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ACROSS OHIO & OUR NATION

Air Force base now employs more than 30,000 people

DAYTON (AP) — An Air Force base in Ohio now employs more than 30,000 people for the first time in decades.

Leaders at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton expect personnel numbers to continue to grow.

The Dayton Daily News reports this is the first time the base has employed more than 30,000 people in 30 years.

Col. Tom Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, attributes the growth to the base having better “local hiring authority” to fill new positions and vacancies that remained from a hiring freeze. Lexington Institute senior defense analyst Loren Thompson says the employment increase is also a result of additional military funding being spent on research and development. The newspaper reports the base, at its peak, employed around 46,500 military and civilian employees in 1942.

State Supreme Court offers new learning program for schools

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio’s Supreme Court is offering a new learning program that allows high school students to see how the court operates without leaving their classrooms.

The court’s Civic Education Section recently unveiled “Under Advisement: Ohio Supreme Court Cases on Demand.” A court release says the program provides teachers with lesson plans developed specifically for a civil case and a criminal case already argued to the court. Teachers lead students through an in-depth study of the already-decided cases, with students reading the case facts and watching oral arguments on video.

The program is intended to bolster students’ understanding of Ohio’s court system. The lesson plans are free and designed to align with Ohio’s Learning Standards for the High School American Government Curriculum. Teachers can access the lesson plans on the court’s website .

Fire officials: 7-year-old dies in fire at home

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Fire officials say a 7-year-old girl has died in a fire at her Ohio home.

Lorain Fire Department officials say the house fire began shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday in the northeast Ohio city roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Cleveland. They say the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Fire officials say the other five people who were inside the home when the fire broke out were able to escape without injury. Officials didn’t immediately release the girl’s name.

The investigation to determine the cause of the fire was continuing.

Kanye West hosts service honoring mass shooting victims

DAYTON (AP) — Kanye West hosted a Sunday Service in Ohio in support of those affected by the recent mass shooting.

A large crowd gathered at the musician’s service in a park in Dayton. The event featured choir singers and was also attended by comedian Dave Chappelle.

Chappelle, who resides in nearby Yellow Springs, was scheduled to host a special block party and benefit concert later Sunday in Dayton for those affected by the shooting. That event was expected to feature national and local entertainers. Organizers of Sunday night’s “Gem City Shine” event say it would be an effort to “reclaim” the entertainment district where 24-year-old Connor Betts’ 32-second rampage killed nine people and left dozens injured on Aug. 4.

Pastor who lost child in Texas church attack runs for office

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas pastor whose teenage daughter was among more than two dozen people killed during a mass shooting at his church in 2017 says he’s running for the state Legislature.

Frank Pomeroy of Seguin, Texas, announced Sunday that he will run as a Republican for state senator in 2020.

He told The Associated Press that he wants to help bring civility and intelligent discourse to politics.

The Senate seat is currently held by a Democrat. Pomeroy is launching his campaign weeks after a mass shooting in El Paso that was the deadliest in Texas since the attack at his church in Sutherland Springs, southeast of San Antonio.

Pomeroy wasn’t at First Baptist Church when a gunman opened fire on worshippers. More than half those killed were children, including Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle.

Gas explosion in Maryland badly damages shopping center

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — A powerful natural gas explosion badly damaged an office complex and shopping center in Maryland on Sunday, officials said.

The explosion happened at about 8 a.m. in Columbia, Maryland, and no injuries were reported.

“It was so powerful it could be heard in communities many miles away,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball in a statement.

Police and fire crews responded to multiple reports of hissing sounds coming from a large crack in a parking lot and made sure the buildings nearby were not occupied.

“Fortunately, because of their actions and because this happened on a Sunday morning when no one was inside the building, there are no reported injuries at this time,” Ball said.

Man shoots worshipper during church service robbery

FOREST ACRES, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a man walked into a South Carolina church demanding money during an early Sunday service and shot one worshipper.

Centro Cristiano de Columbia Church Pastor Henry Alfaro said the lights were dim and people were praying when the man waved his gun and demanded money around 6:15 a.m.

Alfaro told WLTX-TV the man fired in the air, then shot a church member before his gun appeared to stop working and he ran from the church in the Columbia suburb of Forest Acres.

Alfaro says the wounded man had surgery and remains in the hospital. His condition wasn’t immediately known.

Forest Acres Police say the man got into a car and drove off. He hasn’t been identified.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were at the service.

Authorities: Los Angeles deputy lied about being shot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County deputy lied when he said he was shot in the shoulder while standing in a sheriff’s station parking lot last week and will face a criminal investigation, authorities said.

“The reported sniper assault was fabricated” by Deputy Angel Reinosa, Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said at a news conference late Saturday.

Reinosa, 21, made a frantic radio call Wednesday claiming he’d been shot by someone in a nearby building as he walked to his car outside the Lancaster station, prompting a huge police response. Deputies set up a perimeter and SWAT officers went door-to-door inside a sprawling building complex to search for the shooter.

At the time, investigators believed Reinosa’s bulletproof vest saved his life but that a bullet grazed him. A department statement the next day said a single round hit the top of Reinosa’s shoulder, damaging his uniform shirt but failing to penetrate his flesh. But no bullets were recovered from the scene and detectives saw “no visible injuries,” Capt. Kent Wegener said Saturday night.

Much of the young deputy’s statement “was self-serving and didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Wegener said. “There were many things that didn’t add up.”

Reinosa eventually admitted making up the story and using a knife to cut the two holes in his shirt, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been relieved of his duties and could face charges for filing a false report about a crime, officials said. He didn’t explain his motive for the fabrication, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been with the LA County Sheriff’s Department for a year and joined the Lancaster station in May for patrol training.

Deputies searched through the night for the sniper inside the block-long, four-story structure with many windows that overlook the sheriff’s facility in downtown Lancaster, a desert city of about 160,000 people north of Los Angeles.

Tactical teams worked their way through the building, evacuating some people and having others shelter in place, officials said.

Deputies cleared other nearby buildings, including a library. Authorities urged residents to avoid the neighborhood.

Metrolink train service was halted in the area.

The search was called off Thursday and authorities said the shooter was still at large.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.