Ohio News Briefs

Ohioans in 19 counties to again have insurance option

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say they have worked with five health care insurers to cover 19 Ohio counties that otherwise wouldn’t have had a health insurance option on the federal health care exchange next year.

The Ohio Department of Insurance joined Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Health Care of Ohio and Paramount Health Care in the announcement Monday.

Two major insurers had announced earlier this year that they would leave the exchange in 2018, leaving Ohioans in 20 counties without an option on the exchange. The department’s statement says it’s working to restore coverage in the 20th county, Paulding, before late September.

The 19 counties are: Coshocton, Crawford, Guernsey, Hancock, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Van Wert, Vinton, Williams and Wyandot.

Court rules some juvenile charges should stay in adult court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A county prosecutor in southwest Ohio is hailing a ruling by the state Supreme Court that says juveniles who have committed crimes requiring their cases to be transferred to adult court should have additional charges adjudicated in adult court as well.

The prosecutor in Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, said the ruling issued by the Supreme Court last week “makes sense” because the adult court judge is best positioned to sentence a juvenile convicted of related adult charges.

Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. appealed to the Supreme Court a lower court ruling that said charges that aren’t mandatorily transferred to adult court should be heard in a juvenile court.

Energy secretary delays Ohio visit to former uranium plant

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has postponed his visit to the southern Ohio home of a former Cold War-era uranium plant.

Perry was slated Monday to visit the cleanup site of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. In a statement, he said he had to be at a Cabinet meeting Monday in Washington but hoped to reschedule the visit.

Ohio’s U.S. senators, Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, have urged Perry to get a firsthand look at the cleanup work and its role in the region’s economy.

Commissioners from four southern Ohio counties wrote to Perry asking for continued funding for the cleanup, which produces some of the best-paid jobs in an area with high unemployment. However, Piketon’s mayor expressed concerns about a possible onsite waste disposal facility.

Mexican family of man left by cops at Taco Bell settles suit

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — The family of a drunken man dropped off at a Taco Bell by Ohio sheriff’s deputies and later fatally struck by a vehicle has settled a lawsuit that alleged authorities endangered him while making a joke of his Mexican heritage.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the $300,000 settlement with Delaware County goes to the family of Uriel Juarez-Popoca, including his widow and two children near Mexico City.

The 22-year-old couldn’t speak much English when deputies found him disoriented in July 2012. They took him to a Taco Bell, and one officer joked the restaurant might have an interpreter.

Authorities said the officers expected Juarez-Popoca to call a ride. But he was booted from the restaurant, then struck while walking along a highway.

The officers later resigned but didn’t admit wrongdoing.

Police chief: Woman used my business card to snort heroin

CANAL FULTON, Ohio (AP) — This wasn’t the intent when an Ohio police chief left his business card for a resident: The officer discovered that a woman later used the rolled-up card to snort heroin.

Canal Fulton Police Chief Douglas Swartz shared the story on Facebook with a plea for people to call emergency responders if they come across drugs rather than touching potentially dangerous substances themselves.

Swartz says someone found the woman passed out on Sunday and brought her to the police station seeking help, along with spilled powder that the well-intentioned observer had scooped up with his bare hands.

Swartz says touching drugs is a bad idea because with some drugs, even minimal exposure can be deadly.

He says the woman must seek drug treatment and will face charges if she doesn’t.

Small plane carrying 2 Maine men crash-lands in Ohio field

LOUDONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a small plane crash-landed in a northern Ohio field, leaving the two men on board with minor injuries.

Investigators say a father and son from Maine experienced engine trouble while flying Sunday evening and tried to land in a field near Loudonville, roughly 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Columbus. The two-seat aircraft skidded and flipped upside down in another field.

The men were able to climb out of the aircraft and were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The Ashland County Sheriff’s Office said it wasn’t immediately sharing details about the pair.

The Ashland Times-Gazette reports that the Federal Aviation Administration was expected to continue an investigation into the crash on Monday.

2 arrested after body found in freezer

CAMPBELL, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say two people have been arrested after a body was discovered inside a freezer.

The body was found in a home in Campbell on Saturday, but police believe it had been moved from Youngstown.

Investigators believe the body is female. A coroner is working to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.

A man and a woman were arrested over the weekend and are scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges including abuse of a corpse. They are being held at the Mahoning County jail.

The home where the body was found is not owned by either suspect.

2 killed as car veers off road, hits utility pole, tree

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Highway Patrol says two men have died after their car swerved off the road and struck a utility pole and a tree.

Police say the driver, 30-year-old Martin Davis of Lodi, and a passenger, 29-year-old Kevin Scholz of Redding, California, were both killed in the crash Sunday in Medina County.

Investigators believe the car was speeding when it veered off the road. Police also believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Police say the men were not wearing seatbelts.