Ohio News Briefs

Ohio State Fair butter sculpture honors ‘A Christmas Story’

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The butter sculpture at this year’s Ohio State Fair brings a bit of Christmas in July with a dairy display of key elements from the 1983 film “A Christmas Story,” which was partly filmed in Cleveland.

In addition to the traditional butter cow and calf, the sculpture unveiled Tuesday includes the character Ralphie in his bunny suit, the classic leg lamp, and a holiday tree decorated with lights. The scene showing the licking of the frozen flagpole is there too, but this time the kid isn’t the only one with his tongue stuck. It appears the butter calf took the “triple-dog-dare” too.

The American Dairy Association Mideast says sculptors spent more than 400 hours creating the refrigerated display out of more than a ton of butter.

Police: 2 men on motorcycle with stolen fish tank arrested

NILES, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say two men on a motorcycle, with the passenger holding a large, boxed fish tank, have been arrested after an officer passed them while responding to a pet store’s report of a stolen aquarium.

The Niles police Facebook page says the passenger jumped off, breaking the aquarium, when the officer turned to follow the motorcycle Monday and was arrested.

Another officer found the bike at another location and a “nervous-looking” man pruning a tree with his bare hands behind a home. He was identified as the bike’s operator.

Niles Municipal Court officials say 52-year-old Mitchell Adkins and 46-year-old Christopher Binion have pleaded not guilty to theft charges. Binion also pleaded not guilty to traffic charges.

The public defender assigned to represent the men declined to comment.

Health board: 1 death among 11 Legionnaires’ disease cases

PARMA, Ohio (AP) — Officials with a health board in Ohio say 11 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed in a Cleveland suburb, with one death reported.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health says 10 patients were hospitalized. A 93 year-old Parma woman died July 5.

Kevin Brennan, a board spokesman says the illnesses all occurred between early June and July among parishioners of the Saint Columbkille Parish in Parma. Brennan says it hasn’t been proven the illness was contracted there.

The board is working with officials of the Catholic parish and conducting environmental sampling.

Deacon Jim Armstrong, a spokesman for the Diocese of Cleveland, says the Catholic parish is fully cooperating.

The disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by people breathing in water droplets containing Legionella bacteria.

Teen girls ring doorbell, rob home

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police say two teen girls who asked to use the restroom at a home in Ohio ended up robbing the homeowners.

Authorities say the robbery happened at a home in Columbus Saturday around 4 p.m.

Police say the girls rang the doorbell and were let in to use the restroom. The girls came out of the bathroom brandishing handguns and pointed them at a 78-year-old man, his wife and their 12-year-old grandson.

Authorities say the girls demanded cash and jewelry, and they left the scene with a small amount of money.

A search for the girls is ongoing.

College preps medical marijuana testing lab, related courses

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Hocking College in southeastern Ohio says it is preparing to start testing medical marijuana in a new laboratory and plans to offer related courses to students interested in cannabis.

The two-year technical college in Nelsonville has received a provisional license from the state to test the quality and potency of medical marijuana. Hocking College President Betty Young says the college is getting a lot of inquiries about laboratory sciences in general, and specific questions about cannabis research.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Hocking College anticipates spending about $2 million to start up the lab located off-campus in Nelsonville. Students pursuing laboratory science degrees will utilize the lab for hands-on experience.

The state also has issued a provisional license for testing medical marijuana to Central State University near Dayton in southwestern Ohio.

State reports 1st human West Nile virus case for 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state has reported Ohio’s first human West Nile virus case this year.

Ohio’s Department of Health said Monday that a 71-year-old Lake County man had to be hospitalized.

Most people receive the virus through bites from infected mosquitoes. Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in Ohio most often occur from May through October.

Health officials say 20 Ohio counties have reported West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes tested in a statewide surveillance. There were 34 human West Nile virus cases, including five deaths, reported In Ohio last year.

Sietske de Fijter (SEETS’-kah deh FEYT’-er), state epidemiologist and chief of the department’s Bureau of Infectious Diseases says West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes is the highest Ohio has seen this early in the season since 2012, when 122 human cases were reported.

Woman injured in crash after State Highway Patrol chase dies

CLEVELAND (AP) — A passenger who was critically injured in a crash during a pursuit by a State Highway Patrol trooper in a Cleveland neighborhood has died.

The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County Medical Examiner said Monday that 25-year-old Ashley Martin, of Cleveland, died Saturday at a Cleveland hospital from injuries received during an early morning crash that day that killed 30-year-old Antonio Whitley and also injured a teenage passenger.

The state patrol in Ohio said in a statement Saturday that a trooper tried to stop a minivan driven by Whitley for running a red light on the city’s east side. The patrol said Whitley crashed into a utility pole while fleeing the attempted stop at high speed.

Whitley was pronounced dead at the scene.