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Ballpark mustard maker drops Indians' Chief Wahoo logo

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 08:14

CLEVELAND — The maker of Cleveland's ballpark mustard is removing the Chief Wahoo logo from its branding and packaging to maintain longstanding ties with the Cleveland Indians baseball team.

Cleveland.com reports the Indians have told official partners like Bertman Foods Co., the maker of Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard, those relationships can't continue unless they stop using Chief Wahoo. The caricature is widely seen as racist and offensive to Native Americans.

The Indians will stop using Chief Wahoo on player uniforms starting this season. The club had been phasing out the logo for years and struck an agreement with Major League Baseball last year to discontinue its use altogether.

The team will continue to sell a few Chief Wahoo items at team shops to retain its trademark.

Categories: Ohio News

Dog Walkers Weekly "Furr-cast" | February 16th, 2019

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 06:27

Welcome back, everyone! For you first-time readers, happy to have you here!

This blog is dedicated to those dog lovers across central Ohio. Unless you have a large backyard, many of you probably walk your dog, or dogs, on a daily basis, and maybe even multiple times a day.

The purpose and goal of this blog is to help those dog walkers and their furry friends make the most out of their walks outside while being safe at the same time.

So, let's start things off with a look at what I call the "Comfort Scale."

You will notice on the images below there are certain colors that go with each time period/day of the week for the "Furr-cast." I developed this scale on my own, using several meteorological variables and some pet-friendly considerations.

You will see that the color "green" on the image above suggests that conditions are ideal for walking your pet and that there are no risks to either you or your pet, so walk all you want!

This brings me to the next level on the scale, which is a yellowish-orange color. This shows conditions are fair outside but you should still keep an eye on your pet. This is where the breed of your pet also comes into play. I'm not an expert on dogs but I know a Siberian Husky can withstand colder temperatures than a Chihuahua.

This is up to the owner to decide if the conditions are fair enough that they could take more casual, longer walks outside.

Lastly, we have the last ranking on the scale, which shows outside conditions are poor and pet owners should keep their walks short. Dangerous weather is developing or already present and pet owners should take action to make sure that their pets are properly taken care of. This shouldn't be used to decide whether or not you should go outside; but more so an indicator that you should take shorter, more frequent walks.

Now that we have a look at the method behind the comfort scale, let's take a look at this weekends "Furr-cast."

Cold but dry to kick off this weekend. Temperatures may want you to keep your walks a little on the short side this afternoon. Overall, many will be able to go about business as normal, with highs in the mid 30's with mostly sunny skies taking way this afternoon. Another cold night ahead, so limit your walks after sunset.

Sunday will feature more wet paws, so you will want to plan accordingly. First off, snow and freezing rain will be possible in the morning. It will be important to be extremely cautious in the morning because as the rain falls it will freeze on contact with the surface. This is something that is very deceiving and should be in the back of your head as you and your pets take your usual Sunday morning walks. Snow will stick and accumulate primarily for areas a few counties north of I-70. Areas such as Marion, Mansfield, Bucyrus and Mount Vernon could see 1 to 2" of snow by the end of the weekend. Regardless, wet paws will be possible and you should always be in the habit of cleaning your pets paws' after their walks.

Another brief break from the wet weather will pave a path for the start of the week. Business should stay as usual leading up to the mid-week. A wintry mix will return on Wednesday, with more seasonable weather for the latter half of the week. The roller-coaster ride of temperatures and wet weather will be apparent again this week, so keep it here with 10TV for the latest updates and changes in the weather.

During these cold snaps, It is crucial to have a winter safety plan during extremely cold weather to ensure both you and your pets safety.

Know the signs before you subject you and your pet to the cold weather. Many dogs love the cold & snowy weather but there are also many breeds that aren't built to be outside for prolonged amounts of time.

The "Barking Message" for next week:
  • Watch out for wet paws and slick spots on Sunday!
  • Stay in the habit of cleaning your pets' paws after walks outside!
  • More wet paws next Wednesday.

