Ohio News Briefs


Feds: Ohio men killed 2 witnesses of drug activity, beating

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The government says two Ohio men have been arrested on allegations of killing two women to keep them from talking to police about drug activity and a severe assault.

Federal prosecutors say Antwan Hutchinson and Michael Favors killed the women Feb. 23 because they were seen as potential witnesses against the pair.

The indictment released Tuesday charges Hutchinson and Favors with murder of a witness for allegedly shooting victims Sidney Campbell and Marie Stamp.

Hutchinson and Favors are also accused of severely beating Campbell’s son, Cody Campbell, on Feb. 12 in Columbus to keep him from cooperating with a federal drug investigation. Cody Campbell died the next day.

Messages were left with the attorneys for both men seeking comment on the charges.

Fire during cremation spreads at Ohio business; no one hurt

CINCINNATI (AP) — The owner of a Cincinnati crematory says flames from a cremation spread outside a furnace when the fire got too hot in what he describes as a “freak accident.”

Firefighters put out the blaze Tuesday night at Hillside Chapel Crematory. No one was hurt.

Owner Don Catchen tells WCPO-TV that fireproofing measures at the business limited the damage and the spread of the flames to one area, and no other bodies were affected.

WLWT-TV reports that a vent pipe was damaged, and the flames spread to roof material and some cardboard boxes, creating an estimated $30,000 in damage.

Second worker accused of stealing from charity pleads guilty

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former office manager has pleaded guilty to stealing from a Cleveland charity months after another employee admitted embezzling millions of dollars.

Cleveland.com reports Sandra Ortegon pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of grand theft for taking nearly $33,000 from Cleveland Catholic Charities. Prosecutors originally accused her of taking $72,000.

In January, Michelle Medrick, a former controller for the same charity, pleaded guilty to federal embezzlement charges. Prosecutors said she took more than $2 million.

A charity spokesman said the cases are unrelated. The charity’s executive director says they have added new procedures to help prevent any more thefts.

Ortegon is scheduled to be sentenced May 23.

Ohio Statehouse to mark anniversary of Lincoln’s repose

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Statehouse is preparing to commemorate the repose of President Abraham Lincoln.

An estimated 50,000 Ohioans viewed the assassinated Civil War president’s casket as it lay in the Statehouse Rotunda on April 29, 1865. After he was shot and killed, Lincoln’s funeral train stopped in Columbus on its 13-day, 1,600-mile journey.

The Capitol is commemorating the anniversary on Friday. Events will include cannon firings, an honor guard and a photo exhibit. A replica casket will be on display in the Rotunda, where the 1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery A, will hold an honor guard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The group will hold a Civil War encampment, where visitors have an opportunity to learn about camp life.

University law school dean placed on leave sues university

CINCINNATI (AP) — The dean of the University of Cincinnati’s law school is suing the university, saying she was illegally placed on administrative leave.

Jennifer Bard’s recently filed lawsuit alleges she was put on leave in retaliation after she responded to media reports about budget shortfalls at the law school and faculty responses to her efforts to reduce those deficits. Bard’s lawyer says UC and its interim provost violated her contract and her constitutional rights as a state employee.

University spokesman Greg Vehr says UC is reviewing the lawsuit and welcomes the opportunity to present “the truth in court.”

Bard seeks reinstatement and a public statement that there was no lawful or factual reason to place her on leave. She also is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

She was placed on leave in March.

Veterans Affairs doctor suspended for improper prescriptions

CINCINNATI (AP) — Officials have indefinitely suspended the deputy chief of staff at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center in a move her lawyers call a “publicity stunt.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Dr. Barbara Temeck was suspended for writing three prescriptions for a private patient between December 2012 and May 2013. Her lawyer, Ken Hawley, says the suspension starting Wednesday likely will be followed by her firing.

Hawley says Temeck was suspended to cover up a troubled relationship between the VA and the University of Cincinnati Health system, which she tried to correct. A statement from Temeck this month said the suspension was less about the prescriptions and more about “getting rid of me so that the fraud, waste and mismanagement at the Cincinnati VA can continue.”

VA officials declined to comment.

Fired bus driver indicted for killing Cleveland pedestrian

CLEVELAND (AP) — A bus driver fired by an Ohio transit authority has been indicted on an aggravated vehicular homicide charge for killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk in downtown Cleveland.

Thirty-five-year-old Antoinette Peterkin, of the Cleveland suburb of Highland Heights, also faces a vehicular homicide charge in an indictment handed up Tuesday.

Authorities say Peterkin slowed her bus but failed to make a complete stop near Cleveland’s Public Square and struck 69-year-old Joan Kuendig in a crosswalk Dec. 7. Keundig died at a hospital several weeks later.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority fired Peterkin on Jan. 23.

Court records don’t indicate if Peterkin has an attorney. An arraignment in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court has been scheduled for May 10.