Ohio News Briefs


Kucinich names city councilwoman as running mate

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has picked an Akron city councilwoman as his running mate in the Ohio governor’s race.

The 71-year-old Democrat announced Tara Samples as his lieutenant governor pick at an event Friday.

Kucinich called it the honor of his life to stand beside Samples. He described her as a highly regarded community leader, volunteer and political activist.

First elected to Akron City Council in 2013, Samples is a paralegal and former court bailiff and U.S. Postal Service employee.

Kucinich faces former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray, ex-state lawmaker Connie Pillich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (shuh-VOHN’-ee) and Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill in the Democratic primary to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik).

Republicans running are Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

“Hillbilly Elegy” author decides against Senate run in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The author of the 2016 election-year best seller “Hillbilly Elegy” has decided against joining the U.S. Senate race in Ohio.

J.D. Vance said in a tweet Friday he’s busy with investment work, a nonprofit he started to help address Ohio’s opioid crisis, and a young family. So, he wrote, “count me out of politics for now.”

The Middletown, Ohio, native has been a popular talk show guest for his insights into Donald Trump’s white working-class support. Some Republicans encouraged him to run after GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel recently dropped his Senate bid because of his wife’s health. That had left Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons as the leading contender to face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, then fourth-term GOP congressman Jim Renacci (ruh-NAY’-see) decided to run for Senate instead of governor.

Ohio unemployment rate drops in December

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in December but remained higher than the national rate.

The state unemployment rate decreased from 4.8 percent in November and was lower than the 5 percent rate of December 2016.

The national rate was 4.1 percent in December, unchanged from November, and down from 4.7 percent in December 2016.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 2,500 jobs in December.

Job gains were reported in sectors that include educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; financial activities; and other services. Those gains exceeded losses in the information; professional and business services; and trade, transportation and utilities sectors.

Government employment in Ohio dropped by 4,700 jobs in December.

Ohio businessman gets 6-month deportation stay

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio businessman who faces deportation after living in the U.S. for the last 38 years has been granted a six-month stay.

The Warren Tribune-Chronicle reports a U.S. House subcommittee vote on Thursday requires the Department of Homeland Security to review Amer Adi’s deportation case and report back to the panel.

The 57-year-old Youngstown businessman was taken into custody Tuesday at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement check-in in suburban Cleveland ahead of his expected deportation to Jordan.

Rep. Tim Ryan, a Youngstown-area Democrat who has been fighting to help Adi remain in the U.S., said Thursday night that he’s “cautiously optimistic” Adi will get the chance to argue his case.

Adi is staging a hunger strike at the northeast Ohio county jail where he’s being held to protest his treatment.

Prosecutor: Man killed ex-wife, buried body as son watched

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man accused of strangling his ex-wife and burying her remains as their 3-year-old son watched has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Cleveland.com reports that 28-year-old Fahad Saeed pleaded guilty Thursday to charges including involuntary manslaughter as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Saeed’s ex-wife, 25-year-old Roaa Al-Dhannoon, disappeared in October 2016. Her body was found in May 2017 in a wooded area across from a Cleveland-area amusement park. Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Blaise Thomas said the couple’s child told investigators that his mother was “near the horses,” an apparent reference to the park’s carousel.

Prosecutors say Saeed drew a map to the woman’s body while he was jailed for violating a protective order. He gave the map to another inmate, who handed it over to investigators.

6 teenage inmates charged with rioting at juvenile jail

CLEVELAND (AP) — Six teenagers have been charged in what authorities believe was a planned riot at a juvenile jail in Cleveland.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said Thursday that the inmates, ages 14 and 15, are charged with aggravated rioting, inciting violence, vandalism and disorderly conduct. One is also being charged with aggravated menacing for threatening to stab a SWAT officer with shards of glass, and at least two are charged with attempted escape.

The disturbance at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center on Jan. 8 left a sheriff’s officer and a juvenile inmate injured with cuts.

O’Malley says surveillance video appears to show one teen signaling the others to begin rioting. The cost of the damage to the facility was estimated at $200,000.

Authorities: Brazilian nationals charged in fraud case

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say two Brazilian nationals arrested with credit card skimmers, more than 250 counterfeit credit or bank cards and nearly $140,000 in cash have been indicted on federal charges including conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

A release Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Ohio’s northern district says 27-year-old Felipe Trovo Pena and 26-year-old Antonio Pedro de Oliveira Neto also are charged with use of and possession of counterfeit credit cards.

They were arrested in November after a bank in Trumbull County reported people making ATM withdrawals while obscuring the ATM camera.

Court documents allege between August and November the men used skimming devices to capture card data and re-encoded it on counterfeit cards to get cash.

Neto’s attorney declined to comment. A message was left for Pena’s attorney.