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John "Couchburner" Denning

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Former officer killed in crash

Jul 23, 2016 -- 8:47am

A former Ravenna police officer was killed in a motorcycle crash early Friday. The State Highway Patrol says, 40-year-old Thomas Eskridge, of Windham, was riding his motorcycle northeast on S.R. 88 around 12:05 am, when the crash occurred. The State Highway Patrol says, as the bike approached the intersection of S.R. 88 and S.R. 303, the motorcycle went left of center and off the side of the road, where it struck the Freedom Inn on S.R. 303. Eskridge died at the scene. Speed was a factor in the crash. Eskridge was a sergeant with the Ravenna Police Department prior to his recent medical retirement. He also served as an officer in Garrettsville during his career, according to the Canton-Repository.

Ohio Republicans head home with mixed feelings on Trump

Jul 23, 2016 -- 6:29am

 Ohio Republicans leave the Cleveland convention with mixed feelings among them about their party's presidential nominee, while saying they will take him over his Democratic foe.
    The state's delegation received a lot of attention this week because home-state Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) has refused to endorse Donald Trump and steered clear of the Trump-led convention.
    Trump's aggressive speech Thursday night raised some hopes about his chances against Hillary Clinton.
    Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou (tree-AHN'-tuh-fee-loo) says Trump presented a "winning message" by saying he will provide a voice for struggling Americans. He called Trump "a true outsider" in a Twitter message.
    State Rep. Niraj (nih-RAHJ') Antani (an-TAHN'-ee) of Miamisburg says Trump showed his skill at identifying problems Americans are concerned about. Now he'd like to see specific plans.

2,800 out-of-town officers part of RNC security

Jul 23, 2016 -- 6:28am

Cleveland's police chief says 2,800 law enforcement officers from across the country joined about 500 city police officers in providing security for the four-day Republican National Convention that ended Thursday.
    Chief Calvin Williams said at a Friday news briefing that out-of-town officers were key contributors to Cleveland's successful performance as convention host.
    Authorities counted only 24 convention-related arrests, a far smaller number than some had predicted.
    The city had worked with Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County to make hundreds of jail cells available if needed during the convention.
    Williams singled out the Ohio State Highway Patrol for its assistance, noting that 450 troopers were in Cleveland helping with  security.

UPDATE: Plane crashes in western Ohio

Jul 23, 2016 -- 6:27am

Authorities say two people were killed when a small, experimental plane crashed in a cornfield in western Ohio.
     The plane went down Friday in a Clark County field just outside Springfield.
     The Springfield News-Sun identifies the victims as 81-year-old Levon King and 85-year-old Gloria King, a husband and wife from Dearborn, Michigan.
     State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Aller says their single-engine plane was registered out of Detroit.
     The Federal Aviation Administration says it lost radio and radar contact with the plane and alerted the state patrol late Friday morning. It took search crews about an hour to find the wreckage.

Good news for Indians Michael Brantley

Jul 23, 2016 -- 6:26am

Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has responded favorably to a medical procedure on his ailing shoulder and expects to resume baseball activities next week. The 29-year-old Brantley recently had a needle inserted in his shoulder to relieve scar tissue buildup located along the biceps tendon.

Cavs sign veteran forward to deal

Jul 23, 2016 -- 6:25am

The Cavaliers have officially signed veteran forward Chris Andersen to a one-year contract. The NBA champions needed a backup center after losing Timofey Mozgov in free agency and are hoping the 38-year-old Andersen can fill that role. A 14-year veteran, Andersen, known for his multiple tattoos and toughness on the boards, split last season with Miami and Memphis.

NFL reviewing domestic violence allegations against Ezekiel Elliott

Jul 23, 2016 -- 6:23am

The NFL says it is reviewing domestic violence allegations against Dallas Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott. A police report says Elliott denied allegations that he assaulted his girlfriend early Friday in Columbus, causing bruises and abrasions. The report says he wasn't arrested because of conflicting versions of what happened. The former Ohio State star turned 21 on Friday.

