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Welding sparks fire to airplane at John Glenn Columbus International Airport

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 03:21

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Firefighters were called to an airplane hangar at John Glenn Columbus International Airport at 4:12 a.m. Thursday.

Crews arrived to find smoke coming from a Delta airplane inside the building, according to a Columbus Fire chief on the scene.

The building located in the 4300 block of East 5th Avenue, was evacuated due to chemicals on the airplane and inside the hanger.

Columbus Division of Fire Chief said it appears welders working on the front portion of the aircraft caused the plane to catch fire.

Officials say firefighters were quickly able to put the fire out.

This incident remains under investigation.

Categories: Ohio News

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern gives birth

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 00:55

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday and posted a message welcoming the healthy newborn "to our village."

She is the second elected world leader to give birth while holding office after late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who gave birth to daughter Bakhtawar in 1990.

Ardern distributed a photo showing her and partner Clarke Gayford with the baby at Auckland City Hospital. The girl arrived at 4:45 p.m. weighing 3.3 kilograms (7.3 pounds).

"Welcome to our village wee one," Ardern wrote in the caption on Instagram. "Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl."

She thanked everyone for their kindness and wishes. "We're all doing really well," she wrote.

Ardern's pregnancy has been followed around the world, with many hoping the 37-year-old will become a role model for combining motherhood with political leadership.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said in an email to The Associated Press that it was a very happy day for Ardern and Gayford and that New Zealanders had taken the news of the pregnancy in their stride.

"This is a sign of our maturity as a country and its acceptance that combining career and family is a choice which women are free to make," she wrote. "Let's also celebrate Clarke as a modern man who is happy to be the full time parent of a young child."

The former prime minister said attitudes had changed since she'd entered politics and that was a good thing.

"For New Zealand, these events and the way our country has greeted them will be seen as inspirational by all who advocate for gender equality and women's empowerment," Clark wrote.

Jennifer Curtin, a professor of politics at the University of Auckland, said there was symbolic importance in Ardern giving birth, in that it showed political parties around the world that it was fine to have younger women as candidates.

She said women often tended to be older when they entered politics. She said in other fields, women have been combining motherhood and paid work for decades, but it has only recently become more manageable thanks to paid parental leave.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has taken over as acting prime minister. Ardern plans to take six weeks of leave before returning to work.

Under the arrangement, Ardern will still be consulted on major decisions, including issues of national security. She has said she's confident the government will continue to run smoothly in her absence.

She said that after the birth, she hoped to have some quiet time to enjoy as a family.

Asked earlier this month how the couple had been faring in their quest to choose a baby name, Ardern responded: "Terribly. Do you have any suggestions?"

Welcome to our village wee one. Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb) Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness. We're all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital.

A post shared by Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) on Jun 20, 2018 at 11:14pm PDT

Categories: Ohio News

Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 00:29
A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student-athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.

Ohio State employment records reviewed by The Associated Press indicate Richard Strauss worked at five schools in the decade between leaving the Navy as a submarine medicine instructor and joining the university in Columbus in 1978.

Strauss researched, taught or practiced medicine at Harvard University, Rutgers University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii, according to his resume.

He "remained within the academic community, acting as a part-time team physician at the universities with which I have been associated," according to a note from Strauss in 1980, around the time he was being considered for a leadership appointment in sports medicine at Ohio State. He didn't specify which teams with which he worked or in what capacity.

When contacted by the AP, most of the other schools in Strauss' work history would say or knew little about any ties to him or whether they were reviewing his work and affiliations.

There is no standard response when schools learn a former employee was later accused of abuse, said Djuna Perkins, a lawyer who has conducted sexual misconduct investigations at dozens of universities. Some schools might investigate to ease any concerns, she said, but some might not see the value in that if no accuser has come forward at the institution.

"It would be typical to at least take a preliminary look to see, was this guy here? Did he have contact with students? And then if he did, was there anything we can do about it or should do about it?" she said.

On the other hand, she said, some schools might think, "Why take huge steps and get everyone rattled if in fact there is nothing?"

In such situations, lawyers would probably advise the school where allegations were raised not to notify other employers of the accused, because such issues are seen as personnel matters and not typically shared, Perkins said.

