Ohio News Briefs

Air Force museum wants current Air Force One for collection

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in southwest Ohio is looking to add the current Air Force One to its collection of historic presidential planes.

A new $40.8 million hangar at the museum near Dayton opens on Wednesday and officials say they’ve designed the 224,000-square-foot building with the idea of landing the presidential aircraft, the Dayton Daily News reported.

“We made the doors wider on purpose kind of thinking down the road there’s a big airplane out there that we want to get in here,” museum historian Jeff Underwood said.

Underwood said the facility has a “pretty good shot” at landing one of the two VC-25s — the designation given to the planes by the Air Force.

“We have been making sure that the secretary of the Air Force and others in Congress and the press understand how important it is to add either one of those aircraft to this great collection of presidential aircraft we already have,” Underwood said. “It’s very important to the museum because it continues the story that we’ve already started.”

Richard Aboulafia, a senior aerospace analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group, said adding the current Air Force One would be a definite draw for tourists and make the area an “even bigger must-see” for aviation buffs.

“I can’t really imagine many other museums having the space, or any other museum taking precedence for one,” he said.

The final decision on the jets won’t be made until the planes are retired within a decade.

Ohio man who traveled to Caribbean diagnosed with Zika virus

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — Health authorities in northwest Ohio say they’ve talked to a 50-year-old man diagnosed with the Zika virus about preventing the spread of the virus.

The Hancock County health commissioner in Findlay said the man had recently traveled to the Caribbean and contracted the virus.

Health Commissioner Karim Baroudi says the man is doing fine.

There are no reported cases of Zika virus being transmitted in Ohio. The virus is spread by mosquitoes and has been identified as a problem primarily in tropical regions.

Pregnant women are advised not to travel to areas where Zika transmission has been reported. Zika has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.

Custody efforts begin for 2 babies unharmed in Ohio shooting

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — At least three families have started efforts to gain custody of two of the children found unharmed after eight family members were slain in southern Ohio.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that three families have hired lawyers and are making preparations to convince the state they are fit to raise the two babies.

Seven adults and a 16-year-old boy from the Rhoden family were found dead April 22 at four homes near Piketon. A newborn, another baby and young child weren’t harmed.

The newspaper reports the two babies have been in state custody since their parents were among those found dead. The 3-year-old child has been with his remaining parent.

Several family members say they have submitted background checks, will take paternity tests and are getting their homes in order.

Trial dates set for women charged in fatal motel beating

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Trial dates have been set for three women who have denied charges stemming from the fatal beating of a 5-year-old boy at a southwest Ohio motel.

Alexander Stephens died from his injuries on April 29 after police found him and his injured 6-year-old brother at the Parkway Inn in Middletown.

Twenty-six-year-old Theresa Hawkins-Stephens — Alexander’s mother — and 29-year-old Rachel Bostian are charged with murder, five counts of felony endangering children and two counts of kidnapping.

A trial for Hawkins-Stephens is slated to begin on Sept. 19. Bostian will be tried beginning Sept. 12.

Fifty-six-year-old Ramona Bostian has been charged with obstructing justice in the incident. She is scheduled for trial July 5.

The women all have court-appointed attorneys who entered not-guilty pleas on their behalf.

Gas prices tracking up as summer travel season gets begins

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio gas prices are tracking up as the summer travel season gets underway.

A gallon of regular gas was averaging $2.60 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s up about 12 cents from a week ago, and 38 cents from a month ago.

It’s also higher than Monday’s national average of $2.36, which was 4 cents higher than a week ago.

The price of oil topped $50 a barrel recently for the first time since July. However, analysts expect gasoline and airline fares to stay relatively low at least through the summer travel season.

Buckeye Boys State mulling move to new campus site

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Organizers of the Buckeye Boys State program are weighing whether to move the annual summertime gathering to a new home.

The American Legion sponsors the program that brings in more than 1,000 Ohio high school juniors to learn about how government works.

The event has been at Bowling Green State University since 1978.

The head of the Buckeye Boys State program says Bowling Green and Miami University have made bids to host the event.

Gerald White tells The Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green that negotiations are underway but there has been no decision made on moving the program.

Century-old businesses around Ohio recognized

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio companies in business for 100 years or more are being profiled as part of a monthly recognition program.

The Ohio Business Profile Program’s June installment features nine century-old companies around the state.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose office oversees the program, says such establishments deserve to be honored for their contributions to their communities. He says each has had to adapt over time to stay successful.

Businesses profiled are: Hyde Park Lumber in Cincinnati; Wilson Bohannan Lock Co. in Marion; Oberlin’s Apollo Theatre; Fifth Ave. Floral Co. and Buckeye Shapeform, both of Columbus; Zanesville’s Bolin-Dierkes Funeral Home; Kuhlman Corp. of Maumee; Toledo Ticket Co.; and Ritter’s Office Outfitters in Mansfield.

State reports increase in crashes caused by failing to yield

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting an increase in the number of crashes caused by motorists who fail to yield to other vehicles.

In a recent news release, the patrol says total failure-to-yield crashes rose 9 percent last year compared with 2014 data. Such crashes that were fatal jumped 28 percent. Troopers wrote more than 23,000 citations that included a failure-to-yield violation last year.

The patrol says that roughly 49,000 crashes on Ohio roadways happened when the at-fault driver failed to yield, resulting in more than 200 deaths and almost 29,000 injuries.

Lt. Carlos Smith, the commander of the patrol’s Elyria post, says traffic can be frustrating, but motorists need to remain calm and yield for other vehicles that have the right-of-way.

National Weather Service confirms tornado touched down

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in central Ohio.

Officials say an EF-0 tornado touched down Saturday evening in northeast Columbus.

EF-0 tornados are classified as having wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.

Officials say some homeowners reported damage to their roofs and siding.

There were no injuries.

Strong storms Sunday downed trees and power lines and left parts of Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky without power. It closed three hours early.

Park officials say both Cedar Point and Soak City water park will remain closed Monday as a result of wind damage to power lines and poles on a nearby road and a lack of adequate power to operate rides at full capacity.

Park officials say they hope to reopen Tuesday.

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