Ohio News Briefs

Woman says tornado sent her flying from home on mattress

CRESTLINE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman says she and her daughter were blown out of their home by a tornado and feel fortunate to have suffered only scratches and bruises.

Susan Cooper says the twister ripped apart her home’s roof and walls and sent her and her daughter flying into the yard on the mattress where they’d been sleeping. Cooper’s husband, John, says he heard crashing noises and made a frantic attempt to get into the bedroom where his wife and daughter had been, then was interrupted with relief when he heard them knocking on a back door.

Officials say the Monday night tornado damaged several homes near the village of Crestline, about 60 miles north of Columbus. It was rated an EF2 twister, with estimated maximum wind speeds up to 130 mph.

Woman moves to church, hoping to avoid deportation to Mexico

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A woman trying to avoid being deported to Mexico and separated from her U.S.-citizen children has moved into an Ohio church offering her sanctuary in a symbolic gesture.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 39-year-old Edith Espinal and the Columbus Mennonite Church hope U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will honor guidance issued during Barack Obama’s presidency that recommended against making arrests at sensitive sites such as churches.

Espinal took refuge Tuesday and skipped a check-in where she anticipated being detained.

The newspaper says ICE didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Lawyer and church member Joseph Mas says the congregation understands it could be accused of breaking federal law about aiding illegal immigration.

Espinal has lived in Columbus for years and has no criminal record. Two of her three children are U.S. citizens.

Public health advisory empties Lake Erie beach

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A Lake Erie beach saw a drop in visitors over the Labor Day weekend as officials report high levels of toxic algae and E. coli bacteria in the water.

The Blade reports the beaches at Maumee Bay State Park were placed under a public health advisory after algae testing Aug. 28.

Test results found more than 25 parts per billion of the toxin microcystin in the water, the highest reported amount so far this year.

The Toledo Water Quality dashboard says the advisory does not affect Toledo drinking water.

While no additional algae tests have been done, researchers at the University of Toledo found Saturday E. coli bacteria are also at their highest levels this year.