Ohio News Briefs


Judge grants class-action lawsuit in Ohio disability lawsuit

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has granted class action status to a lawsuit brought on behalf of Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The lawsuit alleges such individuals experience segregation when forced to receive services from institutions due to fewer community- or home-based options.

Last week’s ruling expands the lawsuit to potentially thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Disability Rights Ohio sued Ohio in 2016 on behalf of six people the group says are, or are at risk of being, “needlessly institutionalized” because of barriers to more integrated residential, employment or day services.

The director of Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities says it’s fighting the lawsuit and is pleased the court has let other voices get involved, including the Ohio Association of County Boards and guardians of people with disabilities.

Man trying to rescue his dog drowns in river; pet survives

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (AP) — A 67-year-old man has drowned in a central Ohio river while trying to rescue his dog, which was able to get out of the water on its own.

Police say Joseph Crites was walking his dog in the Columbus suburb of Worthington late Thursday morning when the dog jumped into the Olentangy River. Crites followed the dog into the water and was pulled under by currents near a lowhead dam.

Rescuers eventually pulled him out, and he was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Authorities say the dog, a chocolate Labrador retriever, managed to get out of the water without help.

The dog has been returned to Crites’ family.

Medics get bulletproof vests for active shooter scenes

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio fire department has given its medics bulletproof vests and helmets to protect them at active shooting scenes and in other dangerous situations.

The Akron Fire Department announced Thursday that its medics will start wearing ballistic protection to emergency scenes that are volatile or violent.

Mayor Dan Horrigan called it “the unfortunate but necessary result of changes in our landscape.”

The equipment was partially funded through a tax approved last year by voters. The Northern Ohio Golf Charities also gave the department $29,000 to help buy the gear.

Teen charged with killing 18-year-old enters insanity plea

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio teen facing a murder charge in the shooting death of a fellow high school student has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The defense attorney for 17-year-old Zachary Welsh entered the plea Monday, saying his client has a form of autism.

Welsh is being tried as an adult in connection with the February shooting of 18-year-old Ross High School senior Austin Hensley. Police say Hensley was shot once in the head at a Ross Township home during a robbery attempt.

Welsh has been indicted for murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault and tampering with evidence. He will return to court May 7 for a competency evaluation hearing.

Another 17-year-old was sentenced to a rehabilitation center after pleading guilty to firearm theft in connection with the shooting.

Probe: Nooses, slurs at auto plant created hostile situation

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A state panel in Ohio says General Motors Corp. didn’t do enough after nooses and racist graffiti were discovered at its transmission plant in Toledo.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission says its investigation found nooses were left in the plant at least three times last year and that white employees used racial slurs about black co-workers.

The Blade reports the commission says General Motors seemed indifferent to the racial harassment and that its minimal steps didn’t end the problems.

The commission turned down GM’s appeal of the findings on Thursday.

The automaker says it responded to the harassment right away and it strongly denies that it violated any workplace discrimination laws.

The commission says GM officials were told that Nazi symbols and “whites only” were written in the plant’s restrooms.

Baby delivered after pregnant woman is shot in head in Ohio

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in western Ohio say hospital staffers delivered a pregnant woman’s baby after the mother was shot in the head.

The Springfield News-Sun reports the woman who was shot and critically wounded in Springfield was reportedly at least 30 weeks pregnant. She was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where the baby was delivered Thursday night by cesarean section.

The conditions of the woman and baby weren’t immediately available Friday. A message was left at the hospital.

Police say the man arrested in the shooting identified himself as the woman’s boyfriend and said his handgun discharged during an altercation with her.

The man, 25-year-old Travis Hypes, remained jailed Friday on a felonious assault charge. No attorney was listed for him.