Two Die in OH Plane Crash

Jul 22, 2016 -- 3:30pm


Two people died when an experimental plane crashed into a corn field in western Ohio on Friday. The State Highway Patrol says the single-engine plane registered out of Detroit went-down just outside Springfield in Clark County, with the FAA reporting that radar and radio contact was lost a short time before 11:00AM. The plane was located about an hour later in an area near Newlove Road and State Route 41, where authorities say weather conditions were bad at the time the aircraft went down. The victims were dead on the scene.



Couple Leaves Toddler at Home to Commit Robbery

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:45pm


Two people are in custody after they apparently left their one-year-old child home alone while they ventured out to rob a man of his Nike shoes. 25-year-old Hakeem Shomo of Cleveland and 20-year-old Nastassja Powell of Painesville face robbery charges and will likely be hit with child endangering, as well, once a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury finishes its review. A 39-year-old man flagged-down Parma Police early Wednesday morning to report he had been robbed of his Air Jordans and police pulled-over the pair when their car was spotted on Broadview Road. It wasn't until around eight hours after the robbery that Powell told officers that her one-year-old child was home alone. Police went there to find the baby wearing a t-shirt and no diaper. Police believe the child had been unattended for over 10 hours. Bond for both Powell and Shomo was set at 50-Thousand dollars.



Convicted Killer, Mother Hauled from Court in Cuffs

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:44pm


A convicted killer chose to ignore his victim's family during sentencing and instead began screaming and arguing with the judge while his mother joined in the berating...leading to deputies escorting both from a Franklin County Courtroom in handcuffs this week. 25-year-old William Greene pleaded guilty in February to aggravated murder and other charges for the shooting death of another man in March 2014. When Greene began flaming-out at the judge during sentencing on Thursday, a deputy Sheriff began removing him from the chamber...leading to an altercation in which Greene's mother got involved. She let-loose with a string of insults and expletives at the judge and when she was cuffed, she turned to the victim's family and asked if they were mad because the victim is “sucking maggots.” The judge found her in contempt and until she later apologized for the outburst, he was considering a 30-day jail sentence for the woman. She was ordered held until 4:00PM Friday.



Drug Dealer Sent to Prison

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:43pm


An Akron man who rolled the dice and lost as the first drug dealer to go to trial in the death of a heroin user was sentenced on Friday. 30-year-old Kevin Ecker was found guilty by a jury on June 16 on all 13 counts he faced. On Friday, he returned to Summit County Court to hear the judge impose a 21-year prison sentence. Multiple drug-related charges were tagged to the involuntary manslaughter count that was leveled against Ecker for the March 22 death last year of 20-year-old Jessica Holmes, who injected fentanyl that she thought was heroin at her Kenmore Avenue home after making a drug deal with Ecker. She was found dead later that day.



Facebook Post has Cop in Trouble

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:42pm


A Cincinnati Police officer may be in a little hot water after apparently showing his true colors on the issue of color. A Facebook post from black officer Freddie Vincent earlier this month to what he called his “Afro friends” warned them that if they're confronted by a white officer, they should be sure they're in a public place and obey their commands because – as he put it - “white officers are looking for a reason to kill a black man.” The post was made shortly after black men were shot to death by officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and near St Paul, Minnesota. The post was later deleted, but the Police Chief in Cincinnati says the issue is under review with regard to the department's social media policies.



OH Republicans have Mixed Feelings after Convention

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:41pm


Members of Ohio's Republican delegation were packing their bags to leave the convention in Cleveland with a a few mixed feelings. Keeping with the Primary Election results, the Ohio delegation threw its support behind Governor Kasich during the roll-call process this week...and Kasich still refuses to endorse his own party's nominee. After Donald Trump delivered his acceptance speech on Thursday night, however, at least some delegates said on Friday they have better hopes for his chances of beating Hillary Clinton this November. The Hamilton County GOP Chairman said that Trump delivered a “winning message” by saying he will provide a voice to struggling Americans. Another said that Trump did a good job in identifying the nation's problems...and now people want to see specific plans.