Each Friday, I will be posting a new "Furr-cast" for the weekend and week ahead and I would like to feature some of your pets on my blog. Also, if you have any suggestions or comments on my blog, I'd love to hear input. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter and Facebook at Ross10tv. Enjoy the weekend and week ahead, furr-parents.

Categories: Ohio News

Judge limits public comments in Trump confidant Stone's case

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 06:04

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday placed some limits on what President Donald Trump's longtime confidant Roger Stone and his lawyers can say publicly about his criminal case in the special counsel's Russia probe.

But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson stopped short of imposing a broad ban on public comments by the outspoken political operative, issuing a limited gag order she said was necessary to ensure Stone's right to a fair trial and "to maintain the dignity and seriousness of the courthouse and these proceedings."

The order bars Stone from commenting about his pending case near the courthouse, but it does not constrain him from making other public statements about the prosecution. It does generally bar his lawyers, prosecutors and witnesses from making public comments that could "pose a substantial likelihood" of prejudicing potential jurors.

Jackson's order comes after a string of media appearances by the attention-seeking political consultant since his indictment and arrest last month. In several of those interviews, Stone had blasted special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference as politically motivated and criticized his case as involving only "process crimes."

Jackson had cited those media appearances in raising the prospect of a gag order, warning Stone at a hearing not to treat his case like a "book tour."

Stone's lawyers had argued that any limits on his public comments would infringe on his First Amendment right to free speech. They wrote in a filing last week that Stone's comments wouldn't merit a "clear and present danger to a fair trial." Mueller's prosecutors didn't oppose a gag order.

In her order, Jackson said she considered not only the potential impact of public comments on jurors but also the need to maintain order at the federal courthouse in Washington.

Citing the "size and vociferousness" of crowds already attracted to Stone's court proceedings, Jackson barred Stone, lawyers and witnesses from making any statements to the news media while entering and exiting the courthouse.

Jackson left open the possibility that she could amend the order in the future and reminded Stone that he is not permitted to contact any witnesses in the case. She also said if Stone complained about pretrial publicity at a later date, she would consider whether he had brought it on himself.

The 66-year-old Stone was arrested in an FBI raid at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home last month. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. The charges stem from conversations he had during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released material stolen from Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton's campaign.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said that Russia was the source of the hacked material, and last year Mueller charged 12 Russian intelligence officers in the hacking.

Stone is not accused of directly coordinating with WikiLeaks. But Mueller's team did confirm in a court filing Friday that investigators have evidence of communication between Stone and WikiLeaks and between Stone and Guccifer 2.0, who purported to be a Romanian hacker responsible for the intrusions but who authorities say was actually a front for Russian intelligence.

Mueller did not provide details of the communications, though The Atlantic last year published what it said were Twitter direct messages between Stone and WikiLeaks, including one in which WikiLeaks appeared to scold Stone for suggesting in his public comments an association with the organization.

The messages that have been made public were exchanged after WikiLeaks had begun releasing the hacked material, and they don't show Stone coordinating with the anti-secrecy group.

Stone has been outspoken since his arrest, declaring his innocence in a news conference following his first court appearance in Florida and accusing Mueller of heavy-handed tactics by having him arrested in a pre-dawn raid.

He's been more muted outside the courthouse in Washington, though he did hold a hotel news conference — accompanied by a host from the conspiracy theory website InfoWars — in which he said he would respect any gag order from the judge but also expected to appeal it.

He maintained he had no negative information about the president to share with Mueller and insisted he hadn't done anything wrong.

"I am not accused of Russian collusion, I am not accused of collaboration with WikiLeaks, I am not accused of conspiracy," Stone said. "There is no evidence or accusation that I knew in advance about the source or content of the WikiLeaks material."

Categories: Ohio News

Whitehall Narcotics Unit search warrant helps solve several local crimes

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 05:33

WHITEHALL, Ohio-- The Whitehall Police Department Narcotics Unit says it has solved multiple local crimes after issuing a search warrant.

The search warrant was issued for a residence at the 200 block of Midcliff Drive on Feb. 14, after a passerby alerted police of a vehicle they believed to have been stolen, according to police.