A spokesman for Ohio State wouldn't comment on whether it has contacted Strauss' other listed employers.

But Ohio State has done other outreach, emailing student-athletes and other alumni from the mid-1970s to 2001 to ask that anyone with information contact investigators from Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.

According to his resume, Strauss did postdoctoral research in physiology at Washington from 1968-1970 and volunteered at a free clinic in Seattle; taught physiology at Penn between 1970-72 and worked at its hospital's hyperbaric therapy service; and then taught physiology at Hawaii from 1972-74 and was a physician for a clinic in that state.

The resume says he was a medical resident at Rutgers from 1974-75; a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School and Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital from 1975-77; and a fellow in sports medicine at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston before becoming an Ohio State assistant professor.

The resume also lists him as a "physician for university diving activities" at Washington and Hawaii. Spokeswomen for those schools couldn't provide further information this week about those activities or his work, and didn't address questions about whether their schools are reviewing connections to Strauss.

Penn didn't respond to a similar inquiry.

Rutgers hasn't found any record of Strauss having been an employee or medical resident there, spokesman John Cramer said. Rutgers isn't aware of any concerns raised about Strauss, he said.

Spokespeople for Harvard Medical School and what is now Brigham and Women's Hospital said they couldn't provide further information about Strauss' work or whether any concerns were raised about him. Harvard spokeswomen wouldn't say whether his past is being investigated there.

A spokeswoman at the University of Chicago, where Strauss graduated from medical school in 1964, also wouldn't comment.

Strauss' personnel file doesn't indicate whether Ohio State was aware of alleged sexual misconduct. It includes employment- and tenure-related letters in which colleagues praise him as a well-known educator and productive author of articles in his field.

In one letter in early 1984, the dean of the medical college at the time, Manuel Tzagournis, characterized Strauss as "an outstanding individual in every sense" and noted: "Since meeting Dr. Strauss I have never once considered questioning his integrity nor his professional abilities."

Tzagournis didn't respond to phone and email messages left for him at Ohio State, where he has an emeritus position.

Ohio State hasn't disclosed exactly how many people have raised allegations about Strauss or details about those claims. Reports of alleged misconduct have come from male athletes affiliated with 14 sports: baseball, cheerleading, cross country, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling.

There are also allegations related to Strauss' private, off-campus medical office in Columbus, according to a law firm representing the university.

Ohio State said independent investigators have conducted or scheduled more than 130 interviews with people who reported having relevant information.

The Associated Press hasn't been able to locate relatives who could be asked about the allegations against Strauss, whose 2005 death in Los Angeles was ruled a suicide.

The Strauss investigation comes as universities face heightened attention about the handling of sexual misconduct allegations following the case of former campus sports doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University, which recently agreed to a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said Nassar sexually assaulted them.

Strauss had a Michigan State link, too. He said he earned his bachelor's degree there in chemistry in 1960, decades before Nassar attended and worked at MSU.
Categories: Ohio News

Head-on crash kills woman in Union Township

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 20:37

UNION TOWNSHIP - The Granville Post with the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash in Union Township.

It happened on State Route 37 just north of US-40 around 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Alan Schubert, 48, of Somerset, was driving a Jeep Cherokee going southbound on SR-37. A Chrysler 200 driven by Kristen Bergund, 34 of Columbus, was driving northbound on SR 37. Schubert went left of center and struck Bergund's vehicle head-on causing her vehicle to go off the side of the road.

Bergund was pronounced dead at scene.

Schubert was taken to a local hospital.

Bergund and Schubert were both wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

The crash remains under investigation.

Categories: Ohio News

Gahanna Girl Scout troop helps build nature park

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 19:57

Girl scouts in Gahanna say they aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.

Troop 678 spent more than a year helping build a brand new park for the community.

"It feels really good that it's all done and how much work we've put into it," troop member Makenzie Fabing said.

For Troop 678, a vine cutting ceremony Wednesday night meant a whole lot.

"There's so much stuff to do and it's not just like come here for a couple minutes, you can be here for a long time," Fabing said.

These Gahanna Girl Scouts helped build this nature park.

In fact, they came up with the idea.

"It's the best project that we've been part of in the last 7 years that I've worked in Parks and Rec this is the coolest thing we've ever done," Gahanna Parks and Recreation Specialist Zac Guthrie said.

