HOSPITAL BED SHOOTING
Ohio man gets 6 years for wife's hospital killing
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man who fatally shot his ailing wife in her hospital bed has been sentenced to six years in prison.
The sentence issued Friday is in line with a prosecutor's recommendation that John Wise receive a lighter punishment than the minimum 23 years on his most serious conviction, an aggravated murder count with a firearm specification.
The 68-year-old Massillon (MAS'-ih-luhn) man says he shot his debilitated wife out of love in August 2012 after she suffered an aneurysm and appeared to be in pain. Mercy is not a defense to a murder charge in Ohio.
The prosecutor said the unique circumstances warranted leniency. She recommended that Wise be sentenced on a lesser offense and get a six-year term.
The defense has said Wise will ask the governor for clemency.
Ohio school workers plead not guilty
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Four eastern Ohio school workers have entered not guilty pleas to charges stemming from a grand jury investigation into other alleged crimes spurred by the rape of a 16-year-old girl.
The four include the top Steubenville school official, whose attorney promised to fight the charges and prove them unfounded.
Special Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove accepted the not-guilty pleas Friday in Jefferson County court and let the four remain free without bond.
Two other defendants, including Steubenville schools' former technology director, have previously pleaded not guilty and weren't present.
The attorney for defendant Lynnett Gorman, an elementary school principal, says his client is accused of failing to report information she heard about a sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the assault on the 16-year-old West Virginia girl.
More than 40K Ohio 3rd-graders lag reading target
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - As many as a third of Ohio third-graders scored below a new literacy target on fall reading tests that provide the first view of how many may be at risk of failing a grade this year.
Under the state's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee, students can be held back if they don't meet tough new reading targets.
State results posted Friday showed 32,905 students, or 26.2 percent of those who took the fall reading test, showed limited profiency that misses the new mark. About half of the 21,177 students who showed basic proficiency also will fall below what's been dubbed the "cut score" for passing third grade.
Officials say those who lag at year's end will have several opporunities to re-take reading and advance to fourth grade.
PREGNANT WOMAN-HEROIN HOMICIDE
Ohio judge orders 'obscene' evidence destroyed
DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio judge has ordered the destruction of "obscene" evidence in the case of the rape and killing of an expectant mother.
The evidence includes video, photos and audio seized by authorities investigating Deanna Ballman's 2012 death. The Delaware County Prosecutor's Office argued the material is obscene and shows acts that Ballman couldn't have consented to because she was unconscious.
Delaware County Judge Duncan Whitney on Thursday granted the prosecution's request that the evidence be destroyed once the case against defendant Ali Salim is closed.
Prosecutors say Salim administered a fatal dose of heroin to Ballman, who was not a drug user, when she answered an online sex ad.
Prosecutors say Ballman had turned to prostitution to support herself and two young children.
Ohio county apologizes for offensive drill
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) - Officials in a southeastern Ohio county have apologized for a scenario they used for an emergency-responder drill that offended some people.
The Athens County Emergency Management Agency and the Athens County Local Emergency Planning Committee issued an apology on Thursday for using a scenario involving a fake anti-fracking extremist group.
Activists protesting the hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - process of natural gas drilling have been vocal in and around Athens, home to Ohio University.
The Athens Messenger reports the action was taken after Roxanne Groff, a member of the Athens County Fracking Action Network, requested the apology from county commissioners.
The written mea culpa said "the scenario caused distress to people who have spent countless hours striving to protect the environment and our citizens."
GE AVIATION-OHIO CENTER
GE electrical R&D center opens in southwest Ohio
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - GE Aviation and the University of Dayton are marking the grand opening of a $53 million electrical power research and development center in southwest Ohio.
State and local officials gathered with leaders of the General Electric Co. unit and the university for Friday's events. First announced in 2010, the Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center is a 138,000-square-foot facility on the UD campus along the Great Miami River. It's expected to potentially employ 150 to 200 researchers over the next five years.
The center will work to develop advanced electrical systems, and can analyze, simulate and test power systems in planes.
GE Aviation in based in the northern Cincinnati suburb of Evendale. The new center is near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, as well as the University of Dayton Research Institute.
Police: No weapon found after Ohio suspect shot
CLEVELAND (AP) - Police in Cleveland say no weapon was found in the SUV whose driver was shot by a detective who claimed the suspect pointed a gun at him.
Police say a detective shot burglary suspect Xavier Hempstead in the neck and shoulder on Tuesday as he sat in his Infinity SUV. The detective said Hempstead had leaned back in his seat and pointed a gun as the officer approached.
The detective had sought out the 29-year-old Hempstead after receiving information that he had stolen property and guns.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports Friday that Hempstead was treated at a hospital afterward. He remains in custody but hasn't been charged.
Ohio IG cites 18 wildlife officers for hunting
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state watchdog is referring 18 more Ohio wildlife officers for possible criminal prosecution after a follow-up investigation into illegal hunting while on duty uncovered additional cases across the state.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Friday it immediately would place 17 officers on administrative duty and remove their law enforcement powers pending an internal investigation. The 18th officer, a supervisor, has retired.
Inspector General Randall Meyer found in comparing deer harvest and payroll records that the officers had either hunted while on duty, or they were off duty and had falsified payroll records to collect pay for hours not worked.
Meyer launched the probe after an earlier investigation resulted in the conviction of two Brown County officers. He said he suspected it was more than an isolated incident.
SUPREME COURT-RETIREMENT INVESTING
Court to decide whether lawsuit can move forward
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will weigh in on a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bancorp accusing management of irresponsibly investing employee retirement money in the bank's then-failing stock.
The justices agreed Friday to hear the appeal from the Cincinnati-based bank.
People in the bank retirement plan say the institution started making risky subprime loans, but executives should have known it was risky to invest retirement funds in bank stock. Stock dropped 74 percent between 2007 and 2009, losing millions of dollars. The fund participants sued, saying executives who decided to make the risky loans also should have known not to invest retirement money in bank stock.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the lawsuit to proceed. Justices will review that decision.
The case is Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 12-751.
GAS DRILLING-LOCAL LAWS
Ohio court sets Feb. 26 arguments in drilling case
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled arguments in a closely-watched lawsuit that challenges the state's authority to supersede local zoning laws with centralized regulation of oil and gas drilling.
The case brought by Munroe Falls, an Akron suburb, against Beck Energy Corp. will be argued Feb. 26.
It centers on a Beck project that began on private property in 2011 with state permission. In the process, the city contends the company sidestepped 11 local laws on road use, permitting and drilling.
Both foes and supporters of drilling are watching the case. Its outcome could prevent or allow cities to enact local drilling bans, which has implications for the spread of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Beck's well was traditionally drilled, but Ohio's state regulatory program oversees both well types.
Ohio-built Jeep Cherokee up for prestigious award
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The Toledo-built Jeep Cherokee is one of three finalists for a prestigious auto industry award.
The Blade reports that the Cherokee is up for truck/utility vehicle of the year awarded by the automotive press. The other finalists are the Acura MDX and the Chevrolet Silverado.
The nominations came after a jury of 48 automotive journalists tested 24 new or redesigned vehicles.
Now that the finalists have been chosen, the jurors will vote again, basing rankings on multiple factors, including innovation, design, safety, handling, comfort, value and driver satisfaction.
The 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year will be announced Jan. 13 during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Chrysler plant in Toledo began building Cherokees in June, but sales were delayed until late October.
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