Ohio News Briefs

Police: Vehicle fatally strikes police officer; driver flees

MENTOR, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a police officer stopped to assist with a traffic stop in Ohio and a driver fatally struck him and fled the scene.

Mentor police say the officer was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police have not released the name of the officer killed in the crash around 1 a.m. on Ohio 2. Mentor is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Cleveland.

Police are searching for the driver of a dark-colored, late-model Jeep Wrangler with damage to its right front and possibly right side.

Anyone with information about the crash or the vehicle is asked to contact Mentor police.

Planning debate continues over riverfront concert venue

CINCINNATI (AP) — The future of a proposed riverfront concert venue in Cincinnati remains uncertain.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports City Council unanimously voted recently to approve the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s music venue at The Banks, but officials haven’t agreed on a specific site for it.

Banks planner Tom Gabelman has proposed building the venue near the Bengals stadium which would require constructing a parking garage underneath it.

The Bengals lease with Hamilton County gives the team final say on projects at The Banks that draw more than 3,000 people or are higher than two stories. The team has suggested building the venue at a site near the General Electric building.

Mayor John Cranley says the Bengals don’t support using the lots closest to the stadium. Cranley says the city’s “far from a deal.”

Firefighters suspended over porn tape leaving department

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Akron officials say one firefighter has resigned and another won’t be allowed to return to work after they were suspended without pay for making a sex tape on city property.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports a city document released Friday says provisional fire Lt. Deann Eller resigned and that her partner, Lt. Arthur Dean, will remain on unpaid leave pending final discipline and is not “eligible for continued service” with the department.

An attorney for the couple, who have been in a long relationship, said neither he nor his clients could comment.

Eller and Dean worked at separate fire stations. The station where the sex tape was made hasn’t been identified.

They were suspended after fire officials received a tip that videos they had made had been posted online.

Ohio settles lawsuit with ex-inmate over strip search claim

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has agreed to pay a former inmate $72,500 to settle a lawsuit that claimed guards wrongfully strip searched him at a southeast Ohio prison.

Cleveland.com reports 37-year-old Jose Irizarry, of Cleveland, said in his federal lawsuit that guards were acting on bad intelligence about drugs when they searched him in front of other inmates in December 2015. No drugs were found.

Irizarry says one of the guards used a racial slur and said he wanted to make an example of him. Irizarry was serving a seven-year sentence for drug trafficking.

His attorneys say strips searches done in the casual view of other inmates is considered cruel and unusual punishment.

Irizarry was moved to another prison when he complained and a guard captain who ordered the search was disciplined.

Woman found guilty in toddler’s drowning death at day care

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman has been found guilty in the death of a toddler who crawled beneath a fence and drowned in a swimming pool at her home day care.

The Morning Journal reports a Lorain County judge found 49-year-old Elizabeth Zenda, of Pittsfield Township in northeast Ohio, guilty of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangering Friday in the October 2016 death of 22-month-old Annie Flynn.

The toddler’s 21-month-old cousin also was found in the pool that day. He was revived but still suffers from brain damage.

Authorities say the toddlers got into the pool after crawling through a 7-inch gap beneath a swinging gate.

Zenda testified she did not sit outside with the children while they played but believed her backyard was safe.

Sentencing is July 26.

Tree falls on camper in Ohio killing woman and granddaughter

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a large tree has fallen on a camper in southwest Ohio, killing a woman and her young granddaughter.

The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office says 46-year-old Patricia Brandenburg and her 2-year-old granddaughter were killed when the tree fell early Friday at a campground in Franklin Township.

Brandenburg’s 51-year-old husband, David, and the toddler’s twin sister weren’t injured. The Sheriff’s Office did not provide the sisters’ names.

The Sheriff’s Office says there was light rain but no reported storms in the area when the tree fell. A local fire chief says recent heavy rains may have uprooted it.

The campground is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Cincinnati.