The occupants of the vehicle fled on foot and were located by Whitehall narcotics detectives.

Whitehall police say the vehicle was recovered and was reported stolen out of a burglary back on Feb. 5.

The residence was surrounded and searched by the Joint Eastside Tactical Response team. Police say they found seven people inside, arrested one adult, Chavez Grier, and four juveniles.

Detectives located four guns, three of which were reported stolen from Smokin' Aces Armory in Plain City on Feb. 7 after a vehicle drove through the side of the business. The vehicle used in that burglary was also recovered from this incident. It was stolen from a local Whitehall business on Jan. 24, according to Whitehall police.

Police say those five who were arrested had also just been involved in a home invasion and burglary in Reynoldburg.

All five suspects were arrested on charges of receiving stolen property. Charges of burglary and breaking and entering are still pending.

This investigation is ongoing.

Categories: Ohio News

Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick over sex abuse

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 03:12

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing Confession and sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Holy See said Saturday.

The punishment for the once-powerful prelate, who had served as the archbishop of Washington, was announced five days before Francis is to lead an extraordinary gathering of bishops from around the world to help the church grapple with the crisis of sex abuse by clergy and systematic cover-ups by church hierarchy. The decades-long scandals have shaken the faith of many Catholics and threatened his papacy.

Defrocking means McCarrick, 88, who now lives in a friary in Kansas after he lost his title of cardinal last year, won't be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments.

The Vatican's press office said that on Jan. 11, the Holy See's doctrinal watchdog office, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, had found McCarrick guilty of "solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power."

The officials "imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state."

The Sixth Commandment regards sexual behavior. In addition, McCarrick, when he was ordained a priest in 1958, took a vow of celibacy, in accordance with church rules on priests.

McCarrick appealed the penalty, but the doctrinal officials earlier this week rejected his recourse, and he was notified on Friday, the Vatican announcement said.

The pope "has recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accordance with (church) law, rendering it as 'res iudicata,'" the Vatican said, using the Latin phrase for admitting no further recourse.

That meant McCarrick, a one-time "prince of the church," as cardinals are known, becomes the highest-ranking churchman to be laicized, or dismissed from the clerical state. It marks a remarkable downfall for the globe-trotting powerbroker and influential church fundraiser who mingled with presidents and popes but preferred to be called "Uncle Ted" by the young men he courted.

The scandal swirling around McCarrick was even more damning because it apparently was an open secret that he slept with adult seminarians.

Categories: Ohio News

Mueller recommends at least 19.5 years in prison for Manafort

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 00:17

Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a sentencing memo on Friday recommending former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort serve at least 19 and a half years to 24 and a half years in prison. The memo also recommends he pay a fine of up to $24 million, restitution of more than $24 million and forfeiture in the amount of more than $4 million.

A jury convicted him last year in the eastern district of Virginia on eight counts of bank and tax fraud. He separately pleaded guilty to two additional felonies and soon afterward agreed to cooperate with the government, although a judge earlier this week said he had violated the terms of his plea agreement by lying to the FBI.

"Manafort did not commit these crimes out of necessity or hardship," the sentencing memo reads. "He was well-educated, professionaly successful and financially well of. He nonetheless cheated the United States Treasury and the public out of more than $6 million in taxes at a time when he had substantial resources. Manafort committed bank fraud to supplement his liquidity because his lavish spending exhausted his substantial cash resources when his overseas income dwindled."

The memo also says Manafort's age -- 69 -- and "reputational harm" should not be taken into account in the sentencing. "Nothing about the defendant's age is unusual. Tax offenders are often older and often, like the defendant, wealthy, but they nonetheless receive substantial terms of incarceration notwithstanding age and health issues," the sentencing memo says.

The court documents allege Manafort was "plainly the leader" of the financial crimes that were committed, which included individuals like Rick Gates, Konstantin Kilimnik, his tax preparers, bookkeepers, and others in Cyprus who maintained his offshore accounts

If the recommended sentence is enacted, it will be the longest so far in connection to Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Manafort also faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the two felony conspiracy counts.

