Ohio News Briefs

Ohio justice issues another apology over Facebook post

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate has issued another apology on Facebook after a post Friday outlining his sexual history with women drew widespread condemnation.

William O’Neill latest post Sunday morning says he admits he was wrong and that he was headed to church to “get right with God.” He apologized to his two daughters and two sisters and says he realizes he’s hurt family, friends and strangers with his “insensitive remarks” while damaging the national debate on sexual harassment and abuse.

O’Neill deleted his original post from Friday that he says was intended to be a defense of U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who critics say should resign after a woman accused him of groping her during a 2006 USO Tour.

O’Neill also apologized Saturday on Facebook.

More than 1.5 million free needles given out in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Officials say more than 1.5 million free needles have been handed out to 3,000 drug users in Columbus as health advocates work to stop the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the Safe Point syringe access program administered by Equitas Health has been busy since it began operating in January 2016 with its two centers at near capacity.

Advocates are seeking to prevent new HIV and hepatitis C infections spread by drug users sharing needles.

Participants can obtain 150 syringes every two weeks and are assessed on their needle use at each visit and whether they have access to naloxone, an opioid reversal drug used to treat overdose victims.

Many of Safe Point’s clientele have been referred to drug and alcohol counseling.

Kings Island’s WinterFest making return after 12 years

MASON, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio amusement park is reviving its once-popular winter festival after a 12-year absence.

Kings Island’s WinterFest is returning Friday and will run through Dec. 30.

Park spokesman Chad Showalter tells WLWT-TV that parkgoers have been asking for years when the event would return.

Crews are stringing up more than 5 million lights to transform the park for the winter season and a new cooling system has been installed to keep the ice rink frozen in any weather.

Seventeen rides will operate during WinterFest.

Showalter says people who remember the old festivals will be able to pass the memory on to their children and grandchildren.

Air Force awards $50M contract to research cybersecurity

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a nearly $50 million contract to a defense contractor to research ways to protect weapons systems from cyberattacks.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Colorado-based Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will conduct the research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in southwest Ohio. The contract is set to expire in 2023.

Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, former Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, has previously told the newspaper that addressing vulnerabilities in weapons systems is “paramount.”

Jordanian man charged federally after buying gun in Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A Jordanian man faces a federal charge of falsely claiming he was a U.S. citizen after authorities were alerted by an Ohio sporting goods store that he wanted to buy a “sniper rifle for training.”

Abdul Alabadi was charged in federal court Thursday after claiming he was a citizen on a document used to buy a 9mm handgun from the Boardman Township store in August.

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives affidavit says agents began investigating after Alabadi returned several days after the handgun purchase and tried to buy a sniper rifle.

Defense attorney David Betras said Saturday that Alabadi is not a terrorist, was a hunter in Jordan and that he likes guns.

Betras says Alabadi will return to Jordan once the case is resolved.