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  • Gym backs out of its alternative prom

    HAMILTON, Ohio — A locally owned gym no longer is offering to host an alternative prom for Hamilton High School students who didn’t meet the attendance requirements to attend the school-organized dance on April 18.

  • Culprit in deadly botulism outbreak narrowed to six food samples

    Preliminary tests show that six food samples taken from a Lancaster church potluck have tested positive for botulism, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Twenty cases of botulism have been confirmed among those who attended the potluck at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church on Sunday, said Ohio Department of Health spokeswoman Michelle LoParo.

  • Fairfield County man killed in motorcycle crash

    The Lancaster post of the State Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that killed a man on a motorcycle from Fairfield County. At 4:57 p.m. yesterday, the Fairfield County Sheriff's office received a call about a crash on Pleasantville Road involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle, patrol said. Troopers at the scene found a 2013 Kia with heavy front end damage and a 2008 Honda motorcycle, also with heavy damage.

  • Cincinnati mayor on gay rights: ‘We’ve come a long way’

    CINCINNATI — The mayor of a city that endured a lengthy battle over gay rights more than a decade ago led a “send-off” yesterday for plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage cases that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

  • Pot legalization effort fails first ballot test in Ohio

    Another marijuana legalization effort in Ohio has missed its initial state hurdle. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected a petition yesterday for the proposed Legalize Marijuana in Ohio constitutional amendment, citing problems with its summary. The group must resubmit a description he deems “fair and truthful” to proceed to the 2016 ballot.

  • Toledo spent $80,000 policing neo-Nazi rally

    Toledo accumulated more than $80,000 in overtime and new-equipment costs to police the recent neo-Nazi rally downtown.

  • Cincinnati woman held on $1 million on charge of killing mother

    A woman accused of killing her mother is in jail with bail set at $1 million.

  • Authorities locate mother of abandoned newborn

    Authorities have identified the mother of the dead newborn found Wednesday night on the Muskingum University campus. The Muskingum County sheriff’s office is not releasing the mother’s name and no charges have been filed.

  • Vital statistics

  • Woman indicted in fatal 2014 wreck on I-70 near Pickerington

    A Columbus woman has been indicted on four criminal charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, for the hit-skip crash that killed a Belmont County woman on a motorcycle last year. Christina R. Robinson, also known as Christina Stanton, 24, of the West Side, was indicted by a Fairfield County grand jury today on counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony, as well as vehicular assault, tampering with evidence and failure to stop after an accident, all third-degree felonies.

  • Advocates talk 'over-criminalization' of mentally ill

    Incarcerating mentally ill Americans by the tens of thousands is “a national disgrace,” Illinois Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said at the National Alliance on Mental Illness state conference today in Columbus. Dart, a former prosecutor and Illinois state legislator, has drawn national attention for his efforts to reform how mentally inmates are treated at the Cook County Jail, the largest single-site jail in the country.

  • Home-canned food was at Lancaster potluck in botulism outbreak

    Food served at a Lancaster potluck and collected from a dumpster, parishioners’ homes and an assited-living center is at a state laboratory in Reynoldsburg. Officials hope it will reveal the source of a botulism outbreak that has sickened about half the people who ate at the Sunday gathering. The more than 20 foods include home-canned items, which are often implicated in outbreaks such as this. Beets, vegetable soup and two samples of pears appear to be home-canned. The list, provided by the Ohio Department of Health, also includes potluck staples, including pasta salad, macaroni and cheese and coleslaw.

  • Board of Elections takes early voting to senior centers, nursing homes

    In the weeks before an election, the Franklin County Board of Elections sends poll workers to about 70 senior centers and nursing homes to help elderly people cast their ballots.

  • Women held captive in Cleveland home for decade release a memoir

    NEW YORK -- When Amanda Berry's toddler daughter had night terrors and started screaming and running around the room, Berry couldn't always get to her - because she was chained and couldn't move that far. Big, heavy chains were a regular part of Berry's life for years as she, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held captive in a Cleveland home by Ariel Castro before finally escaping in 2013. So were repeated rapes and other abuse.

  • Ohio Politics Now: Panel recommends more police training

    After months of reviewing police training in the state, a panel concluded that that Ohio needs to “expand and improve training and entry-level qualifications for its 34,000 officers.” “Ohio lags behind many states in police training, and more attention must be paid to helping officers deal with the mentally ill and deciding when to use — and not use — deadly force, the group said,” Dispatch Randy Ludlow writes.

  • Youngstown State removes posters for 'straight pride' week

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Posters promoting a "straight pride" week at a northeast Ohio university have been removed after student leaders said the message went beyond free speech.

  • Priest resigns as police probe church’s finances

    HUBER HEIGHTS — A Roman Catholic priest has resigned amid a probe into financial wrongdoing at his church in a suburb of Dayton. The Rev. Earl Simone, 69, who pastored St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights, had a letter distributed to parishioners last weekend saying he was retiring because of medical problems. He also was the administrator of four other Catholic churches in Dayton.

  • Ex-leader of school board gets 14 years for child porn

    AKRON — A former school-board president in the Akron area has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for having child pornography and obstructing official business.

  • Toledo gets water-improvement loans

    TOLEDO (AP) — Ohio is supplying Toledo with interest-free loans totaling $6.5 million for improvements to the city’s water-treatment plant.

  • Tree hits SUV, killing driver

    TONTOGANY, Ohio (AP) — A Toledo woman died after a tree fell on her SUV in northwestern Ohio.

  • ‘Tiger Man’ fights for return of seized animals to sanctuary

    STONY RIDGE, Ohio — The maze of steel cages where bears and black leopards roamed for more than three decades are quiet now. The growls and roars of tigers and lions no longer echo across Kenny Hetrick’s backyard and into his neighbor’s windows.

  • Kasich, speaking in Washington, discusses potential presidential run

    WASHINGTON – Saying he was not “going to go out there and waste my time,” Gov. John Kasich said on Thursday that he would pass on a presidential run next year if he did not believe he could win. In separate appearances on Capitol Hill and an economic gathering at a downtown Washington hotel, Kasich dwelled on some of the obstacles he might face if he enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

  • State probe of Dayton charter doesn’t support allegations

    The Ohio Department of Education was unable to substantiate sweeping allegations made last summer against a Dayton charter school.

  • DeWine panel: Dramatically improve police training

    Ohio requires a minimum of 605 hours of basic training to become a police officer, compared with the 888 hours in Kentucky and 835 hours in West Virginia required to earn a badge. Once on the job, Ohio officers must take a minimum of four hours of training annually; Kentucky officers must complete 40 hours and Indiana officers 24 hours. And, although most local agencies have higher standards, Ohio is one of only three states that do not require officers to have a high-school diploma. Not good enough, concludes Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training.

  • Fairfield County grand jury indicts two over misuse of database for police

    The former chief and a current sergeant with the Sugar Grove police department have been indicted by a Fairfield County grand jury on charges that they misused a law-enforcement database. Former chief Christopher C. Venrick, 38, was indicted on April 10 on 18 counts of unlawful use of the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, all fifth-degree felonies. The separate incidents are alleged to have occurred between Feb. 11, 2012, and Jan. 20, 2014.

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