Ohio News Briefs


Patrol: I-71 rest area shooting in Ohio apparently random

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says an 18-year-old man’s shooting at an interstate rest area in central Ohio by a suspect who the patrol says fatally shot himself after a patrol pursuit apparently was a random act.

The patrol says 25-year-old Shawn Johnson fired several shots at a vehicle, critically injuring 18-year-old Alexander Melchert around 11 a.m. Sunday at an Interstate 71 rest area in Delaware County. The College of Wooster identified Melchert as a first-year student from Wisconsin.

Patrol Sgt. Vincent Shirey says the two men didn’t appear to have known each other and were standing outside Melchert’s vehicle when the shooting occurred.

Authorities who pursued Johnson say they found the Westerville suspect dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot after his vehicle crashed into an I-71 guardrail in Richland County.

Cops: Ohio woman late for work lies about clown attack

READING, Ohio (AP) — Police say 18-year-old Ohio woman lied about being attacked by a knife-wielding person dressed as a clown because she was late for work and has been charged with making a false alarm.

Police in the Cincinnati suburb of Reading say 18-year-old Alexsandra Conley was charged with the misdemeanor after investigators found inconsistencies in her story. No phone listing could be found for the Hamilton woman. It couldn’t immediately be determined whether she has an attorney.

WCPO-TV reports Conley said someone dressed like a clown jumped a fence Saturday, waved a knife at her and cut her thumb.

Officials said the reported attack wasn’t related to one last week that closed Reading schools.

There have been several recent reports nationwide of people having frightening encounters involving clowns.

Cops: 1 shot, 1 hurt by car after man denied entry into bar

CLAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say one person was shot multiple times and a woman was hurt when she was either hit by a car or ran into it outside a bar in southwest Ohio.

WHIO-TV reports police say the injuries occurred early Monday after a man was denied entry into a bar in the Dayton suburb of Clayton that had closed after hosting an event. Chief Matt Hamlin says the person injured in the shooting was shot multiple times.

Investigators say they believe the shooter was the man who was denied entry and that surveillance cameras recorded what happened. They say the suspected shooter fled in a vehicle.

The conditions of the two people injured weren’t immediately known.

Police say they may know the identity of the shooter.

Average gas prices in Ohio up from week ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices in Ohio have increased by 14 cents compared with a week ago.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was $2.22 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s up from $2.08 a week ago and about four cents higher than the average of $2.18 reported at the same time last month.

The average price in the state matched the national average of $2.22, which was only about a penny higher than the national average reported a week ago.

The average price in Ohio on Monday was down 20 cents from the $2.42 reported a year ago.

The national average at this time last year was $2.29.

Authorities ID motorcyclist killed in crash with minivan

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have identified a motorcyclist killed in a crash in southwest Ohio and police say the driver of a minivan involved in the crash ran and remains at large.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office says Jimmy Blanton II was killed in the late Sunday afternoon crash in Dayton.

The Dayton Daily News reports police say the 26-year-old Dayton man had been traveling at a high rate of speed when he clipped the back of the minivan. He was declared dead at the scene.

Police say the minivan driver fled and hasn’t been found. Police say the vehicle may have been stolen.

HUD: Cleveland can’t use funds to enforce housing code

CLEVELAND (AP) — Officials in Cleveland have responded to a federal report that found the city has been improperly using hundreds of thousands in federal tax dollars to enforce housing code.

The report recently issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development says the city isn’t allowed to use block grant funds for housing code enforcement through its 19 community development corporations.

Community Development Director Michael Cosgrove tells WEWS-TV the HUD findings were a “bureaucratic interpretation” and the tax dollars cut off by the agency weren’t being misused.

City councilman Kevin Conwell says the loss of funding to the code enforcement partnership is a “systemic failure” on the city’s part and will allow potentially dangerous homes to linger in many neighborhoods.

HUD says the case is an open investigation.

Project to replace drawbridge near Lake Erie may be delayed

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s transportation department says a project to replace a drawbridge near Lake Erie may be delayed.

Work was supposed to begin in October on the $13 million bridge project in Port Clinton.

But the state says the start date could be delayed until November or a year from now.

The problem stems from a delay in the delivery of specialized bridge parts.

The plan calls for replacing and upgrading the bridge’s mechanical and electrical systems that lift the bridge over the Portage River.

The state says it wants the work to be done during the fall and winter because it doesn’t want to interrupt Port Clinton’s summer tourist season when visitors come to the lake.

Protests to continue over fatal police shooting of Ohio teen

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group calling for an independent investigation after an Ohio officer fatally shot a 13-year-old boy while investigating a reported armed robbery is returning to downtown Columbus to protest.

The group says it will hold a demonstration Monday afternoon outside City Hall.

Dozens of demonstrators packed city council chambers a week ago. They shouted down the council president and brought the meeting to a halt.

Columbus police say Tyre King was shot Sept. 14 after he ran from an officer investigating a reported armed robbery and pulled out a BB gun that looked like a real firearm.

Protest organizers say they don’t trust the police to investigate themselves. They also want more money spent on violence prevention programs.

Authorities say the investigation will be presented to a grand jury.

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