Ohio News Briefs


Ohio high school, district close because of threats

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An entire school district and a high school in central Ohio along with three Toledo schools are closed because of threats.

Logan-Hocking School District officials announced that classes throughout the district were canceled Friday “due to a threat made toward area schools” that police are investigating.

A threat made Thursday to a student by an “unknown caller” prompted officials in Fairfield County’s Lancaster City School District to cancel classes at Lancaster High School on Friday. Lancaster police and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. All other Lancaster district schools remain open.

Both districts are southeast of Columbus.

Toledo police say social media threats by someone identifying themselves as “B Shooter 15” prompted closings Friday at a high school and two middle schools at the Washington Local Schools in Toledo.

The Columbus city schools say there will be an increased police presence at buildings in the district Friday after several threats were made on social media.

Ohio mayor proposes school levy to pay for armed guards

STREETSBORO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio city mayor outside of Cleveland wants his school district to consider placing a “security” levy on the ballot to pay for armed guards at all of its buildings.

WOIO-TV reports Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska in a Facebook post reacting to last week’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting says the Streetsboro schools should either “find” money to pay for armed security guards or put a small levy on the ballot.

Broska says at least $500,000 a year is needed to pay for two armed guards at each of the district’s four schools. Broska wrote: “We have to defend our children and it starts with us.”

The Streetsboro school board says it will consider Broska’s idea and suggested he might consider a city levy to finance increased school security.

Lawmaker claims security breach with murder suspect visit

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio lawmaker says security officials did not follow protocol when they allowed a man now charged with raping, torturing and killing a woman into her office without proper identification.

Democratic state Rep. Bernadine Kennedy-Kent says everyone was placed at risk when security allowed 53-year-old Anthony Pardon into her office Jan. 29 to get help with obtaining a state ID.

A spokesman with the Department of Administrative Services has disagreed, telling WBNS-TV the security team followed protocol when allowing Pardon into the building.

Pardon visited Kennedy-Kent’s office the same day police found the body of 24-year-old Rachael Anderson. Pardon has been indicted in connection with her death.

Kennedy-Kent says her office helped Pardon get an ID, and she didn’t know of Pardon’s alleged crime until a week later.

Hazing allegations lead to suspended fraternity activities

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — Allegations of hazing have prompted a council of fraternities at a university in southwest Ohio to stop initiations of new fraternity members and indefinitely suspend most fraternity activities.

A Miami University spokeswoman says six fraternities are under a “cease-and-desist” order imposed by the university or their national organizations and aren’t allowed to initiate new members. The other 18 groups must complete initiations by Friday and then abide by the suspension of new member and social activities.

Miami President Gregory Crawford in a statement this week that the university has shared multiple reports of misconduct linked with Oxford police, noting hazing is a criminal act.

Crawford said the university is “determined to hold the responsible organizations and individuals accountable.”

No details have been released on what the allegations of hazing entail.

Bill aims at sex solicitation to help curb opioid epidemic

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bipartisan bill intended to help curb the state’s opioid epidemic by increasing penalties for soliciting prostitutes has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Democratic Rep. Adam Miller and Republican Rep. Jim Hughes introduced the bill that would increase the penalty for solicitation from a third-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor. Potential jail time would increase from 60 to 180 days.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Democrat Sen. Enda Brown and Republican Sen. Stephanie Kunze plan to sponsor a sister bill that would increase the potential fine for so-called “johns” from $500 to $2,500.

Brown says drug abuse leaves people vulnerable and susceptible to fueling their addiction any way they can. She says that’s resulted in a rise in prostitution among women suffering from addiction.