The troop partnered with the city and with help from volunteers and donors they turned a half acre lot filled with poison ivy into a green space.

"People think girl scouts are more girly girl, but we get our hands dirty," Fabing said.

The Woodside Green Nature Play & Explore park has an obstacle course, tunnels, fort building, climbing and much more.

"There's a Big Walnut Creek is right beside us, we have miles of connected trail, so it's really inviting people to get outside and play and that was really the girl scouts vision too is get out and come out and play," Guthrie said.

The park is meant to get the community outside and explore.

"I think it's gonna be a really good, uhm, new area in Gahanna," Fabing said.

The green space took more than a year to piece together.

The girl scouts enjoyed every minute.

"I loved working with them to make it actually happen and it was a great time," Fabing said.

Now that it's done families can play here for years to come.

Girl Scout Troop 678 earned its Bronze Award for building the park.

Categories: Ohio News

Road to Recovery: An update from Chris Bradley | June 20

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 19:18

10TV Chief Meteorologist Chris Bradley shared an update on his treatment and road to recovery on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, Chris said the numbers in his leukemia test results have dropped from 43 percent to 20 percent this month.

Chris says he needs the numbers to drop below 5 percent to move on to his bone marrow transplant.

"Keep those prayers coming! They are working!" Chris wrote in his post.

In March of 2017, Chris was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He recently learned he was no longer in remission after undergoing a stem cell transplant.

Categories: Ohio News

Man wanted in connection with string of burglaries in southern Ohio

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:25

An Ohio man with a very distinctive face tattoo is wanted in a string of burglaries.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office said Anthony “Popeye” Ward has felony warrant through Brown County and is wanted for questioning in several breaking and enterings.

The sheriff’s office said Ward is traveling with a woman named Dottie Worthington and are driving a Black Chevy Cruz.

The lower half of Ward’s face his covered by a tattoo resembling the bite mask worn by Anthony Hopkins in ‘Silence of the Lambs.’

Anyone that knows there location contact the Brown County Sheriffs Office 937-378-4435 or the Adams County Sheriffs Office at 937-544-2314.

Categories: Ohio News

Mother of 4-year-old boy arrested, admits she dumped body

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:06

DALLAS (AP) — The mother of a 4-year-old boy whose naked body was found on a South Texas beach last year admitted to authorities that she beat him and denied him medical care after he suffered a head injury from running into a wall, then drove to Galveston in the middle of the night and dumped the body in the water, according to court documents.

Galveston police identified the child as Jayden Alexander Lopez. Authorities had named him "Little Jacob" after no one came forward to report him missing.

Galveston police chief Vernon Hale announced Wednesday that the child's mother, Rebecca Rivera, and her girlfriend Dania Amezquita-Gomez, had been arrested and charged with fabricating or tampering with physical evidence.

An affidavit says Rivera, in an interview on Tuesday, told authorities she woke up in the middle of the night after her son had died, carried his body to her vehicle and drove to Galveston with her other young child and Amezquita-Gomez.

According to an affidavit, she said she put her dead son into the water because he went to the beach previously and he liked the water.

Last month, in an interview with authorities, Amezquita-Gomez acknowledged being in the vehicle but did not give any other details about where they went or about the dead child being in the vehicle, according to the affidavit. She reported being too drunk to remember the details.

Rivera admitted that she abused the boy, saying "she was stressed out and took this out on Jayden by striking him with 'whatever I could find,'" according to the court documents.

Rivera told authorities that about two weeks before the boy's death, he had bumped into a wall, causing a head injury. Rivera told police she used alcohol to clean the injury but she and her girlfriend began to argue, causing the alcohol to spill onto the child's face.

According to the court documents, she said her child's face started to swell, and over the next two weeks his health "deteriorated." He reportedly complained of stomach aches and became visibly more lethargic, the mother told police.

Rivera also told police her girlfriend blamed the child for problems in the couple's relationship, the affidavit says.

Jail records did not list attorneys for either woman.

Bryan Gaines, a supervisory senior resident agent with the FBI, called the crime "appalling" at a press conference Wednesday announcing the arrests.

"No one reported Jayden as missing. No one was looking for Jayden. Jayden had no advocate other than us," he said. "Someone took a beautiful, innocent child and discarded him in the ocean as if he was a piece of trash."

