Ohio News Briefs


Kasich No. 2 backed ouster of governor’s pick for GOP leader

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio news organization is reporting that Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-sik’s) lieutenant governor backed President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for chairwoman of the state Republican party over the sitting chairman supported by Kasich.

Cleveland.com reports Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor shifted her allegiance to Canton Republican Jane Timken just days before Timken ousted then-Chairman Matt Borges on Friday. Trump also called central committee members to stoke support for Timken.

Taylor strategist Todd Olsen told the news outlet that Taylor offered to help Timken in whatever way she could after becoming convinced that she was the best choice for the job. Taylor’s name had appeared on a list of endorsements for Borges that he circulated ahead of Friday’s vote.

Taylor, of Green, is considering a run for governor in 2018.

Revenues fall at 3 Ohio casinos in 2016, Columbus sees rise

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Three of the Ohio’s four casinos took a hit in revenues in 2016.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission says gambling revenues were down 2 percent in total last year.

Casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati saw a 4 percent drop while the Toledo casino was down 2 percent. Columbus saw the only gain, a 2 percent increase.

The newer racinos around are the state are doing better.

All seven Ohio racinos combined to bring in nearly $74 million in revenues in December. That’s up by more than $1 million over the same month last year.

Gaming industry analyst Alan Silver says racinos that are closer to Ohio’s suburban areas and offer free parking are pulling customers away from the casinos.

Part of I-90 in Ohio to be named in honor of state trooper

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A section of Interstate 90 in Ohio will be dedicated to a State Highway Patrol trooper who died after he was struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop.

A stretch of the highway in Cuyahoga County will bear the name of Trooper Kenneth Velez. The 48-year-old trooper from Lorain died from injuries received on Sept. 15.

Democratic state Rep. Dan Ramos sponsored the bill to name the highway section for Velez, who was Ramos’ cousin.

Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul Pride testified in support of the legislation that was signed by Gov. John Kasich on Jan. 4.

The section of road will be called “Trooper Kenny Velez Memorial Highway.”

Joshua Gaspar, of Columbia Station, has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in Velez’s death. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officials renew efforts to solve killing of pregnant mother

GEORGETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Ohio plan to discuss renewed efforts to solve the case from 2013 when officers found a pregnant mother shot dead.

Brown County officials on Tuesday are expected to talk about their commitment to taking a fresh look at the Brittany Stykes homicide case.

Police have said they thought they were responding to an accident in August 2013 when they got a report of a vehicle off the road in a wooded area in Ripley, about 45 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

Instead, they found the 22-year-old Stykes dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Her then-14-month-old daughter was strapped in her car seat, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head.

Police: Ohioan shot himself and son, 10, while cleaning gun

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a northern Ohio man accidentally shot and wounded himself and his 10-year-old son while cleaning his semi-automatic handgun.

Investigators reviewing what happened haven’t said whether criminal charges might be brought over the shooting Saturday night in Bay Village, roughly 15 miles west of Cleveland.

Police say the bullet struck the man’s hand and grazed the boy’s torso. Both were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Authorities haven’t released any further details about what happened, including the names of the man and the boy.

Cleveland suburb settles police use-of-force suit for $170K

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man who said police unnecessarily slammed him into the ground while responding to a domestic disturbance call at his home has reached a $170,000 settlement in his lawsuit against suburban Cleveland officers.

The suit said Mark Bartkiewicz suffered a torn rotator cuff and other injuries in the May 2015 confrontation in Parma. A police report indicated he was resisting when officers took him to the ground, but Bartkiewicz said he wasn’t being aggressive.

Cleveland.com reports the city of Parma agreed to the $170,000 settlement Monday.

Parma’s law director says he worked on the settlement with a legal representative for the city’s insurance provider.

Bartkiewicz’s attorney, Sara Gedeon, says everyone involved wanted to resolve the matter and move forward.

$5M bond set for homeless suspect in elderly helper’s death

CINCINNATI (AP) — Bond is set at $5 million for a man charged in the stabbing and suffocation of an 89-year-old Cincinnati man who prosecutors say had taken the suspect into his home because he was homeless.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a judge set bond Monday for 43-year-old Michael Stumph. He’s charged with aggravated murder and other counts in the November slaying of Otto Stewart.

Stumph’s attorneys entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf but didn’t comment further.

An assistant prosecutor says Stewart helped Stumph and Stumph’s onetime girlfriend but told them they needed to find jobs and repay money he loaned them. The prosecutor says Stewart was stabbed with a large kitchen knife, and a pillow was stuffed in his mouth.

The woman also is charged and is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.

Firearms instructor to serve 5 days in jail for man’s death

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) — A firearms instructor who pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of a southwest Ohio gun store owner during a concealed carry class last year was sentenced to serve five days in jail.

Forty-eight-year-old Mark Montgomery was also sentenced on Monday to five years’ probation and 120 hours of community service for the June 2016 death of 64-year-old James Baker.

Montgomery was teaching a class at KayJay Gun Shop in Amelia, about 20 miles east of Cincinnati, when one of his students discharged a live round that went through a wall and struck Baker in the neck while he was sitting in an adjacent room.

Montgomery pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in November.

Charges against Montgomery’s daughter, who assisted with the class, were dropped after he took responsibility for Baker’s death.

Cleveland officer who bit woman cuts deal, pleads guilty

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland police officer accused of biting his girlfriend during an argument while he was off-duty two years ago cut a deal with prosecutors that may allow him to remain on the force.

Cleveland.com reports Mister Jackson pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault after reaching an agreement with Cuyahoga County prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Jackson was living a “double life” with two girlfriends. One of the women found out in October 2015 and she confronted Jackson at the other girlfriend’s home.

Jackson, who reportedly was armed, bit the woman on the chest after arguing with her.

Attorney Henry Hilow says Jackson didn’t agree to resign his badge as part of the plea deal. The police department placed Jackson on unpaid administrative leave following his arrest.

County prosecutor won’t repay Cleveland for police dash cams

CLEVELAND (AP) — New Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley is reneging on his predecessor’s promise to reimburse the city of Cleveland for its purchase of police dash cameras.

Cleveland.com reports O’Malley sent a letter to Mayor Frank Jackson last week announcing that he was backing out of the Dec. 27 agreement between outgoing Prosecutor Timothy McGinty and Cleveland Finance Director Sharon Dumas.

McGinty had pledged to repay the city up to $500,000 for outfitting nearly 300 police cruisers with video cameras.

O’Malley wrote that despite his support of the technology, his office does not have enough money in its Law Enforcement Trust Fund to cover the reimbursement. Officials say the account contained roughly $356,000 at the end of 2016.

Cleveland spokesman Dan Williams was unaware of O’Malley’s letter and couldn’t comment.

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