Ohio News Briefs


Ohio Senate unanimously OKs $7.8B transportation bill

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A $7.8 billion transportation budget that sends additional funding to local roads and bridges, lowers fees on high-volume commercial truck fleets and makes it easier for municipalities to share road maintenance and repair responsibilities has cleared the Ohio Senate.

Senators unanimously approved the two-year spending measure Wednesday. It returns to the Ohio House for approval of Senate changes.

The bill provides funding to the state transportation and public safety departments, the Public Works Commission and the Development Services Agency.

It allocates an additional $48 million from the state’s motor fuel tax to counties and municipalities for local road and bridge improvements and invests at least $33 million each year in public transit. An additional $15 million from an emissions-related settlement is allotted toward public transit vehicles powered by clean energy.

Cause-of-death cancer ruling aids Ohio drunken driver’s case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A drunken driver has been sentenced to six months in jail after an Ohio coroner’s office changed its ruling on what killed another driver he hit, attributing her death to her advanced cancer rather than the collision.

Thirty-six-year-old Timothy Castle apologized to Debra Meadows’ relatives before he was sentenced Tuesday in Columbus on low-level charge for driving while intoxicated. The Columbus Dispatch reports Castle told the family they probably don’t feel justice was served and that he’d likely feel that way too if he were in their position.

The 58-year-old Meadows died 11 days after the May 2014 crash.

Castle escaped an aggravated vehicular homicide charge when the cause-of-death ruling was changed last year, after the original forensic pathologist for the case was fired and the autopsy findings were reviewed.

Woman says she shot, killed fiance while trying to save him

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A woman arrested in her fiancé’s death says in a recorded 911 call that she accidentally shot him while trying to unload a gun to make sure he couldn’t use it to kill himself at his Ohio home.

The Dayton Daily News reports the 33-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday at the home in Harrison Township, a few miles north of Dayton. The local coroner’s office planned an autopsy for the 32-year-old man.

In the call, the woman told a dispatcher that her fiance appeared suicidal earlier in the day and she had been trying to protect him.

She was being held at the Montgomery County Jail. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she has an attorney.

Man’s hanging in holding cell prompts police investigation

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — A police department west of Cleveland plans an internal investigation after a man arrested in a child pornography case hanged himself in a holding cell using his shoelaces.

Elyria police Chief Duane Whitely says his department’s investigation will follow a separate one by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect, identified by police as 47-year-old James Fitzpatrick, was arrested Monday. Police say they were checking on him every half-hour before he was found unresponsive later that day.

The Chronicle-Telegram reports that Elyria police procedures for processing suspects call for officers to search detainees and keep holding cells free of any objects that can be misused, but don’t mention removing shoelaces or specific accessories.

Auto glass maker Fuyao to pay $100K for Ohio safety issues

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An automotive glass manufacturer facing proposed fines for unsafe working conditions at its southwest Ohio plant says it will pay a reduced penalty of $100,000 to resolve safety violations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said complaints from workers at the Fuyao Glass America Inc. facility in Moraine led to multiple inspections and about $227,000 in proposed fines. The agency cited the company for alleged violations involving machine safety, electrical hazards and a lack of personal protective gear.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Fuyao says it has spent over $7 million on safety measures in the past few months. It also says it has worked with regulators to make sure the plant meets requirements.

The site was formerly a General Motors factory.

Class seeks to help Ohio kids separate fact from fiction

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A high school in northwest Ohio will offer a new pilot course focusing on media literacy.

The Blade in Toledo reports that the media and politics course will be offered next school year to juniors and seniors at Start High School in Toledo. More than 60 students plan to enroll.

The Toledo Board of Education recently approved the half-credit elective, which aims to teach students how to analyze the news.

The class comes after a Stanford University study in November found that more than 80 percent of middle school students couldn’t tell the difference between a paid advertisement marked as “sponsored content” and a real news story.

District officials say the class will provide “real-world learning” to help students separate “fact from fiction.”

Ohio university offering military ethics graduate degree

CLEVELAND (AP) — Officials with Case Western Reserve University say the Ohio school’s new graduate program in military ethics is the first of its kind in the country.

Cleveland.com reports the Master of Arts in Military Ethics program allows students to earn a specialized degree that would prepare them for careers in military ethics, law, foreign affairs and veterans affairs.

Topics of study include emerging areas of ethical consideration such as cyberwarfare, human enhancement and the use of new weaponry. The program is focused on how advancing military technologies relate to the common humanity of both enemy and ally.

The degree is designed to be completed in one year, although the university will allow students to finish at their own pace.

Applications are being accepted for the program’s debut this fall.