Investigators made the unusual move of releasing a photo of the face of the dead boy earlier this year, hoping it would generate new leads about his identity. Authorities had previously released a sketch of the child with a phone number to call with tips. Police on Wednesday said tips led to a possible name for the boy and a DNA comparison led to the positive identification.

Lois Gibson, the forensic artist who created the sketch, said she was at home when she heard news of a break in the case.

"I cried, I cried with relief," said Gibson, who works as forensic artist at the Houston Police Department.

Categories: Ohio News

Gun groups prepare to file suit against Columbus, Cincinnati for "unlawful" gun laws

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:03

Two pro gun groups in Central Ohio are filing suit against the city of Columbus for what the city calls "common sense" gun laws.

Columbus City Council passed the legislation in April and it took effect last week. The laws implement stricter gun legislation that ban bump stocks and firearms accessories, prohibit the sale of imitation guns to minors, better protect domestic violence victims and ban gun sales in neighborhoods.

The two groups taking action are Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

10TV has learned the groups are asking for a preliminary injunction against the new laws, as well as a temporary restraining order.

The groups are arguing two main points:

  • It's unlawful to ban bump stocks because of Ohio's Code 9.68 that gives people the right to, in part, keep any firearm, part of a firearm, it's components and ammunition. The groups say bump stocks are considered components.
  • Part of the law takes certain state and federal felonies, like possessing firearms if you've been convicted of a crime, and turns them into misdemeanors.

The groups also say it's an inappropriate and unlawful expenditure of Columbus city funds to implement these new laws. They are looking for a ruling saying the laws are unlawful and they are looking to be compensated by the city of Columbus for legal fees.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Buckeye Firearms Association are also filing suit in Cincinnati due to the city's similar legislation on bump stocks.

Categories: Ohio News

Facebook campaign to help separated children seeks $1,500, raises $13 million

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 17:52

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In an outpouring of concern prompted by images and audio of children crying for their parents, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are donating to nonprofit organizations to help families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Among those that have generated the most attention is a fundraiser on Facebook started by a Silicon Valley couple, who say they felt compelled to help after they saw a photograph of a Honduran toddler sobbing as her mother was searched by a U.S. border patrol agent. The fundraiser started by David and Charlotte Willner had collected more than $13 million by Wednesday afternoon.

The Willners, who have a 2-year-old daughter, set up the "Reunite an immigrant parent with their child" fundraiser on Saturday hoping to collect $1,500 — enough for one detained immigrant parent to post bond — but money began pouring in and within days people had donated $5 million to help immigrant families separated under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally.

"What started out as a hope to help one person get reunited with their family has turned into a movement that will help countless people," the couple said in a statement released by a spokeswoman Wednesday. The couple, who were early employees at Facebook, declined to be interviewed. "Regardless of political party, so many of us are distraught over children being separated from their parents at the border."

The money collected from more than 300,000 people in the United States and around the world will be given to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, a Texas nonprofit that that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.

After days of mounting pressure, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the process of separating children from families at the border. The order keeps families together while they are in custody, expedites their cases, and asks the Department of Defense to help house them but it is not clear what will happen to the families who have already been separated.

"The photos of the little girl crying while her mother is body searched/removing her shoe laces has rocked me to my core," Natalia Barnes, of New Zealand, wrote on RAICES's Facebook page. "Please tell us you will be able to reunite that baby with her mother!!"

RAICES said Wednesday it will use the funds not only to reunite families and provide legal services, but to start a joint reunification fund for the more than 2,300 migrant children that have been separated from their families at the border with Mexico since May.

"We've been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals," RAICES wrote on Facebook. "This is such a profound rejection of the cruel policies of this administration. Take heart."

Donations have also been pouring in at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has focused on defending immigrant families, said Mark Wier, the ACLU's chief development officer.

The ACLU has raised $2.5 million online from more than 40,000 people since June 14, when celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend donated $72,000 each to the organization in honor of Trump's 72nd birthday.

"We've also seen people launch more than 200 peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on the ACLU's website alone," he said.

The outpouring is similar to the promulgation of the Trump administration's first so-called Muslim ban in January 2017, when the ACLU received $24 million in online donations in two days, Wier said.

