Ohio News

Columbus police searching for missing 35-year-old man

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 18:17

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus police are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing 35-year-old man.

Police said Kyle Hill walked away from his home around 5 p.m. Friday and was last seen near Winchester Crossing Boulevard.

Police said he will not be able to verbalize where he lives or how to get there.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black coat, and was carrying a bright green book bag.

He is described as 5’10” tall, weighs about 245 pounds, has blue eyes and is balding.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call the Columbus Police Missing Persons Unit at 614-645-4624.

Categories: Ohio News

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake slams south, central Mexico

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 17:10

MEXICO CITY — A powerful earthquake shook south and central Mexico Friday, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country's capital, and setting off quake alert systems.

Crowds of people gathered on central Reforma Avenue in Mexico City as the ground shook.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake's preliminary magnitude at 7.2 and said its epicenter was 33 miles (53 kilometers) northeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state. It had a depth of 15 miles (24 kilometers).

The epicenter is a rural area of western Oaxaca state near the Pacific coast and the border with Guerrero state.

The Oaxaca state civil protection agency said via Twitter that it was monitoring the coastline.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in central Mexico on Sept. 19 left 228 people dead in the capital and 369 across the region.

Categories: Ohio News

CPD: Officers involved in shooting of Henry Green acted within department policy

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:51

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The actions of the officers involved in the shooting of Henry Green in 2016, have been ruled to be within Division policy according to police.

The announcement was made by Deputy Chief Thomas Quinlan Friday evening after the investigation was reviewed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Columbus Division of Police.

Two plainclothes Columbus police officers, Zach Rosen and Jason Bare, say they spotted Green with a gun at the corner of Ontario and Duxberry on June 6, 2016.

They said they identified themselves as officers and told him to drop his weapon.

Instead, they say he fired at them. They returned fire, killing Green.

A grand jury did not bring charges against the officers.

Categories: Ohio News

Sheriff: His office got 20 calls about Florida school shooting suspect

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:45

PARKLAND, Fla. - A sheriff says his office received about 20 calls in the past few years about Nikolas Cruz, the suspect accused of killing 17 people at high school in Parkland, Florida.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County told a news conference Friday that his office would be investigating every one of those previous calls to see how they were handled. He did not disclose specifics about those calls, but says he would take action personally if anyone was remiss in handling any of the calls.

He also says seven of the wounded remain in hospitals.

The sheriff also clarified that Cruz never had a gas mask or smoke grenades during Wednesday's attack, but he did a balaclava or mask with eye slits.

Categories: Ohio News

13 Russians charged with meddling to help Trump in election

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:08

WASHINGTON — Thirteen Russians and three Russian companies were charged Friday with an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda aimed at helping Republican Donald Trump and harming the prospects of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, prosecutors announced Friday.

The indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the election. It says Russians created bogus Internet postings, posed online as American political activists and fraudulently purchased advertisements — all with the goal of swaying political opinion during the bitterly contested race.

The intent of the meddling, the indictment says, was to "sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election."

The indictment arises from Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether there was improper coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The charges are similar to the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, which months after the election described a Russian government effort to meddle in the election on Trump's behalf.

The Russians' "strategic goal" was to sow discord, the indictment says. By early-to-mid 2016, their efforts "included" supporting Trump's campaign and disparaging Democrat Clinton. The charges say that Russians also communicated with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign and other political activists to coordinate activities.

Trump himself has been reluctant to acknowledge the meddling. His spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Friday that Trump had been briefed on the indictment but there was no other immediate comment.

The charges are the latest allegations arising from Mueller's probe and represent the first criminal case against Russians. Before Friday, four people, including Trump's former national security adviser and former campaign chairman, had been charged.

According to the indictment, the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, started interfering as early as 2014 in U.S. politics, extending to the 2016 presidential election. The defendants, "posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas," operated social media groups designed to attract U.S. audiences by stealing U.S. identities and falsely claiming to be U.S. activists.

"Over time, these social media accounts became defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system," the indictment reads.

The defendants are charged with conspiring "to obstruct the lawful functions of the United States government through fraud and deceit," including by making expenditures in connection with the 2016 election, failing to register as foreign agents carrying out political activities and obtaining visas through false and fraudulent statements.

Some of the Russians traveled to the United States "under false pretenses" to collect intelligence, and they also used computer infrastructure based partly in the United States to hide the Russian origins of their work.

