OH-MI-IN News
Man pleads guilty to breaking into Ohio churches
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:01

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) β€” A man has pleaded guilty to kicking in the doors and looting more than two dozen central Ohio churches to help feed his drug habit.

Twenty-six-year-old Cash Yoakem on Tuesday pleaded guilty in Chillicothe, south of Columbus, to 44 counts of felony breaking-and-entering. Prosecutors said he broke in and stole from at least 27 Ross County churches, some more than once, from October through January.

The churches reported the theft of everything from televisions and copper wire to heirloom communion trays. Yoakem is also charged with breaking into two car washes.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1i8pJRa ) reports that prosecutors are pushing for four years in prison when Yoakem is sentenced June 6. His attorney is urging the judge to stick to sentencing guidelines, which call for probation.

___

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


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies
Written by SAM HANANEL, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:39

WASHINGTON (AP) β€” The Supreme Court appears to be highly skeptical of laws that try to police false statements during political campaigns, raising doubts about the viability of such laws in more than 15 states.

Justices expressed those concerns early and often Tuesday during arguments in a case challenging an Ohio law that bars people from recklessly making false statements about candidates seeking elective office.

The case has attracted widespread attention, with both liberal and conservative groups saying the law tramples on the time-honored, if dubious, tradition of political mudslinging. Critics say free speech demands wide-open debate during political campaigns, including protection for negative speech that may sometimes twist the facts.

The high court is not expected to rule directly on the constitutional issue because the current question before the justices is only a preliminary one: Can you challenge the law right away, or do you have to wait until the state finds you guilty of lying?

But the justices couldn't resist going after the law itself, pointing out that the mere prospect of being hauled in front of state officials to explain comments made in the heat of an election has a chilling effect on speech.

Read more...
 
Ohio state park facilities to be modernized
Written by JULIE CARR SMYTH, AP Statehouse Correspondent   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:25

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) β€” State officials are preparing to invest $88.5 million to upgrade and modernize trails, campgrounds and recreational facilities in Ohio's state parks over the next two years.

The outlay headed to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources through the state capital budget is more than four times larger than average. Details are to be announced at news conferences Wednesday in Grand Lake St. Mary's and Indian Lake.

Natural resources department director James Zehringer told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the events that the money will be shared among Ohio's 74 state parks. Ohio's is one of only seven park systems nationally that charges no entry fees.

He'll appear at Wednesday's events with Senate President Keith Faber, a Lima Republican he credited with helping secure the funding along with GOP Gov. John Kasich.

Through a website to be launched later Wednesday, parks visitors will help decide which camp sites, cabins, lodges, restrooms, shower houses, trails, roads and wastewater treatment facilities see improvements, said spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle.

Read more...
 
Judge denies ex-Ohio lawmaker early prison release
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:27

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) β€” A judge has denied a former Ohio lawmaker's request for early release from prison, saying he agreed to serve three years.

Under a plea deal, former state Rep. Clayton Luckie of Dayton was sentenced in January 2013 to the three-year prison term after pleading guilty to election falsification, grand theft and other charges.

State and federal investigators found that Luckie skimmed nearly $130,000 in campaign funds for personal use and failed to list campaign expenditures for six years.

Franklin County Judge Colleen O'Donnell said in her Tuesday ruling that "a bargain is a bargain." She said early release would demean the seriousness of the offenses, and that the court could have imposed a more than 10-year prison term.

Luckie has attributed the crimes to "errors in judgment."


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

 
Ohio police probe baby death in alleged drug lab
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:24

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) β€” Police in northern Ohio are investigating the death of a 3-month-old baby who lived in a home where they say a drug lab was operating.

Mansfield police Lt. Doug Noblet says officers began investigating after the infant was taken to a hospital Monday. The coroner has not announced a cause of death, and the child and mother have not been identified.

The Mansfield News Journal (http://ohne.ws/1ieO9Dt ) reports that investigators who searched the house found the makings of a methamphetamine lab.

The mother's live-in boyfriend, 29-year-old Alexander Dickson, was jailed on charges of illegal manufacture of drugs and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals. He is not the father of the child.

Dickson is being held on $250,000 bond. Online jail records did not list an attorney for him.


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

 
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