Ohio News Briefs

Ohio’s largest solar project to be finished by year’s end

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — A new solar field set to become Ohio’s largest installation is on track to open by the end of the year.

The 20-megawatt solar field in Bowling Green in northwestern Ohio will surpass the 12-megawatt Wyandot Solar Farm in the north-central part of the state.

Daryl Stockburger, Bowling Green’s assistant utilities director, said about 38 percent of the city’s energy will come from renewable sources once the solar project in complete. That’s up from its current level of about 12 percent.

The Blade newspaper in Toledo reported that percentage is 1.5 percent across the state.

The Bowling Green solar field is the largest within an 80-megawatt project that will be spread across 26 sites that are mostly in Ohio, Stockburger said.

“Ohio’s changing rapidly,” Luke Sulfridge, program director for OH SUN, a statewide group that promotes community solar projects. “This will be an interesting year.”

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has said the average amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere every year is now more than 400 parts per million for the first time in at least 800,000 years.

The White House has promoted a mix of natural gas and renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions.

Neocles Leontis, a chemistry professor at Bowling Green State University, said the big picture question is how much carbon dioxide emissions can be lowered.

Climate change “is not a question of 20 years from now,” he said. “It’s happening right now.”

1,000 Ohio pharmacies offer overdose antidote without Rx

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state pharmacy board says 1,000 Ohio pharmacies, or about 47 percent of them, now offer the overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.

Expanding access to it has been a major part of Ohio’s strategy to curb the increasing overdoses and deaths attributed to heroin and stronger drugs, such as fentanyl.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can be administered before emergency responders arrive. It isn’t harmful if the recipient hasn’t actually overdosed on heroin or similar drugs.

Gov. John Kasich signed a law last year enabling pharmacies to distribute the reversal drug to an at-risk opioid user or a user’s relative or friend without a prescription.

The Board of Pharmacy said Monday that 79 of Ohio’s 88 counties now have at least one of those pharmacies .

Ohio cop who fatally shot robbery suspect not indicted

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A police officer who fatally shot a robbery suspect authorities say was holding a knife to a pharmacist’s throat at an Ohio drugstore won’t be indicted in the shooting.

Butler County’s prosecutor says a county grand jury declined to return any indictments against the Hamilton officer who shot 34-year-old Kelley Brandon Forte on Aug. 22.

Prosecutor Michael Gmoser says Forte was shot by the officer three times after Forte charged at him and wouldn’t comply with police commands.

The prosecutor says the confrontation was captured on store surveillance video.

Hamilton police say officers responded to the Walgreen’s store after 911 callers told dispatchers they saw a man jump the pharmacy counter. Police say the responding officers found Forte holding a knife to the pharmacist’s throat.

Officials warn Ohio students of grant, scholarship scams

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — College students and parents in southwest Ohio are being warned to watch out for scammers seeking to rip people off through fake scholarship and tax schemes.

“Whether it’s the first year or the final year of college, life before the beginning of the school year is busy for students,” said Sandy Guile, of the Better Business Bureau of Cincinnati. “There is little time to deal with a scam, but plenty of opportunity for a scammer to strike if a student is not paying attention.”

The organization says there are three popular scams circulating that aim to steal money or personal information from students at area schools such as Miami University and the University of Cincinnati, The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported.

In a federal student tax scam, victims are being told they’re in trouble with the government and owe a debt. Another is leading students to believe they’ve been awarded a grant that they don’t have to pay back, but they have to cover a processing fee to claim it.

The third scheme involves fake scholarships that encourage applicants to send money upfront.

“Unfortunately, scammers have found a way to create fraudulent forms, websites, and marketing materials making claims to have ways to finance the cost of higher education at minimal or no cost,” Guile said.

At Miami, students recently were alerted to a scam in which students were told they owed “student taxes” and could be arrested if they didn’t send money.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has been warning students across Ohio about these scams and said people of all ages can be targeted.

“For a student with limited income, losing money to a con artist can be devastating,” DeWine said.

Crews cleaning up mud and debris from storms in Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — Crews continued to clean up mud and debris from storms that rolled through parts of Ohio and flooded some roads.

A few schools in the Cincinnati area were closed Monday because of flooding and storm damage.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service say between 3 to 5 inches of rain fell within a couple of hours in the Cincinnati area Sunday night. Parts of Interstate 71 and numerous other roads in the area were closed for a time due to high water, and several vehicles were stranded. No injuries were reported.

The Red Cross was helping about 30 people displaced by the flooding.

The Cincinnati area was expected to have partly cloudy skies Monday, with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Ohio gas prices climb some moving toward end of summer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices in Ohio are a couple of cents higher than a week ago and 15 cents higher than a month ago.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was $2.19 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s up from $2.17 a week ago and $2.04 the same time last month.

The average price in Ohio a year ago was $2.42.

The national average price Monday was $2.22, up six cents from a week ago and eight cents the same time last month. The average national price a year ago was $2.49.

Pump prices have been driven by crude oil prices surging more than 20 percent in August and refinery issues impacting production in some regions.

Boat accident injures at least 1 person in northwest Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say at least one person was hurt when a boat carrying multiple people on the Ottawa River in northwest Ohio hit a bridge abutment.

The Blade reports the crash occurred early Sunday in Toledo and one person was unconscious. Authorities haven’t said what that person’s condition is.

It’s unclear what caused the crash or whether there were any other injuries.

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