Ohio News Briefs


Amazon planning warehouse on former Ohio shopping mall site

CLEVELAND (AP) — E-commerce giant Amazon plans to build a massive warehouse outside Cleveland on the site of a closed shopping mall.

The Plain Dealer reports Amazon finalized a lease deal Thursday to build an 855,000-square-foot (79,431-sq. meter) warehouse in North Randall, a village of just over 1,000 people.

The newspaper reports Amazon will create more than 2,000 full-time jobs. Construction costs are estimated at $177 million.

Randall Park Mall was billed as the world’s largest indoor mall when it opened in 1976. It closed in 2009 after years of decline.

The state hasn’t announced any financial assistance for the project. An Amazon warehouse in Columbus that employs 4,500 people received job-creation tax credits.

Starting hourly rates at Amazon warehouses have varied from $11.50 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to $13.75 in Seattle.

White supremacist says KKK group recruiting around Ohio

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — A member of an Ohio-based white supremacist group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan says his organization is recruiting members in Ohio and plans to hold a rally next month.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Terry Greathouse of the Ohio realm of the East Coast Knights, a KKK-affiliated group, says his organization has been targeting eastern Ohio counties because of growing interest there and the area’s history of KKK involvement.

Flyers from the group have been found in and around Wooster, a city in Wayne County nearly 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of downtown Cleveland.

The local NAACP chapter and other organizations plan to hold a rally Sunday opposing racial hatred.

Greathouse says his group wanted to hold a counter-protest but didn’t submit plans to police in time.

Prison guards find pills in cell of ex-Ohio sheriff

LIMA, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say prison guards have confiscated pills from the cell of a former Ohio county sheriff serving time for drug and theft-in-office charges.

The Sandusky Register reports prison guards found a bottle containing more than a dozen pills of different varieties during a search last month of former Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer’s cell at the Allen Correctional Institution in Lima.

Prison staff couldn’t identify the pills. Overmyer claimed they were multi-vitamins.

A report said the pills were considered contraband. It’s unclear if Overmyer has been disciplined.

The former sheriff was sentenced to four years in prison in March after pleading guilty to charges related to the theft of drugs from a box used by local law enforcement agencies in northwest Ohio to drop off discarded medications.

Jail worker placed on leave amid financial investigation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An employee at an Ohio jail has been placed on leave amid an investigation into potential mismanagement of funds.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that 63-year-old Rickey Hodge, an accounts receivable analyst at the Franklin County Community Based Correctional Facility, was placed on leave Thursday.

The Franklin County auditor has requested the state’s help investigating “suspicious activity” related to the jail’s financial management and reporting. He noted issues including vendors not being paid and commingling of money.

Hodge did not respond to calls to his home Thursday. The jail’s director doesn’t believe Hodge has done anything wrong.

The facility is owned by the state but run by the county. It accepts low-level offenders and provides education and drug treatment services to help inmates reintegrate into society after their release.