BABY SITTER-RAPE CHARGES
Baby sitter in Ohio pleads guilty raping children
CINCINNATI (AP) - A woman accused of sexually assaulting four children she baby-sat for over several years has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of rape.
A prosecutor's spokeswoman says 64-year-old Barbara Brooks entered the pleas and was sentenced Friday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati.
Brooks had pleaded not guilty to 15 counts of rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition and could have spent the rest of her life in prison if convicted of all counts. Brooks' attorney confirmed the plea and sentence, but did not comment further Friday.
Prosecutors said two accusers told police in 2011 that Brooks sexually abused them while baby-sitting between 2000 and 2007.
Brooks, of the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township, was arrested in 2012.
Toledo fight rumors of more water problems
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Officials in Toledo - where a Lake Erie algae bloom made the city's tap water unsafe to drink earlier this month - are fighting rumors that water problems persist.
The Blade newspaper reports that the rumors of another "do not drink" advisory became so persistent on Thursday that the city issued a statement asking residents not to panic.
As the city was issuing the statement, residents were busy buying up bottled water at grocery stores. One man buying four cases at a Kroger store said he'd gotten a text about a pending "do not drink" advisory and also saw "random things on Facebook."
About 400,000 people were left without clean tap water Aug. 2 to Aug 4 when toxins produced by the algae got into the city's water supply.
Teen arrested in Cincinnati slaying
CINCINNATI (AP) - Police in Cincinnati have arrested a 16-year-old boy in the downtown slaying of a 36-year-old man earlier this month.
Police say Ceran Lipscomb was shot in the back of the head near a park on West Court Street on Aug. 1. He died two days later at a hospital.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the 16-year-old was arrested Thursday and charged with murder.
Police did not say how they developed the teen as a suspect. His name hasn't been released.
Ohio Dems turn focus from governor race to turnout
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - With hopes of winning the governorship damaged, Ohio Democrats are shifting resources away from the top of the ticket into a coordinated victory campaign focused on getting out the vote.
Embattled gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald's campaign said Friday shifting strategy and campaign cash to the party's field and voter turnout program is aimed at turning out sporadic Democratic voters "who have made the difference in past elections."
The decision follows a series of blows to FitzGerald's campaign against Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), including revelations that FitzGerald lacked a permanent driver's license for over a decade.
After high-level departures earlier this week, spokeswoman Lauren Hitt says she and the rest of FitzGerald's senior staff and consulting team are staying on board and will "wage a competitive, vocal campaign" against Kasich.
In Ohio, Walesa says US can take lead on Ukraine
CINCINNATI (AP) - The leader of Poland's Solidarity movement that successfully challenged Soviet bloc communism says the United States can take the lead in a global response to Russia's role in Ukraine.
Former Polish president Lech (lek) Walesa (vah-WEN'-suh) says the world wants leadership in the situation. He says it's not up to the United States to solve the world's problems, but that Washington can provide the framework for solutions and help build a united front.
A Pentagon spokesman said Friday the U.S. government "strongly condemns" the unilateral movement of a Russian convoy into rebel-held Ukraine, which the Kiev government called a "direct invasion."
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate commented Friday while at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Walesa and the late Nelson Mandela are being honored there this weekend.
Court: Ohio county could be liable for fatal wreck
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - An appeals court says a northeastern Ohio county could be liable in the death of a 17-year-old girl who apparently lost control while driving on a road under repair.
At issue is the absence of white lines on the rural road in Wayne County during the repair project in 2011.
The parents of crash victim Kelli Baker say the county is liable because the condition of the road contributed to the accident, including the lack of lines and steep berms.
A judge rejected the family's lawsuit, saying the county had immunity, but the Ninth District Court of Appeals overturned that decision last week.
The appeals court returned the case to the judge for further review, saying the county could be liable for failing to keep the road in repair.
