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  • Fentanyl-laced heroin takes heavy toll in Marion County

    On the streets of Marion, it’s called “blue drop,” and the high-powered heroin is taking a toll: 32 overdoses and at least two deaths in Marion County in the past eight days. So Marion County law officers are fighting back. Marion city Police Chief Bill Collins announced late Thursday afternoon the arrest of 11 people and the seizing of several grams of the drug.

  • Longtime officer named police chief in Newark

    NEWARK, Ohio – The man who has been serving as Newark’s interim police chief for nearly three months was officially given the job on Thursday. Mayor Jeff Hall announced that Barry Connell, a 25-year veteran with the force, will be sworn in as Newark’s next police chief in a ceremony before Monday’s city council meeting.

  • Two teens arrested in Watkins Memorial High School bomb threats

    NEWARK, Ohio – Two 15-year-old boys were charged on Thursday in connection with this week’s bomb threats against Watkins Memorial High School. Conor Colburn of Sunbury was charged with two juvenile counts of inducing panic. Griffin Grover of Pataskala was charged with one juvenile count of complicity.

  • FBI reviewing police shooting of man at Dayton-area Wal-Mart

    CINCINNATI — The new head of the FBI’s Cincinnati division says agents are conducting a thorough review of last year’s fatal police shooting of a black man in a suburban Dayton Wal-Mart store. Angela Byers, who became the division’s special agent in charge in February, said in an Associated Press interview that agents are working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to take “a double look” at the case in the context of federal laws “to make sure there’s nothing more that we feel at the federal level needs to be done.

  • Former Bloom-Carroll softball coach pleads not-guilty to theft

    A former Bloom-Carroll High School softball coach pleaded not guilty today in Fairfield County Common Pleas Court to a theft charge. A grand jury indicted Aaron A. Alvelo on the fifth-degree felony earlier this month.

  • Commission to discuss Ohio police training requirements

    LONDON, Ohio— Ohio’s statewide police commission is continuing its review of training requirements for law enforcement officers. The commission’s work follows calls for more training and oversight in the wake of fatal police shootings and protests in Ohio and nationally.

  • Twice-caught fugitive Frank Freshwaters' clean life led to decades of freedom

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In 55 years as a fugitive, Frank Freshwaters got caught twice. The first time, in 1975, the escaped inmate's good behavior helped him avoid a trip back to prison when West Virginia's governor refused to extradite him bac to Ohio, citing Freshwaters' "flawless 16-year residency," according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

  • Ohio Politics Now: Gov. John Kasich builds toward presidential run

    Gov. John Kasich told those he met with in South Carolina Wednesday “I need your help,” as he continued on his unofficial presidential campaign. “In a free-ranging discussion that touched on everything from the Export-Import Bank (he wants it to disappear) to foreign policy (he’d be OK with sending in troops to defeat ISIS) to gerrymandering (he dislikes it but believes it’s up to the states to eliminate it), Kasich worked to establish himself as a politician more interested in results than polls,” Wehrman writes.

  • Judge dismisses case from Ohio pair trying to keep pet bear

    MEDINA, Ohio -- A judge has dismissed a civil case by a northeast Ohio couple who want to keep their toothless, 41-year-old black bear despite not getting a required state permit. The court could have jurisdiction to consider an injunction if the animal were seized, but it can't appropriately address that yet because the state hasn't tried to remove the bear, a Medina County judge said in his ruling late last week. The dismissal would allow for the couple to file the complaint again if the bear were seized.

  • Mom enters plea for boy’s fall into Cleveland zoo's cheetah pit

    CLEVELAND (AP) — A Delaware, Ohio, woman who dropped her toddler son into a Cleveland zoo’s cheetah pit and was charged with child endangering has pleaded no contest to a reduced charge.

  • Ohio charter-school group calls for sponsor exclusions from proposed rules

    Higher-rated Ohio charter-school sponsors should not be required to report how they spend their money, and no sponsor should be required to spend state money only on oversight and assistance of their schools, an association told lawmakers on Wednesday.

  • Backers push Ohio House panel to loosen concealed-carry rules

    Jeff Bailey told lawmakers who are considering getting rid of Ohio’s concealed-carry license requirement that he doesn’t want to choose between carrying his gun openly and covering it with a warm jacket.