Jobless Rate Dropped in June

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:40pm


The rate of unemployment in Ohio for the month of June was slightly lower than the previous month, yet still higher than a year ago. That's the word from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which reported on Friday that the state's jobless rate declined slightly to five-percent last month compared to a 5.1-percent rate in May. The June level this year, however, is still higher than the 4.8-percent unemployment rate that was reported a year ago at this time. Officials say the number of unemployed Ohioans rose by 17-Thousand over the past 12 months to the most recent level of 291-Thousand. Nation-wide, the jobless rate rose from the May level of 4.7-percent to a June rate of 4.9-percent.



No Charges after Glass Found in Cop's Lunch

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:39pm


Investigators in Columbus say there were no harmful intentions after a police officer suffered a cut mouth when he bit into a sandwich that contained shards of glass. City Health Inspectors visited the restaurant on Tuesday this week, one day after the cop needed treatment at the hospital for his injuries. They found chipped glass plates and small pieces of broken glass beneath a drying rack at the business...concluding there was no intent of serving-up the broken glass to the cop.



Murder Suspect Busted in Boardman

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:38pm


The suspect in a recent murder in Youngstown has been collared by agents from the US Marshals Service. Authorities caught-up with De'Ondre Gayles at an apartment on Lemans Avenue in Boardman around 6:00PM Thursday, where they found him hiding in an apartment bathroom after his vehicle was spotted parked outside. He was wanted on aggravated murder charges in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Ralph Thomas. The victim was shot around 10:00PM Tuesday while driving in a neighborhood just south of the Youngstown State University campus. His car crashed into a pickup truck before coming to a stop and Thomas later died at the hospital.



OH gets Zika Funding

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:38pm


More than 900-Thousand dollars' worth of Federal funds are coming to Ohio to help protect some residents against the spread of the Zika virus. Grant dollars from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that are earmarked for our state are part of a larger, nearly 60-Million dollar outlay of awards to states, cities and territories to help deal with the situation and address health problems arising from the spread of the mosquito-borne virus. Dollars used in Ohio will be primarily aimed at protecting the health of pregnant women, improving mosquito control and bolstering laboratory capacity. The dollars will be made available on August 1.



Drive-Thru Clerk gets Probation after Shooting

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:37pm


An argument with customers that ended in gunfire has culminated with a Canton drive-thru worker spared prison time by a judge. 52-year-old Mahmoud Khawaja of Jackson Township entered a no contest plea last month in Stark County Court to an aggravated assault charge and this week, was ordered to spend the next three years on probation. The charge stemmed from an April 18 squabble at the drive-thru in the 3000 block of Tuscarawas Street West, where Khawaja and the customer began arguing over money that changed hands during a purchase. The argument turned physical with the men inside the car getting out and shoving the clerk to the ground. Khawaja grabbed a gun from beneath the counter and fired shots at the combatants, wounding a woman who was inside the car.



Rider Dies in MC Crash

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:36pm


A motorcycle crash claimed the life of the rider in Portage County's Freedom Township on Thursday morning. The State Highway Patrol reports that 40-year-old Thomas Eskridge of Windham was riding north along State Route 88 near State Route 303 a short time after Mdnight when he went off the road, crashing into a nearby building. The State Patrol says Eskridge was not wearing a helmet at the time and died on the scene of the wreck. Authorities say speed played a role, but they're not sure yet if alcohol or drug use may have been a factor.



Woman's Body Pulled from Pond

Jul 22, 2016 -- 2:35pm


Authorities in central Ohio's Franklin County are investigating after the body of a woman was pulled from a pond on Thursday. Police in Whitehall say the body was found floating on the water around 4:15PM and dive teams were called-in to help retrieve it. The woman's identity wasn't immediately announced and the Franklin County Coroner's office was set to conduct an autopsy on Friday. No other details were immediately available.



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