Ohio News Briefs

Cincinnati newspaper apologizes after front page criticized

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Enquirer has apologized for a front page blasted by the NAACP as “racially insensitive.”

The newspaper on Tuesday led with a story about City Council candidates with back-tax issues that included photos of six candidates, all of whom are black. The story headlined “Tax Troubles Dog Council Candidates” continued on an inside page with photos of three more candidates, two of them white, who have had tax liens.

The local branch of the civil rights organization called the story “a divisive hit piece.”

Interim Enquirer editor Michael Kilian wrote an apology in Thursday’s editions, saying the newspaper accepts criticism from the NAACP and others and recognizes “we’ve caused pain to many readers.” He writes that The Enquirer is reviewing internal procedures to “do better in the future. “

Court rejects 1st Amendment challenge to HIV assault law

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a law requiring HIV-infected individuals to tell sexual partners about their status before having sex.

Critics say the law unfairly singles out HIV because of outmoded stigmas against the gay community and doesn’t take into consideration current survival rates for people with HIV.

Opponents also say Ohio’s HIV assault law violates free speech rights because it focuses only on disclosure.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision Thursday disagreed, ruling that the law covers conduct, not speech.

Attorneys challenged the law on behalf of an Ohio man convicted of failing to tell his girlfriend he had HIV after they started having sex.

Hamilton County Public Defender Raymond Faller said an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is likely.

Police fatally shoot man after foot chase

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say one man is dead after leading police on a foot chase in Cleveland.

Cleveland police say officers were first responding to the area after neighbors reported hearing gunshots around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police Chief Calvin Williams say officers came upon two men who started running away. Officers ran in pursuit, and at least one of the men was reported to have a gun in hand.

Williams says one of the men fell, leaving a handgun behind. Officers chased that man to a backyard where he produced a second weapon.

Authorities say shots were fired, and the suspect was struck. The man was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not released the name of the suspect or the officers involved.

Ohio settles alleged sex assault at women’s prison for $525K

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio will pay just over $500,000 to a Cleveland woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a guard at a state prison.

The woman’s attorney tells Cleveland.com that she accepted the settlement after a six-year legal fight.

The 29-year-old woman said a guard forced her to perform oral sex on him three times in 2009 while she was an inmate at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. She says the guard and others threatened retaliation after she spoke to investigators.

The woman filed suit in federal court in 2011 against the guard and other prison employees.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office represented the guards and did not comment on the settlement.

The woman’s attorney says the accused guard was moved to a men’s prison and wasn’t charged criminally.

Cedar Point removing hotel, outdoor stadium

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Cedar Point amusement park is tearing down one of its hotels along Lake Erie and also removing an outdoor arena that’s played host to dolphin and diving shows over the years.

The park in Sandusky said this week that it’s also expanding a boardwalk that runs along the lake.

A Cedar Point spokesman says this is the last year for the Sandcastle Suites hotel. But the park isn’t sharing what it plans to do with the site that’s at the tip of the park’s peninsula.

The hotel that opened in 1990 offered close to 190 rooms.

The park’s outdoor arena that was built in 1980 and in recent years hosted a bicycle stunt show also is coming down this year.

Ohio man arrested for soda bottle filled with sparkers

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has been charged with inducing panic after police detonated what appeared to be a homemade firework that they later learned was a soda bottle filled with sparklers.

The Chillicothe Gazette reports 21-year-old Caleb Leasure was arrested Tuesday after authorities say a tow truck driver repossessing Leasure’s truck found a suspected homemade firework wrapped in tape with an apparent fuse inside the vehicle.

Ross County sheriff’s deputies conferred with the Franklin County bomb squad before detonating the device. It was found to contain about 250 sparklers taped together inside the soda bottle.

Police asked the Chillicothe schools to put the high school and middle school complex on a modified lockdown after the device was found.

Court records don’t indicate if Leasure has an attorney.

Women sue Ohio Habitat for Humanity group

NEWARK, Ohio (AP) — Two women who have filed a lawsuit against an Ohio branch of Habitat for Humanity say the organization is refusing to pay for replacement homes after theirs were destroyed by a fire sparked by poor electrical work.

Brittany Park and Natalie Hosom filed a lawsuit against Habitat for Humanity MidOhio this week. They say they’re still paying mortgages on homes in Newark that no longer exist following the January 2016 fire.

The Columbus Dispatch reports neither the Newark Fire Department nor a private fire inspector were able to determine an exact cause of the fire.

CEO of Habitat for Humanity MidOhio E.J. Thomas says many of the lawsuit’s claims are inaccurate, and the organization will counter the lawsuit.

Ohio authorities announce arrest of dozens on drug charges

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say more than two dozen people have been arrested during an Ohio drug sweep.

State, local and federal law enforcement agents participated in the action beginning early Wednesday in Mansfield in north-central Ohio.

Investigators say 26 people had been arrested mid-day out of 39 individuals indicted on drug charges.

In one case, 18 individuals were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, while 21 were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.

Among the agencies participating were the Mansfield police department, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.