(Updated) Massive Indiana pileup on I-94 kills 3, more than 20 hurt
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 24 January 2014 07:20
Emergency crews work at the scene of a massive pileup involving more than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, along Interstate 94 Thursday afternoon, Jan. 23, 2014 near Michigan City, Ind. At least three were killed and more than 20 people were injured. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — A couple from Michigan and a man from Chicago were killed in a massive pileup on a snowy interstate in northwestern Indiana, authorities said Friday, as crews cleaned up after the 40-plus-vehicle wreck.

More than 20 people were injured in the crush of semitrailers and mangled passenger vehicles Thursday afternoon on the eastbound stretch of Interstate 94 connecting Chicago with Detroit. Two of those are critically injured, Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said.

Conditions very quickly changed from clear to near-whiteout at the time of the crash. State police Lt. Jerry Williams said there was a sudden burst of heavy lake-effect snow that took everyone by surprise.

"As these people came into that whiteout condition, it became that environment where they couldn't see each other," Williams said at a news conference Friday morning.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2014 11:43
Repairs top Ohio colleges' capital budget request
Written by JULIE CARR SMYTH, AP Statehouse Correspondent   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 13:55

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio higher education leaders, instructed by Republican Gov. John Kasich to cooperate with each other when requesting state dollars, identified maintenance and repairs as far higher priorities than new construction in a 2014 capital funding request released Thursday.

Kasich praised a coalition led by presidents of Ohio public colleges and universities for identifying unique, innovative priorities through shared effort rather than competing for limited state resources.

"You know (in college) you have those slices of pizza sitting on the table there, and I remember back in the days when I was in college, you just grab as many slices of pizza as you can," Kasich said during a conference call detailing the higher education group's funding outline. "That was inappropriate, and these college presidents are acting so fantastic from the standpoint of what's good for the state is good for us."

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, who chaired this year's Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission, noted that $166.8 million of the $404.5 million requested will be for unglamorous but important maintenance projects across the state, mostly refurbishing and upgrading existing buildings.

Ohioan with asbestos-related cancer awarded $27 million
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:49

CLEVELAND (AP) — A jury in Ohio has awarded a Cleveland-area man suffering from asbestos-related cancer a $27.5 million verdict.

The man's attorney tells The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/1mx30MI ) that it's the largest award of its kind in Ohio.

John Panza was diagnosed in 2012 with what is usually a fatal form of lung cancer. The 40-year-old Panza got cancer after being exposed to asbestos dust on the clothes of his father, who worked at a plant that made brakes.

The December verdict means that Livonia, Mich.-based Kelsey-Hayes Co. is responsible for the $27.5 million award to Panza and his wife.

The company is the successor to the firm that made the asbestos brake pads. A message seeking comment was left with the company's attorneys.

The Plain Dealer reports an appeal is likely.

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

$5M bond for Ohio ex-con charged in girl's death
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:50

CLEVELAND (AP) — Bond of $5 million has been set for an ex-con charged with aggravated murder in the Cleveland shooting of a 5-year-old girl.

The bond was set Thursday for 32-year-old Geoffrey Gurkovich of Cleveland during an appearance in Municipal Court. No attorney for him was listed in court records detailing the charge.

He is accused of killing Jermani Brooks, who was shot in the head Sunday while sitting in a vehicle with her mother. The woman was wounded.

Police allege Gurkovich intended to shoot a man who got into an argument with his girlfriend. They say Jermani apparently was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Relatives planned a vigil Thursday, on what would have been Jermani's sixth birthday.

Her mother has been hospitalized in fair condition.

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

Conflicting views of Ind. shooting suspect emerge
Written by AMANDA LEE MYERS & CHARLES D. WILSON, Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:12
A path is lit for members of the Purdue All-American Marching Band during a vigil for a teaching assistant who was fatally shot on campus at Purdue University, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/The Journal & Courier, Michael Heinz)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Purdue University engineering student who police say fatally shot another student in a basement classroom prepared to face a judge as those who knew both men struggled to make sense of the violence Wednesday.

Cody Cousins, 23, was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Thursday afternoon in a small courtroom at the Tippecanoe County Jail, Deputy Prosecutor Kristen McVey said in a statement.

Cousins, who has addresses in Warsaw, Ind., and Centerville, Ohio, is being held without bond on a preliminary charge of murder in Tuesday's shooting death of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wis. Police have said Cousins targeted Boldt but they haven't disclosed why or how the two might have known each other.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:17
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