Ohio News Briefs


Judge won’t free Ohio man tied to gun that killed police

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of providing the gun used to kill two central Ohio police officers must remain in jail without bond.

Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Gerald Lawson, of suburban Cleveland, bought the handgun that 31-year-old Quentin Smith used in the February slayings of Westerville officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.

A criminal complaint says Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the gun last summer along with $100 for completing the transaction. Smith wasn’t allowed to have weapons because of a previous burglary conviction.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus on Monday ordered that Lawson remain in jail. Lawson has pleaded not guilty.

His attorney said Tuesday there’s nothing in Lawson’s history to suggest he’s a danger to the community.

Smith could face the death penalty if convicted of the slayings.

Defense asks judge to lift house arrest for teen suspect

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Defense attorneys are asking a judge to lift house arrest for a teen facing trial on charges she killed and buried her newborn baby near her family’s southwestern Ohio home.

Attorneys for 19-year-old Brooke Skylar Richardson filed a motion Monday in Warren County after a judge postponed her murder trial while a state appeals court rules on a dispute between her attorneys and prosecutors over medical testimony.

The motion says Richardson hasn’t committed any infractions since being placed on house arrest last summer. Prosecutors indicated they will oppose the motion.

Richardson is accused of burying her full-term baby last July shortly after giving birth in Carlisle, a village of some 5,000 people 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.

Defense attorneys argue the baby was stillborn.

Online charter school files another appeal in funding case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio online charter school that was one of the nation’s largest before it suspended operations amid a legal fight with the state is filing another appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is looking to overturn a State Board of Education order that the school repay $60 million in state funding in a dispute over the number of enrolled students.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the appeal filed Friday argues the state board violated the Open Meetings Act while making its decision.

ECOT suspended operations in January after state investigators concluded the school had about 60 percent fewer full-time students than the 15,322 it had previously claimed.

ECOT officials are arguing in a separate case that the education department illegally changed its rules for counting students.

Cleanup begins after western Lake Erie’s waves swamps shore

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Residents along western Lake Erie’s shoreline in Ohio and Michigan are cleaning up from flooding.

High winds over the weekend pushed the lake’s waters into homes and sent waves crashing onto roadways.

In Ohio, flooding deposited logs and other debris at a city park in Toledo.

Crews in Port Clinton spent Monday cleaning up debris left behind on lakeside streets. The mayor of nearby Marblehead says waves damaged a road and washed away a bike bath.

Ohio’s South Bass Island was cut in half Sunday by floodwaters that covered a road connecting the two sides of the island.

In southeastern Michigan, the city of Luna Pier has put out large garbage bins to help property owners with the cleanup.

Court overturns labor ruling against televangelist’s buffet

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that an Ohio televangelist did not violate labor laws by urging members of his congregation to volunteer at the church’s for-profit restaurant.

A lower court had ruled churchgoers were effectively employees of Cathedral Buffet, located at Ernest Angley’s church in Cuyahoga Falls.

The U.S. Department of Labor argued that Angley coerced people into working by saying refusal could be a sin.

The appeals court said Monday that the law deals with economic coercion, not spiritual coercion. The judges said churchgoers were not employees because they had no expectation of compensation.

The restaurant closed after the lower court said it owed workers nearly $400,000.

Angley’s attorney said he was pleased the decision. The labor department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.