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Feds: Officer texted club about undercover cop, then lied

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal authorities say a Cincinnati police officer has been charged with lying to investigators about confirming by text a nightclub owner's suspicion that a customer was an undercover officer. The U.S. attorney's office said Friday that 39-year-old Quianna Campbell appeared in federal court Friday afternoon after charges were unsealed. She also is charged with failing to report some of her off-duty income on her tax returns. Authorities say she has been a police officer in Cincinnati for 11 years. Her public defender didn't respond immediately to a request for comment. A Cincinnati police spokesman says the department “will be monitoring” the case.


Ohio teen accused of planning explosion at school indicted

CLEVELAND (AP) — A teenager who authorities say wanted to set off an explosive device at an Ohio high school and telephoned police about a hoax hostage situation at a Kansas elementary school has been indicted on federal charges. Prosecutors in Cleveland on Friday said 18-year-old Allen Martin Kenna has been charged with attempted use of an explosive device and interstate communication of threats. An FBI agent's affidavit details excerpts from Kenna's electronic diary in which he discusses plans to build bombs, and his desire to commit mass shootings and kill family members and politicians, including President Donald Trump. Court records don't indicate whether Kenna has an attorney.


Sheriff convicted of posting confidential reports to resign

BRYAN, Ohio (AP) — A sheriff in Ohio who was convicted of posting confidential child abuse reports to the department's website and Facebook page has agreed to step down in exchange for avoiding an indictment on new charges. Special prosecutor Mark Weaver said Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns will resign March 17. Weaver said Wednesday that Towns engaged in potential felony counts of theft in office. Weaver said a deputy was paid to attend his Nov. 4 hearing regarding the child abuse reports and an election board hearing, though there was no official reason for his presence. Towns didn't respond to requests for comment.


Not guilty plea by suspect accused of making game threat

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A California man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of threatening a shooting at Ohio State University and vowing to hurt players on the football team. An indictment accuses Daniel Rippy of making the “electronic communication” threat from California during the annual game between Ohio State and the University of Michigan in 2018. The game was played in Columbus that year. Rippy entered the plea in a court hearing Friday before Judge Algenon Marbley. Rippy's attorney declined comment. A Michigan TV station reported last month that Rippy said he was innocent during a Facebook exchange with the station.


Cincinnati mayor exploring 2022 Democratic bid for governor

CINCINNATI (AP) — Mayor John Cranley of Cincinnati says he is exploring a run for Ohio governor in 2022. The Democrat said Friday he thinks Ohio must do better. He points to Cincinnati's growth and progress in recent years. Cranley is in his second four-year term as mayor and is term-limited against running in 2021. The 45-year-old former city councilman twice lost bids to unseat veteran Republican congressman Steve Chabot. Several other Ohio Democrats are considered potential challengers to first-term Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in Ohio, which has been trending Republican in statewide elections.


Bloomberg campaign offices in Ohio vandalized

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Two of Mike Bloomberg's newly opened presidential campaign offices in Ohio were hit by vandals this week. Media reports say the vandals taped signs on the windows targeting the Democratic candidate at his offices in Toledo and Youngstown. They also strung caution tape in front of the campaign's Youngstown office less than a day after it had opened on Thursday. Some of the signs referenced controversial policing tactics Bloomberg allowed while he was  New York City's mayor. Bloomberg this week opened several offices in Ohio and announced the hiring of his campaign staff in the state.


Cordray to kick off Warren's canvass in Columbus on Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The former federal consumer watchdog will kick off canvassing in Ohio for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign on Saturday in Columbus. Democrat Richard Cordray was the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Democrats' nominee for Ohio governor in 2018. He has endorsed Warren amid a crowded, but shrinking, Democratic field. He calls her role in creating and setting up the consumer bureau a testament to the strength of her ideas and to her ability to make them work. The Warren for Ohio campaign said the canvass kickoff follows months of voter outreach and organizing.


Bank fires workers for stealing customer info in fraud ring

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio-based bank says it has fired a small number of employees who stole customer information and gave it to people outside the bank. Fifth Third Bank says it all was part of an orchestrated fraud ring and not a cyber-security data breach. The Cincinnati-based bank says it has identified about 100 customers who were victims of fraud. It's also contacting customers whose data may have been accessed. The bank says the employees who were involved in the fraud ring worked in the company's Cincinnati offices. A Fifth Third spokeswoman says it’s not known they will face charges.


Gov.-backed bill makes distracted driving primary offense

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is backing legislation that makes distracted driving reason enough to pull someone over. The bipartisan bill announced Thursday addresses writing, sending or looking at texts, watching or recording photos or videos, or livestreaming while handling an electronic device, among other activities. The legislation would make those a primary offense, meaning police don't need another reason to pull drivers over first. The bill would also increase fines for people who are caught regularly using electronic devices while driving in Ohio. Exemptions include using a phone to place an emergency call.


Man gets prison for selling fatal drugs to billionaire's son

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man was sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison for selling cocaine laced with heroin and fentanyl to a Greek billionaire's son who was found dead in a Cleveland hotel room. Terry Lee Christian pleaded guilty earlier to charges related to selling the drugs that killed 34-year-old Sokratis S. Kokkalis in July 2018 and for using a cellphone in a drug transaction. He was sentenced Wednesday. Kokkalis' father is Socrates P. Kokkalis. The elder Kokkalis is the founder of a Greek telecommunications company and chairman of the Greek soccer team Olympiacos F.C. His son was the team's vice president.