Ohio News Briefs

Democrats want Medicaid work requirement waiver rescinded

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Democratic congressional delegation wants Republican Gov. John Kasich to rescind a proposal for imposing new work requirements on Medicaid expansion recipients.

U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur, Marcia Fudge and Joyce Beatty in a letter Thursday questioned “the very rationale” of a Medicaid waiver Ohio submitted to the federal government May 1.

It lays out details for imposing a work and community engagement requirement state lawmakers passed last summer. State officials said only about 36,000 Ohioans, or 5 percent of expansion enrollees, will need to find jobs to keep insurance under the proposal.

Congressional Democrats said the plan would create “needless administrative bureaucracy and red tape” that risks accidently kicking off people who “need and deserve” the program.

Kasich defends Ohio’s work requirements as reasonable.

He told reporters at a recent event in Michigan that they only apply to “really healthy” people who should be able to “give something back.” He said even volunteer activities may be able to count toward the requirement.

Judge wants state, US EPA to take lead on Lake Erie algae

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge overseeing a lawsuit in Ohio says he wants state and federal regulators to take serious steps to find and implement solutions to Lake Erie’s persistent algae problem instead of leaving the issue to the courts.

U.S. District Judge James Carr met earlier this week with lawyers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and an environmental group to discuss what should happen next.

Carr said last month that state and federal agencies have mishandled the issue over whether the lake should be designated as impaired.

The Blade reports Carr said it’s time for tougher rules to clean up the lake and to prevent the formation of sometimes toxic algae blooms that plague the lake’s western basin each year.

Conservative group running pro-Renacci ads, mailers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Republican U.S. Senate nominee in Ohio is being praised by a conservative group in new ads and mailers.

The Americans for Prosperity organization backed by the wealthy Koch brothers is launching a six-figure nationwide campaign aimed at curbing “wasteful spending” in Congress. Ads target 17 House Republicans and Democrats who voted for this year’s $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill while thanking 13 representatives who opposed it, including Jim Renacci.

Renacci won this month’s GOP primary to oppose second-term Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The ads and mailers in Renacci’s northeast Ohio district encourage people to call the congressman and urge him to keep fighting the “spending problem.”

Brown’s campaign has aired a TV ad saying Renacci has “always looked out for himself.”

Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for warehouse fire

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A serial arsonist convicted of causing a massive blaze that gutted a central Ohio thrift store warehouse has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 33-year-old Aaron Callicoat was sentenced Thursday for his role in the Columbus Volunteers of America warehouse fire last June and several other fires. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to aggravated arson and arson.

The warehouse fire destroyed donated items valued at around $450,000. Callicoat lived in a nearby storage locker and called 911 multiple times to report the fire.

Prosecutors say Callicoat began setting fires as a boy. He told investigators fire was all he had and that it never judged him.

A judge told Callicoat a long prison sentence was the only way to protect the public from harm.

Deputy shoots, wounds man on interstate in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy has shot and killed a man who witnesses say crashed his car and began attacking people who had stopped to help him on an interstate in Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office on Friday identified the man as 33-year-old Brett Luengo, of Westlake.

The county Sheriff’s Office says a deputy responded to the crash on Interstate 90 around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, encountered Luengo and used a stun gun to shock him multiple times. The Sheriff’s Office says Luengo was shot when he lunged at the deputy.

The deputy wasn’t injured.

Witnesses tell Cleveland.com they saw Luengo attack several people who tried to help him after the crash.

Case worker: Mom delayed shooting report, hoped to keep guns

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) — A social worker says the mother of an 8-year-old boy who repeatedly shot his 4-year-old sister delayed reporting it and seeking medical help because she was afraid they would lose the firearms they use to hunt for food.

The Ashland Times-Gazette reports the case worker testified Thursday at a hearing about custody of the children, who are now living with relatives.

The mother, Alyssa Edwards, has pleaded not guilty to child endangering and evidence tampering charges.

Prosecutors say Edwards checked the girl’s injuries after the March 3 shooting at her Hayesville home in north-central Ohio, and then returned to work at a horse farm and didn’t take the girl to a hospital for several hours.

Prosecutors aren’t charging the boy due to his age. His sister has been recovering.

Ex-police chief pleads guilty to stealing from dead man

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a former Ohio police chief and coroner’s investigator has pleaded guilty to stealing money from a dead man while removing his body from a home.

The Attorney General’s Office says 42-year-old Richard Jamrozik, of Campbell, pleaded guilty Thursday in Youngstown to felony theft in office and misdemeanor obstruction of official business, and no contest to attempted aggravated assault, possession of criminal tools and domestic violence.

Jamrozik was chief in the Mahoning County village of Lowellville from November 2015 until he agreed to a protection order filed by his live-in girlfriend and resigned in August 2016. Authorities say Jamrozik split his girlfriend’s skull with a golf club.

The theft of $2,500 from the dead man occurred before he became chief.

A message seeking comment was left with Jamrozik’s attorney.