Ohio News Briefs

Ohio unemployment rate dips slightly in September

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in September from the previous month and remains higher than the U.S. rate, which fell in September.

The state unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in September compared with 5.4 percent the previous month. Ohio’s unemployment rate in September 2016 stood at 5 percent.

The national rate was 4.2 percent in September compared with 4.4 percent in August and 4.9 percent in September 2016.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 10,500 from August to September.

Job gains in trade, transportation and utilities; educational and health services; and leisure and hospitality surpassed losses in financial activities, other services, information and professional and business services.

Manufacturing and construction both showed gains last month.

Suspect in Ohio slayings of 4 pleads not guilty to murder

IRONTON, Ohio (AP) — A man suspected in the deadly Ohio shootings of a 7-year-old boy and three other relatives and a related non-fatal stabbing has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges including aggravated murder and attempted murder.

Twenty-three-year-old Arron Lawson pleaded not guilty Friday in a Lawrence County court. He was arrested Oct. 13 after a manhunt near Ironton, just south of where authorities found the bodies in a house trailer.

Lawson also pleaded not guilty to charges of felonious assault, rape, kidnapping, corpse abuse, aggravated burglary, vehicle theft, tampering with evidence and failing to comply with a police officer’s order.

A message seeking comment was left Friday for Lawson’s attorney.

Lawson is suspected of killing an adult relative, her mother and stepfather, and her son and of wounding her husband.

Sitter who fed Xanax to toddler who later died gets prison

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio baby sitter who gave the anti-anxiety drug Xanax to a toddler before leaving to go shop and meet a friend at the movies has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the child’s death.

Thirty-two-year-old Summer Shalodi apologized Thursday in a Lorain County courtroom and admitted giving 17-month-old Nadia Gibbons the drug while baby-sitting in December 2015.

Shalodi pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter instead of murder in a plea deal.

A prosecutor said Shalodi found Nadia unresponsive when she finally returned home and, instead of immediately calling 911 for help, shook the toddler and immersed her in hot water in a failed attempt to revive her.

Emergency crews found Nadia cold to the touch. The Lorain County coroner ruled she died hours before help arrived.

Ohio city councilman arrested, charged with assault

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio city councilman running for re-election has been arrested following a confrontation with a local activist.

Social media posts indicate the confrontation happened during a candidate talent show Thursday night at a bar in Toledo.

Thirty-three-year-old Julian Mack alleges 68-year-old Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes punched him and grabbed him by the neck after the two exchanged words.

Sykes’ campaign manager Shaun Strong tells The Blade no punches were thrown. Strong says Mack had been antagonizing the councilman, who tried to walk away peacefully.

Mack is involved in several social justice groups such as Black Lives Matter and the Community Solidarity Response Network.

Police have charged Sykes with assault. Sgt. Robert Furr tells the newspaper authorities have video evidence of the altercation.

University of Akron pledged $20M from Quaker Oats heiress

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — University of Akron officials say the estate of a Quaker Oats Company heiress has pledged $20 million to the school with most of the money paying for scholarships.

University President Matthew Wilson announced the school’s largest-ever donation Thursday.

The gift is from Jean Hower Taber, a great-granddaughter of a Quaker Oats’ founder. She died in July at age 94. Two-thirds of the money will support scholarships for honors students and audiology students.

Taber gave the university nearly $8 million during her life. While she didn’t attend the University of Akron, she received an honorary doctorate from the school in 2004.

Wilson says Taber’s gift will make “many dreams of a college education” possible.

The first Hower Scholarships are expected to be granted in the fall of 2019.

Deer hunter finds human remains in wooded area

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — A sheriff’s office is investigating after human remains were found in a wooded area in northeast Ohio.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office says the remains were found by a deer hunter in New Russia Township, about 36 miles (58 kilometers) west of Cleveland.

Sheriff deputies were called to the scene around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities say the skeletal remains of an unidentified person were located and confirmed to be human. The gender and age of the remains are unknown.

Authorities say they don’t know how long the person was in the area.

The sheriff’s detective bureau and the Lorain County Coroner’s Office are investigating. Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

US Navy Blue Angels to headline air show in Ohio

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fighter jet performance team is set to headline an annual air show in Ohio next year.

A Vectren Dayton Air Show release Thursday said the Blue Angels will return to the show June 23 and June 24 at Dayton International Airport for the first time since 2014. The Blue Angels canceled a scheduled appearance at the 2016 show after one of their pilots was killed practicing for a show in Tennessee.

Show officials say TORA! TORA! TORA! will also be part of the 2018 show. It’s the Commemorative Air Force’s re-enactment of the December 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The Air Force Thunderbirds canceled performances at this year’s Dayton show when a jet left the runway and flipped over upon landing during show preparation.