Ohio News Briefs

Black bear struck by vehicle, killed in Ohio

LISBON, Ohio (AP) — Wildlife officials say a black bear was struck by a vehicle and killed in eastern Ohio.

The Review in East Liverpool reports the bear was struck early Monday morning while crossing a road in central Columbiana County. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the male bear weighed 230 pounds.

Officials say the animals cover large distances when they roam and are generally most active from dusk until dawn. They say there are about 70 individual bear sightings in Ohio annually, excluding multiple sightings of the same bear.

The black bear is listed as an endangered species in Ohio. Experts say black bears are usually fearful of people and won’t attack as long as they aren’t cornered.

Voter rights groups question differing ballot access in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Voting rights groups are taking issue with a proposal in Ohio to set a higher bar for citizens than for state lawmakers when it comes to getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

Changes proposed by the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission would require a 55-percent supermajority vote of the Legislature to get a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment before voters. Amendments brought by legislators would require just 50-percent-plus-one.

In testimony before the commission Thursday, Ohio activists and representatives of national groups called that a double standard.

The founder and chairman of the University of Southern California’s Initiative and Referendum Institute says there’s no historical precedent for such a discrepancy.

M. Dane Waters says enacting such a change would make Ohio “a lonely outlier both in this country and around the world.”

Illinois man on trial in Ohio in ex-girlfriend’s slaying

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A prosecutor says an Illinois man on trial for aggravated murder and kidnapping became vengeful after his girlfriend ordered him to move out.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told jurors in opening statements Thursday that Kimberly Thomas paid the bills while Terry Froman didn’t work. He said Froman warned he’d make the nurse lose everything after she told him to move.

The 34-year-old Mayfield, Kentucky, woman was found in September 2014 naked and fatally shot in Froman’s vehicle along Interstate 75 in southwest Ohio. Froman also is accused of killing Thomas’ 17-year-old son earlier that day in Kentucky.

Defense attorney Perry Ancona told the jury Froman won’t deny causing Thomas’ death, but said evidence will show “mitigating factors.”

Froman, 43, of Brookport, Illinois, could face the death penalty if convicted.

Man charged in fatal shooting over parking space surrenders

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a man suspected of fatally shooting a neighbor in Cleveland during a dispute over a parking space has turned himself in to police.

Cleveland.com reports 34-year-old Matthew Leach, of Cleveland, was wanted on an aggravated murder charge. He surrendered Tuesday. Leach is in jail after a judge set a $250,000 bond during a court appearance Thursday.

Police say Leach shot 28-year-old Rocko Green in front of Green’s girlfriend and young son around 2:45 a.m. October 26 after an argument about a parking space in front of the east side apartment building where they lived.

Court records allege Leach shot Green in the abdomen and say Green, who had a concealed carry license, returned fire.

An online court docket doesn’t indicate whether Leach has an attorney.