Ohio News Briefs

Southwest Ohio damaged by tornadoes, flooding traps 15

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say tornadoes that touched down in three southwest Ohio counties have caused damage while 15 people trapped by flooding had to be rescued from a park.

Suspected tornado damage was reported Wednesday night in Clark, Greene and Miami counties. A gas station was destroyed in Clark County and some residents of a nearby damaged apartment complex were evacuated.

No serious injuries have been reported.

Fifteen people gathered for a birthday party became trapped at a Madison Township park in Butler County after flood waters rose over a bridge. Rescuers led them to safety through a wooded area at the back of a golf course.

A flash flood warning was issued until noon Thursday in parts of southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana and northern Kentucky.

Ohio watchdog faults Ohio agency for handling of IT contract

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state investigation has cleared a now-retired state administrator but found her department violated rules in awarding a state information-technology contract.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer’s finding Thursday.

Meyer cleared Carolyn Chavanne, who was a Department of Administrative Services contract supervisor while also being listed as a registered agent for a contract recipient, UMT Consulting Group. The company told investigators it gave Chavanne’s name in error.

Meyer determined protocols were nonetheless broken in UMT’s deal. The agency has since increased training.

The finding follows a Dispatch investigation that found DAS personnel sometimes thwarted state policy and ignored analysts’ warnings to questionably award millions in no-bid IT contracts back to 2011, often at excessive prices and to firms that employed former department executives.

No criminal charges for police after suspect hangs himself

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say no police officers will be charged criminally after a child pornography suspect hanged himself in a holding cell at a northeast Ohio police station.

The Chronicle-Telegram reports an investigation by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office made public Tuesday found no wrongdoing by Elyria police in 47-year-old James Fitzpatrick’s death in March. Fitzpatrick was arrested after police found child pornography during a search of his Elyria home.

Fitzpatrick told detectives the images had probably been “bundled” with other files he’d downloaded.

The sheriff’s office investigation says officers periodically checked on Fitzpatrick in a holding cell and became concerned after seeing him standing at the cell’s toilet for an extended period of time. That’s when officers discovered he had hanged himself by tying his shoelaces to a ceiling vent.

Northern Ohio city dealing with aggressive wild turkeys

HURON, Ohio (AP) — Police in northern Ohio say residents have been complaining about a small flock of aggressive wild turkeys on the loose.

The Sandusky Register reports police in Huron have received several complaints in the last month about confrontations with the angry birds.

The Huron police chief says the turkeys live in a wooded area in town and are usually seen on the Huron High School’s practice football field.

Chief Robert Lippert says wild turkeys can be aggressive and that people should call police if they feel threatened. Lippert suspects someone has been feeding the flock.

The city is working with the state wildlife agency to trap the turkeys and find them a new home. Huron is a Lake Erie community about 50 miles west of Cleveland.

Prosecutors review TV reporter’s confrontation with woman

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors in Ohio are reviewing surveillance video of a confrontation between a television news reporter and a woman who kicked him as he tried to interview her.

The Chronicle Telegram reports that the woman called 911 Monday to say she had kicked a reporter in the knee because he was holding a microphone in her car and wouldn’t let her close the door. The reporter, WOIO-TV’s Carl Monday, was trying to interview the woman at a gas station in Elyria, believing her to be involved in an online scam. The woman said Monday had stuck a camera in her face and grabbed her arm in an “aggressive” way.

Police asked prosecutors to review the case. No charges have been filed.

Monday did not respond to requests for comment.

Former Ohio congressman fasts for world hunger

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A former congressman from Ohio is fasting for a third time to draw attention to hunger in the U.S. and abroad.

The Dayton Daily News reports former Democratic U.S. Rep. Tony Hall started his all-liquid fast May 21. He is joining a national effort of more than 6,000 churches and organizations to bring attention to world hunger.

Hall calls President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget the “budget of pain.” Trump’s proposal includes $3.6 trillion in cuts over a decade to programs such as food stamps and aid to other countries.

Hall first fasted to draw attention to hunger in 1993. His longest fast was for 22 days, where he had only water to drink.

The 75-year-old says he plans to fast for two weeks by drinking juice and protein drinks.