Fraternity at Miami U closes over hazing allegations
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 03 March 2014 05:31

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — An investigation into allegations including hazing and alcohol abuse has resulted in a fraternity closing its Miami University chapter in southwest Ohio.

Miami and Beta Theta Pi fraternity officials say the chapter closed last week on the Oxford campus and Miami endorsed the decision. Fraternity and university statements did not provide specific details about the allegations.

The fraternity founded on the Oxford campus in 1839 had about 112 undergraduates in the campus chapter.

Miami and fraternity officials say efforts to rebuild the chapter are expected to start in the 2016-2017 school year. They say they had monitored the chapter for some time and observed a pattern of irresponsible behavior.

Beta Theta Pi says it has about 9,000 undergraduates on 127 campuses in the United States and Canada.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ohio fire department gets $8M to hire firefighters
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:28

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cincinnati's fire department has received more than $8 million in federal funding to hire firefighters as part of a federal program aimed at improving emergency response.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is intended to help ensure that Cincinnati has the skilled responders and updated resources they need to do their job safely.

The funding comes through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, program. FEMA administers the grant program in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

FEMA says grants under the SAFER program are intended to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Brown says such funding is even more important with so many communities facing budget shortfalls.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ohio museum volunteers building vintage war plane
Written by MITCH STACY, Associated Press   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:22

URBANA, Ohio (AP) — They got one part for the World War II-era bomber from under an elderly woman's porch in the next town, and another was bought from someone who had it hanging in a bar in Colorado. One chunk was a prop in a 1960s TV show, and the tail section was salvaged from a wreck deep in the Alaska wilderness.

When dozens of volunteers are finished piecing them all together at a small Ohio museum, they're going to roll out a better-than-new, airworthy version of one of history's most famous military airplanes, the B-17, celebrated in Hollywood adventure movies like "Twelve O'Clock High" and "Memphis Belle."

A behemoth of a vintage plane that hasn't been manufactured new in nearly 70 years is being built one piece at time here — and when the volunteers can't buy or barter for parts they need, they're making them from scratch based on a collection of 28,000 original Boeing Co. blueprints fetched from microfiche at the Smithsonian Institution.

"Modesty aside — and I've been around airplanes as much as anybody here — I think we're building a better airplane than Boeing did," says volunteer Dick Bidlack, a 79-year-old Vietnam War fighter pilot who's been involved with the Champaign Aviation Museum project since it started in 2005. "But we're not trying to build 15 of them a day in a wartime scenario. We're taking years, so we have a little more freedom."

Ohio explores return of sturgeon to Lake Erie
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:25

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's wildlife agency wants to know if can spur the revival of a rare fish once so plentiful in Lake Erie that they were burned for fuel in steamships.

Sturgeon were thought to be all but gone from Lake Erie less than two decades ago, but there are still a few spotted each year. Now the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is looking into whether it can reintroduce breeding populations of sturgeon to the lake.

"There's been quite a movement to reintroduce sturgeon, as well as protecting their populations on the Great Lakes," said Chris Vandergoot, fisheries biologist supervisor at the department's research station in Sandusky.

The idea is tied to restoring threatened and endangered species because of improving water quality, he told the Port Clinton News-Herald (http://ohne.ws/1dAxXLT ).

Prosecutors: Ohio Amish convictions should stand
Written by LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press   
Sunday, 02 March 2014 07:21

CINCINNATI (AP) — The sentences and convictions of 16 Amish men and women found guilty of hate crimes for cutting the hair and beards of fellow Amish in eastern Ohio should be upheld, federal prosecutors argued in a court filing.

In their response to the defendants' appeals, prosecutors on Friday wrote that the victims were forcibly awakened in the middle of the night, restrained and disfigured in a way intended to destroy an important symbol of their beliefs.

"The victims were devastated and physically injured, and the assaults injected terror and anxiety into a community that awaited the next nighttime assault," prosecutors wrote in their filing with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Authorities charged the defendants under a hate crime statute, saying the 2011 attacks were meant to shame fellow Amish that the attackers believed were straying from the faith.

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