RAICES, which has 50 lawyers, said it also plans to hire more attorneys, train more volunteers and even set up a network of therapists and psychologists to help children when they leave detention, Jenny Hixon, RAICES's development director, told the Washington Post.

"It's not just the funding. We're getting literally thousands of people contacting us, wanting to volunteer. Many are like, 'I'll come to Texas,'" Hixon said.

Markus Klofelt, a father of two from Stockholm, Sweden, said he felt compelled to help after seeing his Facebook newsfeed filled with news about families being torn apart.

"As parents and out of humanity and morality, we felt we needed to be part of this campaign," Klofelt said.

The technology consultant said the news in Sweden has also been overwhelmingly about what is happening in the United States even though Europe is also struggling to deal with an influx of refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

Categories: Ohio News

Canada becomes second nation to legalize marijuana

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 17:33

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on Tuesday, legislation that will make Canada only the second country in the world to make pot legal across the country.

Trudeau said provincial and territorial governments need the time to prepare for retail sales.

"It is our hope as of October 17 there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion," Trudeau said.

The prime minister said at a news conference that the goal is to take a significant part of the market share away from organized crime.

"Over the following months and indeed years we will completely replace or almost completely replace the organized crime market on that," he said.

Canada is following the lead of Uruguay in allowing a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is working up its own rules for pot sales. The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern the cannabis trade.

"The legislation is transformative," said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, adding it "marks a wholesale shift in how our country approaches cannabis, leaving behind a failed model of prohibition."

She urged Canadians to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force.

"The law still remains the law," Wilson-Raybould said.

Many questions remain unanswered, including how police will test motorists suspected of driving under the influence, what to do about those with prior marijuana convictions and just how the rules governing home cultivation will work.

The Canadian provinces of Quebec and Manitoba have already decided to ban home-grown pot, even though the federal bill specifies that individuals can grow up to four plants per dwelling.

"Provinces can set their own laws. If individuals are challenging that law, they can challenge it," Wilson-Raybould said.

Trudeau said the government won't discuss pardons of past convictions until legalization is in effect.

"There's no point looking at pardons while the old law is in the books," Trudeau said.

Trudeau said they are going to treat it like wine and tobacco, noting that few people will cultivate it at home, but it's necessary to fight organized crime.

Trudeau promised to legalize it during the 2015 election and had set a goal of July 1 for it. The provinces pleaded for more time.

Canadian marijuana stocks have rallied in anticipation of legalization and jumped again on Wednesday.

In the neighboring U.S., nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana. California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan. 1.

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by marijuana advocates in the U.S.

Don Hartleben, who manages Dank of America, a retail cannabis store just south of the border in Blaine, Washington, said Canada's legalization was not only politically exciting, but a potential business boon for him.

Many of his customers are Canadian tourists who are terrified of trying to bring pot across the border, he said. If more use marijuana when they're in Canada, more will use when they're on vacation in the states.

"People ask me all the time, 'Isn't legalization in Canada going to hurt your business?'" he said. "I tell them, 'No! The more it's legal, the more people are going to feel safe to buy my product.'"

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus City Council holds hearing on aggressive panhandling

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:37

Columbus City Council is looking to impose legislation that would address the issue of aggressive panhandling.

On Wednesday, members of council gave members of the community a chance to offer feedback on proposed legislation that was based on community input from a March 2018 hearing.

The new legislation enforces the following:

  • Knowingly touching or grabbing another person or their property without consent, while attempting to engage in distribution
  • Knowingly following another person while attempting to engage in distribution after receiving affirmative communication that the person is unwilling/unable to participate
  • Coming within 3 feet of an individual actively using an ATM
  • Obstructing a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, hallway, entrance, or exit to which the public has a reasonable expectation of passage

Columbus police say panhandling and aggressive panhandling has increased, and the opioid crisis is a contributing factor.

“This ordinance doesn't ban panhandling it adds provisions,” Columbus City Council Pro Tem Michael Stinziano said.

“I think it's important that people feel safe in their neighborhoods and they don't feel like they are be aggressively addressed.”

Columbus City Council is slated to vote on the new ordinance Monday.

