Senate passes bill named for woman set on fire
COLUMBUS (AP) — Legislation inspired by a woman who was set on fire by her ex-boyfriend has unanimously passed the Ohio Senate the day after her death was announced.
The bill, named “Judy’s Law,” would require six additional years in prison for crimes that permanently maim or disfigure victims.
The Senate passed the bill Wednesday after holding a moment of silence for 33-year-old Judy Malinowski. It now heads to Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) for his signature.
Malinowski was hospitalized for nearly two years after Michael Slager doused her in gasoline and set her on fire in August 2015. Slager was sentenced to 11 years in prison after being convicted of charges including aggravated arson and felonious assault.
Prosecutors say they now plan to file murder charges against him following Malinowski’s death.
Kasich faces health care clash at
COLUMBUS — Republican legislators in Ohio are bracing for a veto fight with GOP Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) as the national health care debate hits the 2016 presidential contender on his home turf.
Conservatives are calling on the outspoken Kasich to set a national example by leaving in place a state budget provision that freezes new enrollment under Medicaid expansion starting July 1, 2018. Kasich must decide by midnight Friday.
Allowing the freeze would mark a stunning reversal for Kasich. He’s been one of the GOP’s most vocal defenders of the expansion, made possible under the federal health care law reviled, and now targeted, by his party.
But striking the provision threatens to destabilize Ohio’s budget and to harm Ohio’s Republican legislators with their constituents in the politically divided battleground state.
Man survives overdose, fall on train tracks
MIDDLETOWN — Police say an Ohio man is lucky to be alive after he overdosed and fell in between a set of railroad tracks.
Fire officials say the 46-year-old man overdosed and fell on the tracks Friday night in Middletown. The conductor of a Norfolk-Southern train told police he saw the man lying in the tracks, but by the time he was able to stop all 26 rail cars had passed over him.
Middletown paramedics were able to revive the man with a dose of the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone. He has been taken to a nearby hospital, telling paramedics and officers he did not remember the train passing over him.
Police say the man has been charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and inducing panic.
Ohio universities to go smoke-free
AKRON — Both the University of Akron and Kent State University in Ohio are going smoke- and tobacco-free July 1.
The universities are banning the use of tobacco products, such as chew and dip, and vape products in a policy adopted last year by each school’s board of trustees.
The ban applies to everyone on campus, including visitors and contractors. Tobacco product sales and advertising is also banned on university grounds.
Both UA and Kent State are offering programs for those who want to quit using tobacco.
While university officials seek voluntary compliance, students and employees who repeatedly refuse to follow the policy could face disciplinary action.
Boy fatally shot in Cleveland suburb
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy has been fatally shot in a Cleveland suburb.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the teen as Dre’eon Gray, of South Euclid. He was found by police around 6 p.m. Wednesday in the backyard of a home in Cleveland Heights. Police say he was shot three times.
Dre’eon was pronounced dead at a Cleveland hospital.
Cleveland Heights police say the shooter fled before officers arrived.
Politicians call for release of carp study
TOLEDO — Republicans and Democrats in Ohio’s congressional delegation are calling on the Trump administration to release a report on ways to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown, Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat from Toledo who co-chairs the House Great Lakes Task Force, are all asking for the report to be made public.
The calls are growing after a live Asian carp was discovered last week in a Chicago waterway about 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Lake Michigan.
Scientists fear that if Asian carp get into the Great Lakes they could compete with native species and devastate the region’s $7 billion fishing industry.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who this week announced his run for governor, says he also wants the report released.