Categories: Ohio News

Police pursuit of suspected impaired driver ends in crash, kills passenger in Franklin County

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 20:13

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that resulted from a police pursuit south of Grove City Friday afternoon.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office received a call of a reckless and possibly impaired driver on I-71 near I-270 shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.

Sheriff's deputies stopped the vehicle on the highway before it fled, starting a pursuit.

The chase went south on I-71 before pulling off onto State Route 62, then Zuber Road. The vehicle crashed into a guardrail at the intersection of Zuber and Young Roads. The passenger, identified as 44-year-old Helen Kimball of Columbus, was critically injured and pronounced dead on scene.

The driver ran off following the crash and was immediately apprehended by a state trooper. The driver was transported to a local hospital for injuries from the crash.

Authorities believe drug-impaired driving was a factor in the crash. 10TV has not identified the driver because charges are pending.

Categories: Ohio News

'Rally for Reagan' raises money for murdered Ohio State student's foundation

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 19:51

“She would probably laugh and say, 'Are you guys kidding? This is all for me?' But she would be really excited. She knows how much we loved her,” said Jackie Spence.

Reagan Tokes' friends smile as they think about the friendly girl with the big smile. It's been two years since their friend was murdered.

“She was attacked by a stranger who had recently been released from prison. He was wearing an ankle monitor that was not being actively tracked at the time. There were some failures in the law,” said Madison Girten.

“It has not been easy, but I will tell you the way we do that is to hang on to the love. I am not going to let Reagan's legacy be defined by that one awful tragic night. There is so much more to her,” said Lisa Tokes, Reagan's mom.

Lisa says it's hard to talk about her daughter in the past tense, but events in Reagan’s honor help her push through her grief.

"Rally for Reagan," a dinner and silent auction, raised money for the foundation in Reagan's name Friday . A self-defense seminar will take place Saturday.

“It will be a 3-hour safety self-defense conference. Unfortunately, the world we live in, there is a multitude of dangers, not just an individual attack,” Lisa said.

Lisa said she takes pride in continuing the mission Reagan started.

“She was incredibly kind and giving and loving. She was going to change the world and she still is. With this event, we are able to pick up the torch for her,” Lisa said.

For more information on the Reagan Delaney Tokes Memorial Foundation, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Former postal worker indicted on accusation he was masturbating in mail truck in Delaware County

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 19:09

A Westerville man and former employee of the United States Postal Service has been indicted on a fifth-degree felony charge of public indecency.

Joseph Rice, 53, is accused of masturbating in his mail truck in Genoa Township on Dec. 4, 2017 according to the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office.

Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said the charge came after a mother and daughter were talking a walk when they came across Rice's truck.

"The mother reports that the door of the vehicle was open and she could see Mr. Rice inside, holding a cell phone with one hand and appearing to masturbate with the other," O'Brien said in a release.

The United States Postal Service told 10TV on Friday that Rice is no longer employed with the agency.

Rice has been charged with similar offenses before.

In 2002, Rice was charged with public indecency.

He was sentenced to one year of probation and told to stay away from public parks in Delaware County for three years, according to court records.

Rice pleaded no contest but was found guilty after being charged in 2006 with public indecency.

He was told not to enter any public park for two years during his sentencing of several days in jail.

When asked if the United States Postal Service knew of Rice's past cases or how long Rice was employed, a spokesperson said they could not provide any more information.

Categories: Ohio News

Payless ShoeSource to close all of its remaining US stores

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 16:15

NEW YORK (AP) — Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have been shuttered in the last year.

The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.

The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization.

At the time, it had over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries. It remerged from restructuring four months later with about 3,500 stores and eliminated more than $435 million in debt.

Categories: Ohio News

First domestic violence shelter to open in Delaware County

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 15:16

Tucked away behind a gate in Delaware County, Turning Point Home will soon open its doors to victims of domestic violence.

"When I took this job, I don’t think I really believed in evil," said Paula Roller, executive director for the organization.

