Ohio News Briefs


Columbus area, not Cleveland, has most residents in new data

CLEVELAND (AP) — New U.S. Census Bureau estimates indicate that Ohio’s most populous county is no longer the one that includes Cleveland but the one that includes Columbus.

The estimates have Cuyahoga County losing about 5,700 people last year while Franklin County gained over 14,000 residents. That would leave each county with a population of more than 1.2 million people, with Franklin County ahead by roughly 15,000.

Cleveland.com reports that a big factor in the Cleveland area’s population loss was people moving elsewhere. The bureau estimates that more than 10,000 Cuyahoga County residents moved elsewhere in Ohio or to another state. The counties anchored by Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo also lost residents to so-called domestic migration, in smaller numbers.

The statewide population held relatively steady at more than 11.6 million.

Mayor threatened over move to stop prayer and pledge resigns

CAREY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio mayor says he resigned that position after receiving threats over a plan to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord’s Prayer at village council meetings.

Carey Mayor Armand Getz says he made the decision to end the pledge and prayer to avoid potential lawsuits. The U.S. Air Force veteran also says he didn’t want anyone at the meetings to feel forced into saying the pledge or prayer if it went against their personal beliefs.

The Courier newspaper in Findlay reports residents in the northwestern Ohio village spoke out against the idea, calling it disrespectful.

The village council on Monday passed a resolution signaling they want to restore the pledge and add a moment of silence before meetings. The mayor then announced he was stepping down.

Man killed in 2-car crash in Ohio county

GRANVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Licking County say a 31-year-old man was killed in a two-vehicle crash.

Police tell WBNS-TV the crash occurred on state Route 661 in McKean Township around 4 p.m. Wednesday. Officials say Thomas Hagley’s car was struck when he pulled out in front of a Freightliner cab. Investigators say Hagley’s driver’s side door was stuck.

Hagley was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Officials say the driver of the Freightliner was not injured.

Man accused of shooting father, Ohio deputy heads to trial

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of shooting and injuring his father and a southwest Ohio sheriff’s deputy is slated for trial Monday after a judge clarified what evidence can be presented.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the Warren County judge won’t allow the deputy’s bloody undershirt as evidence in 20-year-old Mohammed Laghaoui’s trial. But the court will allow photos from the scene and an assault rifle matching the one that Laghaoui is believed to have used.

He’s been jailed on $2 million bond after pleading not guilty to charges including attempted aggravated murder for the June 2016 shooting.

A Warren County deputy was shot in the abdomen while responding to a domestic disturbance at the family’s apartment. Laghaoui’s father was shot in the hand. Both are slated to testify at the trial.

Someone swaps Cleveland speed-limit signs without permission

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland councilman who has unsuccessfully pushed to lower speed limits on a heavily traveled road says someone took the matter into his own hands and replaced about two dozen speed signs without city permission.

Councilman Matt Zone tells WEWS-TV that an unidentified man in a hard hat and a reflective vest was recently photographed while replacing 35 mph (56.32 kph) hour signs with 25 mph (40.23 kph) signs.

City workers took down the incorrect, lower-speed signs on Wednesday. That left a 2-mile (3.22-kilometer) section of road without speed limit signs and raised safety concerns for some area residents.

There was no immediate word on when new signs with the proper limit might be installed. That project could cost taxpayers $2,000.

Ohio mom, girlfriend charged in beating death of daughter, 5

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a Cleveland woman charged in the beating death of her young daughter had been under investigation by social workers following allegations of abuse and neglect.

A medical examiner’s office says 5-year-old Ta Naejah McCloud died Sunday at a hospital.

Her mother, 27-year-old Tequila Crump, and another woman, 36-year-old Ursula Owens, have been jailed on felonious assault charges. Cleveland.com reports Owens is Crump’s girlfriend.

Court records listed no attorneys for them.

Owens’ 15-year-old son tells WEWS-TV that he witnessed the women repeatedly hit the girl in the head, and he tried unsuccessfully to revive the child. He says he previously reported that the girl was being beaten last fall.

The local child services agency says allegations received then were investigated but not substantiated.

Grand jury to consider OVI case against Ohio state lawmaker

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio state lawmaker accused of impaired driving and mishandling a gun has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Rep. Wes Retherford waived that right Wednesday in a Hamilton courtroom in southwestern Ohio. The case will now be sent to a Butler County grand jury for consideration.

The Republican lawmaker from Hamilton is charged with driving under the influence and improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office said Retherford was arrested March 12 after a report of a man passed out behind the wheel at a McDonald’s restaurant. Deputies said they found a loaded handgun in a car seat while investigating.

Retherford hasn’t commented publicly on the circumstances of his arrest. A message seeking comment was left at his attorney’s office.

Sheriff: Family kept decomposing body in home, took benefits

WAINWRIGHT, Ohio (AP) — A sheriff in Ohio says they found a family living with a Vietnam veteran’s decomposing body and stealing his benefits.

Investigators think the 71-year-old had been dead for several months.

The Tuscarawas County sheriff said Wednesday that deputies checked on the man after being told he was living with the family and had not been seen lately.

Deputies say they found the man’s body Tuesday and they have video footage of one of the residents making withdrawals using his Social Security benefits card.

Authorities have charged Brian Sorohan and Stacy Sorohan with abuse of a corpse and theft of a credit card. Their 18-year-old daughter was charged with abuse of a corpse.

There were no court records indicating whether they have an attorney or home telephone listings.