The indictment says the Internet Research Agency was funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman dubbed "Putin's chef" because his restaurants and catering businesses once hosted the Kremlin leader's dinners with foreign dignitaries. It was also funded by companies he controlled, according to the indictment.

Categories: Ohio News

Mourners line procession route for fallen Westerville officers

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:40

Mourners gathered in front of the Westerville Police Department Friday morning, to watch as the funeral procession for Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli passed.

The plaza in front of the police department has been a gathering spot all week for folks wanting someplace to bring their grief.

Officer Morelli's cruiser is parked there, covered in flowers, mementos, and messages of love and support.

Friday, standing there in respect and support were the Centerburg middle and high school cheerleaders.

Centerburg is where Officer Joering lived with his family- his daughter Eva is a member of the cheer squad.

On this day of such sadness, the squad says there's no place else they should be.

"We wanted her to know that she is loved and that we'll just continue to support her any way we can. She's got 32 girls behind her," said Coach Mandy Gross.

Each of the girls was wearing a blue ribbon in their hair, with the badge numbers and names of Officers Joering and Morelli.

Friday night their support continues- admission to Centerburg's JV and Varsity basketball games will be donation only, with 100 percent of those donations going to the families of these officers.

Categories: Ohio News

How the 6-minute deadly rampage unfolded at Florida school

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:25

PARKLAND, Fla. -- Nikolas Cruz jumped out of an Uber car and walked toward building 12 of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, carrying a black duffel bag and a black backpack. A man inside the school spotted Cruz and knew he was a former student, a troubled kid. He radioed a co-worker, and within a minute heard gunshots.

The 19-year-old was wearing a maroon shirt, black pants and a black hat. The man, whose name was blacked out from a sheriff's affidavit, told detectives Cruz was moving "purposefully."

Cruz slipped into the building, entered a stairwell and extracted a rifle from his bag, authorities said. He shot into four rooms on the first floor -- going back to spray bullets into two of the rooms a second time -- then went upstairs and shot a single victim on the second floor. He ran to the third floor, where according to a timeline released by the Broward County Sheriff's Office, three minutes passed before he dropped the rifle and backpack, ran back down the stairs and quickly blended in with panicked, fleeing students.

Florida State Sen. Bill Galvano, who visited the third floor, said authorities told him it appeared that Cruz tried to fire point-blank out the third-floor windows at students as they were leaving the school, but the windows didn't shatter. Police told Galvano that it was not that difficult to open the windows.

"Thank God he didn't," Galvano said.

From the time Cruz entered the building until the time he left, only six minutes passed. During that brief time, he shot more than two dozen people, including 17 fatally.

After the rampage, he walked to a Wal-Mart and bought a drink at a Subway restaurant, then went to a McDonald's.

About 40 minutes later, a deputy saw him walking down a suburban South Florida street and grabbed him. He didn't put up a fight.

The details of Wednesday's carnage at the Parkland, Florida, high school emerged a day later from witnesses and law enforcement reports.

Among the dead: assistant football coach Aaron Feis, slain while shielding students from bullets; Joaquin Oliver, a student known for his unique look and who once dyed his hair bleach-blonde with tiger stripes; Alyssa Alhadeff, an avid soccer player and student; and 35-year-old geography teacher Scott Beigel, who helped students enter a locked classroom, only to be shot himself.

Among at least 1,000 people attending a candlelight vigil near the school Thursday night, some openly sobbed as the victims' names were read aloud. At one point, people began chanting, "No more guns! No more guns!"

Dressed in the school's red color, some held flowers while others wielded signs asking for action to fight school violence, including gun control.

"Kids don't need guns. No guns under 21," read one sign.

Ernest Rospierski, a teacher at the school, took several bracing breaths at the vigil as he talked to a reporter about the horror in the halls.

"Bang bang bang -- all of a sudden, the shooting stopped," he said. "I looked down. He was reloading. I yelled, 'Run.' And then I ran behind as many kids as I could."

Authorities have not described any specific motive, except to say that Cruz had been kicked out of the high school, which has about 3,000 students and serves an affluent suburb where the median home price is nearly $600,000. Students who knew him described a volatile teenager whose strange behavior had caused others to end friendships.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder after being questioned for hours by state and federal authorities. He was held without bond at a brief court hearing.

