Ohio News Briefs


GOP Ohio Rep. Robert Sprague kicks off state treasurer run

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fourth-term state Rep. Robert Sprague has announced a bid for Ohio treasurer.

The Findlay Republican said Monday he supports continuing the fiscal transparency efforts of incumbent Treasurer Josh Mandel, which he says have helped make the office “relevant.”

The 43-year-old lawmaker said he also has other ideas. He wants to extend financial literacy education to soon-to-be college students facing heavy debt, push greater use of STABLE accounts for people with disabilities and standardize and promote the use of social impact bonds. He says such bonds would attract initial private investments in strategies for tackling Ohio’s heroin crisis and would be repaid in cases where innovative programs prove to work.

Sprague is an Ernst & Young team member. He is also Findlay’s former city treasurer and auditor.

Ohio’s Wright State University gets its 1st female president

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Wright State University in southwest Ohio has announced the first female president in its history.

University trustees have selected Cheryl Schrader to be the school’s seventh president, starting in July. She has served as chancellor of the Missouri University of Science and Technology since 2012. She was previously an associate vice president for strategic research initiatives at Boise State University.

She said Monday she believes Wright State is “poised to move to the next level.”

She will succeed President David Hopkins, who announced plans last year to step down at the school of nearly 18,000 students. Wright State is celebrating its 50th anniversary as an independent institution.

Schrader received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University and her master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering at Notre Dame.

Ohio gas prices up; fuel costs expected to rise this month

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices around Ohio have increased again over the past week.

Ohio’s average for regular fuel was about $2.23 per gallon in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s a dime more than the state average last week and well above the average of $1.87 at this time last year.

The national average was $2.31 on Monday, up from $2.29 a week earlier and $1.81 a year ago.

AAA says gas prices mostly held steady during February but are expected to increase this month as demand rises and refiners start switching from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline.

Veteran shoots at firefighters, thinking it was a break-in

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say a veteran who shot at firefighters conducting a welfare check at his Cincinnati home won’t be charged in connection with the misunderstanding.

Kenneth Mullins says he fired at firefighters who forced entry into his home on Sunday morning because he thought the commotion was an intruder breaking in.

A police spokesman says the Cincinnati Fire Department was called to assist officers checking on Mullins at the behest of the man’s friends.

Mullins’ friends alerted the authorities after he missed a scheduled appointment for treatment at the local Veterans Affairs hospital.

Mullins says his father was once attacked during a home invasion, which is why he is always armed.

The incident has prompted Cincinnati’s fire union to call for enhanced safety measures for firefighters.

State EPA and fire crews fight industrial blaze

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Dayton say an industrial fire has destroyed a business.

Fire officials tell WHIO-TV that the blaze started at KMW Truck and Trailer Repair around 9 p.m. on Sunday. Investigators say fire crews from Dayton and Riverside along with the state Environmental Protection Agency responded.

Officials say crews could not use water to contain the fire due to an oil field underneath the building. Investigators say the structure emitted a thick column of smoke as tanks exploded inside.

Authorities urge residents to close their windows. Officials say firefighters will continue to monitor the fire to prevent it from spreading.

There are no reported injuries. Authorities say the building is a total loss.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Overdose survivors in this Ohio city face misdemeanor charge

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio community is trying to fight the heroin epidemic by bringing a misdemeanor charge against drug users who are revived by emergency responders using an overdose antidote.

Chief Brian Hottinger says Washington Court House police in February began citing people with inducing panic if responders revive them with naloxone. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

City Attorney Mark Pitsick tells WSYX-TV the strategy is aimed not at jailing more people but at giving authorities a way to track who has overdosed and offer them help.

At least seven people have been issued summonses for inducing panic so far.

People who call 911 for an overdose or people who are with the drug user won’t be charged.

Police warn residents about Nerf gun wars

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Police in Butler County are warning residents about Nerf gun fights as spring approaches.

The Middletown Police Department advised residents and game participants to be mindful of each other in a public service announcement on Facebook on Sunday.

The police department acknowledges that the gadgets are harmless. However, officials say that residents can become scared when participants wear masks or hide on private property.

Police say teens also paint the toy guns black which makes the toys look more realistic.

The department says that participants should make sure their Nerf guns are bright and avoid trespassing. Officials also reminded those involved with the game that Ohio is an open carry state.