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AP-US-OPIOID-KICKBACK-SCHEME

Ex-drug company execs face reckoning in opioid bribery case

BOSTON (AP) — The founder and former top employees of a pharmaceutical company are being sentenced in a bribery scheme that prosecutors say helped fuel the national opioid epidemic. Starting Monday, seven people who worked for Insys Therapeutics will appear in Boston federal court for their sentencing. The case against company founder John Kapoor and his associates was considered the first to hold an opioid maker criminally liable for an epidemic that's claimed nearly 400,000 lives over two decades. Prosecutors say the Arizona-based company paid millions of dollars in bribes to doctors to over prescribe a powerful, addictive opioid painkiller for cancer patients.

GAMBLING REVENUE-OHIO

Ohio gambling revenue rises again, to record $1.94B in 2019

CLEVELAND (AP) — Reports from state regulators show gambling revenue at Ohio's four casinos and seven racinos rose to a record $1.94 billion in 2019, up more than 4% from the previous year. Cleveland.com reports that continues a year-to-year upward trend, bringing the total to $11.9 billion in gambling revenue since Ohio’s first casino opened in May 2012. That sum accounts for the money left after facilities pay out winnings for slot machines and table games. It doesn't include profits from horse wagering or food sales. Taxes and fees send about one-third of the revenue to the state — about $650 million last year.

FATAL SHOOTING-OHIO

Police: Man fatally shot in Ohio's capital city

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police say a man has been shot in Ohio's capital city and has died. Columbus police say officers found 27-year-old Kenneth Jackson after they responded around 6:30 a.m. Sunday to gunfire in the area of a gas station on the city's southeast side. A police release says Jackson was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Police said they were searching for a person wearing a black mask and black clothing who fled the area. They didn't immediately provide additional details on their investigation. Authorities report the death was the city's seventh homicide this year.

VENDING MACHINE-MISSING MONEY

Report: Over $17,000 missing from school vending machine

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Officials say more than $17,000 from an Ohio school's vending machine went missing over a six-year period. A state auditor report released this week said the losses at Linworth Alternative School in Worthington occurred from 2013 to 2019. The report says the Worthington City Schools district treasurer's office became aware in May 2019 that money was missing and determined revenues from the soft drink vending machine weren't deposited “in a timely manner.” An administrative secretary responsible for collecting and depositing the money from the machine resigned in July. Her resignation letter cited “personal reasons." Her attorney told the Columbus Dispatch she's cooperating with investigators.

BOCCE COURT DEBATE

Mayor slows plan to relocate bocce court over tree concerns

WARREN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio mayor says he's slowing down plans to move a bocce ball court after criticism that several trees were cut down at the new location without notice. The court in downtown Warren in northeastern Ohio is an important part of the city's annual Italian-American Heritage Festival. Bocce players earn points by competing to roll balls the closest to to a single target ball. The Warren Tribune Chronicle reports that the city's plan to move the court to a nearby park and the tree removal angered historical groups. Plan opponents pointed out that many cities use portable bocce courts.

OHIO STATE FRATERNITIES-SUSPENSION

Ohio State suspends 3 fraternities for various violations

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University has suspended three fraternities for hazing, alcohol use and other violations. The Columbus Dispatch reports the school last semester suspended its Sigma Pi and Zeta Beta Tau chapters through August 2023 and its Phi Delta Theta chapter through August 2024. Ohio State issued a blanket suspension for all 37 of Interfraternity Council's members in November 2017 after 11 chapters came under investigation for their behavior earlier that year. The three suspended chapters previously had been placed on disciplinary probation in recent years for various violations.

AP-OH-INFANT'S BODY IN WELL

Couple convicted in infant son's death; body found in well

An Ohio jury has convicted a couple of multiple charges in the death of their infant son. Thirty-nine-year-old Jessica Groves, of Otway, was found guilty Friday of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and other charges in southern Ohio's Scioto County. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Forty-one-year-old Daniel Groves was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility in 47 years. Their son, 2-month-old Dylan, died last March from multiple injuries that testimony revealed were inflicted by his mother. His body was found in a well weeks after his death.

U.S. ATTORNEY-SWEARING-IN

New U.S. Attorney for southern Ohio formally sworn in

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The new U.S. Attorney overseeing the southern half of Ohio has been formally sworn into office. David DeVillers was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a nomination supported by both Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Sen. Rob Portman. The 53-year-old DeVillers took the oath of office Friday from Columbus-based U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley. DeVillers is a longtime assistant U.S. Attorney who led major gang and organized crime investigations. He worked as Prosecutor Advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal during the 2005 trial of Saddam Hussein. DeVillers' jurisdiction includes Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus.

FIRE-THREE DEAD

Police: Wife found dead after explosion was stabbed to death

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police say a woman found dead after an explosion and house fire was stabbed to death and her husband and their 2-year-old daughter died from smoke inhalation. Columbus police previously said 42-year-old Gary Morris likely died from his own actions and the deaths of his wife, 33-year-old Nerissa Distin, and daughter, Serina Morris, are being investigated as homicides. Neighbors reported hearing a loud boom at the Columbus home the night of Jan. 1. Firefighters later found the bodies inside the home. Two other children who lived at the home were not there that night.

OPIOID CRISIS-LAWSUITS

Opioid-dependent kids' guardians seek to form class in suit

CLEVELAND (AP) — Attorneys representing guardians of children born dependent on opioids are asking a federal judge in Cleveland to include them as a group in a class action lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry. The motion was filed this week on behalf of guardians caring for children with neonatal abstinence syndrome from Ohio and California. An attorney says around 400,000 such children have been born in the last two decades. Tuesday's motion asks the judge overseeing the lawsuit to create a registry to identify children diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and form a medical panel to determine best practices for treatment.