Cruz wore an orange jumpsuit with his hands cuffed at his waist. His public defender did not contest the order and had her arm around Cruz during the short appearance. Afterward, she called him a "broken human being."

Cruz was under a suicide watch, said Executive Chief Public Defender Gordon Weekes.

Wednesday's shooting was the 17th incident of gunfire at a U.S. school this year. Of these, one involved a suicide, two involved active shooters who killed students, two involved people killed in arguments and three involved people who were shot but survived. Nine involved no injuries at all.

Officials were investigating whether authorities missed other warning signs about Cruz's potentially violent nature.

He had been expelled from the school for "disciplinary reasons," said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who said he did not know the specifics.

One student said Cruz had been abusive to his ex-girlfriend and that his expulsion was over a fight with her new boyfriend.

Two federal law enforcement officials said the Smith & Wesson M&P15 .223 was purchased legally at Sunrise Tactical Gear in Florida.

Cruz passed a background check and legally purchased the assault weapon in February 2017, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to discuss the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Categories: Ohio News

Next generation of women find inspiration through local organizations

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 08:39

While many women are leading the way in their individual fields, many are also out there paving the way for the generations to come.

The local YWCA is an example of that. It is why they started the Bright Futures Program, which exists to help local female high school juniors explore social change and develop leadership skills.

The group is made up of students at more than 70 central Ohio high schools and meets on Saturdays throughout the spring semester for their workshops.

"I think everything that we can do to empower young leaders and enable them to help them to realize that they have the pwoer to start now," said LC Johnson, director of leadership & social justice programs at the YWCA Columbus. "They don't have to wait until they’re in college."

10TV talked with one of the young participants who was nominated by her school counselor.

"With only one session it has helped me understand more about myself and my worth and what I want to be and what I want to do," said Bariah Brown, a junior at New Albany High School.

Another local organization, TRANSIT ARTS, not only works to empower the next generation, but also helps kids ages 12 to 21 find their inner artist.

"I think it's important everyone receives a voice," said Katerina Harris, a program associate for TRANSIT ARTS. “No one is shut down.”

The message is one Harris learned herself at a young age when she joined TRANSIT ARTS in the 8th grade.

“What I really liked about it is that it is a second home for me,” Harris said.

Now she spends her time helping others feel at home by working through different art mediums, such as painting, music and dance.

“There is a positive environment here. And the young women can come together and be in this space where there is no judgement in how, you know, they dress and how they may act,” Harris said.

While the organization welcomes children of all genders, Harris believes that through art, young women like herself several years ago, can gain something she believes is special.

“Young women are often told to be quiet and the fact that we can, even if they are not as outspoken as others, through their art they’re able to speak as loud as they want to,” Harris said.

For more information on these organizations and others that inspire young women, click here:

Do you know of an organization working to empower the next generation of women? Let us know! Email us at wbnsdesk@10tv.com.

Categories: Ohio News

Did FBI miss a warning before Florida high school shooting?

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 07:54

The massacre at a Florida high school is again raising concerns about whether the FBI missed signs that might have stopped a mass shooting.

Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and video blogger noticed a comment on one of his YouTube videos that said, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." He immediately reported it to YouTube and the FBI and the next day two agents came to his office to take a printout of the comment and ask him whether he knew anything about the person who posted it.

Although the commenter's username was "Nikolas Cruz" — the same name as the 19-year-old man who authorities say killed 17 people at his former high school on Wednesday — the FBI couldn't identify the poster, Robert Lasky, the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Miami, said Thursday.

Federal agents interviewed the man who reported the comment and searched public records databases, actions in line with those done during an FBI assessment — the lowest level, least intrusive and most elementary stage of an FBI inquiry — but came up short. The FBI says it still hasn't conclusively linked the account to the alleged shooter.

Cruz walked into his former high school in Florida with an AR-15 rifle on Wednesday and opened fire, shooting at students and teachers in hallways and on school grounds.

It was the latest attack to raise questions about whether people who once caught the attention of law enforcement should have remained on the FBI's radar. In the last two years, a man who massacred 49 people at an Orlando nightclub, another who set off bombs in the streets of New York City and a third who gunned down travelers at a Florida airport, had each been looked at by federal agents but later determined not to warrant continued law enforcement scrutiny.

