Cincinnati follows Vegas with murals on boarded-up homes
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:19

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hoping to stave off blight, Las Vegas is taking a cue from Cincinnati and putting paint on the problem.

The City Council unveiled a pilot program this week to paint murals on the plywood used to board up window and doors. The first boards, installed Thursday at a home on Shiloah Drive, feature colorful desert scenes with roadrunners, butterflies, tortoises and cacti in cheerful primary colors.

"Through this program, the city is being proactive to eliminate the eyesore of boarded-up homes by turning plywood into an arts palette," said Councilman Bob Coffin, who spearheaded the effort. "These initiatives will help beautiful homes and properties, ultimately improving the neighborhoods."

The program is modeled in part after "Future Blooms," which started in Cincinnati in 2009.The organization paints doors, windows and awnings in neighborhoods with high vacancy rates.

Judge backs evidence destruction in Ohio rape case
Written by ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP Legal Affairs Writer   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The destruction of evidence ordered in the case of the rape and killing of an expectant mother was likely justified by harm that could occur if the material became public, according to legal experts. That's despite a move toward preserving more evidence as a possible tool for exoneration, especially involving DNA.

At issue are photos and audio and video recordings collected in the investigation into the 2012 death of Deanna Ballman and her nearly full-term child at the hands of a doctor convicted of killing her with a heroin overdose.

Delaware County Judge Duncan Whitney approved a prosecutor's request late last year to destroy the evidence once the case is wrapped up. The case is open while defendant Ali Salim appeals his 36-year sentence and a wrongful death lawsuit against him proceeds.

The evidence was obscene because its purpose was to arouse lust, assistant Delaware County prosecutor Kyle Rohrer argued in a December court filing.

"The dominant appeal of all the material is to the prurient interest," Rohrer said. "It displays nudity in a way that tends to represent human beings as mere objects of sexual appetite. Some of the material further displays extreme and bizarre violence and cruelty."

Four taken to hospital in U Michigan fraternity house fire
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 08:28

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Officials say four people were taken to the hospital after a fire at a University of Michigan fraternity house.

Crews responded at 5:37 a.m. Saturday to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house.

Ann Arbor fire Battalion Chief Steve Lowe tells The Ann Arbor News (http://bit.ly/1d6Te37 ) four people who suffered smoke inhalation were taken to the University of Michigan Hospital in stable condition and were later released.

Firefighters assisted 20 others out of the back of the house. Battalion Chief Kevin Cook says they "went door to door and floor to floor and evacuated the building."

The students were disoriented from being awakened, and many of them weren't dressed for the freezing temperatures.

A university bus was used as a warming center.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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

Ohio woman complained before fatal mauling by dogs
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:16

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Friends and neighbors of an Ohio woman fatally mauled by two neighborhood dogs say she had complained many times about the animals and sought help from various public agencies.

Acquaintances told the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1jpvdIs ) that 57-year-old Klonda Richey had been harassed by the dog owners and built a high fence to protect her and her 20 cats from the animals. Richey told other neighbors she lived in fear of the dogs.

Dayton police said Richey was mauled by the mixed-breed dogs Friday. She was found unclothed in front of her house, her coat apparently torn off by the dogs. The dogs were shot and killed by officers investigating the death.

The dog owners were released from jail Sunday night "pending additional investigation." Police declined to elaborate.


Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com

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

Missing Ohio college student found dead
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 08:23

GRANVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a central Ohio college student has been found dead less than 24 hours after being reported missing.

The Newark Advocate reports (http://ohne.ws/1gZa2Ng ) that Granville Police Sgt. Keith Blackledge says the body of Denison University senior David Hallman was found about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

The university said the 21-year-old from Erie, Pa., had been missing since about 2 a.m. Saturday, and was found about a half-mile from Brew's Cafe, where he was last seen.

The newspaper reported that Blackledge said Hallman was found wearing regular clothing, not a heavy coat, and probably died of exposure. He says Hallman might have been disoriented. Blackledge says no foul play was expected, and that the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the case.

The university, about 40 miles northeast of Columbus, says the "Denison family will come together to mourn the loss of David."


Information from: The Advocate, http://www.newarkadvocate.com

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

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