Ohio News Briefs

Ohio unemployment rate drops in January

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

The state unemployment rate decreased from a revised 4.9 percent in December and was lower than the 5.2 percent rate of January 2017.

The national rate was 4.1 percent in January, unchanged from December, and down from 4.8 percent in January 2017.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 12,100 jobs in January.

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

Government employment in Ohio increased by 3,200 jobs in January.

Ohio man captured, killed during Korean War laid to rest

CINCINNATI (AP) — A U.S. Army soldier whose remains were identified last year after being captured and killed nearly 70 years ago during the Korean War will be finally laid to rest in Ohio.

WSYX-TV reports a memorial service and burial with full military honors will be held Friday in Columbus for Private First Class Leroy Bryant.

The U.S. Department of Defense says Bryant, who was born in Franklin, was killed on July 3, 1951. He was 23 years old.

Relatives provided DNA samples about a decade ago, leading to the identification of Bryant’s remains, which arrived Wednesday at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

There are nearly 8,000 U.S. military personnel who served in the Korean War still not accounted for.

Bryant was posthumously awarded numerous medals and citations, include the Purple Heart.

Ohio woman sentenced for death of teen dragged by car

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio woman convicted of murder has been sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for striking a teen with a car and dragging her teen 90 feet (27 meters) during a brawl triggered by a social media dispute.

Twenty-year-old Briana Benson apologized before her sentencing Thursday in Cincinnati on murder, felonious assault and aggravated vehicular homicide charges. She said the death of 18-year-old Madelyn Hart last March in downtown Cincinnati was an accident.

A jury convicted Benson last month.

Prosecutors said Benson attacked a friend of Hart’s who was feuding with Benson’s sister and then punched Hart. Prosecutors said Benson hit Hart with her car and then dragged her after Hart pounded on the window while trying to retrieve her keys.

Woman finds NYPD Medal of Valor in thrift store haul

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A thrift shopper in Ohio says she found a New York Police Department Medal of Valor inside a $4 bag of mixed jewelry.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports 47-year-old Lori Kline found the medal after purchasing the bag at an Akron thrift store in December. The medal had the name John Morrissey emblazoned on the front along with the year 1934.

Kline says an online search revealed Morrissey was a nine-year veteran of the NYPD and a World War I veteran. He died in 1934, after a falling down stone steps during a struggle with a fellow officer. He was 35.

Two NYPD lieutenants will pick up the medal March 16. The medal will be displayed in honor at police headquarters if no next of kin is found.

Thousands of eggs, embryos possibly damaged at hospital

CLEVELAND (AP) — Officials say more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged due to a refrigerator malfunction at an Ohio fertility clinic.

Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and MacDonald Women’s Hospital, calls the situation “absolutely devastating.” She says the temperature in one of the two large freezers preserving specimens at the UH Fertility Center near Cleveland rose above acceptable limits overnight Saturday for unknown reasons.

Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980’s. The hospital notified patients Tuesday.

All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank at the facility.

Patients typically pay about $12,000 without insurance for in vitro fertilization. It’s unclear how the affected patients will be compensated.

Ex-candidate marred by traffic case to judge traffic cases

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A former candidate for Ohio governor whose run was marred by the revelation that he had driven without a valid license for a decade has a new job handing out punishment for similar violations.

Cleveland.com reports that former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald has been tapped as a mayor’s court magistrate in the Cleveland suburb of Middleburg Heights in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County.

He will be responsible for issuing penalties in traffic cases. When asked how he might approach violations for driving without a license, FitzGerald said, “I suppose nobody knows that issue better than me.”

The discovery that FitzGerald had driven without a valid driver’s license became a problem for him in the 2014 race. He lost that race to Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY-sik).