TAX FRAUD SCHEME
Mastermind of Ohio tax fraud scheme sentenced
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The mastermind of a $3.5 tax fraud scheme that unraveled because the conspirators misspelled the names of common cities on forms has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced 35-year-old Roma Sims, of the Columbus suburb of Westerville, to prison for 100 months and ordered him to pay $3.5 million in restitution.
Sims and two others were charged last year with stealing the identities of more than 500 people between 2009 and 2012 to collect tax refunds of more than $3.5 million.
Most of the stolen identities were Kentucky residents on disability or other assistance.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the scheme unraveled when the conspirators misspelled several cities on forms that caught the attention of Internal Revenue Service investigators.
Man wanted for Ohio murder nabbed in Detroit
PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say they captured an Ohio murder suspect when officers raided the man's birthday party in Detroit this week.
They say Walter Delon Tate fatally shot a 32-year-old man in Painesville, east of Cleveland, on July 4. Investigators believed he fled to the Detroit area, where he has extensive family ties.
The (Willoughby) News-Herald reports that the U.S. Marshal Service in Detroit learned that Tate's family planned to throw a birthday party for him in a west Detroit neighborhood. Marshals say they found a house decorated for a birthday party, recognized some of Tate's family members outside, and found the suspect in the basement.
Painesville police say Tate will remain jailed until an extradition hearing. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney yet.
FATAL INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT
Man dies in northeast Ohio industrial accident
CLEVELAND (AP) - A fire department official says a 45-year-old man was killed after he was pulled into a machine while working at a northeast Ohio industrial company.
The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Medical Examiner's office identified the victim as Elbert Woods of Garfield Heights.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports Woods was working at Cleveland Track Material in Cleveland when his clothing became stuck in a machine and he was pulled into it.
A fire official said that when rescuers arrived, Woods had been freed from the machine by co-workers, but he had died from crushing injuries.
Cleveland Track Material manufactures railway track and components such as switches that move trains from one track to another.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Cleveland greets reopening of historic ballpark
CLEVELAND (AP) - An important piece of Cleveland history will be celebrated Saturday with the reopening of historic League Park, once home to the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro Leagues.
The city has spent $6.3 million to turn an empty, trash-strewn field into a handsome ballpark with a playing surface of all-weather field turf.
The ticket house will become the new home of Cleveland's Baseball Heritage Museum. The only other piece of the park that remains is a long brick wall. They are the last remnants of the ballpark where Cy Young threw the first pitch in 1891 for the National League's Cleveland Spiders, and where Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run.
League Park's restoration fulfills the dream of Fannie Lewis, a longtime Cleveland councilwoman who died in 2008.
Manziel fined $12,000 by for middle finger flip
CLEVELAND (AP) - A person familiar with the penalty says Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has been fined $12,000 by the NFL for flipping his middle finger at Washington's sideline.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Friday because the ruling has not been made public.
Manziel said he was reacting to taunting by the Redskins during Monday night's nationally televised game. The action didn't help his chances to win Cleveland's starting job, which went to veteran Brian Hoyer. Manziel says he has to be "smarter" on the field.
Browns coach Mike Pettine was "extremely disappointed" by Manziel's conduct and said the 21-year-old's on-field behavior factored into the team's decision in naming a starter.
Guidelines spell end of Ohio schools' pink cookie
ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) - New federal nutritional guidelines for school cafeterias has meant the end of a favorite - and locally famous - treat in one northeast Ohio school district.
The federal government's edict to provide healthier foods and cut fats and cholesterol put an end of the sale of the traditional Elyria (eh-LEER'-ee-uh) pink cookie - a buttery sweet treat with pink icing.
The pink cookie has been a favorite for four decades. The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports the treat gained a cult following through the years and was once named the "Best Cafeteria Cookie" by Cleveland magazine.
Food services director Scott Teaman said the recipe could have been changed to better meet nutritional standards, but it just wouldn't be the same.
The district will still bake the cookies for special orders.
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