For more than 2 decades, Roller has led a staff of people in protecting and assisting people trying to escape abuse.

"We really focus on intimate partner violence," Roller explained. "It's hard to imagine what one human being can do to the other, especially when it's the person that is your most intimate partner — that is supposed to love you, treasure you — that you trust. But, it is oh so real."

On Monday, Turning Point will open a location in Delaware County, becoming the first domestic violence shelter in the county.

Delaware County is the largest county in Ohio that did not have its own domestic violence shelter.

Turning Point will offer free job and legal assistance, while housing men, women, children, immigrants and the elderly.

"Our oldest client, I think, was 84," Roller explained. "Think of elder abuse... in this case it was her caregiver."

The newly remodeled facility was purchased with $3.2 million of donations.

The reconstruction didn't come easy. The building was hit by vandals in November of 2017.

"They broke out a lot of windows... just created a lot of hassle," Roller said. "But a lot of concern because the property was vacated at that time. So, we've been eager as this progresses to get it occupied."

Turning Point will have a soft opening on Monday as families from their Marion location begin to move in.

If you or someone you know is in need of shelter away from domestic violence, call the Turning Point Crisis Line at 1-800-232-6505 for help.

Categories: Ohio News

Female taken into custody after barricade situation near Ohio State campus

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:52

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A female has been taken into custody after Columbus police and SWAT responded to a barricade situation in the area of North 4th Street and Chittenden Avenue Friday afternoon.

Police said the situation involved a female in an apartment on Chittenden Avenue. That scene is now clearing.

*UPDATE 2/15/19 5:05pm the female was taken into custody. https://t.co/eciTCmab8S

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) February 15, 2019

Northbound traffic was closed on North 4th Street at 5th Avenue.

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

Categories: Ohio News

Frustration grows as Cooper Stadium decays on Columbus' west side

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:05

In January, the city of Columbus declared Cooper Stadium a public nuisance, having several alleged city code violations.

As a result, crews were working Friday to board up broken windows and other items by the end of the day or face thousands of dollars in fines and possible civil or criminal prosecution.

Ever since Cooper Stadium closed in 2008, those who live on the west side have hoped this one-time home to the Columbus Clipper Baseball Team would be transformed into something this side of the city could be proud of.

Instead, Cooper Stadium remains a rusted, weed-filled, deteriorated metal shell.

"It's really frustrating that we're still here with vacant land," says Stefanie Coe, chairman of the Southwest Area Commission.

A decade of frustration was made worse when west-siders saw other stadiums get more attention than this one.

"We just saw Crew Stadium or MAPFRE Stadium being proposed for redevelopment. That definitely makes us feel like we've been left out," she says.

A spokesperson for Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther tells 10TV this lot has seen several missed opportunities:

"While the city is not in control of the property, there have been a number of missed opportunities for the developer and the development of the site. Mayor Ginther is sorely disappointed by the lack of progress and how that has impacted the neighborhood."

The developer, Arshot Investment, hoped to turn Cooper Stadium into the Sports Pavilion & Automotive Research Complex, or (SPARC).

That never happened.10TV contacted Arshot for comment, but that call was not returned.

Now, those who advocate for this part of the town wonder what will ever become of this 47-acre lot.

"I think we need to continue to advocate for the project and for the west side and our community and projects like this, but really we need city officials and the developer to get on track to make anything happen," Coe says.

10TV contacted JobsOhio about its thoughts on the project.

"We are always looking for opportunities for job creators to attract and expand business in Ohio. If a site, including the Cooper Stadium site, aligns with a business’ growth needs and that business meets our requirements for job creation and investment, JobsOhio would offer the appropriate assistance to move that project forward," said JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart.

Categories: Ohio News

ACLU says it will sue over Trump emergency order

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:02

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says it will file a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

The Friday announcement came hours after Trump signed the declaration and said he expected legal challenges. The civil rights group will argue that Trump's use of emergency powers is unprecedented and can't be used to build a border wall.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says the declaration is 'patently illegal.' Their legal action would be separate from anything Congress may do.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have also raised the possibility of legal action. They say Trump's decision would "shred the Constitution" by usurping Congress' power to control spending.

