Ohio News Briefs


Ohio to open 1st longer-term mental illness care facility

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — A groundbreaking is planned this spring for the first residential rehabilitation center in Ohio to provide longer-term care for patients released from psychiatric hospitals.

The $2 million Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Athens will serve as a “step-down” facility for patients from Athens’ nearby state hospital, Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the facility will help address the fact that suicide rates are 14 times greater than average in the first 90 days after people are released from psychiatric hospitals.

The 16-bed facility will be built by renovating an existing facility owned by the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board.

Victims’ rights amendment in Ohio clears initial hurdle

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A proposed amendment to Ohio’s constitution that would give crime victims and their families the same rights as the accused has cleared its initial hurdle.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the petition presented by the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center on Friday. Its next stop is the state Ballot Board.

The proposal would require that crime victims be notified of all court proceedings and be heard at each step along the way.

The amendment is proposed for the November ballot. It would also give victims input on plea deals and declare that full and timely restitution is a right.

The amendment, dubbed Marsy’s Law for Ohio, is named for a California woman killed in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend after he was released from jail without notification to her.

Gas prices in Ohio remain cheaper than in most other states

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices in Ohio remain relatively low compared with the rest of the country as the week gets underway.

The average for a gallon of regular fuel in Ohio was about $2.07 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. Only Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee had lowers averages.

Ohio’s average was down from $2.40 a month ago but still significantly higher than a year ago, when drivers were paying just $1.53.

The national average Monday was $2.27, about the same as last week but up from $1.75 at this time last year.

AAA says the national average decreased daily for three weeks in January, amid increased crude oil production and lower driving demand.

Cleveland area has 14 suspected overdose deaths from weekend

CLEVELAND (AP) — The medical examiner in Cleveland says at least 14 people in the area died of suspected heroin or fentanyl overdoses between Friday and Sunday, bringing the total to two dozen in less than a week.

The office says Cuyahoga County had at least 46 fatal overdoses in January that were attributed to those drugs. It has half that number of suspected overdose deaths in the first five days of February.

The weekend cases involved mostly Cleveland residents and mostly men. They ranged in age from 23 to 57.

Over 500 people died from overdoses in the county last year, nearly all from the effects of opiates such as painkillers and heroin.

Ohio has taken steps to address the problem, but many experts believe the opiate crisis is worsening.

Authorities: Armed man shot by police officer in Ohio dies

ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say an armed man shot by a police officer searching for a suspect who allegedly shot at a motel in southwestern Ohio has died.

Police were called Sunday afternoon after a man allegedly shot a firearm at a motel near Englewood, in suburban Dayton. Englewood police say an officer found the suspect at a closed motel down the street and fired at him after the man ignored the officer’s orders and a physical confrontation occurred.

A coroner said Monday that the suspect was shot multiple times and later died at a hospital. The coroner has identified the suspect as 41-year-old Shelly Porter III.

Police didn’t release any suspected motive for the alleged shooting at the open motel.

The officer wasn’t hurt. He is on leave while the investigation continues.