Ohio News Briefs

Trump backs praise of Kim despite brutal history

SINGAPORE (AP) — President Donald Trump is defending his repeated praise of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un during their meetings in spite of Kim’s distressing record on human rights.

Trump told reporters at a press conference in Singapore on Tuesday that Kim “is very talented.” He pointed to Kim’s rise to power at a relatively young age.

Trump has appeared largely unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader suspected of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and killing U.S. college student Otto Warmbier.

But Trump says without Warmbier’s death, his meeting with Kim may not have happened. He says, “Otto did not die in vain.”

Trump says human rights did come up during the talks, albeit briefly.

Trump says he believes Kim wants to do the right thing.

Closed e-school argues auditor has no role in court case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow are opposing the Ohio auditor’s effort to formally get involved in court proceedings about the dismantling of the massive online charter school amid a dispute over its public funding.

Republican Auditor Dave Yost’s office preserved computer data from ECOT but hasn’t yet been a party to the Franklin County case about the closure.

In a recent court filing, ECOT’s attorneys argue it is unnecessary for Yost to get involved and note that the interested parties already are working to agree on protocols for reviewing the preserved data.

ECOT closed in January after the state determined the school should repay nearly $80 million. ECOT challenged how student participation was tallied to calculate that, and it’s awaiting an Ohio Supreme Court ruling in that matter.

Police seek $1 million grant to tackle sex assault cases

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio are seeking a nearly $1 million federal grant to help handle the city’s backlog of cold case sexual assaults.

Akron police are looking to use the grant to launch a six-member team for three years to go through the city’s cold cases. The money would come from the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative offered by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The police department currently has 847 sexual assault kits that correspond to an existing DNA profile, but only one detective investigating the cases.

If the funding is approved, the additional detectives will help investigate and prosecute the cases.

City Council is expected to vote on allowing the police department to apply for the grant June 18.

Bar association recognizes court’s ‘68 stop-and-frisk ruling

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio State Bar Association is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the use of some stop-and-frisk searches by police.

The court ruled in 1968 that under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution police officers may stop suspects on the street and search them under certain conditions.

Those conditions include officers having a reasonable suspicion the person has been or is involved in a crime or that the person is armed and dangerous.

The case arose from a Cleveland arrest and is known as the Terry v. Ohio decision.

The bar association planned a morning session Tuesday titled “Fifty Years of Pat Downs and Suppression Hearings: Terry v. Ohio Turns 50.”

Authorities: Body of teen swimmer recovered from river

TERRACE PARK, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a teen who apparently tried to swim across a river in Ohio has died and has been found dead in the water.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil said Tuesday that the body of 17-year-old James Marvin Ward was found floating in the Little Miami River in southwestern Ohio on Monday night. Neil says Ward went missing Saturday while swimming near a park in Symmes Township in suburban Cincinnati.

Police said the teen disappeared in the water Saturday night while attempting to cross the river with his brother. Neil’s release says a kayaker found the body floating in the river Monday near the village of Terrace Park. The Loveland Symmes Fire Department recovered the teen.

Neil said the investigation was continuing.

Court to hear case of Ohio man who killed 88-year-old woman

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in the case of a condemned killer convicted of fatally beating and stabbing an 88-year-old woman during a robbery.

Death row inmate James Goff was sentenced to death in the 1994 slaying of Myrtle Rutledge in her Wilmington home in southwestern Ohio. He was found guilty by a jury the following year.

A federal appeals court ruled in 2010 that Goff received poor legal help during his appeals. He went before a judge in 2015 for a new sentencing and again received the death penalty.

The 43-year-old Goff argues he was wrongly prevented from presenting a psychological update and evidence of his good behavior in prison at his resentencing.

The Supreme Court planned oral arguments Tuesday morning.