Ohio News Briefs


Trial set Nov. 7 for Ohio mayor who’s a standup comedian

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — The mayor of a small Ohio city who’s also a veteran standup comedian faces trial Nov. 7 on four felony counts.

A judge entered “not guilty” pleas Monday for Drew Hastings after the defense waived readings of the charges against him. Retired Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove is hearing the case after a local judge recused himself.

Hastings is Hillsboro’s second-term mayor. He was indicted last month on counts including election falsification and theft in office.

Hastings says he has done nothing wrong other than try to lead the city without the consent of the “established political structure.”

The election falsification charge concerns his residency in the city of 6,600 residents, where he has a downtown apartment. He also has a farm outside of town.

Rape crisis center leaves school to ensure confidentiality

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — A southeast Ohio rape crisis center is leaving Ohio University to operate under an area domestic violence shelter that says it can ensure confidentiality for sexual assault victims.

The Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program had been affiliated with the Athens-based university since its 2013 founding.

The university last year deemed Ohio’s mandatory crime-reporting laws meant that its workers in the outreach program couldn’t offer confidentiality to victims since university employees must inform police of reported felonies.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that having the center operate under My Sister’s Place beginning in October will mean victims of sexual assault, dating violence or stalking can seek out help without having to report anything to police. It also will allow the center to expand.

Ohio gas prices up slightly compared with a week ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices around Ohio are up slightly from a week ago, while down from the average this time last month.

Ohio’s average price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.09 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s up three cents from a week ago, but 16 cents less than the $2.25 average reported a month ago.

The national average price on Monday was $2.13, compared with $2.16 a week ago and $2.28 this time last month.

The average price in Ohio a year ago was $2.34, and the national average was $2.66.

Gas prices continue to benefit from abundant fuel supplies and declining crude oil costs.

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Online:

AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report: http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com

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