Ohio News Briefs


Backers advance ballot measure capping payday interest rates

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Supporters of interest rate caps on payday loans are working to take their fight to November’s ballot.

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment capping interest rates on payday loans at 28 percent delivered to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Wednesday double the 1,000 signatures necessary to clear the first hurdle.

Organizers Nate Coffman, of Columbus, and Carl Ruby, a pastor from Springfield, said the signatures show they’re serious about their effort, which comes as Ohio sees some of the highest interest rates on payday loans in the nation.

Ohio voters approved payday lending limits in 2008, but Coffman and Ruby said the industry has bypassed those restrictions. Bipartisan legislation aimed at reining the industry in also has stalled for more than a year in the Republican-led Legislature.

EMS suspended for refusing to help gunshot victim

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland Emergency Medical Services dispatcher and supervisor have been suspended for refusing to send an ambulance to a man who was shot 16 times and drove across the city line.

Police say the 22-year-old victim was shot multiple times Jan. 14 with an assault rifle as he was getting into his SUV. The victim managed to drive into Euclid, where he was discovered by a police officer.

Police say Cleveland EMS refused to send an ambulance because he left the city. The Euclid EMS was attending the scene of a fire.

Officers put him in a police cruiser and took him to Euclid Hospital. The victim has survived the shooting.

A Cleveland spokesman says dispatcher MyLinh Lam and Sgt. Jewel Smith were suspended without pay for one day.

Girl dies, sister hospitalized from suspected overdose

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A 3-year-old girl has died two days after her 2-year-old sister was hospitalized in Ohio from what police suspect is an overdose.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Minnie Maye Riley died Sunday at Akron Children’s Hospital from a suspected overdose. Police say her younger sister apparently overdosed two days before and remains hospitalized.

Authorities say the Riley family was visiting relatives in Akron, and both girls overdosed in the same house. Investigators are waiting on test results to confirm what drug the girls ingested.

No charges have been filed. Police said Tuesday an investigation is ongoing.

The girls are the second and third toddlers that police suspect of overdosing in Akron over a five-day period.

Statehouse sets events to mark state’s founding

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Statehouse is kicking off its commemoration of Ohio’s 215th birthday as a state.

Festivities to mark Statehood Day run Wednesday through the weekend. Ohio was founded on March 1, 1803.

A small art exhibit opening Wednesday features original portraits of two key players in the debate over statehood: Arthur St. Clair and Thomas Worthington. An Ohio History Connection film on the statehood debate will be featured through the weekend.

A free birthday party will take place on Sunday. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and features family-friendly activities, including art projects, Ohio trivia, special tours, video presentations and birthday treats.

Amazon explains why Cincinnati lost its headquarters bid

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio economic development officials say Cincinnati lost its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters because the city doesn’t have enough tech workers.

Regional Economic Development Initiative Cincinnati Ed Loyd tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that Amazon officials during a conference call last week said tech talent was the most important factor in the evaluation process.

According to a Brookings Institution report, Cincinnati was ranked 27th out of 30 metropolitan areas with the largest addition of tech jobs from 2013 to 2015. Cities that were named finalists were ranked much higher.

Loyd says the region’s poor transportation infrastructure also hurt its chances.

REDI officials say Amazon complimented the region on its quality of life and recent development. Loyd says REDI will continue to work on its tech pipeline.

Cleveland mayor’s grandson pleads guilty to weapons charges

CLEVELAND (AP) — The grandson of Cleveland’s mayor has pleaded guilty to weapons charges and been placed on a yearlong diversion program.

Cleveland.com reports 21-year-old Frank Jackson Jr., grandson of Mayor Frank Jackson, pleaded guilty Tuesday to carrying a concealed weapon and improperly handling firearms charges. The plea will be wiped off court records if he completes the program. He could face a possible prison sentence if he fails to do that.

Records show Jackson was the passenger in a truck stopped last year for blocking traffic in Cleveland. Officers say they found a .40-caliber pistol in the truck, and Jackson told them he had a gun clip.

Jackson’s attorney says his client is a first-time offender and appreciates prosecutors and the judge agreeing to diversion, which is often given for first-time offenses.