Categories: Ohio News

NTSB: Plane carrying Dublin family gave several warnings before crash into Lake Erie

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:51

CLEVELAND (AP) - The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a report saying the plane that crashed into Lake Erie off Cleveland killing all six people onboard issued multiple warnings about the aircraft's altitude.

The plane piloted by Columbus beverage executive John Fleming crashed in December 2016 shortly after takeoff from Burke Lakefront Airport near downtown Cleveland.

Fleming's wife, two teenage sons and two family friends were also on the plane during a planned return flight to Columbus after a Cleveland Cavaliers game.

The NTSB report issued Wednesday said the plane's enhanced ground proximity warning system gave numerous alerts to pull up followed by a warning that the plane was traveling too fast.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss says an official report about what caused the crash will be issued at a later date.

Categories: Ohio News

Upper Arlington homes evacuated after gas line break

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:43

Several homes in Upper Arlington have been evacuated because of a gas line break.

Officials said the break happened on a 10-inch gas line on Brandon Road, between Ridgeview and Northam. The road is currently closed.

Columbia Gas crews are on the scene. The city said repairs could take longer than expected after a first attempt to plug the line was unsuccessful.

As a precaution, the Upper Arlington Senior Center located at 1945 Ridgeview Road will be available for residents if needed.

If any residents need assistance with this incidence, they can call our non-emergency line at 614-451-9700.

Categories: Ohio News

2 airlines ask US not to put migrant children on flights

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:27

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines and United Airlines say they have asked the Trump administration not to use their flights to carry migrant children who have been separated from their parents.

Both airlines said that the administration's recent immigration policy of separating migrant families conflicts with their values.

"We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it," American said in a statement.

United issued a statement in which CEO Oscar Munoz said the company's purpose is to connect people. "This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it," he said.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department criticized the airlines in strong terms, accusing them of no longer wanting to help the agency protect the traveling public and reunite unaccompanied illegal immigrant children with their families.

"Despite being provided facts on this issue, these airlines clearly do not understand our immigration laws," the spokesman, Tyler Houlton, said in a statement. He accused the airlines of "buckling to a false media narrative."

On Wednesday, things shifted again when President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the southern border, saying at the White House that he doesn't like the sight of children being separated from their families. But he added that the "zero tolerance" policy will continue.

The White House announced its zero-tolerance policy toward undocumented migrants in early May. Since then, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the southwestern border, leading to a spike in the number of young children under government care. However, most of the unaccompanied minors in the custody of U.S. authorities arrived at the border without their parents.

Both American and United said they do not know whether any migrant children separated from their parents have been placed on their flights. In recent days several flight attendants have gone on social media to report seeing groups of children on their flights whom they believed to be children separated from their migrant families.

"These flight attendants were well aware of what was going on, so how can these airlines claim they didn't know? I don't believe that," said Michael Avenatti, a lawyer better known for representing a porn actress in a legal fight against Trump, but who said he also represents more than 50 migrant families who have been separated from their children.

Many airlines have contracts to provide travel services to the U.S. government. American said, however, that the government doesn't provide information about the passengers or their reason for travel.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus spending thousands to refurbish abandoned homes

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:00

A once boarded-up home on Chicago Avenue in West Columbus is now a newly renovated home serving a much-needed purpose.

"It's a wonderful place," said Jaiza Page, Columbus City council member.

The home was one of three that have been renovated as part of the Learning Skills to Lift Neighborhoods grant program, where the city awards up to $20,000 to local non-profits that take on the responsibility of restoring abandoned or blighted buildings across the city.

The organizations hire neighborhood kids or young adults to assist in the renovation under the supervision of construction professionals.

"Just imagine being an 18-year-old young person and not really sure about your future. But, you can walk down the street and say: "I helped create this," said Page.

The duplex on Chicago Ave is being rented by Lower Lights Ministries, a non-profit that offers housing and recovery resources for women looking to overcome addiction.

"They stay here and then as they go through phases, they go through counseling, they do AA meetings, bible study, trauma formed groups," said Heidi Williams, operations director for the organization.

Williams knows how beneficial the program can be because she was once in it.

"I was addicted to opioids," she said. "I was using pills and heroin. I had just hit rock bottom," said the mother of 5.

After spending two years in prison, Williams says she entered the Lower Lights Rachel House program and it transformed her life. One year later, they offered her a job with the organization.

