Ohio man, 23, gets 20 years for strangling mother
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:24

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge has sentenced a 23-year-old central Ohio man to 20 years in prison for strangling his mother during an argument over money last year.

Tyler Dunkle was sentenced Tuesday in Columbus after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the death of 44-year-old Terri Menendez. The sentenced was approved by both sides as part of a plea agreement.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1tBbhpn ) reports that Dunkle's attorney told the judge the former high school honor student was suffering from alcoholism and mental illness. Police say he strangled his mother and hid her body in a closet at their apartment in suburban Hilliard on March 29, 2013.

Dunkle told police they were arguing about finances.

Family members agreed to the plea bargain to avoid a trial.


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Michigan man among first in U.S. to get 'bionic eye'
Written by MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:15

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.

Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.

"It's awesome. It's exciting — seeing something new every day," Pontz said during a recent appointment at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. The 55-year-old former competitive weightlifter and factory worker is one of four people in the U.S. to receive an artificial retina since the Food and Drug Administration signed off on its use last year.

The facility in Ann Arbor has been the site of all four such surgeries since FDA approval. A fifth is scheduled for next month.

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that causes slow but progressive vision loss due to a gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells called rods and cones. Patients experience loss of side vision and night vision, then central vision, which can result in near blindness.

Cyclist sees parallels to 'Breaking Away' rider
Written by MIKE MILLER, The Herald-Times   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:15

This is an AP Member Exchange shared by The Herald-Times.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The royalty checks still appear in Dave Blase's mailbox once or twice a year.

They're not as lucrative as they once were — seldom netting more than $15 — but 35 years after he provided the inspiration for the Dave Stoller character in "Breaking Away," Blase is happy to be remembered.

It's been quite the ride for the man who thought very little of himself when he arrived on the Indiana University campus for his freshman year in 1958. The years since provided him with a new hobby, Little 500 glory and a seminal role with one of the most popular sports films of all time.

"It's certainly gotten me a lot more attention around this time of the year," says Blaise, now 74 and living in northeast Indianapolis with his wife of more than 40 years, Yolande.

While Dennis Christopher's portrayal of Stoller in "Breaking Away" isn't exactly biographical, there were very real parallels between Stoller and Blase, The Herald-Times reported (http://bit.ly/PqmGrC ).

Ex-coach Tressel among three finalists to lead Akron
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:03

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel is among three finalists in the University of Akron's search for a new president.

Tressel has been an administrator there for two years. He took the job after being forced out at Ohio State following a scandal that led to NCAA sanctions.

A campus email Tuesday from Akron trustees says the finalists include provosts from two other schools — Scott Scarborough of the University of Toledo and Ronald Nykiel  of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Trustees say each finalist will spend one day next week interviewing with advisory groups. Whoever is chosen will replace President Luis Proenza, who is leaving his position in June.

Tressel also applied to be president at Youngstown State University, where he previously coached.

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

Health agencies try to counter Ohio mumps outbreak
Written by KANTELE FRANKO, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:08

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Health agencies trying to stem a large and growing mumps outbreak are advising college, school and even day care leaders to make sure central Ohio students are immunized and to separate them from those who haven't been vaccinated and those who are infected.

More than 250 cases of the contagious viral illness are confirmed, making it the largest mumps outbreak in Ohio in years, said Brian Fowler, the chief of vaccine-preventable disease epidemiology at the Ohio Department of Health.

It comprises most of the 276 mumps cases reported nationwide so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, 438 cases were reported last year.

The Ohio cases date to January, and it is hard to say how long the outbreak might last. Officials hope new cases will become more sporadic, especially as classes end and students of all ages have less contact in school environments that make the spread of illnesses more likely.

"We're not out of the woods yet," Columbus Public Health spokesman Jose Rodriguez said.

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