FBI assessments are routinely opened after agents received a tip, which could be sparked by something as simple as noticing odd activity in a neighbor's garage or a classmate's comments. Agents routinely face a challenge of sifting through which of the tens of thousands of tips received every year — and more than 10,000 assessments that are opened — could yield a viable threat.

Had agents been able to confirm Cruz was the same person as the YouTube poster, they would have found dozens of photos of rifles, ammunition, targets filled with bullet holes, which likely would have led to a face-to-face interview. The FBI did not notify police in Florida about the post before the mass shooting.

"They owe us some more detail on what they did," retired FBI assistant director Ron Hosko said.

The questions come as the FBI is already under intense scrutiny and facing unprecedented attack from President Donald Trump and some congressional Republicans, who have seized on what they say are signs of anti-Trump bias, particularly as it relates to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.

But it's not clear the agency dropped the ball, in this case, Hosko said.

"With anything that the FBI receives they are constrained to act based on what they have in front of them," said Hosko. "You have a random internet posting that suggests the person wants to do something, not that they are planning on doing something."

FBI guidelines meant to balance national security with civil liberties protections impose restrictions on the steps agents may take during the assessment phase.

Agents, for instance, may analyze information from government databases and open-source internet searches and can conduct interviews during an assessment. But they cannot turn to more intrusive techniques, such as requesting a wiretap or internet communications, without higher levels of approval and a more solid basis to suspect a crime.

"It's a tricky situation because sometimes you get information regarding individuals and they may be just showing off, blustering," said Herbert Cousins Jr., a retired FBI special agent in charge.

A vague, uncorroborated threat alone may not be enough to proceed to the next level of investigation, according to Jeffrey Ringel, a former FBI agent and Joint Terrorism Task force supervisor who now works for the Soufan Group, a private security firm.

Many assessments are closed within days or weeks when the FBI concludes there's no criminal or national security threat, or basis for continued scrutiny. The system is meant to ensure that a person who has not broken the law does not remain under perpetual scrutiny on a mere hunch — and that the FBI can reserve its scarce resources for true threats.

Had he had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic state, for example, investigators might have had enough evidence to proceed with a more intrusive probe.

Tips like the one that came in about the Florida gunman are among countless complaints that come into the FBI daily with varying degrees of specificity.

"How many of these do you expect the FBI to handle before it becomes the Federal Bureau of Complaints," said Hosko. "They could spend their entire workforce tracking down internet exchanges that never going to go anywhere."

Categories: Ohio News

Romney makes it official: He's running for Utah Senate seat

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 06:42

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Mitt Romney is trying for a political comeback as he launches a Senate campaign in Utah.

The former presidential nominee made his campaign official Friday in an online video after a delaying his launch following a deadly shooting at a Florida high school.

Romney is considered a heavy favorite for the Senate seat held by Orrin Hatch. The longtime Republican senator is retiring.

Romney has been a persistent critic of President Donald Trump, but those close to Romney say he'll focus his campaign instead on Utah.

They say Romney will suggest Washington has much to learn from the state the former Massachusetts governor now calls home. Romney is well-known in Utah for having managed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. His 2012 presidential bid was lost to incumbent Barack Obama.

Categories: Ohio News

Russian cargo ship docks at International Space Station

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 04:28

An unmanned Russian cargo ship has docked successfully at the International Space Station, delivering a fresh batch of supplies for the crew.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos said the Progress spacecraft moored at the station Thursday in automatic mode, bringing 2.7 metric tons (3 tons) of food, fuel and instruments. It was launched Tuesday from the Russian space complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The launch initially set for Sunday was postponed at the very last minute due to an unspecified glitch. And instead of the original plan to test a new regime for docking less than four hours after launch, it performed a standard two-day approach maneuver.

There are six astronauts aboard the space station — three Americans, two Russians and one from Japan.

Categories: Ohio News

1 man killed after multi-vehicle crash in Logan County

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 04:14

LOGAN COUNTY - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash in Logan County.

The crash happened at 3:40 p.m. on Thursday on State Route 347 at U.S. Route 33.

Billy Cowan, 57, was traveling eastbound on US-33, exiting onto SR-347 when he did not yield at a stop sign, police say.

Thomas Klopfenstein, 50, was driving northbound on SR-347 when he struck Cowan's vehicle.

Cowan's vehicle continued into the southbound lane of SR-347, where Melissa Ragland, 38, struck him with her vehicle.

