Ohio counties prodded to complete election security updates
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's elections chief says he's confident the perennial swing state will have adequate safeguards against cyberattacks in place before the 2020 presidential election, even though upgrades he's ordered are coming along slowly. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office said Friday that 52 of the 88 counties are at least halfway done carrying out orders he issued in June. They required federal risk and vulnerability assessments, installation of secure email systems and tools known as Albert intrusion detection devices, and other protections. During a cybersecurity briefing on Friday, LaRose urged local officials to get moving on the improvements before a Jan. 31 deadline.
PROSECUTOR PLEADS GUILTY
County prosecutor pleads guilty amid sex harassment review
FREMONT, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio prosecutor under investigation over sexual misconduct allegations has pleaded guilty to negligent assault. Sandusky County Prosecutor Timothy Braun pleaded guilty Friday as part of a deal that will spare him jail time but force him to resign by the end of June. He'll be paid until he resigns, but he agreed not to seek reelection. Braun didn't make a statement during the hearing and left the court without commenting. Five women had filed complaints about Braun, accusing him of sexually harassing female employees. In October, Ohio's attorney general had called on Braun to resign immediately.
Ohio considering fund to protect opioid settlement money
COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio Attorney General's Office is floating the idea of changing the state constitution to create a fund to help ensure future settlement money from government lawsuits over the opioid epidemic is used to address that problem. A memo this week from a deputy attorney general suggested that's the best way to handle the funding and ensure it isn't diverted, as settlements with big tobacco companies were. Odds of quick action on the idea seem slim. The governor considers it premature, and it would require legislative approval and a statewide vote. Lawmakers would have to OK it by Dec. 18 to put it on the March ballot.
DEATH PENALTY-BITE MARK EVIDENCE
Appeals court reconsiders death sentence for boy's killing
(Information from: WFMJ-TV, http://www.wfmj.com)
CINCINNATI (AP) — An appeals court has heard arguments about whether a man should be executed for the torture, rape and murder of a 12-year-old Boy Scout. Danny Lee Hill was sentenced for the 1985 attack on Raymond Fife in Warren. WFMJ-TV reports a lawyer argued Thursday to the U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati that Hill's sentence should be vacated. It previously ruled Hill shouldn't be executed because he showed signs of being intellectually disabled, but the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it to reconsider the case.
Firefighters want more staff, faster response after death
Ohio firefighters say more staff members and faster emergency responses are needed in their city to protect them and the general public. According to a March report, it took 45 minutes for a safety officer to arrive at the scene of an arson blaze that killed Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman in 2015. Local 20 union President Tony Harris told the Hamilton City Council on Wednesday that another emergency squad ambulance is needed and that the same staffing levels are handling 3,000 more emergency runs since cuts were made in 2013. A city official says the union should have raised the concerns during contract negotiations this summer.
IMMIGRATION-VICTIM IDENTIFICATION LAB
A locker, a chirp: How tiny clues help solve child sex cases
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — At a lab in Virginia, investigators scour through disturbing photos and videos of child sexual abuse in hopes of finding clues to help track down the abusers. They work for Homeland Security Investigations, which is a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their work has led to thousands of arrests. But being part of ICE has taken a toll. Funding for these investigations has fallen as a greater share of ICE’s budget is devoted to removing immigrants. And the association with ICE has created friction with some local police departments.
GM, Korea's LG Chem in venture to build factory in Ohio
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — General Motors and Korea's LG Chem have formed a joint venture to build an electric vehicle battery cell factory near Lordstown, Ohio. That's east of Cleveland. The companies also will work together on battery technology to bring down the cost. The new plant will create more than 1,100 jobs in the area around Lordstown. The joint venture plans to invest $2.3 billion in the operations. They'll break ground on the new plant sometime next year. The exact location wasn't disclosed. The companies made the announcement at GM's technical center in Warren, Michigan, which is north of Detroit.
AP-CO-PLANE DIVERTED-DISRUPTIVE PASSENGER
Plane diverted to Denver because of disruptive passenger
DENVER (AP) — Frontier Airlines officials say a plane traveling from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Las Vegas was diverted to Denver because of a passenger who became disruptive during the flight. A statement from the airline says law enforcement officers removed the passenger when the plane landed in Denver Wednesday evening. It's not clear what the passenger was doing to disrupt the flight or whether the person is in custody. The website FlightAware says the plane was in Denver a little over an hour and arrived in Las Vegas after midnight Thursday.
Cause of fire that killed animals at wildlife park unknown
PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — The state fire marshal's office says it can't say what caused a barn fire that killed 10 animals at an Ohio wildlife park. Last week's blaze broke out at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. Officials said the fire killed three bongos, three giraffes, three red river hogs and a springbok housed in the barn. The fire marshal says the fire broke out in the southwest corner of the barn, and it's unknown whether a power outage the day before was connected to the fire.
Buckeyes knock off No. 2 Louisville in Big Ten/ACC Challenge