Ohio News Briefs

‘Edgy’ haunted house suspends actors for mock rapes

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Complaints from visitors about being pushed onto a mattress where actors simulated raping them at an “edgy” haunted house in northeast Ohio has led to the suspension of the actors involved.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Akron Fright Fest owner Jeremy Caudill says he was “shocked and appalled” when he learned Monday what had happened over the weekend at his haunted house in Summit County’s Springfield Township.

Some visitors complained to the newspaper they were injured by actors who shoved them. Two customers said they were pushed onto a mattress where actors simulated rape.

Caudill says he’s still determining what happened and promises additional security and monitoring going forward.

Fright Fest is advertised as a hands-on experience with actors getting physical and swearing amid “risque scenes.”

Youth baseball league treasurer charged with theft

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors say an Ohio woman accused of embezzling at least $180,000 from a youth baseball league while she was its treasurer has been indicted on charges including theft.

Authorities say a Warren County grand jury on Monday indicted Renee Nichols on aggravated theft and tampering with records charges.

County prosecutors say the 46-year-old Springboro woman was treasurer of the Springboro Clearcreek Baseball Association from 2011 to 2017. Prosecutors say she began taking money from the association’s bank account in 2013 and used it for a Disney vacation, credit card bills and other personal expenses.

Court records don’t show an attorney for Nichols. No publicly listed phone number could be found for her in Springboro.

The league says it has created a committee to focus on financial oversight and accountability.

Police ID body found burning in park as 23-year-old woman

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Police have identified a woman whose body was found burning in a park in Ohio.

Police in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington say the woman was identified as 23-year-old Bobbie Renee Simpson. Police say she wasn’t a resident of Upper Arlington, but they haven’t said where she was living.

Officer Bryan McKean says firefighters were called to Burbank Park after 8:30 a.m. Sunday on the report of a fire near a walking trail and found Simpson’s body after extinguishing the blaze.

Authorities haven’t provided a cause of death.

The state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting police in their investigation.

The police are asking anyone who may have seen Simpson recently or has any information related to the investigation to contact them.

City council scraps proposed anti-barking dog ordinance

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The Akron City Council has scrapped legislation that could have imposed jail time on dog owners whose pets bark loudly.

City Council on Monday voted to follow the recommendation of its Public Safety Committee to not approve legislation calling for the increased penalties. Cleveland.com reports Councilman Russ Neal Jr., who introduced the legislation, voted against disapproval.

Neal’s proposed legislation included increasing nuisance barking from a minor misdemeanor with a $100 maximum fine to a fourth-degree misdemeanor with a $250 maximum fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Councilman Donnie Kammer says the citywide conversation about loud barking dogs will continue, but says he does not expect legislation coming back to the council any time soon.

Inmate accused of killing cellmate indicted on murder charge

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A prosecutor says an inmate accused of strangling his prison cellmate in Ohio has been indicted on an aggravated murder charge and could get the death penalty if convicted.

The Warren County prosecutor’s statement says 33-year-old Jack Welninski was indicted Monday in the April 23 death of 40-year-old Kevin Nill at the Lebanon Correctional Institution in southwest Ohio. Investigators say they believe Welninski killed Nill to get transferred to another prison. Welninski currently is in the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown serving a 69-year sentence for the 2015 attempted murder of a police officer.

The prosecutor says Welninski and Nill were cellmates for less than an hour when Nill was found dead. Nill was serving 18 months for attempted domestic violence.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Welninski.