Neither Klopfenstein nor Ragland suffered any injuries.

Emergency responders took Cowan to Union County Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Police say they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

Police are still investigating the incident.

Categories: Ohio News

Comedienne Amy Schumer ties the knot

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 03:32

Amy Schumer has tied the knot with chef Chris Fischer.

People magazine says the two wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, California, on Tuesday. The magazine says Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Lawrence and Larry David were among the approximately 80 guests.

The "Trainwreck" star shared photos of the nuptials Thursday on Instagram, complete with a tutu-wearing pooch on her aisle. She jokes that she's "not pregnant" and no gifts "but thank you for asking." She urges people to consider making donations to support gun safety in the aftermath of the latest deadly school shooting, in Florida.

Schumer and her new guy only just made their relationship social media official with a smooch photo Sunday on Instagram. Rumors first popped up last November when the two were photographed together.


A post shared by @ amyschumer on Feb 15, 2018 at 8:53am PST

Categories: Ohio News

Cleveland and Canton combo bid named as finalist to host NFL draft

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 03:25

The NFL has named five sites as finalists to host the NFL draft in either 2019 or 2020.

Finalists to host either the 2019 or 2020 draft include Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Nashville, Tennessee; as well as a combined entry of Cleveland and Canton, Ohio. Canton is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Representatives for each site will offer presentations before the final selections are made in May at the NFL spring meetings in Atlanta.

The draft historically had taken place in New York each year, but the league plans to move it around since it went to Chicago in 2015 and 2016 before moving to Philadelphia last year.

This year's draft is taking place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Categories: Ohio News

Forecast: Flooding possible as heavy rain soaks area

Channel 10 news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 02:57

Today: Rain early with some breaks in the clouds later today. Breezy with falling temps. High 41 (early). Winds: NW 10-15 G25 mph.
Tonight: Partly cloudy and cold. Low 24. Winds: Light and variable.
Tomorrow: Clouds build with a rain/snow mix possible late, especially in the south & SE. High 40. Winds: SSE 4-8 mph.
Sunday: Partly cloudy and mild. High 48. Winds: S 4-8 mph.

Weather Resources: Interactive Radar | Weather Warnings | Live Radar | School closings, delays

Special Information: Rain will move out through the morning on Friday but the commute will be a little wet, especially for early risers. We’ll hit our highs early today and temps will fall into the 30s this afternoon. It’ll be breezy today and we’ll see some breaks in the clouds later today. Tonight will be partly cloudy and cold. Clouds build on Saturday with seasonable highs and the chance for a rain/snow mix in the afternoon, especially in the south and SE. Sunday will be partly cloudy and mild with highs in the upper 40s. Rain returns on Monday with highs near 60. We’ll see the upper 60s on Tuesday with more rain. Rain continues on Wednesday and flooding will be possible again by midweek.

Categories: Ohio News

Carr, Watkins lead Penn State over No. 8 Ohio State

Channel 10 news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 21:24

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Tony Carr scored 30 points and Penn State routed No. 8 Ohio State 79-56 on Thursday night to sweep the Buckeyes.

Mike Watkins added 11 points and 10 rebounds for his tenth double-double of the season, and Shep Garner and Josh Reaves added 13 and 10 points apiece for the Nittany Lions (19-9, 9-6 Big Ten), who won their sixth in seven tries since beating the Buckeyes in Columbus on Jan. 25.

C.J. Jackson led Ohio State (22-6, 13-2) with 13 points and Keita Bates-Diop added 10 for the Buckeyes, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

The Nittany Lions took control in the first half with a 12-0 run over 5:06 as the Buckeyes went 0-for-5 in that span.

Carr tossed an alley-oop Watkins' way and the forward jammed home the run's second basket to give Penn State the lead for good just 3:20 in.

Penn State added a pair of 7-0 runs and a 6-0 spurt later in the half and Carr buried an awkward layup off a full-court inbounds pass and an ensuing free throw to give Penn State a 45-21 halftime lead.

