Ohio News Briefs

AG: Issue easing drug crime penalties would worsen crisis

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Republican candidate for Ohio governor says a November ballot issue aimed at reducing sentences for many drug crimes would make the state’s drug epidemic much worse.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday that Issue 1 could erase the progress Ohio has made against the deadly opioid crisis.

The constitutional amendment would reduce felony offenses for buying and using a host of drugs, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and LSD, to misdemeanor offenses.

Jail time couldn’t be imposed until the third offense.

DeWine Democratic opponent, Richard Cordray, backs Issue 1.

Cordray says drug dealers need to serve long prison sentences, but he says Ohio should do more to get low-level drug offenders substance abuse treatment instead of putting them in prison.

Police: Men force woman to drive, shoot her with flare gun

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Ohio are searching for six men who they say got into a woman’s car, directed her to drive and then shot her in the face with a flare gun.

WTOL-TV reports the incident happened Monday evening in Toledo. Authorities say the six suspects got into the woman’s car while she was stopped at a gas station. Police say the men directed the woman to drive to a location before they got out.

Authorities say one of the suspects shot the woman in the face with a flare gun before fleeing.

The woman drove herself to an area hospital. Police say she sustained serious burns to her face.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Woman killed, dad injured when tree falls on car in Ohio

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say an 18-year-old woman has been killed and her father injured when a large tree fell on their car during an Ohio rainstorm.

The Canton Repository reports the woman has been identified as Sydney Kleptach, of Plain Township. The freshman goalkeeper on the University of Mount Union women’s soccer team died Monday at a hospital following the Sunday afternoon accident.

Her father, 48-year-old Brian Kleptach, was hospitalized after a large tree uprooted and fell onto the car he was driving in Plain Township, 55 miles (89 kilometers) south of Cleveland.

Major C.J. Stantz of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office says a combination of wind and rain-soaked soil likely caused the tree to fall at the exact moment the car traveled beneath it.