Ohio News Briefs


Marijuana legalization backers plan SW Ohio grow facility

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The backers of a failed state ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use are now proposing a large medical marijuana growing facility in southwestern Ohio.

The growing and manufacturing operation in Wilmington would be contingent on the backers getting one of the limited licenses for large growing facilities under Ohio’s new medical marijuana program expected to begin next year.

Local officials are supporting their plan to start with a 25,000-square-foot facility on a 19-acre property and potentially expand later.

The businessmen behind the proposal include Jimmy Gould and Ian James, who ran the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization effort that voters defeated in 2015.

Gould tells the Dayton Daily News the Wilmington marijuana operation would employ about 220 people and represent a $45 million investment.

Police: Baby taken after mom’s slaying is safe; suspect dead

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — Police say a woman was fatally shot and her 7-week-old infant was abducted in north-central Ohio, leading to a search that ended with the child safe and a suspect dead in an apparent suicide.

Police were called Wednesday night about an armed man chasing a woman at a Mansfield apartment complex, where they found the 22-year-old woman shot and her baby missing.

The man suspected in the shooting was confronted by law enforcement Thursday morning along a highway exit ramp further east in Wooster. The Daily Record in Wooster reports that investigators found the suspect dead in a vehicle after hours of unsuccessful attempts at negotiation using a loud speaker.

They say the infant is safe, but they didn’t immediately release details about where or how the baby was found.

Falling tree hits boy outside school amid high winds in Ohio

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Witnesses say an 11-year-old boy walking outside an elementary school was hit by a falling tree that apparently was downed by high winds that swept across northern Ohio.

His family tells The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria that he was treated for a concussion after the tree fell Wednesday outside Ely Elementary School.

Students who witnessed the scene reported that there were wind gusts as the tree snapped, and screaming students ran away in different directions. The boy got caught under the tree and was later taken to a hospital.

A district spokeswoman says the tree showed no obvious sign of rot or decay and appeared to have been snapped at the trunk by the high winds.

Ohio’s income tax revenue falls short again in February

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s state income tax revenue has come up short of estimates in the past several months, and state tax revenue overall is nearly 3 percent below estimates for the fiscal year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state collected almost $280 million in February income taxes. That was 27.5 percent short of estimates, leaving total income tax collections $352 million short for the fiscal year. The total is also 5 percent behind revenue from the same period last year.

The newspaper reports that collections were short $71 million in November, $29 million in December, $92 million in January and $77 million in February.

The state’s tax revenue overall is $412 million below estimates. Ohio’s unemployment rate is currently at 5 percent.

Couple finds human remains while hiking in Ohio

NEW MIAMI, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a couple found human remains while they were hiking in southwestern Ohio.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the skeletal remains were found near the village of New Miami on Tuesday.

The man told a dispatcher that the remains were about a quarter of a mile off the road in the woods. He said that the body was in clothes that “still look kind of new.”

Butler County’s coroner has confirmed that the remains are human.

Sheriff’s officials are working with the coroner’s office to determine the identity of the person and a possible cause and manner of death.

Court: Teen competent to stand trial in Ohio church fire

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A 16-year-old boy charged with igniting a blaze that caused serious damage to a southwest Ohio church has been found competent to stand trial in a juvenile court.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports a competency evaluation determined that the teen is capable of understanding the proceedings against him.

The boy has been charged with aggravated arson, breaking and entering and theft in connection with a Jan. 22 fire at Tytus Avenue First Church of God in Middletown.

Court documents say the teen confessed in a Facebook post to setting the fire and said he was off his medication.

A second teen charged in the blaze also appeared in Butler County Juvenile Court in Hamilton on Wednesday and had his case set for a March 30 pre-trial hearing.

Police: Ohio deputy stops for coffee, stops armed robbery

CINCINNATI (AP) — Authorities say a sheriff’s deputy who stopped at convenience store for coffee on his way to work stopped an armed robbery.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil says Terry Harper was at the United Dairy Farmers in suburban Cheviot at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when a masked man came in and tried to rob the cashier. He says Harper drew his gun, then fired when 20-year-old Simeon Thomas pointed his gun at him.

Police said Harper’s shot missed, but Thomas dropped his weapon and tried to flee. Police said Harper arrested him, with a Cheviot police officer assisting.

Authorities say Thomas is a suspect in the armed robbery of another UDF store.

Charges include aggravated robbery and assault on an officer. No attorney was listed for Thomas, pending a Thursday court appearance.

Revenue at Ohio’s 4 casinos down compared with year ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Casino Control Commission has reported that revenue last month was down at the state’s four casinos, but up at Ohio’s seven racinos, compared with the same time last year.

Commission authorities announced Tuesday that casino revenue decreased 6.8 percent statewide to $67.2 million, compared with $72.1 million in February 2016. That marks the 10th consecutive month in which year-over-year revenues were lower.

Last year, total gambling revenue from Ohio’s casinos totaled $797.9 million, down from $812.3 million in 2015.

Revenue at the state’s racinos, which feature horse tracks with video slot machines, rose 8.4 percent to $78.3 million this February, compared with $72.2 million in February 2016.

Experts say racinos have been aided by their location and successful efforts to draw in gamblers.