Ohio News Briefs


Ex-deputy in Ohio gets probation for threat-related charges

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio sheriff’s deputy has received probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges for allegedly threatening to kill a sheriff’s detective who served as his supervisor.

The Port Clinton News-Herald reports 50-year-old John Carpenter, of Port Clinton, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of persistent disorderly conduct. The former Ottawa County deputy was indicted last year on aggravated menacing by stalking and other charges related to the alleged threats.

Carpenter resigned in April 2016 after his supervisor reported she’d been threatened, prompting an internal investigation. He was hired as a Carroll Township police officer in June 2016 but was suspended after the supervisor filed a civil protection order.

Carpenter’s attorney said Friday that Carpenter denied making threats or stalking the supervisor but is happy the case was resolved.

Ohio village officials’ thefts lead to fiscal emergency

MOUNT STERLING, Ohio (AP) — The state auditor has declared a fiscal emergency in a central Ohio village where he says thefts by former officials have taken a “heavy financial blow.”

The Columbus Dispatch reports Mount Sterling’s budget deficit was $270,000 deficit at the end of April. Auditor Dave Yost says financial problems were “inflicted by corrupt former officials and employees.”

The current mayor of this Madison County village 25 miles southwest of Columbus says daily operations haven’t been affected.

The former village administrator received 10 years in prison in March for stealing around $725,000 between 2012 and 2016. The former mayor and a former administrative assistant were indicted in April on theft in office charges.

The fiscal emergency means a commission appointed by Yost will oversee financial planning for the village.

Social media misunderstanding causes panic in Ohio

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A misunderstanding on social media caused panic in Ohio when restaurant-goers thought an iconic pizza and spaghetti restaurant was closing.

While it is true that Luigi’s Restaurant is closing, it is not the location in Akron. The Facebook post announcing the closing came from a store in Fife, Scotland.

Facebook users in Ohio quickly shared the post however, commenting with messages of disbelief and sadness.

Jen Mock tells the Akron Beacon Journal the Akron restaurant manager received several calls from customers concerned about the store closing. Mock says she “about died” when she found the original post was from Scotland.

Fans of the unaffiliated restaurant in Scotland were sad about their restaurant closing.

Luigi’s Restaurant has been an Akron staple since 1949.

Doctor who ran Columbus pill mill shot in home invasion

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a former doctor and university trustee who pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion and running a pill mill in Columbus has been shot in an apparent home invasion.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says 51-year-old Kevin Lake has been taken to the hospital and reported in critical condition.

Major Steve Tucker says Lake’s son called 911 Thursday morning and reported hearing gunshots after someone tried to break into the home. Tucker says the family had recently received a written threat.

Lake had pleaded guilty in January to evading $3.5 million in taxes and serving hundreds of patients daily at Columbus Southern Medical Center for prescriptions of oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax.

Lake resigned as Ohio University trustee on Jan. 21.

The shooting is under investigation.

Police: Man faces charges after stealing more than 500 signs

AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man is facing charges after police say he stole more than 500 signs, claiming they were an eyesore and a distraction to drivers.

John Hoelzl, of Avon Lake, has been charged Wednesday with a felony count of receiving stolen property.

Police say the signs, valued at more than $5,500, were taken over a period of several months.

The Avon Lake Police department began investigating the thefts after receiving several complaints. Police say some of the signs were illegally posted, but most had been granted city approval.

Hoelzl tells WJW-TV he “probably shouldn’t have” taken the signs and he expresses his apologies.

Court records show he faces a preliminary hearing June 29.

Councilman asks if city can stop responding to overdoses

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — A city councilman in southwest Ohio has asked if it’s possible for city emergency crews to stop responding to drug overdose calls as costs for those calls mount.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reports Middletown City Council member Dan Picard has asked if there is a law requiring the city to respond to overdose calls.

Picard says arresting people who overdose increases the burden on taxpayers and strains the court system. He suggests issuing a court summons to individuals who overdose and ordering them to do community service.

City Manager Doug Adkins declined to comment on Picard’s suggestions until he gets an opinion from the city’s law department.

Adkins has said Middletown is on pace to spend $100,000 on the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone, while it budgeted $10,000 for the year.

Work on bridge linking Ohio, Kentucky to slow traffic

CINCINNATI (AP) — Two months of traffic troubles loom for drivers going over the Ohio River in Cincinnati and in Covington, Kentucky.

Maintenance work on the Brent Spence Bridge connecting the Ohio and Kentucky cities begins Friday night and continues over the next two months. Two lanes in each direction will be closed during the project.

The chief district engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the regular maintenance project will include pouring concrete and installing new lighting. Chief District Engineer Bob Yeager says it also will include fixing drainage issues and improving the bridge’s steel frame.

Kentucky transportation officials are advising commuters to choose alternate routes and to expect delays on Interstate 71 and Interstate 75.

Yeager says there is no estimate for the length of daily delays.