Ohio News Briefs

Ohio teen siblings killed, man arrested after standoff

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Two teenage siblings were shot and killed by their mother’s boyfriend at a Cleveland-area home, police said Thursday.

The victims were identified as Giselle Lopez, 19, and her 17-year-old brother Manuel Lopez Jr. They were shot in Garfield Heights just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

A 29-year-old man was in a fight with his girlfriend when he opened fire, police said. The suspect’s girlfriend was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

The suspect surrendered to police early Thursday after a standoff and was being held on charges including aggravated murder. His name wasn’t immediately released.

Police say all of those involved lived in the home.

Giselle Lopez graduated fifth in her class in high school and planned to become a nurse, according to cleveland.com. She had perfect attendance her freshman year and was once recognized as the high school’s Spanish student of the month.

“Giselle is extremely kind, responsible and dedicated to her studies,” read a March 2014 Facebook post from Garfield Heights City Schools. “She is always in class on time, prepared, productive and polite.”

Lopez and her younger brother often made the honor roll together.

Neighbor Connie Allshouse told cleveland.com the victims’ mother ran to her home and asked Allshouse to call police.

“Call 911, Connie. He shot my babies, he shot my babies,” Allshouse, 67, said the woman told her.

Bond doubled to $4 million for suspect in stalking-murder

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of killing a southwest Ohio woman after stalking her for months is being held on bond that’s been doubled to $4 million.

Michael Strouse was indicted Tuesday in Hamilton on multiple charges including aggravated murder of Ellen Weik, who was found dead in a field last month. The Journal-News reports Strouse appeared Wednesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court with attorneys who entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

The judge set Strouse’s bond at $4 million — up from a $2 million bond set before the indictment was handed down.

Court documents allege Strouse had stalked Weik since the beginning of the year, before allegedly killing her.

Strouse is due back in court next month for a hearing.

Police: Resource officer activated Taser to wake student

SMITHVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police in northeast Ohio have placed a school resource officer on unpaid leave for activating a Taser to wake up a sleeping student.

WEWS-TV reports the incident happened Aug. 30 at Liberty Preparatory School in Smithville. Police say Officer Maryssa Boskoski was called to a classroom when a sleeping student wouldn’t wake up for a teacher or principal.

Smithville Police Chief Howard Funk says Boskoski removed the cartridge from the Taser and “arced” it. Authorities say the sparking sound and noise from the other students woke the sleeping student up.

No probes were deployed and the teen wasn’t hurt.

Funk will meet with the Smithville solicitor to determine if any charges should be filed.

Boskoski couldn’t be reached for comment.

Ohio county reports 18 fatal overdoses in 1 week

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The coroner for the county that includes Ohio’s capital city is warning of a spike in overdose deaths and encouraging friends and family members of addicts to obtain an overdose antidote.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz of Franklin County on Wednesday reported five overdose deaths in 24 hours in greater Columbus, for a total of 18 deaths in a week.

Ortiz notes that the antidote drug naloxone is available from pharmacies without a prescription.

Hundreds die annually in Ohio from heroin, fentanyl and painkiller overdoses.

On Aug. 29, authorities say a mixture of heroin and fentanyl at an Ohio prison led to nearly 30 people being treated for drug exposure or suspected exposure.

On Aug. 7 the Cuyahoga County medical examiner reported 14 fatal overdoses over five days.

Akron wraps up massive sewer overflow tunnel project

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A massive Ohio sewer overflow tunnel project is coming to an end.

Workers plan over the next few weeks to begin dismantling the boring machine dubbed Rosie that over the last ten months drilled a hole longer than a mile beneath Akron.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that a crane will begin lifting the first dismantled pieces of the tunnel out of the ground next month.

The $1.1 billion combined sewer overflow project created a new 6,240-foot-long storm overflow trunk.

The tunnel and dozens of pipes that connect it to new and existing sewer systems should keep about 450 million gallons a year of mixed rain and sewage from spilling into the Ohio and Erie Canal and Little Cuyahoga River.