Ohio News Briefs

Mushroom hunter finds human skeletal remains in rural Ohio

MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities are working to identify human skeletal remains found by a man searching for mushrooms in a wooded area of rural southeastern Ohio.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office says the mushroom hunter found the bones Saturday in a recreation area near a campsite east of McConnelsville, roughly 70 miles east of Columbus.

The sheriff’s office said the Licking County coroner’s office would conduct an autopsy and try to help identify the remains.

The sheriff’s office also says personal items were found with the remains, but authorities aren’t releasing details about those.

Ohio sheriff: Deputies killed man who aimed rifle at them

ASHTABULA, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio sheriff says two deputies responding to a report about a man threatening to hurt himself and others fatally shot the man when he pointed a rifle at officers.

The Ashtabula County Sheriff Bill Johnson says a Saturday afternoon call from the man’s sister sent authorities to a home in Colebrook Township, roughly 50 miles east of Cleveland.

Johnson says deputies found a man in his 50s in the yard, and he refused to drop his rifle. Johnson says the suspect started running away, then turned around, pointed the rifle at the deputies and was shot.

He later died at a hospital. His name wasn’t immediately released.

The deputies weren’t hurt. They’re now on paid administrative leave according to protocol as the shooting is investigated.

Ohio gas prices slip, staying under national average

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Drivers around Ohio have seen gas prices slip a bit lower since last week.

The state average for regular fuel was about $2.32 per gallon in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s down a few cents from the average of $2.38 a week ago, but up from about $2.11 at this time last year.

The national average rose two pennies from last week to about $2.41 on Monday. It was much cheaper a year ago, averaging $2.11.

AAA says prices at the pump have been moving higher, as driving demand increases and the switch is made to more expensive summer-blend gasoline.

Police: Warm weather may have led to homicide spike

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police in an Ohio city say unseasonably warm weather might have contributed to a spike in killings.

The Blade reports that Toledo has had 14 homicides in the first three months of the year, the highest number in at least 20 years.

Police say homicides are less common in winter months. Lt. Joe Heffernan, a spokesman for Toledo Police, says warm weather creates more opportunities for conflict.

Over the past seven years the city has averaged five killings in the first three months of the year. Before this year; the highest total the newspaper could find in its records was 11, in 2004.

Heffernan said drugs appear to be a factor in more killings this year as well.

Ohio official wants to make Akron area autism friendly

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A county official in Ohio is hoping to formally declare the Akron area a welcoming place for people with autism.

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said she would introduce a proposal to establish Summit County as “autism friendly” at a council meeting Monday.

Laurie Cramer, executive director of the Autism Society of Greater Akron, told the Akron Beacon Journal that Shapiro’s proposal would formalize efforts made over the past several years.

Cramer said her group has worked with others, including the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, to promote inclusion of people with autism.

Among their successes are autism-specific story times at the library and a chance to meet the Easter Bunny at a local mall before opening without all the crowds and loud music.

Ohio energy company seeks approval for pipeline project

BLUE ASH, Ohio (AP) — Two key hearings have been set to discuss if a proposed natural gas pipeline can be built under Cincinnati’s suburbs.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a public hearing June 15 at the University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash campus will allow citizens to express thoughts on the proposed 13-mile long pipeline planned to run under multiple suburbs in northern Cincinnati.

A number of community organizations have already announced that they will oppose the pipeline project.

An adjudicatory hearing is set July 12 in Columbus.

Duke Energy says it wants to extend the pipeline to increase the reliability of natural gas delivery in central Cincinnati.

Another energy company, IGS Energy, has asked to intervene in support of the pipeline project that would begin near the intersection of Butler, Warren and Hamilton counties.