Ohio News Briefs

4 Democrats for Ohio governor race clash in heated debate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Four Democratic candidates for Ohio governor used a debate in Toledo to differentiate themselves and question their opponents on hot-button topics including gun regulations and marijuana legalization.

The debate Wednesday was the Ohio Democratic Party’s fourth, but it featured only one returning candidate: state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (shuh-VOHN’-ee), of Boardman.

Former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (koo-SIH’-nich) and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill were new to the debate stage. They’ve joined the race while three others have dropped out in recent months.

Cordray, an appointee during President Barack Obama’s administration who has union support, fielded the bulk of the attacks, to include his “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.

Kucinich refused during questioning to repudiate Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who he’s interviewed.

Kent State plans to spend $1B on 10-year makeover of campus

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State University trustees have approved a plan to spend more than $1 billion over the next 10 years on a campus makeover.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the vote Wednesday on the university’s transformation plan will lead to new construction, building renovations, a campus gateway and the creation of bike and walking trails.

Trustees also approved a 6 percent tuition increase for freshman enrolling for fall semester that will keep tuition frozen over four years.

Included in the $221 million first phase of the makeover will be construction of a new business college administration building and adjacent parking garage, and renovations to Kent State’s fashion school and mixed-use academic and retail space on property the university owns in downtown Kent.

2 men arrested in New Year’s fatal shootings in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say two men have been arrested in a New Year’s Day shooting in Columbus that killed a man and a pregnant woman and severely wounded a 15-year-old boy.

Columbus police say 18-year-old Mario Wade and 19-year-old Christian Dillion, both of Columbus, were arrested Wednesday and charged with murder. They’re charged with fatally shooting 23-year-old Keith Williams III, 21-year-old Marlazia Jones-Mattox and the 15-year-old, who police haven’t identified, at a Columbus home.

Police have not said what led to the shootings.

Homicide detectives say Jones-Mattox was 35 months pregnant and that doctors delivered a baby boy who survived after she was shot.

Detectives say they haven’t been able to interview the 15-year-old because of his “severe permanent injuries.”

Court records don’t indicate whether Wade and Dillon have attorneys yet.

Teen arrested in fatal shooting of Ohio high school student

CINCINNATI (AP) — Authorities say a 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with murder in Juvenile Court in Cincinnati for the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old high school student last week.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the 16-year-old was arrested Wednesday by Cincinnati police in Friday’s slaying of Gregory Thompson Jr., who was found dead inside his grandmother’s home.

The 16-year-old is being held in Hamilton County’s juvenile detention center.

Police haven’t released any details about the shooting.

Thompson was a junior at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati. His funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cincinnati.

Hotel employee shot, killed while working inside lobby

FAIRBORN, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio hotel employee who was shot while working behind the counter has died.

Authorities were called to the Hampton Inn in Fairborn around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday. Police found the victim behind the counter in the hotel lobby, and he was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

Police are now searching for two male suspects.

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation.

Authorities have not released the identity of the victim.

Bob Knight jersey stolen from high school fundraiser

MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) — Organizers of a fundraiser for an Ohio high school say someone stole a commemorative jersey signed by Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight.

The Independent in Massillon reports the jersey was reported missing during a fundraiser for the Fairless High School baseball team at a Massillon bowling alley Saturday.

Nykole Zimmer, president of the school’s Baseball Mom’s Club board, says about 120 people attended the fundraiser. But she says everyone was either relatives of baseball players or school alumni.

The jersey was donated by Brewster Village Councilman Dave Godwin. He had purchased it from an auction website and estimated it to be worth $250.

Zimmer says the school is offering amnesty for whoever returns the jersey.

Man who posed as ‘scared straight’ cop sentenced to prison

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for handcuffing and assaulting students while claiming to be a police officer conducting “scared straight” programs.

Prosecutors say 26-year-old Christopher Hendon, of Akron, was sentenced to five years and 11 months in prison Wednesday. He previously pleaded guilty to 31 charges, including abduction and kidnapping.

Prosecutors say Hendon wore a badge, firearm and stun gun when he falsely told officials at two Akron-area schools in March and April that he was an officer for a program meant to scare children into avoiding bad behavior.

Investigators say he tried to bring handcuffed children into the Summit County Courthouse and the Summit County Jail.

He apologized during his sentencing hearing to “anybody and everybody who was involved.”