Ohio News Briefs


4 hurt on ride at Ohio State Fair remain hospitalized

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Four people injured last week when a thrill ride fell apart at the Ohio State Fair remain hospitalized, including a woman in a coma.

An 18-year-old man was killed and seven people injured when the swinging and spinning Fire Ball ride broke apart on the state fair’s midway July 26. Tyler Jerrell was buried Tuesday.

Relatives of 18-year-old Jennifer Lambert say she’s opened her eyes briefly but hasn’t woken up.

Thirty-six-year-old Tamica Dunlap is in serious condition. Her uncle, 42-year-old Russell Franks, is in critical condition.

Jerrell’s girlfriend, 18-year-old Keziah Lewis, also is in serious condition.

A co-owner of the company that provides rides at the fair has said he’s certain the ride fell apart because of a mechanical problem. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

Man’s death being investigated as possible lightning strike

BREWSTER, Ohio (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether an 82-year-old Ohio man found dead in a field behind his house was struck by lightning.

The Repository reports the body of Richard Lutes, of Brewster, was found Wednesday afternoon by his wife. Authorities say Lutes was outside during a brief storm that rolled over Stark County in northeast Ohio.

A coroner’s investigator says Lutes had a lesion on his chest that could have been caused by lightning.

The Stark County Coroner’s Office is expected to determine the cause of Lutes’ death on Thursday.

Brewster is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of downtown Cleveland.

Police: Child, 4 others hurt in Amish buggy crash

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio are searching for the driver who hit an Amish buggy, injuring a child and four others, before fleeing the scene.

Cleveland.com reports the crash happened Wednesday night in Wayne County. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says the buggy was knocked off the side of the road into a ditch.

The child was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital for treatment. The child’s current condition is not known.

Four other passengers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

Police recovered debris from the car that hit the buggy and believe it to be a champagne-colored 2001 Honda Accord. They say it should have significant damage to the front right side.

Police: Baby delivered safely after pregnant teen shot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say a baby was delivered safely after a pregnant teen was accidentally shot in the stomach.

Authorities say the 16-year-old was seven months pregnant when she was shot Wednesday morning in Columbus. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition, and the baby was delivered.

Police say both the newborn and mother are expected to survive.

Investigators say the girl was shot by an 18-year-old man, who now faces a felony gun charge.

Prosecution argues against tossing out Ohio mom’s confession

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors say defense experts’ opinions about the credibility of an Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three sons shouldn’t be allowed as evidence in the murder case.

Brittany Pilkington’s attorneys argue her videotaped confession should be tossed out because two psychologists concluded brain damage and mental illness impaired the Bellefontaine woman’s ability to understand a police interrogation and knowingly waive her rights.

The Bellefontaine Examiner reports the prosecution filed a brief this week arguing the psychologists don’t have the expertise to assess the credibility of Pilkington’s statement. The prosecution argues that Pilkington’s statement should not be thrown out.

Authorities allege Pilkington killed her toddler and two infants in 2014 and 2015 out of jealousy over her husband’s attention.

Ohio lawmaker proposes memorial to honor slain police chief

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state lawmaker wants to honor a slain Ohio police chief by renaming part of a road for him.

The (Newark) Advocate reports that state Sen. Jay Hottinger introduced a proposal this week to designate part of U.S. 40 as “Steven Eric DiSario Memorial Highway.”

DiSario had been police chief in Kirkersville for only three weeks when he was fatally shot May 12 while responding to reports of an armed man at a nursing in the city about 24 miles (39 kilometers) east of Columbus.

DiSario was killed by 43-year-old Thomas Hartless. The domestic violence suspect also fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and her co-worker at the nursing home before killing himself that day.

The Republican lawmaker’s proposal would rename the Kirkersville portion of U.S. 40 for DiSario.

Ohio attorney general awards $2.7M for drug use prevention

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general says he is awarding $2.7 million in grants to help with drug abuse awareness and prevention programs in public schools.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that the funds will go to numerous law enforcement agencies for drug use prevention education programs in the schools.

A total of 130 sheriffs’ offices and police departments will receive a portion of the money. The funds must be used to establish or maintain drug abuse prevention education and awareness programs for students during the upcoming school year.

Grant recipients also are required to include over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse prevention education in their programs.

The Drug Use Prevention Grant money will go toward creating or maintaining programs such as D.A.R.E., Too Good for Drugs and Stay on Track.