Ohio News Briefs

Ohio student accused of passing out hashish-laced brownies

SPRINGBORO, Ohio (AP) — A student accused of passing out brownies laced with hashish to students and a teacher at his southwest Ohio high school has been indicted on felony drug charges.

Warren County court documents show 19-year-old Edward Goschinski III, of Springboro, was indicted Monday on charges of trafficking and possession of the concentrated marijuana, corrupting another with drugs and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor.

Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

County Prosecutor David Fornshell says Goschinski allegedly took the brownies to school in April and gave them to a least four students and a teacher. Fornshell says the teacher noticed the brownie tasted bad and threw it away, and another student then indicated Goschinski had hashish.

Man who claims boy choked on Pop Tart charged with murder

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who spent time in prison for child endangering has been charged with murder in the death of a 2-year-old boy less than a year after his release, a prosecutor’s spokesman said Tuesday.

Justin Payne, 26, was initially arrested Saturday on a felonious assault count. Montgomery County Prosecutor’s spokesman Greg Flannagan said Payne has been charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering children.

Payne called 911 from a Dayton apartment on Saturday morning to say his girlfriend’s child apparently “choked on a Pop Tart.” The coroner’s office said the child, Jacob Barker, died Sunday. The cause of death hasn’t been determined.

Records show Payne pleaded no contest in June 2012 to a child endangering charge involving an infant and was released in November. Court records show that child was less than 2 months old and suffered serious injury, but survived and is now 4 years old.

Court records Tuesday didn’t show a current attorney for Payne. His arraignment on the new charges was pending.

The boy’s funeral services are scheduled for Thursday.

Ohioan dead in jail cell said she didn’t want to die there

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Footage recorded by police body cameras shows a woman saying she didn’t want to die in a suburban Cleveland jail cell about 15 hours before she was found dead there.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reports the footage also shows 37-year-old Ralkina Jones discussing her medical problems, which included a heart condition, seizures and depression.

Jones was found dead July 26 in her jail cell in Cleveland Heights. A medical examiner hasn’t determined a cause of death but says an autopsy didn’t find suspicious injuries.

Police say paramedics took Jones to a medical facility for an evaluation the night before she died and continued checking on her after she was brought back to jail.

She had been arrested July 24 after her ex-husband reported that she’d assaulted him.

Ohio island village fires police chief who’s facing charges

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio (AP) — The police chief in the Lake Erie island resort town of Put-in-Bay is out of a job nearly six months after he was charged with blocking an investigation into sexual assault claims against an officer.

The village council in Put-in-Bay voted to fire police Chief Ric Lampela on Monday.

He had been on paid administrative leave after being charged in February with dereliction of duty, falsification and other misdemeanors.

Lampela attended the council hearing on Monday but would not answer questions, citing the court case against him. He hasn’t returned messages seeking comment on the charges.

State and county investigators have said that Lampela refused to look into sexual assault claims from two employees and hoped to prevent negative publicity for the department.

Robbery suspect found dead in cell at SW Ohio jail

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Police in southwest Ohio say a 35-year-old robbery suspect was found dead in a jail cell four days after his arrest.

Middletown police Maj. Mark Hoffman says the inmate was wearing jail-issued clothing and was found alone in his cell at the city jail Monday afternoon. No immediate determination was made about his cause of death, and an autopsy was planned.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the local man was suspected in robberies of a grocery store and a bank in the same shopping center last week.

Hoffman says the man was arrested Thursday at a relative’s home and admitted to the crimes. He was subsequently accused of trying to escape jail by removing a ceiling tile and light fixture, and that had brought additional charges against him.

Sales tax holiday popular with Ohio back-to-school shoppers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s first sales tax holiday appears to have been a hit with back-to-school shoppers.

The numbers won’t be available and analyzed for economic impacts until later, but the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants says anecdotal reports are that consumers were out in force to take advantage. Some retailers offered sales specials on top of the tax holiday to keep checkout lines busy.

The tax break over the weekend was on clothing and footwear items under $75 and for classroom supplies that cost $20 or less. Items priced higher than those limits weren’t eligible for the tax savings.

Similar holidays have been popular in other states.

The retail merchants council has said 1.1 million children and 500,000 college students the state will be returning to school this fall.

ATF Officials: Thieves stole from 3 Ohio gun shops in 3 days

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say thieves have broken into three Ohio gun shops in three days.

The Dayton Daily News reports the ATF has partnered with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

The burglars stole a total of 75 handguns and 2 semi-automatic rifles from Vandalia Range and Armory, Palmer Firearms and The Miami Armory.

Vandalia Range and Armory was robbed early Aug. 5. Detectives believe the same suspects broke into Palmer Firearms on Aug. 7 and The Miami Armory on Aug. 8.

Each break-in was recorded by video surveillance cameras. Agents are hoping the public might help identify the gun thieves.

Sale of public TV station could net $40M for Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Officials say more than 100 people attended a public forum held by Bowling Green State University to get community feedback on the future of its public television station.

If the university sells its PBS station to the Federal Communications Commission, the return for WBGU could net close to $40 million.

Dave Kielmeyer, BGSU’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, says the school would invest the funds from a sale back into academic programming.

Kielmeyer says if the university doesn’t sell, WBGU would still likely be consolidated with another station by the FCC.

Those in attendance at Monday’s forum favored the decision not to sell, causing one resident to say “don’t make Big Bird go away.”

Kielmeyer says a decision will likely be made after a Sept. 18 board of trustees meeting.

Former deputy, sheriff candidate faces child porn charges

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a former central Ohio deputy who twice ran for sheriff has been charged with having child pornography on his computer.

Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Mark Wolfe of Sunbury, north of Columbus, was arrested Monday. He was a Delaware County deputy for three years in the 1990s and was interim county sheriff for a week in 2007, but hasn’t worked there since then. He ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff there in 2000 and 2004.

Prosecutors say a shared file containing child pornography was traced to his IP address, and a search on July 31 turned up 486 videos and 203 images of child pornography.

Wolfe also had been the police chief of the village of Edison in Morrow County. His attorney said he will fight the charges.