Ohio News Briefs


Board: Proposal to term-limit Ohio justices is 2 issues

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld dismissal of a lawsuit over a proposed constitutional amendment ballot issue.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati agreed Tuesday with a lower court’s ruling against a group that claimed its First Amendment rights were violated by an Ohio Ballot Board decision.

The board said in 2016 that the proposal to impose term limits on state Supreme Court justices and remove special legal protections provided to state lawmakers and their staffs required two separate ballot issues.

Part of the proposal would preclude judges who served nine or more consecutive years on the court from being re-elected or appointed. Its second element would provide that all state laws apply equally to members and employees of the General Assembly.

Animal welfare group objects to bill to designate state dog

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A national animal welfare organization says it opposes a proposal to make the Labrador retriever the state dog of Ohio, arguing the bill will entice puppy mills to produce them in large numbers.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jeffery Rezabek of Clayton. The Columbus Dispatch reports that PETA says it believes the measure should be amended to include mutts or shelter dogs.

Rezabek previously said his bill wouldn’t interfere with a proposal introduced last year to designate the shelter pet as the state pet.

A dozen states have an official state dog, including Georgia, which in 2016 recognized the “adoptable dog.” Others include the Great Dane in Pennsylvania and the American water spaniel in Wisconsin.

School official resigns amid sexual misconduct charges

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A school board member in Ohio is resigning after authorities in Michigan filed charges accusing of him sexual misconduct with a former student decades ago.

Washington Local Schools board member Patrick Hickey says the allegations aren’t true as he decided to step down Tuesday.

Hickey in 2015 resigned as superintendent of the Toledo area school district and was banned after an altercation at the school. He won a board seat in November.

A police report from 2016 says a woman told investigators she had sex with Hickey when she was 14 and he was a teacher in Addison, Michigan. But authorities say she didn’t want to pursue charges.

State police have said they reopened the investigation after the woman decided she wanted to move forward with charges.

Overdose deaths up over 30 percent in Cincinnati area

CINCINNATI (AP) — A coroner says fatal drug overdoses rose sharply last year in the Cincinnati area and the numbers would have been even worse without the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone.

Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco (LAK’-schmee sam-MAHR’-koh) announced Tuesday that her office saw a spike of more than 30 percent in overdose cases in 2017. Most of the 529 people killed had a mix including an opioid in their bloodstream.

Sammarco says naloxone is saving a “huge” number of lives and the death toll might have doubled or even tripled without it.

Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan works with a countywide drug coalition. He says the area needs more state and federal funding to combat the drug problem.

Synan says the spike in deaths is discouraging, but doesn’t mean the fight is hopeless.

OSHA investigating death of forklift operator at Ohio plant

MORAINE, Ohio (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a forklift operator crushed between the machine and a 1-ton pallet of glass at an Ohio plant previously cited for safety violations.

The Dayton Daily News reports officials from Fuyao (foo-YOW’) Glass America Inc. say they’re cooperating with OSHA and local authorities in the investigation of 57-year-old Ricky Patterson’s death early Tuesday at the Chinese automotive glass manufacturing plant near Dayton.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office says Patterson died of blunt-force trauma to the head and neck. A police report says the accident was recorded on company cameras.

OSHA fined Fuyao $38,000 last year for safety violations. A $227,000 fine in 2016 for serious and non-serious violations was later reduced to $100,000.

The plant employs about 2,000 people.

Ohio woman faces charges in death of her baby

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a 23-year-old southeast Ohio woman faces felony charges for the death of her 3-month-old daughter earlier this month.

The Athens Messenger reports Christina Hazlett, of Athens, is scheduled to appear in Athens County Municipal Court on Wednesday after being charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in the March 12 death of Ayla-Rae Hazlett.

A man described as Hazlett’s boyfriend has been charged with child endangering in Ayla-Rae’s death and is being held on a $100,000 bond.

The Athens County prosecutor has not provided any details about how the infant died.

Police went to an Athens apartment where the child’s grandmother lived March 12 because the baby was reportedly unresponsive. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Court records don’t indicate whether Hazlett has an attorney yet.

Parents charged in death of toddler found in severe cold

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Police have filed felony charges against the parents of a 2-year-old girl who died after she was found outside in freezing temperatures.

Both 22-year-old Tierra Williams and 24-year-old Dariaun Parker have been charged with felony child endangering in the death of Wynter Parker. The two are scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Police previously said Williams left their Akron, Ohio apartment for a few hours Feb. 2, and she came back to find Wynter unresponsive on the front porch. Williams called 911 screaming, “she’s frozen.”

The girl later died at a hospital. Police say the 2-year-old wandered from the home after her father, who works a night shift, fell asleep.

WJW-TV reports the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office found the girl suffered severe hypothermia.