White House officials say some of the money would come from military construction projects.

Categories: Ohio News

Officials: 1 dead, 4 police wounded in Illinois shooting

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:54

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — At least one person was killed and four police officers were wounded when a shooter opened fire at an industrial park in Aurora, Illinois, officials said Friday.

Chris Nelson, spokesman for the Kane County coroner's office, confirmed one person was killed. City spokesman Clayton Muhammad said four officers were wounded and in stable condition, but did not say if they were shot.

Muhammad also told ABC7 that the suspect had been "neutralized." He did not elaborate.

WATCH: Authorities to provide update in shooting
*Scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

The Kane County coroner was at the scene.

Live TV reports showed dozens of first responder vehicles outside a building housing the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, a city of about 200,000 people about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago.

Several ATF teams responded to the shooting and were at the scene, according to the agency's Chicago spokeswoman, and the FBI said it also was responding.

John Probst, an employee at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, told ABC7 that he ran out of the back door as the shooting unfolded Friday afternoon. Probst says he recognized the gunman and that he works for the company.

"What I saw was the guy running down the aisle with a pistol with a laser on it," Probst said.

Probst said he wasn't hurt but that another colleague was "bleeding pretty bad."

The company makes valves for industrial purposes.

Police said the situation had been contained and that there was "no ongoing threat to the public," according to a statement issued by the Kane County Sheriff's Department on behalf of the Aurora Police Department.

The statement said the Aurora Police Department was expected to hold a news conference soon.

The White House said President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting and monitoring the situation as he prepared to depart for a weekend trip to his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

West Aurora School District 129 said on its website that it was keeping all students in their classrooms as police investigate, but that "teaching will continue with reduced movement."

Presence Mercy Medical Center spokesman Matt Wakely said that the hospital received three victims from the shooting. Wakely said two were being treated and the third has been transferred via helicopter to another hospital. No conditions were available. Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora did not immediately return a message about whether either hospital was treating victims from the shooting. No victims had been sent to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in nearby Downers Grove as of Friday evening, spokeswoman Kate Eller told The Associated Press.

Categories: Ohio News

Chicago police arrest 2 suspects in attack on Jussie Smollett

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:49

CHICAGO (AP) — The investigation into black actor Jussie Smollett's account of being beaten in a racist, anti-gay attack took another turn Friday when Chicago police said two men arrested in the case are also black.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the two were arrested for "probable cause" of committing assault and battery on the "'Empire' cast member" but had not been charged as of Friday afternoon. Smollett, who is gay, has said two masked men beat him after shouting racial and homophobic slurs and tied a rope around his neck early on Jan. 29.

The two suspects — whom police previously had identified only as Nigerian brothers — were picked up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday and taken into custody after returning from Nigeria after police learned that at least one of the men worked on "Empire," according to Guglielmi. He said he did not know what the man's job was on the television drama.

He confirmed that a search warrant was executed at the Chicago apartment where the men lived but did not have any information about what exactly what police found.

Guglielmi's comments followed a furious 24 hours that included local media reports that the attack was a hoax. Police say those reports are unconfirmed. Producers of the television drama also disputed media reports that Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, was being written off the show, calling the idea "patently ridiculous."

Guglielmi reiterated Friday that there was "no evidence to say that this is a hoax" and that Smollett "continues to be treated by police as a victim, not a suspect."

Smollett told ABC News in an interview that aired Thursday that the men police took into custody on Wednesday were the ones who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, threw an undetermined chemical substance and looped a rope around his neck before running off. Smollett has said he was attacked while out getting food at a Subway restaurant in downtown Chicago.

Guglielmi said police have not found any surveillance video showing the attack itself, though they continue to look for such evidence. He says police also are contacting various retail stores in the hopes of determining who bought the length of rope that was around Smolllett's neck.

