-old Meno previously pleaded guilty to drug theft, obstructing official business, and theft in office.

Investigators alleged that he took pills from a woman’s home after police investigated a reported possible break-in.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Meno apologized in court and said his actions left him ashamed and cost him a career that he loved.

University: Shocked at pill mill charges against ex-trustee

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio University trustees say they’re shocked and disappointed at news that a doctor and former university trustee pleaded guilty to charges of running a pill mill and evading $3.5 million in taxes.

Trustees said in a Tuesday statement that they sympathize with patients and patients’ families affected by Dr. Kevin Lake’s unlawful behavior.

Lake acknowledged in the plea entered Monday in federal court that doctors and staff at his Columbus medical clinic were prescribing painkillers without a legitimate medical purpose.

Defense attorney Bradley Davis Barbin called Lake a smart doctor who didn’t want to pay his taxes and said the case isn’t over.

Lake began a nine-year term as an Ohio University trustee in 2010 and resigned on Jan. 21.

Lake is also a former Bowling Green State University trustee.

Deadline approaches for new law enforcement agency standards

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state says law enforcement agencies representing about three of every 10 Ohio officers have been fully certified on new statewide standards governing the use of deadly force and other policies ahead of a March deadline.

The Department of Public Safety says compliance closer to seven in 10 is expected by next month based on the number of agencies who applied for certification.

An advisory board commissioned by Gov. John Kasich created the standards after a series of fatal police shootings in Ohio and nationally.

Agencies that don’t meet the standards as minimum policies will be listed as noncompliant on a list to be published in March.

Wednesday was the date by which agencies could be guaranteed a place on that list assuming their applications had no major problems.

Prosecutor says theft suspects scammed businesses with calls

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a ring of thieves scammed thousands of dollars from central Ohio businesses by masquerading as company employees.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says one of the group’s leaders would first call businesses and get the name of an upper-level company official.

O’Brien says the ringleader would then call back masquerading as that person and instruct business employees to give money to customers coming by later. The prosecutor says those customers were members of the ring.

O’Brien says 50 businesses including gas stations, hotels and grocery stores lost $23,000 over half a year.

A grand jury indictment Tuesday charged two ringleaders and five accomplices with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, grand theft, identify fraud and telecommunications fraud.