  • Jim Jordan leads effort in Congress to ax Export-Import Bank

    WASHINGTON — Having failed last year to kill an obscure federal agency created to help U.S. companies sell products abroad, the conservative wing of the Republican Party smells blood this year. Their target? The Export-Import Bank, an 81-year-old agency that offers loans and insurance to U.S. companies hoping to increase exports.

  • Move to delay Ohio’s 2016 primary could aid Kasich

    Ohio lawmakers set the table for Gov. John Kasich to potentially take all of the Buckeye State’s GOP presidential delegates in one swoop next year. By moving the state’s 2016 primary election back a week — from March 8 to March 15 — Ohio’s Republican vote will be a winner-take-all contest. The Senate gave the legislature’s final approval on Wednesday, 23-10. The measure becomes law with Kasich’s signature.

  • ‘I need your help,’ Kasich tells South Carolina voters

    Joyce Petzold was in the Ye Olde Fashioned Ice Cream shop in Mount Pleasant two months ago when she saw a car with a John Kasich bumper sticker. The Dayton native, now living in Mount Pleasant, approached the car’s driver — a Kasich aide — and asked for one of her own. “I’m with him,” she said Wednesday, during a Kasich event near Charleston. “We’re very excited about his candidacy.” As Kasich traveled around Charleston on Wednesday, it was voters like Petzold that he coveted.

  • Bob McDorman | 1932-2015: Car dealer known for Corvette collection

    Bob McDorman, a Chevrolet dealer known for his Corvette collection and his longevity in a tough business, died on Wednesday morning after a short illness. He was 82.

  • 2 hurt by gunfire on I-75

    CINCINNATI (AP) — Two people in a car were hurt and others were in harm’s way when two shooters in another vehicle opened fire on I-75 north of Cincinnati, authorities said.

  • Owners of deadly dogs given months in jail

    A couple whose dogs fatally mauled a woman in southwestern Ohio have been sentenced to months of jail time and community service. Andrew Nason and Julie Custer were sentenced on Wednesday after pleading no contest last month to two misdemeanor counts each of failure to control dogs.

  • Man charged in graveyard robberies

    An Ohio man has been arrested in the theft of 70 bronze and copper flower vases from a cemetery in Springfield.

  • Local council says only national Boy Scouts can reinstate gay leader

    The national president of the Boy Scouts of America has called for an end to the organization’s ban on gay leaders, but the Simon Kenton Council says it still doesn’t see a way to reinstate ousted local leader Brian Peffly. Simon Kenton spokeswoman Jen Koma said in an email that the council fully supports comments made last week by national president Robert Gates. But, because Peffly’s membership was revoked by the national organization, “Simon Kenton Council is not in a position locally to be able to reinstate his membership,” she wrote.

  • Ohio Politics Now: Gov. John Kasich on the road, talks Medicaid expansion, right-to-work

    Gov. John Kasich took his unofficial presidential campaign on the road Tuesday, this time to some place new: Georgia. It was there that he was questioned by fellow Republicans about his decision to expand Medicaid, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jim Galloway writes. “My (other) choice in that decision was to ignore some of the most vulnerable people in our population,” the governor said. “I’ve been criticized for this decision. Do you think it bothers me? It doesn’t.”

  • Ohio girl suspected in baby's death to be evaluated again

    PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- An 11-year-old Cleveland-area girl suspected in the murder of a 2-month-old infant will undergo a third evaluation before a judge has a competency hearing for her.

  • Lawmakers want to make it easier to prosecute spousal rape

    State lawmakers say they are committed to eliminating “marital privilege” from state law when it comes to spousal rape and sexual abuse. Reps. Greta Johnson and Teresa Fedor, Democrats from Akron and Toledo, respectively, said on Tuesday that they will introduce legislation making changes in Ohio’s rape laws, including eliminating the statute of limitations for reporting and prosecuting all rape charges.

  • Critics of Medicaid expansion don’t bother him, Kasich tells Georgia GOP

    The first question from his first Georgia audience was the tough one for John Kasich. Mike Fitzgerald, chairman of the 6th District GOP, confessed that he’d been “grinding on this” during the Ohio governor’s speech here on Tuesday. Fitzgerald noted that the possible Republican presidential candidate had expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. “Is that a sustainable model long-term?” the GOP activist asked.

  • Storm tosses truck 60 yards in suburban Dayton, injuring person, police say

    BEAVERCREEK, Ohio — Police say one person suffered minor injuries when a strong storm lifted a pickup truck and blew it into a building at a shopping center in suburban Dayton.

  • Get more Ohio headlines from the Columbus Dispatch