The singer and actor said that the attackers yelled "this is MAGA country," referencing President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan. Smollett told ABC News that earlier reports from some outlets that his attackers were wearing "MAGA" hats were inaccurate.

"I didn't need to add anything like that," he said. "I don't need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae."

Smollett said he didn't want to call police at first, but that his friend and creative director Frank Gatson called on his behalf. Smollett said he didn't remove the rope from around his neck before police arrived "because I wanted them to see."

He also said he didn't initially want to give police his cellphone because the device contained private content and phone numbers.

Smollett later gave detectives heavily redacted phone records that police have said are insufficient for a criminal investigation .

Categories: Ohio News

Supreme Court to decide if 2020 census can ask about citizenship

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:29

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will decide whether the 2020 census can include a question about citizenship that could affect the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal money.

The justices agreed Friday to a speedy review of a lower court ruling that has so far blocked the Trump administration from adding the citizenship question to the census for the first time since 1950.

Both the administration and opponents of the question agreed the court should settle the matter quickly because census forms need to be printed soon.

Arguments will take place in late April. A decision should come by late June.

The case pits the administration against immigrant advocacy organizations and Democratic-led states, cities and counties that argue the citizenship question is intended to discourage the participation of minorities, primarily Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats from filling out census forms.

The challengers say they would get less federal money and fewer seats in Congress if the census asks about citizenship because people with noncitizens in their households would be less likely to fill out their census forms.

The Constitution requires a census count every 10 years. A question about citizenship had once been common, but it has not been asked of every household since 1950. At the moment, the question is part of a detailed annual sample of a small chunk of the population, the American Community Survey.

The case stems from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' decision in 2018 to add a citizenship question to the next census, over the advice of career officials at the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department. At the time, Ross said he was responding to a Justice Department request to ask about citizenship in order to improve enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in New York ruled in January that the question could not be included, saying that fewer people would respond to the census and that the process Ross used was faulty.

Pressed for time, the administration bypassed the federal appeals court in New York and appealed directly to the justices. The challengers defended the lower court ruling, but acknowledged the need for a quick answer to the legal issue.

It's rare for the high court to weigh in without the benefit of appellate rulings. Such interventions usually are reserved for national political crises, including the Pentagon Papers case.

The administration has defended the addition of the citizenship question by arguing that courts have no business second-guessing the commerce secretary in performing a basic function of his job.

But Furman largely agreed with the local and state governments and rights groups that sued over the issue. He pointed out that Ross had ignored his own experts' views that a census with a citizenship question would produce less accurate results and add to the costs.

Documents and testimony produced as part of the trial in New York showed that Ross had begun pressing for a citizenship question soon after he became secretary in 2017, and that he had consulted Steve Bannon, who had been President Donald Trump's top political adviser, and then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Emails showed that Ross himself had invited the Justice Department request to add the citizenship question.

The judge's ruling held that Ross' decision about what to ask on the census was "arbitrary and capricious" under the federal Administrative Procedures Act.

There are at least four other ongoing lawsuits over the question, including a trial in San Francisco that was wrapping up Friday. The Supreme Court, though, is expected to settle the matter with the case it has agreed to hear.

Categories: Ohio News

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid settle collusion lawsuits with NFL

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:44

NEW YORK (AP) — Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled collusion cases against the NFL.

In a three-sentence statement released Friday, the NFL said:

"For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party."

Kaepernick's lawyer tweeted an identical statement.

No details were made available.

Kaepernick and Reid filed collusion grievances against the league, saying they were blacklisted because of protests during the national anthem at games. Kaepernick has not played in the league since 2016, while Reid missed three games last season before signing with Carolina. Kaepernick contended the owners violated their collective bargaining agreement with players by conspiring to keep him off teams.

A wave of protests by NFL players began in 2016 after Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and racial inequality. The protests grew into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Kaepernick filed his grievance in August 2017. Arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank sent it to trial, denying the league's request to throw out the former 49ers quarterback's claims. Burbank's decision meant there was enough evidence of collusion to keep the grievances going.

