Ohio News Briefs


Ohio reviews since 2011 find 126 non-citizens have voted

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s elections chief has identified an additional 385 non-citizens who are registered to vote in the presidential battleground state, including 82 who cast ballots in at least one election.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said Monday that those who cast ballots are being referred to law enforcement for further investigation and possible prosecution. Those who didn’t vote will be informed that non-citizens aren’t eligible to vote and given two chances and 30 days to cancel their registrations or receive a similar referral.

The new discoveries bring the total number of non-citizen voters Husted identified since taking office in 2011 to 821. Of those, 126 actually cast ballots.

He reiterated that voter fraud is rare. Ohio has nearly 7.9 million registered voters. About 5.6 million cast ballots last year.

Ohio’s higher fuel prices remain below national average

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Drivers in Ohio have seen gas prices creep upward in the past week.

The state average for a gallon of regular fuel was $2.13 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s 6 cents higher than a week ago and well above the average of $1.80 at this time last year.

The national average was about $2.29 on Monday, up a penny from a week ago and much higher than the average of $1.74 a year ago.

AAA has said gas prices stayed relatively steady in recent weeks thanks to a strong supply of crude oil on the market.

More Columbus police will carry drug overdose antidote

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio’s capital say more officers will carry a drug overdose antidote after dozens of heroin users were revived with it during a pilot program.

The Columbus Dispatch says a Columbus police commander’s report on the program indicated that officers administered naloxone 58 times during the six-month program, sometimes giving multiple doses to one person. All but one of the recipients survived.

The pilot program had about 125 officers carrying the reversal drug, also known by the brand name Narcan. The commander says the department intends to widen its naloxone program, and he recommended that participation be voluntary for officers.

Some officers don’t want to carry naloxone. The president of the local police union says officers want to save lives but are wary of becoming medical care providers.

Apartment fire displaces dozens of families

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Fire officials in southeast Ohio are investigating a fire that damaged an apartment complex.

Authorities say the blaze at the 30-unit complex in Athens started around 4:15 p.m. on Sunday. Officials say all buildings were evacuated.

Fire crews from Waterloo, Richland, and York Township responded to the scene. Officials say the fire was contained by 8 p.m.

Nearby Ohio University opened up a facility as a “warming center” for displaced residents. The Red Cross is also offering aid to families.

Officials say no one was injured. Investigators say the cause of the fire is not known. An investigation is ongoing.

As Ohio turns 214, Statehouse celebrates with tours, trivia

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is celebrating 214 years of statehood this year, and the Statehouse in Columbus is marking the occasion with a family-friendly party on March 5.

The board that runs the Statehouse says the free, public event that afternoon will include tours of the building, snacks, Ohio trivia and birthday-hat crafting.

It says organizations from Columbus and the state will offer activities, educational exhibits and travel information. The partner organizations for the event include multiple historical societies, Tourism Ohio and the attorney general’s office.

Ohio’s General Assembly convened to conduct its first business on March 1, 1803, in Chillicothe. The capital later moved to Zanesville and then ultimately Columbus.

The Statehouse in Columbus has housed the state government since 1857.

Ohio lawmaker’s highway bill aims to reach suffering vets

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A lawmaker has proposed renaming an Ohio highway for a soldier who killed himself last year.

State Rep. Steve Hambley says it could help remind veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to reach out for help.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Ohio House this past week passed a bill to rename state Route 261 from Norton to Wadsworth the Sgt. James Allen III Memorial Highway.

Allen, a decorated soldier who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, took his own life last February in Florida.

Hambley, a Republican from Brunswick, introduced the bill after he was contacted by Allen’s girlfriend.

Hambley says lawmakers need to do more to raise awareness and provide resources to take care of war veterans.

Trial over Ohio firefighter’s arson death set for November

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A November trial has been scheduled for two men charged with murder and arson in a house fire that resulted in an Ohio firefighter’s death.

Prosecutors allege homeowner Lester Parker solicited his nephew, William “Billy” Tucker, to set the fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter in 2015. Patrick Wolterman died after he fell through a floor of the burning home.

The 66-year-old Parker and 46-year-old Tucker have pleaded not guilty.

Tucker’s attorney said Monday she plans to request that the case be split and that the two men be tried separately. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens set an April 24 hearing on pretrial motions. He scheduled trial for Nov. 6.

Tucker was brought to Ohio from Richmond, Kentucky, to face the charges.