Sturgeon season lasts 90 minutes on Michigan's Black Lake
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:26

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State officials say this year's sturgeon harvest on Black Lake in northern Michigan ended almost as soon as it began.

The Department of Natural Resources says it took less than 90 minutes Feb. 1 for anglers to fill the quota of six sturgeon, using spears or hooks and lines. The season had been scheduled to run for five days if it took that long to reach the limit.

There were 228 registered anglers on the frozen Cheboygan County lake suface. DNR fisheries biologist Tim Cwalinski says the fish had been on the move, giving fishermen a better chance to see them.

The largest caught fish was a female that weighed 90 pounds and measured 66 inches.

Cannons and sirens were sounded when the quota was reached to avoid overharvesting.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Reviews: no policy change need post Ohio execution
Written by ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP Legal Affairs Writer   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:25

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Initial reviews of Ohio's lengthiest execution during which an inmate repeatedly gasped found no reason to change the way the state puts condemned prisoners to death.

The reviews, required by Ohio's prison rules, found that the state's execution policy was followed and the execution and medical team members did what they were supposed to.

The findings are important because the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is under strict instructions from a federal judge to stick to its written policies, last updated in October.

Ohio also is planning a longer review of Dennis McGuire's Jan. 16 execution looking more closely at what happened during the procedure.

McGuire's 26-minute execution was the longest since Ohio resumed putting inmates to death in 1999. His family is suing, saying it was cruel and inhumane.

Ohio high court offers judges fines, fees guidance
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:21

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court is reminding judges that conditions are limited under which they can jail an offender for failure to pay fines.

A brochure being distributed to all state judges follows a report last year that alleged several Ohio courts are illegally jailing people because they are too poor to pay their debts.

The report by the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union also found judges often deny defendants a hearing to determine if they're financially capable of paying what they owe.

Ohio law permits judges to jail people for refusing to pay fines only if they are financially able to pay and only after a hearing.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court said Wednesday she appreciated the ACLU raising the issue.

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

Ohio's major parties fend off challengers
Written by DAN SEWELL, Associated Press JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:23

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's Republican and Democratic gubernatorial front-runners are gearing up for a November showdown amid complaints both major parties got too aggressive in pushing out primary challengers.

A little-known Democrat from the Dayton filed before Wednesday's afternoon deadline for the May 6 primary. However, Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens was skeptical about the bid, telling newspaper reporters that Larry Ealy had past problems qualifying to run for other offices. Candidates for governor submit petitions with signatures of 1,000 registered voters that have to be verified by elections officials.

A phone listing for Ealy wasn't working Wednesday evening.

The Democrats had a primary battle looming as recently as last Friday, before Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune quietly withdrew his late bid against Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

The Republican primary field was clear for first-term Gov. John Kasich as a potential tea party challenge fell through. Would-be challenger Ted Stevenot, a tea party favorite, decided against it, and other possible candidates didn't move forward.

Five exotic animals that survived Ohio release moved
Written by ANN SANNER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:02

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The widow of an exotic animal owner who released dozens of creatures from their eastern Ohio farm before killing himself has told state officials that she has relocated five animals that survived the 2011 incident.

The animals were among those released from the Zanesville farm in October 2011 by Terry Thompson. He committed suicide after opening the animals' cages. Authorities killed 48 animals — including black bears, African lions and Bengal tigers — fearing for the public's safety.

In a letter dated Dec. 30, Thompson's widow, Marian, said she transferred the surviving animals — two adult leopards, two primates and a bear— to another Ohio farm. The Associated Press obtained the letter Wednesday through a public records request.

The state had released the animals to Marian Thompson in May 2012 after initially holding them at a Columbus zoo. The zoo had to euthanize one other leopard.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:03
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