Police probe mascot graffiti
CINCINNATI — Authorities are trying to identify who spray-painted messages at a suburban Cincinnati high school protesting the school’s “Redskins” nickname. The messages earlier this week at Anderson High School included the word racists and the messages “Change the name!” and said the school was more like “whiteskins.” Students at the school are predominantly white. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says a surveillance video shows the vandal wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and black pants with a mask covering the lower half of the person’s face. The vandal carried a black-and-brown backpack. An effort to change the nickname considered offensive to many Native Americans failed last year. Forest Hills school Superintendent Scott Prebles said the graffiti was “deeply disturbing and does not reflect the beliefs of our students nor staff.”
Sex offender charged again
LIMA — Federal prosecutors say an Ohio man who’s a registered sex offender coerced a 14-year-old girl to have sex with men for money. The Justice Department announced Friday it has filed child sex trafficking, child pornography and other charges against 28-year-old Nicholas Cochran, of Lima. The government says Cochran was arrested in early August during a nationwide sting operation targeting sex traffickers. Prosecutors say he connected with the teenage girl on Snapchat earlier this year and in July offered her for sex in ads he placed in the Lima, Findlay, Dayton and Columbus areas. Cochran faces up to life in prison.
Cedar Fair numbers are up
SANDUSKY — Cedar Fair Entertainment says attendance is up this year at its amusement and water parks. The Sandusky, Ohio-based company says attendance was up 2% through August at its parks and up 6% overall when its two new Texas water parks are included. Cedar Fair this summer acquired two Schlitterbahn water parks in Texas in a $260 million deal. The company now operates 11 amusement parks and five water parks across the U.S. The company says its revenue has increased 8% to a record $1.1 billion over last year. It also says spending in its parks and at its hotels has risen.
Weatherman facing porn charges
COLUMBUS — A longtime Columbus television meteorologist accused of downloading child pornography has been fired by the station that has employed him for more than three decades. WBNS-TV issued a statement Friday saying it had dismissed 60-year-old Mike Davis because of violations of his employment terms. Davis was arrested Thursday and charged with pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. He was freed Friday on separate $25,000 bonds. Defense attorney Terry Sherman, while arguing in court for Davis’ release on a personal bond, said it will be months before a grand jury hears the case as forensics investigators examine Davis’ computers. Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said Davis possessed a “significant” number of images depicting children. Davis did not speak in court and declined to be interviewed after his release from jail.
Parents appeal over training
HAMILTON — Parents are appealing a judge’s ruling that an Ohio district allowing employees to carry concealed weapons in school doesn’t require them to undergo the numerous hours of training required of police. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports a state appeals court will hear arguments Oct. 7 in the Madison Local Schools case. The district decided to allow armed staff after a student shot and injured classmates there in 2016. The district’s policy requires 24 hours of training for staff carrying concealed weapons. Some parents sued to block armed staff except those having the 700-plus hours of training police receive. A Butler County judge sided with the district and concluded the law doesn’t require the more extensive training for school employees. The district has said student safety is its main concern.
Prison time for worker’s death
AKRON — An Ohio construction company owner has been sentenced to three years in prison for failing to provide safety equipment when an employee fell from a roof and died. The Akron Beacon Journal reports 53-year-old James Coon was sentenced Friday in Summit County after pleading guilty in July to involuntary manslaughter and worker’s compensation fraud. Prosecutors say 39-year-old Gerardo Juarez on his second day with the company fell at a three-story apartment complex in November 2017. Coon’s charges were based on not providing safety equipment to employees and failing to acquire worker’s compensation coverage. Coon’s attorney asked for a lesser sentence, saying his client is remorseful and has accepted responsibility. Judge Alison McCarty pointed out that during Coon’s two decades in business, two other workers either fell off or through roofs.
Driver said he’d kill everyone
VAN WERT — Authorities say a man shot and killed by Ohio sheriff’s deputies after threatening to kill people with a stolen semitrailer cab repeatedly said in 911 calls he wouldn’t pull over. A dozen 911 calls from the two-hour chase Tuesday in western Ohio with 46-year-old Terry Pierce Jr. of Spencerville were released Friday to The Lima News . Pierce during the calls told police he was going to kill everyone in his way and threatened to hit a school bus. He also said he was tired of life and would force police to shoot him. Pierce hit a state highway patrol cruiser at an exit ramp after falsely promising to pull over. Deputies fatally shot Pierce after he drove the wrong way on a highway toward oncoming traffic.