State briefs

Suspects in slayings of family of 8 to be in court

WAVERLY (AP) — Four people charged in the slayings of eight people in rural Ohio in 2016 are set for court hearings on aggravated murder charges and other counts.

Authorities say the four Wagner family members charged in the shooting deaths of eight Rhoden family members will be arraigned over the next two weeks in Pike County Common Pleas Court in Waverly.

Forty-seven-year-old George “Billy” Wagner III is set for a Dec. 4 hearing. His 48-year-old wife, Angela Wagner, is due in court Nov. 29. Their sons, 26-year-old Edward Wagner and 27-year-old George Wagner are scheduled for hearings Nov. 27 and Nov. 28, respectively.

An attorney who has represented the Wagners has said they will be vindicated.

Authorities have suggested a custody dispute over a child as a possible motive.

Ohio unemployment rate unchanged

COLUMBUS, — State officials say Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged from September to October.

The state’s unemployment rate remained at 4.6 percent last month, down from 4.9 percent in October 2017.

The national rate was 3.7 percent, unchanged from September and down from 4.1 percent in October 2017.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 10,900 jobs from September to October.

The agency reports job gains in educational and health services; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; and trade, transportation and utilities exceeded losses in financial activities and other services. Government employment counts did not change.

The state reports a gain of 1,400 manufacturing jobs last month and a loss of 200 jobs in construction and mining and logging.

Kroger’s automated warehouse coming

CINCINNATI — Kroger says the first of 20 planned automated warehouses intended to build up its home grocery delivery will be constructed in the Cincinnati area and is expected to generate about 400 jobs.

The Cincinnati-based supermarket chain and the United Kingdom-based online grocery retailer Ocado made the announcement Monday. Kroger said in the release that it’s investing $55 million to build the facility, called a customer fulfillment center, in Monroe, roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.

Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said the facility’s innovative robotics technology powered by Ocado “will accelerate our ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere.”

Kroger has been expanding partnerships and online shopping options amid competition from Inc., which has moved into the grocery space in recent years.

Small rescue dog helps police, community

MARBLEHEAD — A pint-sized pup adopted by a northern Ohio police department is having a positive impact on officers and the community.

Marblehead Police Chief Casey Joy tells WTVG-TV that he was inspired to adopt a dog from Petfinder after seeing stories about animals displaced by Hurricane Florence. Joy fell in love with a 4-month-old Chihuahua mix named Zorro.

Zorro rides along with Joy on patrols in a special police K-9 vest made by a resident. Police say the tiny dog has made a big difference in the village. They say he helps relieve officers’ stress and cheers up the public too.

Zorro lives with Joy and a seizure-detecting dog that helps the chief’s son. Zorro will visit nursing homes, hospitals and hospice facilities as a therapy dog when he’s finished training.