Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment


Cleveland gunman at large after killing 5-year-old

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland police are seeking information on a gunman who killed a 5-year-old girl and shot her mother in the head while the two sat in a vehicle in a residential neighborhood Sunday.

Authorities on Monday identified the slain girl as Jermani (JEHR'-muh-nee) Brooks of Cleveland. Her mother, 33-year-old Noni (NAH'-nee) Brooks, was in fair condition Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center.

The shooting occurred at about 11 p.m. Sunday on the city's west side. Police say a man in a green SUV pulled up to the vehicle, got out and opened fire, striking the two victims. He then fled.

Police tracking the vehicle and the suspect surrounded an address in the city briefly on Monday with SWAT team negotiators. The suspect was not located.

The family released a statement requesting privacy.


ACLU: Ohio governor should halt executions

CLEVELAND (AP) — A civil-rights organization is asking Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) to immediately halt executions after a condemned inmate gasped and snorted last week as an untested drug combination was used to put him to death.

The ACLU of Ohio made its request to Kasich on Sunday, noting Ohio has five upcoming executions scheduled.

Death row inmate Dennis McGuire made loud snorting noises Thursday during the longest execution since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999. McGuire's adult children said it amounted to torture and his family says they're suing.

McGuire's attorney and an anti-death penalty group urge a moratorium.

The 53-year-old McGuire was sentenced to die for raping and fatally stabbing a pregnant woman in 1989.

Kasich's spokesman says the governor supports the death penalty and the procedure is being reviewed.


Dem vying for Ohio AG eyes voting rights

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General candidate David Pepper says he would make advocating for voter rights a priority if elected Ohio's top law officer this fall.

The Cincinnati Democrat released his proposals Monday for addressing ballot access and election fairness.

Pepper criticizes Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for defending laws passed by state lawmakers that courts later deemed unconstitutional.

DeWine told The Vindicator of Youngstown that he didn't pass or write the laws, but did what he's "supposed to do" by defending them in court.

Pepper's plan calls for establishing a voter rights unit within the office to investigate complaints and incidents of voter intimidation, disenfranchisement, fraud and suppression.

He says he'd also make the office a resource for voting rights awareness and advocate transparency in Ohio's redistricting process.


Crime concerns hang over Ohio campus

CINCINNATI (AP) — Overall crime numbers are down, but not the concerns for University of Cincinnati officials and students.

With an urban campus, Cincinnati has long been plagued by off-campus criminals targeting students and staff. The school is spending more on lights, cameras and off-duty patrols, has doubled capacity for a night ride service, and plans to hire at least 10 more university police officers. President Santa Ono (OH'-noh) has been speaking out, and appealed to Hamilton County judges to crack down on predatory criminals targeting UC students.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Cincinnati and university police say violent crimes in the areas around campus have decreased by 25 percent over the last five years. However, burglaries increased last year over 2012.

UC is building a database to help spot crime patterns.


Ohio ads use humor to address problem gambling

(Information in the following story is from: The Columbus Dispatch, )

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Lottery Commission is trying to draw attention to serious messages about problem gambling by depicting outcomes of some humorous bets.

The characters in the "I Lost a Bet" media campaign include a bearded man dancing atop a table with rhythmic gymnastics ribbons and another guy wearing a dog costume and crouching in a crowded elevator. The billboard and TV ads refer to the campaign website, where funny scenes precede serious messages about damaging effects of problem gambling.

The lottery's marketing director describes it as "the applesauce with the medicine."

The Columbus Dispatch reports the ads target young adults, especially men, statistically shown to be most at risk for gambling addiction.

The $1.5 million campaign is funded by taxes paid by horse-racing tracks that have slots-like video machines.


Spider monkey that bit NE Ohio worker euthanized

(Information in the following story is from: The Chronicle-Telegram, )

VERMILION, Ohio (AP) — A spider monkey that bit the employee of a northeast Ohio car dealership was found not to be rabid in tests performed after the animal was euthanized.

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports the animal was taken from a quarantine site late Friday by representatives of the Erie County Sheriff and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It was euthanized shortly after midnight, in order to allow for rabies tests.

Tests performed Saturday found no signs of the disease. The newspaper reports the incident sparked outrage among defenders of primates.

The monkey's 20-year-old owner, Jacob Ruehlman of Vermilion, had brought the monkey Tuesday to Pat O'Brien Chevrolet. Police reported the monkey, named Brodi, bit an employee who reached through a window to pet it.

Ruehlman lacked a required state exotic-animal permit.


Volunteers sought for annual Ohio River cleanup

CINCINNATI (AP) — A water pollution control agency is soliciting volunteers to participate in its annual cleanup day for riverbanks along the Ohio River and its tributaries.

The Cincinnati-based Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission says its 25th River Sweep has been scheduled for June 21. Thousands of volunteers in six states along the river help comb for trash and debris over 3,000 miles of shorelines from western Pennsylvania to southern Illinois during the annual event.

The interstate commission says potential volunteers can visit its website for more information, and the cleanup sites will be listed in early spring.


Cleveland bike trail network to more than double

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland is planning to add more than 70 miles of dedicated bike lanes, trails and pavement markings by the end of 2017.

The city's sustainability chief tells The Plain Dealer the transportation upgrade aims to link every neighborhood in the city to the bikeway network.

Planned additions to the network were announced Sunday at the advocacy group Bike Cleveland's annual meeting.

The plan calls for more than doubling the amount of bike-friendly routes in the city, with almost 45 miles of new bikeways over the next two years and another nearly 26 miles in the two years after that.

Cleveland currently has about 48 miles of bikeways. That includes 4 miles of shared roadways, 10 miles of dedicated bike lanes, and 35 miles of trails separated from the road.


MLK Jr. legacy marked with Ohio parades, projects

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) and his 2014 Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County executive Ed FitzGerald, were among state and local officials across Ohio who commemorated the legacy of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Songs, prayers, service projects and parades were among ways King's life and impact were celebrated Monday.

Kasich spoke at a music-filled birthday breakfast in Columbus and issued a proclamation honoring King's groundbreaking achievements and compassion.

In Cleveland, FitzGerald joined with City Year team members and volunteers at Franklin D. Roosevelt Academy to freshen the school's appearance and paint murals. It was part of a nationwide day of service.

A march and memorial at the University of Dayton kicked off a week of lectures, film screenings and related activities planned there.