The Buckeyes trailed by as many as 30 early in the second but used an 18-4 run to cut Penn State's lead to 16 with 10:32 to play. Bates-Diop hit a 3-pointer to pull the Buckeyes to 58-42 but they wouldn't get any closer.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes entered a half game up on No. 2 Michigan State in the Big Ten standings and a 1½ ahead of No. 6 Purdue with the head-to-head tiebreaker over both. The Boilermakers fell to Wisconsin on Thursday, so they didn't gain any ground. But the Buckeyes' lead isn't safe with three games left, especially if they shoot as poorly as they did inside the Bryce Jordan Center where they made just 28 percent of their field goals over the first 20 minutes.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions controlled this game from the opening tip thanks to stingy defense that turned into opportunistic offense. They improved to 2-2 against ranked teams this season. Now, the Nittany Lions will have a chance to beat ranked foes in back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 2011 when the Nittany Lions beat No. 18 Michigan State and No. 16 Illinois consecutively.


Ohio State: Travels to No. 22 Michigan on Sunday.

Penn State: Visits No. 6 Purdue on Sunday.

Categories: Ohio News

Domestic violence experts believe Westerville officers saved a victim

Channel 10 news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 19:40

The man charged with the murders of Officer Joering and Officer Morelli has a history of domestic violence and threatening behavior.

Westerville police have responded to Quentin Smith's apartment several times before.

Experts who help domestic violence victims say they believe the officers saved a life.

"It's hard to put into words. Also knowing that the danger that that victim was in. In some ways they saved her, although I hate that it came at the price of their own lives," Sue Vilillo said.

Sue Vilillo is the Executive Director of Lutheran Social Services Faith Mission and CHOICES.

"The Westerville officers were well known and respected in this community so the loss is almost unimaginable I think," Vilillo said.

They answer the call for help, no matter the cost.

"It's actually police protocol. When they go out on a domestic violence call, if it's intimate partner violence, they do what's called a lethality screen," Vilillo said.

Officers Joering and Morelli didn't get that far when they arrived at Quentin Smith's apartment.

"If the victim screens in as high danger, which means they're likely to be killed or seriously harmed by their partner, they immediately on the crime scene call our hotline at CHOICES," Vilillo said.

CHOICES is the only domestic violence shelter in Columbus.

Vilillo says its seen a spike in those calls over the last 48 hours.

"Once an incident like this occurs it helps victims realize exactly how dangerous their situations could be," Vilillo said.

Vilillo says there are signs for potential victims to look for.

"Your partner starts to control your life, have power over you, monitors your phone call, or where you go, won't let you interact with people, maybe cuts you off from family members. Starts kind of eating away at your general self-esteem, maybe name-calling. Things like that often happen before the physical abuse starts," Vilillo said.

She says to reach out for help because you could be in an abusive relationship that might escalate.

Officer Eric Joering and Officer Anthony Morelli responded to a 911 hang-up call on Saturday.

Both men lost their lives, but domestic violence experts believe they died saving a victim.

"One of the things we have to understand, victims of domestic violence are victims and that is a tough situation to be in. We support victims of domestic violence," Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said.

Because first responders will always answer that call for help no matter what.

"The world is ever changing. Every day a police officer or a firefighter goes to work, they may not come home," Chief Morbitzer said.

Vilillo says CHOICES is over capacity, but a larger shelter is being built to meet the demand for help.

It's expected to open by the end of the year.

If you or someone you know might be in a domestic violence relationship the CHOICES hotline number is 614-224-4663.

Here are other domestic violence resources:

Categories: Ohio News

West Liberty-Salem superintendent talks safety improvements since 2017 shooting

Channel 10 news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 19:28

It was a day Kraig Hissong and his district will always remember.

"Yes," he said. "Very much so."

January 20, 2017. It was the day West Liberty-Salem High School student Ely Serna allegedly brought a shotgun to school and opened fire.

"I think the first six shots were probably fired within 10 seconds," he said.

Serna allegedly shot two students. Both survived.

Hissong says in less than two minutes his K-12 building, about 1,200 students, had been evacuated. It was something students, teachers and staff had trained for.

"We never realized then just how important it would be," Hissong said. "We did it because we thought it was the right thing to do, thinking [it was] better to talk about it than not to talk about it. Little did we know how much impact it would have."

Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida made Hissong feel an unparalleled sympathy.

"You immediately feel like you want to reach out and help," he said. "That's the first thing I think that I feel when I see it."

He wants to reach out to support those in need and tell those families that it will get better.

"Their staff and their students and everybody involved are trying to figure out what's the next step and what do we do now," he said.

In Ohio, Hissong has partnered with the Ohio Department of Public Safety in a video that was sent to every school district in the state last week.

