Authorities say four dead in SW Ohio house fire
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 15:29

KETTERING, Ohio (AP) — An intense early morning house fire killed four people inside a suburban southwest Ohio home Thursday, authorities said.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal's office said investigators at the scene believe there were seven people in the house in the Dayton suburb of Kettering. Three people escaped, one with injuries. No other details on them were released immediately.

The upper part of the home collapsed into the basement, fire marshal's spokesman Michael Duchesne said. Two neighboring homes also were damaged.

Neighbors said a family of seven — four children, two parents and a grandparent — lived in the home, The Dayton Daily News reported. Kari Basson of the Kettering City School District said police had notified the district that some of its students were involved. District crisis management teams planned to address the situation in the affected schools, she said.

Neighbors called 911 at around 3:50 a.m. to report the fire.

Michigan hunter details his Alaska survival tale
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 12:04

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan hunter who lived to tell the tale of his harrowing week in the Alaskan wilderness has attributed his survival to luck, guile and faith.

Adrian Knopps was stranded with no food, shelter or warm clothes. He was sleep-deprived, hallucinating and slipping into hypothermia.

Resigned that he would die, the 51-year-old electrician from Grand Ledge carved a farewell message on his rifle and collapsed.

That's when a Coast Guard helicopter came to his rescue.

"It probably was the most wonderful sound I ever heard," he told The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/1e7HIGY ).

Ohio judges get more options for ordering mental illness treatment
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:32

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Probate court judges would be given the authority to order outpatient treatment for people struggling with mental illness under a bill approved by the Ohio House.

Judges say the bill, which passed 87-6 on Wednesday, would give them options other than committing a person to a mental hospital. It now goes to the Senate.

Terry Russell, head of the National Alliance for Mental Illness Ohio, said it's a major step for the state. He said the bill would save lives by giving judges more clout to "help people who need help, but don't get help."

"This is for people who are seen repeatedly in front of a judge and their illness is so severe they can't stay out of harm's way," Russell said. "We've had so many catastrophes around the country where people resist treatment."

Russell said the bill would allow judges to place people in the "least restrictive environment," which is outpatient treatment. Commitment to a state hospital is far more restrictive and more expensive to taxpayers, he said.

Group wants Columbus arena payment issue on ballot
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:34

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group wants Columbus residents to vote on whether the city should be paying for its professional hockey team's home arena, and it has collected enough signatures to get the issue on the May ballot.

That means voters will be asked whether to end the city's purchase contract for Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1gpzRVp ) reports elections officials confirmed the citizens group collected more than the roughly 5,000 verified signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot.

The president of the group says it doesn't object to the arena but thinks the public should have had a say in the purchase agreement. The city and county agreed in 2011 to use casino tax revenue to help buy and maintain the facility for decades.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ohio panel opts to add 220 area code to 740 region
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 06:38

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Regulators have approved a plan to use a new 220 area code in parts of Ohio now covered by the 740 area code, which is expected to run out of numbers in 2015.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a plan Wednesday to let current 740 customers keep that area code on existing phone lines. The new 220 area code will be assigned for new numbers in parts of central and southeast Ohio.

Customers in the affected regions will have to use 10-digit dialing, including area codes, for local calls starting in March 2015.

The chairman of the utilities commission says the plan to use two area codes in the same region was fairer and less disruptive than splitting the region geographically into two parts with different area codes.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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