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February 9, 2020 at 1:23 AM EST – Updated February 9 at 9:23 PM

Coroner: 28 overdose deaths in Franklin County in 10 days

A coroner says nearly 30 people died of drug overdoses in the past 10 days in Ohio’s Franklin County. Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz wrote in a Facebook post Sunday that there were 23 fatal overdoses from Jan. 31 to Friday and then five on Saturday. She says that “most of these folks most likely died from fentanyl.” WCMH reported that Ortiz previously cited 10 overdose deaths on Jan. 31. Ortiz encouraged people to use fentanyl testing strips and to carry the overdose antidote naloxone if they feel they need to use drugs.


Police: 3 killed, at least two injured in shooting in Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Police say a shooting near a club in Ohio left three men dead and at least two other people injured. Youngstown police say they were called to reports of multiple gunfire in the vicinity of a club on the city’s north side around 4 a.m. Sunday. Police say the two injured people were taken to a hospital and are reported in stable condition. Investigators are working to determine a motive and identify the shooter or shooters. Authorities say the names of the men who died are being withheld until relatives can be notified. The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office is assisting in the investigation.


Facebook’s 1st Ohio data center up and running; more to come

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s first Facebook data center is now up and running. The company says its center in suburban Columbus will eventually employ more than 150 people, up from 50 now. Mike Reffle is director of data center operations for Facebook. He said the first two buildings on the 340-acre campus in New Albany east of Columbus went online Thursday. The center already plans to add two more buildings with an eventual investment of $1 billion. Former Gov. John Kasich and Ohio’s JobsOhio economic development wing announced the center in 2017 in hopes of persuading other tech companies to invest in Ohio.


Report: Cleveland is owed $45.6M in parking tickets

CLEVELAND (AP) — An analysis of city records has found more than one out of every three parking tickets in Cleveland have gone unpaid over the last three years, resulting in millions in unpaid fines. The analysis by WEWS-TV found that Cleveland is owed $7.8 million in unpaid tickets over the last three years and $45.6 million for tickets dating back to 2000. Obie Shelton is a spokesman for Cleveland Clerk of Courts Earle Turner. Turner’s office is responsible for collecting parking fines. Shelton says it’s a “balancing act” to find how aggressive the city’s going to be with citizens to collect fines.

Ohio flu hospitalizations reach highest number this season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio health officials say flu hospitalizations reached their highest number for the 2019-2020 season. The Ohio Department of Health said Friday 832 people were hospitalized between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, a 36% percent increase from the previous week. Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says the spike in hospitalizations is “deeply concerning.” Health officials say an 11-year-old girl from Lake County earlier this week became the state’s second pediatric flu death this season. A 16-year-old girl from Cuyahoga County was the first. The state doesn’t track adult flu-related deaths. There have been nearly 4,500 flu-related hospitalizations in Ohio this season.


Ex-Ohio State assistant gets jail time for violating order

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — Former Ohio State University assistant football coach Zach Smith has received jail time for violating a civil protection order involving his ex-wife. A Municipal Court judge in the Columbus suburb of Delaware on Friday suspended 160 days of an 180-day sentence and gave Smith one day’s credit for time served. The 35-year-old Smith was found guilty in December. He was arrested in May when he tried to pick up his children from a Powell elementary school while his ex-wife was present and became confrontational with staff. Smith was fired as OSU receivers coach in July 2018.

Ohio bill allowing fireworks on private property criticized

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Opponents of a bill that would repeal a ban on setting off fireworks on private property are warning the legislation could lead to dangerous consequences. Sherill Williams is president and CEO of the Ohio affiliate of Prevent Blindness. She says one in five of the 10,000 serious consumer fireworks injuries each year are to the eye. The bill before the House Commerce and Labor Committee would allow individuals to buy and use consumer fireworks in Ohio. Current law allows consumers to buy fireworks in Ohio, but mandates they be taken out of the state within 48 hours.

Ohio jobs office provides $20M for proposed ethane cracker

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s private nonprofit development corporation says it’s giving one of the developers of a proposed ethane “cracker” plant $20 million. JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart said in a statement Friday the money will be paid directly to a contractor for the developers to complete engineering and site-related preparation work. The Appalachian region surrounding southeastern Ohio’s Belmont County has been eagerly awaiting a decision from PTTGC America LLC and partner Daelim Chemical USA about whether it will build a multi-billion dollar plant. Officials say the facility would create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions.

Central State University announces hiring of new president

WILBERFORCE, Ohio (AP) — Central State University has announced the selection of its ninth president. The university in Wilberforce said Friday it selected Jack Thomas, who left his position at Western Illinois University last year after eight years. Thomas replaces Central State president Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, who is stepping down also after eight years. During Jackson-Hammond’s tenure the school opened a new $33.5 million student center and a $24 million residence hall. Thomas called Central State, a historically black university, a special institution where he could contribute the most to its future success.

Ex-Cleveland Browns mascot, Swagger, dies at age 6

CLEVELAND (AP) — The 145-pound bull mastiff that represented the Cleveland Browns for every game from 2014 until last October has died. reports the family that owns Swagger confirmed that he died after suffering from cancer and a stroke at the age of six. The NFL team had announced Swagger’s retirement in October but did not disclose the canine’s health issues at the time. Swagger ran out of the tunnel for Cleveland Browns games at the FirstEnergy Stadium for five years. He made his last run with the team on Oct 13, before the Browns lost to the Seattle Seahawks. His son, Swagger Jr., took over for him in November.


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