Wednesday, April 21

Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT


Ohio announces 5th coronavirus death of prisons worker

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced the death of another prison guard due to the coronavirus. The governor said corrections officer Terry Loomis, who died Tuesday, was an 18-year veteran. Mullins worked at Lake Erie Correctional Institute, a private prison in northeastern Ohio. Two other guards and two prison nurses have also died during the pandemic. The governor also says Ohio has asked to borrow $3.1 billion from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay unemployment insurance claims. States must borrow money from the government when they run out of state funds. Ohio last borrowed after the 2008 recession.


Columbus bans police use of tear gas, limits pepper spray

The city of Columbus has prohibited police use of tear gas and limited use of pepper spray to clear streets and disperse peaceful demonstrators following weeks of global protests over the death of George Floyd. Mayor Andrew Ginther’s introduction of the new policy comes as police departments across the country grapple with criticism of tactics used against people protesting the death of George Floyd. Additionally, Columbus State Community College announced it will be dismantling the statue of Christopher Columbus that has been displayed on its downtown campus since 1988 in an effort to be “mindful of societal change.”


Federal funds obtained to send absentee ballot form requests

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose says federal funding has been secured to cover mailing absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in Ohio. Spending was approved Monday by the state Controlling Board and will cover mailings to all 7.8 million Ohioans registered. Requesting a ballot is the first step to voting by mail in the November election. Absentee ballot requests have been sent out in every Ohio general election since 2012. The difference this year is federal COVID-19 aid funds will cover the costs. LaRose was prohibited by lawmakers from mailing out the applications during Ohio’s primary.


Judge declares mistrial for man accused of 9 arson deaths

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge has declared a mistrial for a man accused of killing nine people in two separate arson fires. The Akron Beacon Journal reports Summit County Judge Christine Croce declared the mistrial Monday after questioning jurors. Sixty-one-year-old Stanley Ford could receive the death penalty if convicted of killing two people at a home in 2016 and seven people, including five children, at a home in 2017. Both fires occurred in Ford’s Akron neighborhood. Ford’s attorneys had asked for a delay or a mistrial for a trial that initially began in March and was then halted by the coronavirus pandemic.


University of Toledo trustees name interim president

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The University of Toledo has named a temporary replacement for its outgoing president. The school’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to appoint Gregory Postel as interim president. He will be taking over from Sharon Gaber, who plans to leave next month to become chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Postel will begin his duties Wednesday, initially serving as a consultant and then assuming the interim president post once Gaber leaves. His contract calls for a $500,000 salary with an option for an incentive bonus not to exceed 20 percent of his compensation. Postel has been serving as a senior client partner for an organizational consulting firm.


2 sisters killed when bricks fall on hammock at their home

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Two sisters were killed when they were trapped on a hammock by some falling bricks at their family’s home. Emergency responders found 14-year-old Scout Scaravilli and her 12-year-old sister, Chasey, trapped under a pile of bricks when they responded to their Cleveland Heights home around 7:45 p.m. Sunday. The girls were soon freed from the hammock and were taken to a hospital, but they were pronounced dead there a short time later. Authorities say the hammock was tied to a tree and the pillar, but it’s still not clear what caused the pillar to collapse. No other injuries were reported in the incident.


VIRUS DIARY: `The meaning of abiding love in all its guises’

CLEVELAND (AP) — The specters of loss have been constants during the pandemic. For one writer, COVID-19 has made it difficult to mourn his wife’s death in April after a prolonged struggle with cancer. Stay-at-home orders and worries about contracting the disease have interrupted all the norms meant to provide comfort after the death of a loved one. Questions from people about when they’ll be able to celebrate her life are unanswerable for now. Strangely, isolation in her final weeks provided an opportunity for intense expressions of love and care.


Supreme Court says gay, transgender workers protected by law

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’s accepting what he calls a “very powerful decision” by the Supreme Court backing workplace rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people. The court ruled 6-3 that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers. It’s a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court. And it’s expected to have a big impact for the estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers across the country because most states don’t protect them from workplace discrimination. Trump says the justices have ruled and “we live with their decision.”


Bomb squad detonates package thrown at justice complex

CINCINNATI (AP) — The bomb squad has safely detonated a suspicious package that was thrown at the Hamilton County Justice Complex in Cincinnati. The sheriff’s office deployed the hazardous devices unit early Monday after the package was tossed over a concrete wall near an entrance. Officers evacuated the justice complex and closed surrounding streets. The bomb squad X-rayed the package and detonated it as a precaution. No one was injured.


US base namesakes include slaveholders, failed generals

CINCINNATI (AP) — As much as President Donald Trump enjoys talking about winning and winners, the Confederate generals he vows won’t have their names removed from U.S. military bases weren’t winners. They not only fought on the losing side of a rebellion, some weren’t even considered good generals. The 10 generals include some who made costly battlefield blunders; others mistreated captured Union soldiers, some were slaveholders and one was linked to the Ku Klux Klan after the war. Trump has dug in his heels on renaming, despite a push in Congress to do so.

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