While he has been away from the playing field, Kaepernick has become an advocate for battling social and racial injustice. On Thursday, a person with knowledge of the conversations told the AP that Kaepernick turned down a chance to join the fledgling Alliance of American Football , seeking $20 million or more from the upstart league that pays its players $225,000 over three seasons.

Safety Reid recently re-signed with the Panthers for three years and more than $22 million. He noted then that he got "fair market value" after making just $1.69 million last season from the Panthers.

"If anything, it proves my point from last year," Reid said. "I didn't sign until the (fourth) week and did for almost the league minimum. And this year I signed a more substantial contract. And nothing has changed. I'm still the same player."

Officials with the players union said Friday afternoon that they had just learned of the settlement and had no details.

"We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them," the NFLPA said in statement. "We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well."

Categories: Ohio News

FDA approves new heart device that can treat the smallest babies

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:37

Each year nearly 12,000 very low birthweight babies are born with a common heart defect that needs immediate attention.

Now the FDA has approved a new device that can treat the tiniest babies.

Twins Irie and Judah Felkner from Columbus were both 12 weeks early.

Irie, born at just 1 pound 13 ounces, had a heart defect known as a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

“I was honestly truly scared that we were not going to bring her home,” their mother Crissa Felkner said.

A PDA is a potentially life-threatening opening between two blood vessels leading from the heart, which increases blood flow to the lungs making it hard to breathe.

Doctors told the Felkners about a new device to close the opening called the Piccolo. Smaller than a pea, the device from Abbott can be implanted in babies weighing as little as two pounds through a minimally invasive procedure using a catheter to direct the device to the heart.

Dr. Evan Zahn of Cedars Sinai Smidt Heart Institute explains how it works.

“The Piccolo device is advanced into the PDA just by gently pushing it out. So there is the first disc, there is the middle section and there is the last disc,” Dr. Zahn said. “That goes right into the PDA and plugs it almost immediately, we can reposition it by just drawing it back in the catheter and doing the whole thing over again until we think it's perfect.”

Because it's minimally invasive, Dr. Zahn says many babies can be weaned off a ventilator more quickly.

Irie was one of the first babies in the US to have the device while it was being tested. She was breathing on her own just three days later.

“She is a part of medical history,” Criss said.

Now 18 months old both Irie and Judah have no limitations and their mother couldn't be more grateful.

PDA accounts for up to 10 percent of all congenital heart disease.

For most babies, the PDA closes on its own just after birth, but for premature babies, it tends to stay open.

Categories: Ohio News

Personal info exposed after Ohio sends wrong tax forms to thousands

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:55

COLUMBUS -- Thousands of letters were sent by the state to those who qualify for unclaimed funds, but the letters were sent to the wrong people. About a third of them included personal information including social security numbers, according to the state.

"Due to a processing error, approximately 9,000 consumers were mailed forms that were inaccurate," according to a Department of Commerce news release. "Inaccurate information may include: Amount of interest paid and Personal information."

The state said the problem was discovered on Monday.

"We’re moving quickly to address this issue and to ensure consumers have an accurate 1099 for tax purposes,” Superintendent of the Division of Unclaimed Funds Akil Hardy said. “I encourage consumers to contact us to find out if the form they currently have is accurate and learn how to dispose of inaccurate forms. We are working diligently to issue corrected forms where necessary and should complete that process by the end of next week.”

It's unclear if anyone's personal information was compromised as a result of the error.

Some affected consumers are being offered one year of identity theft protection at no cost. Those consumers will receive a letter with detailed information about these services and how to enroll.

Unclaimed properties include deposits, unclaimed wages, checking or savings accounts and insurance policies, as well as the contents of safe deposit boxes.

The Department of Commerce website reads:

"Customers who received an unclaimed funds claim payment in 2018 with accrued interest of $10 or more may have received an inaccurate 1099 form. Corrected 1099s will be mailed by mid-February. We apologize for any inconvenience. Questions? Contact us at 877-644-6823 or UnfdClaims.UnfdClaims@com.state.oh.us and include “IRS Form 1099” in the subject."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE RELEASE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Categories: Ohio News

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