Ohio News Briefs


Ohio Democratic Sen. Brown will oppose Sessions as AG

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s Democratic senator says he will oppose Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. attorney general.

Sherrod Brown of Cleveland says in a statement Friday that he met with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, on Wednesday. He says they discussed Sessions’ positions on civil rights issues and his plans for the Justice Department.

The second-term senator says he has “serious concerns” about Sessions’ civil rights record. He says he also pressed Sessions about the need to improve police-community relations and the need for the Justice Department to fully support the consent decree for Cleveland police reforms.

Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986. But the early Trump presidential campaign backer is expected to have support from Republicans controlling the Senate and its Judiciary Committee.

Ohio Trump elector’s city council position challenged

KETTERING, Ohio (AP) — An attorney contends an Ohio elector for Donald Trump who is a city councilman violated his city’s charter.

A letter sent Thursday to Kettering’s law director says Rob Scott’s council seat should be declared vacant because he violated a charter provision against holding two public positions when he served as a Trump elector last month.

Scott scoffed at the challenge, telling the Dayton Daily News that, in his words, it “boils down to sour grapes.” The tea party activist was deputy Ohio campaign manager for the Republican president-elect, who carried the state.

Cleveland-based attorney Subodh Chandra sent the letter on behalf of a Kettering resident. He made a similar dual-positions legal challenge last month against state Rep. Christina Hagan, who subsequently stepped down as elector.

Scott stepped in for her.

Family of Parma man killed by Cleveland officer gets $2.25M

CLEVELAND (AP) — The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay just over $2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a man fatally shot by police in suburban Parma more than five years ago.

Cleveland.com reports the $2.25 million settlement ends more than four years of litigation brought following 27-year-old Dan Ficker’s death on July 4, 2011.

Officer Matthew Craska was on duty when he and Officer David Mindek confronted Ficker about jewelry that Mindek’s wife had accused him of stealing at a party the day before.

The confrontation turned physical and ended with Craska shooting Ficker in the chest.

Mindek has since resigned from the Cleveland Police Department. Craska is now a sergeant working in basic patrol. Neither officer was disciplined following Ficker’s killing.

Woman dies after car is submerged in Fairfield County creek

AMANDA, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a 44-year-old Ohio woman is dead after her car veered off the road and was submerged in a creek in Fairfield County.

The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office says Tracy Lowe was driving along U.S. Route 22 when she lost control of her car and struck a guardrail near the village of Amanda around 7 a.m. Thursday.

Lowe’s vehicle was sent airborne and then landed on its roof in Clear Creek. A passing truck driver notified Ohio State Police of the crash.

Troopers arrived to the scene to find Lowe’s vehicle submerged upside down in about four feet of water. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators believe weather may have played a factor in the accident.

Ohio skeletal remains identified as missing Florida woman

XENIA, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say skeletal remains found by mushroom hunters in southwest Ohio last May have been identified as a Florida woman who was reported missing from an Ohio city.

Greene County’s sheriff and Ohio’s attorney general say a DNA sample from a relative helped confirm the remains as those of Tiffany Dawn Chambers. Springfield police Chief Steve Moody says Chambers was 33 when she was last seen in Springfield in July 2015. Moody says Chambers had lived in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.

Authorities trying to determine what happened to Chambers say her death is now a homicide investigation.

The remains were found May 1 in a wooded area near Xenia, southeast of Dayton. Investigators unveiled a forensic facial reconstruction in December to help identify the remains.

Official: 12,000 rape kits tested for DNA in Ohio initiative

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general says 12,000 sexual assault kits have been tested by the state’s forensic scientists under an initiative launched in 2011 to check for evidence from previously untested kits.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says as of Jan. 1, testing had led to 4,367 hits in DNA index system. Officials say that links crimes to offenders, identifies serial rapists and gives law enforcement agencies critical evidence to help solve attacks.

A state law that took effect in March 2015 required law enforcement to submit any remaining older kits to a crime laboratory within one year. That law also requires that all newly collected rape kits be submitted to a crime lab within 30 days after law enforcement determines a crime has been committed.

Southwest Airlines adds, ends service to some Ohio airports

CLEVELAND (AP) — Southwest Airlines will add flights at an airport in northeast Ohio while ending service at another airport in that section of the state.

The Dallas-based carrier said Thursday that it will begin twice-daily service between Cleveland and Atlanta and a second daily flight between Cleveland and St. Louis out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on June 4. But Southwest also says it’s pulling out of Akron-Canton Airport in June.

The carrier announced Wednesday that it also plans to pull out of Dayton International Airport in June. Southwest will begin daily service June 4 to Baltimore-Washington and Chicago Midway out of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky.

Southwest said in a statement that leaving cities isn’t an easy decision but the carrier needed to go where it’s needed most.

Billy Joel to perform at Cleveland Indian’s ballpark

CLEVELAND (AP) — Billy Joel is set to headline a show at the Cleveland Indians’ ballpark this summer.

Officials said Thursday that the 67-year-old singer-songwriter will be performing at Progressive Field on July 14. Cleveland.com reports this will be Joel’s first musical performance at Progressive Field. His opening act hasn’t been determined.

Joel was inducted into the Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

He had opened at the then-Gateway Plaza Arena in 1994 and returned on the 20th anniversary of that performance to play to a sold-out show in 2014.

The upcoming show was announced by officials with the Cleveland Indians, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and concert promoter Live Nation.

Tickets will go on sale Jan. 13.