"It only takes that little seed to be planted, and something beautiful has already come out of that," she said.

The city of Columbus will begin accepting new applications for the grant on June 25th. In total, the city will award $130,000 in grant money for the program.

Categories: Ohio News

Zoombezi Bay: Staff witnessed sexual assault suspect approach young girls

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 14:19

Police say a Columbus man violated a young girl at a popular destination for local families.

Thirty-three-year-old Philip Lohbauer is accused of inappropriately touching the pre-teen girl while she swam at Zoombezi Bay in Powell.

The alleged assault happened Monday around 12:30 p.m.

Zoombezi Bay staff say multiple juveniles reported the incident to a lifeguard.

General Manager John Gannon says in his 20 years there, this is only the second incident of this kind. But he says his staff is trained on how to respond.

"We immediately assessed the situation, had our professionally-trained security team corroborate the incident, and then we immediately pulled the suspect out of the water."

He says security video showed Philip Lohbauer in the proximity of the girls.

A Columbus Zoo spokesperson says security guards witnessed him approaching other girls.

"All of that happened within minutes. We had eyes on the suspect the entire time," Gannon said.

He praised the actions of the children involved.

"These young people did an outstanding job. They did exactly what they're supposed to do. They're trained in school and trained by their parents, that if they see something, say something. That's exactly what they did."

Wednesday night Lohbauer was in the Delaware County Jail on a $10,000 bond, charged with Gross Sexual Imposition.

Lohbauer was convicted in May of assault for punching his mother in the face after she said she removed drugs she had found in his room. His family had no comment.

Categories: Ohio News

Police searching for missing 6-year-old boy last seen in west Columbus

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:47

COLUMBUS - Columbus Police are searching for a 6-year-old boy who went missing from the west side of Columbus.

Kingston Mclean went missing Wednesday and he was last seen in the area of Hambrick Street and Avonia Drive.

Mclean is described as black, brown eyes, 3'5," weighing 75 pounds. He was wearing black camouflage shorts, with black, blue, and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Columbus Police at 614-645-4545.

Categories: Ohio News

OSHP intercepting 'cartel drugs' concealed in hidden compartments

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:46

The Ohio Highway Patrol said its Drug Interdiction Unit is one of the first lines of defense against Mexican drug cartels.

"We are the front line. We're stopping those drugs from ruining people's lives," said Lt. Robert Sellers.

But troopers are working harder to stay one step ahead of the cartels' creativity. Troopers said they're seizing drugs and money concealed in highly engineered, mechanized hidden compartments that can be difficult to locate.

Troopers showed CrimeTracker 10 one vehicle equipped with a trap that led all the way to the front firewall. Inside, the highway patrol says it recovered one kilo of heroin and 9 kilos of cocaine.

Troopers stopped another vehicle on I-70 in central Ohio and used an x-ray machine to reveal 60-pounds of marijuana, 11 pounds of methamphetamine, and a kilo of cocaine concealed in the tires.

Despite sophisticated attempts to hide drugs coming across the southwest border, OSHP said so far this year the spike in some drug seizures on Ohio's roads is staggering.

Year to date, the number of methamphetamine seizures in Ohio has skyrocketed more than 900 percent compared to the same time last year.

OSHP said the vast majority of seizures involved highly pure, crystal meth manufactured in Mexico. Heroin seizures are up 155 percent from last year.

The highway patrol said new prescription drug laws are making it tougher for traffickers to move pills. Year to date, seizures of prescription opiate pills are down 66 percent.

OHP said every seizure means dangerous, illegal drugs won't make it to their final destination, and said that has a positive impact on every Central Ohio neighborhood.

Law enforcement is sharing information on a national database describing where and how officers found hidden compartments in different makes and models of vehicles hoping to learn from each other's drug seizure success stories.

Categories: Ohio News

One dead as motorcycle hits stopped vehicle in northeast Columbus

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:01

CLINTON TOWNSHIP – One person is dead after a motorcycle crashed into a stopped vehicle near the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Elmore Avenue.

The crash happened a little before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

According to Chief Jim Gilbert with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, they are interviewing witnesses as to why the motorcycle struck the parked vehicle.

Categories: Ohio News