Ohio News Briefs

Ohio approves funds for medical marijuana tracking system

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Regulators of Ohio’s budding medical marijuana industry have received approval to spend an additional $6 million over the next two years on projects including a seed-to-sale tracking system.

The funds for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program were approved Monday, adding to the previously approved $5 million. Officials say the program will repay the state using revenues from licensing fees.

The largest part of the money will go to set up a system to track plants from cultivation through sale.

Officials say the program may later ask for funds to set up a payment system that would allow noncash payments between marijuana businesses, patients and state vendors. Sales of marijuana can be complicated by the unwillingness of banks to participate in transactions that are still illegal under federal law.


Ohio fair butter sculpture features athletes, chocolate milk

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The butter sculpture at this year’s Ohio State Fair includes the traditional cow and calf along with four student-athletes and a six-foot bottle colored to look like chocolate milk.

The American Dairy Association Mideast says the sculpture unveiled Tuesday salutes chocolate milk as the official drink of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. It’s the first time the butter sculpture has included color, as cocoa was added for the bottle.

It stands among four athletes representing football, tennis, softball and soccer.

The dairy association says five sculptors spent about 500 hours creating the display, which is made from about 2,000 pounds of butter.

The fair opens Wednesday in Columbus.

Previous Ohio fire marshal’s deputy is promoted to top job

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s chief deputy state fire marshal has become the state’s top fire official.

The Department of Commerce says Jeff Hussey is the new state fire marshal, a job he had filled on an interim basis for the past couple of months. He succeeds Larry Flowers, who retired in May after six years in that role.

Hussey is a retired Granville fire chief who previously worked at the Mifflin Township Fire Department.

His new appointment took effect Sunday. He’s scheduled to have a formal swearing-in ceremony on Aug. 8 at the fire marshal’s office in Reynoldsburg, east of Columbus.

The division is responsible for fire safety education, regulation, investigation and enforcement and training firefighters.

Cause unclear for Ohio trustee stabbed, found dead in lake

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — A coroner says the cause of death for a northeastern Ohio township trustee found in a lake has been ruled as undetermined.

The Medina County Coroner says Lafayette Township Trustee Bryon Macron was found with six stab wounds, but none of those alone caused his death.

The coroner says there wasn’t enough evidence to rule the death a suicide, but the county sheriff’s office says evidence indicates that no one other than Macron was involved in his death.

The 45-year-old Macron was reported missing on Dec. 16. Later that day, authorities found his office in disarray and discovered his vehicle parked several miles away, in a lot at Chippewa Lake.

A kayaker found his body in the lake on Feb. 21.

The investigation is ongoing.

Ohio man found wrongly imprisoned, cleared to seek damages

CLEVELAND (AP) — A state appeals court says a Cleveland man was wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years, and that finding clears the way for him to seek financial compensation for his time behind bars.

Anthony Lemons maintains he’s innocent in a 1994 slaying.

Cleveland.com reports a three-judge panel from Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals has found that prosecutors withheld key evidence in the murder trial. The court says authorities violated Lemons’ rights by not telling the defense that police identified Lemons as a suspect using shoes not publicly available when the slaying occurred.

Prosecutors dropped charges against Lemons in 2014. A judge declared him not guilty, but prosecutors stopped short of conceding his innocence.

The appeals court says Lemons didn’t prove he’s innocent, which would require a higher burden of proof.

Cleveland mayor’s grandson indicted on gun charges

CLEVELAND (AP) — A relative of Cleveland’s mayor has been indicted on weapons charges.

Cleveland.com reports Frank Jackson Jr., grandson of Mayor Frank Jackson, was indicted Friday for carrying a concealed weapon and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.

In a statement, the Democratic mayor called his grandson’s arrest “deeply personal and painful.”

Records show Frank Jackson Jr. was the passenger in a truck stopped for blocking traffic in Cleveland. Officers say they found a .40-caliber bullet in the car and a gun in the center console. Officers say the younger Jackson told them he had a gun clip in his pocket.

Jackson’s attorney said during his bond hearing that he is “anxious to resolve this matter.”

The 17-year-old truck driver has been charged with weapons offenses in juvenile court.

Baby sitter pleads guilty in 8-month-old boy’s death

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio baby sitter who authorities say gave a fatal dose of Benadryl to an 8-month old boy has pleaded guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter.

Lori Conley also pleaded guilty Monday in a Franklin County court to child endangering and tampering with evidence in the 2016 death of Haddix Mulkey. She could be sentenced to up to 17 years in prison.

Conley’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.

Prosecutors says the Reynoldsburg woman gave an adult dose of the over-the-counter allergy medication to Haddix to try to get the boy to sleep while she was baby-sitting him May 13 at her suburban Columbus home. She called 911 after finding the boy unresponsive.

Authorities say he died that day at a hospital from the overdose.