It talks about the importance of preparing, taking action and having a recovery plan for immediately after an active shooter situation.

"One thing that we realized was that seconds matter," he said.

Hissong says schools need to invest.

Following the shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School, Hissong says the district has spent about $100,000 on better safety measures like easy-to-use and clear door locks.

During the shooting, he says students had to barricade the doors shut. Today, they have 'lock downs' for every door that prevent them from opening.

On Jan. 20, 2017, students had to bust out windows for another exit. Today, they have egress windows.

And, every window in the building now has a bullet-resistant film.

"I think if you don't have these in your building, you should definitely budget for them," Hissong said.

He says you learn by living. And, although he and his school feel safer, they know what happened last year will always be with them.

"Just like any major event where there's some type of shock and trauma involved, I don't think we'll probably ever forget it," Hissong said. "I mean, it's something that will be there."

Serna is charged with attempted murder and other offenses. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio ban on abortions due to Down syndrome challenged in lawsuit

Channel 10 news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:26

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging an Ohio law prohibiting doctors from performing abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, saying claims it is an anti-discrimination effort are a masquerade.

The suit against the state Health Department, state medical board and county prosecutors charged with carrying out the 2017 law was filed in federal court in Cincinnati on behalf of Preterm in Cleveland, Planned Parenthood and other Ohio abortion providers.

The filing calls the measure "Ohio's latest attempt to prevent women from exercising their constitutionally protected right to an abortion" and argues it prevents abortion providers "from providing nonjudgmental, medically appropriate care."

"The government cannot deny a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy pre-viability," ACLU legal director Freda Levenson said at a news conference in Columbus announcing the suit. "It is a woman's protected, intimate, personal choice and it's her protected liberty. The Supreme Court has said that the state cannot enter this private realm of family life or infringe on this liberty."

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the law in December. It's scheduled to take effect March 23. The ACLU has requested both a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction against the law to keep it from taking effect.

The prohibition makes it a crime for a doctor to terminate a pregnancy based on knowledge of Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that causes developmental delays and medical conditions such as heart defects and respiratory and hearing problems.

Specifically, the law makes performing an abortion in such cases a fourth-degree felony and requires the state medical board to revoke the physician's license if convicted. It imposes no punishment on women seeking the procedure in such cases.

The law was championed by Ohio Right to Life, the state's oldest and largest anti-abortion group, which argued it will prevent discrimination based on misinformation.

The group's president, Mike Gonidakis, said Thursday that the ACLU's decision to challenge the law goes against its mission.

"The ACLU of Ohio claims on their website that they 'seek to preserve civil liberties for each new generation,'" he said in a statement. "Their blatant and continuous attacks on the dignity and sanctity of human life make it clear that they do not care for the youngest of each new generation: the unborn."

Emily Chesnut, of Cincinnati, whose 6-year-old daughter, Nora, was born with Down syndrome, joined plaintiffs in the case at Thursday's news conference to attack the law. Nora joined her mother at the event.

"When they signed this bill, Governor Kasich and state legislators used my child as a political tool to promote their own agenda," Chesnut told reporters. "They don't care about Nora. If they did, they would be using their valuable time to ensure that every child born with Down syndrome has what they need to live a healthy, full life." She named affordable health care coverage and accessible therapy treatments among those necessities.

North Dakota and Indiana were ahead of Ohio in passing similar restrictions.

The Indiana law, enacted in 2016, has been blocked by a federal judge, who said the state has no right to limit women's reasons for terminating pregnancies. The state has appealed.

North Dakota's law went into effect in 2013 and has not been challenged. That state's sole abortion clinic, in Fargo, says the issue hasn't arisen under its policy of not performing abortions after 16 weeks into a pregnancy.

A bill similar to Ohio's is moving through the Utah Legislature.

Categories: Ohio News

SWAT responds to homicide scene in east Columbus; 1 in custody

Channel 10 news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:03

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Division of Police SWAT team was called to a home in east Columbus Thursday afternoon.

SWAT was called to the scene on Chinaberry Drive after someone was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Police could not confirm exactly how the victim was injured.

Police on the scene confirmed to 10TV they are now investigating a homicide after a female died.

Police said one person was taken into custody after a nearly three-hour standoff.

Stay with 10TV.com for updates on this developing story.

Categories: Ohio News


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