Ohio News Briefs

2 more Ohio natural gas plants approved for construction

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Regulators have OK’d the construction of two new natural gas power plants in Ohio.

The Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday approved plans for the two separate projects in Guernsey and Trumbull counties that are targeted to begin operating in 2020.

Close to a dozen natural gas power plants are being built or are in the planning stages around the state.

They use gas from the Appalachian shale fields and turn it into electricity.

The new plant in Guernsey County will be south of Cambridge and produce up to 1,100 megawatts. The plant in Lordstown near Youngstown will be able to produce 940 megawatts.

Ohio high school student arrested after gun found on campus

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio high school student face criminal charges after officers found a handgun in a backpack on the school campus.

The unidentified student was arrested Thursday morning at Thomas Worthington High School outside of Columbus. Worthington police say the student will be charged with felony possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone and misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon and inducing panic.

Police are investigating whether a second student had the gun earlier in the day.

Worthington High School Principal Pete Scully sent an email to families Thursday that said school officials contacted police after being told the student had a gun.

Scully’s email said no threats had been made by the student.

Judge shot outside Ohio court says he’s glad to resume work

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge who was shot outside his courthouse in August has returned to the bench and says he’s glad to be back at work.

The Steubenville Herald-Star reports Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese (bruh-ZEES’) returned to his courtroom Thursday, handling arraignments and a sentencing.

Bruzzese was shot Aug. 21 while walking from his car to the courthouse in Steubenville, roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Pittsburgh. The judge was carrying a gun and fired back. A probation officer then shot and killed suspect Nate Richmond.

Bruzzese underwent surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital and has been recovering at home since late August.

A prosecutor has said investigators trying to understand what motivated the shooting were examining whether Richmond mistakenly thought Bruzzese had dismissed a lawsuit filed by Richmond.

Man pleads guilty in rape that victim posted to Snapchat

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio (AP) — A 77-year-old man in Ohio has pleaded guilty to raping a woman who posted a Snapchat video of herself being attacked.

Prosecutors on Friday said James Allen pleaded guilty to rape and faces up to 11 years in prison when he is sentenced in December.

Police in Danbury Township near Marblehead arrested Allen in early August after the victim’s friend saw the Snapchat video and alerted officers.

Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten says the video clearly showed a sexual assault taking place.

Allen said during a court hearing Friday that he takes full responsibility. He said he had been drinking and did not remember what happened, but he did later see the video.

Police: Man charged after assault videos posted on Facebook

MARION, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say an Ohio man has been charged criminally after using Facebook Live to record a beating.

The Marion Star reports 30-year-old Thomas Patton, of Marion, was indicted Wednesday on one count of felonious assault.

Marion police say Patton was arrested after officers found video posts on his Facebook page that included the beating and one where he says he’d punch the first person he saw walking down the street.

Police say officers responded Sept. 20 to a call about a 21-year-old man who said he’d been assaulted by a stranger. An affidavit says the man was punched in the face several times and received treatment for a broken nose.

Police say Patton admitted to the assault after being arrested.

Court records don’t indicate whether Patton has an attorney.

Pub owner decries racist fliers saying blacks not welcome

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — A pub owner outside of Columbus says he can’t understand why someone put racist fliers on vehicles at an apartment complex saying black people aren’t welcome at his establishment.

WCMH-TV reports the fliers placed on windshields concerning Average Joe’s Pub in New Albany included a racial slur.

Average Joe’s co-owner Paul Rockwell says the fliers have created distress for him and his staff as they answer calls from people who have read Facebook posts about the racist message.

Rockwell says he’s sorry it happened and that Average Joe’s opens its doors to everyone. He says “we’re not going to allow hate to be spread in our name.”

Prosecutor: Man pleads guilty in disabled woman’s rape

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A prosecutor says a man accused of sexually assaulting a developmentally disabled woman in 2000 in southwestern Ohio has pleaded guilty to a rape charge.

Warren County’s prosecutor says 58-year-old Brian Sundin, formerly of Mason, entered the plea Thursday. He was indicted earlier this year and found in Williamson County, Tennessee, where he had been arrested on another charge.

Prosecutor David Fornshell’s statement says a nurse at an extended care center in Mason found blood in the diaper of a “severely developmentally disabled adult female.” Authorities allege Sundin entered the center through an unlocked door. The woman died in 2011.

Investigators say test results last year matched Sundin’s DNA profile at Florida’s Department of Corrections.

A message seeking comment was left for Sundin’s attorney.

No sentencing date was set.