State briefs

Men killed in separate encounters with trains

CANTON (AP) — Police say two men have been killed in separate encounters with trains in northeast Ohio this week.

Authorities say 51-year-old Anthony Nichols was killed Thursday morning when he drove his SUV around the crossing gate and it was hit by a speeding train in Barberton.

On Wednesday afternoon in Canton, police say a man on the tracks was hit and killed by a train. Police say he may have been laying on the tracks.

His name hasn’t been released.

Drug-price proposal sent to lawmakers

COLUMBUS — A proposal aimed at controlling the price Ohio pays for prescription drugs has been sent to state lawmakers for consideration.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said Thursday that the so-called Drug Price Relief Act has the signatures required to advance to the General Assembly.

The proposal is aimed at keeping state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the negotiated price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A similar plan qualified for California’s 2016 ballot.

Ohio lawmakers have four months to consider the proposed law. Backers could then try to put the initiative before voters.

Supporters, who include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, have sued Husted after he ordered a re-review of their petition signatures.

Husted says the review led to thousands of invalidated signatures.

Man fighting state over exotic animals

BOWLING GREEN — A northwestern Ohio man whose six tigers and other exotic animals were seized is getting back-to-back hearings as he fights the state.

The evidentiary hearings in Kenny Hetrick’s case were starting Thursday in Wood County.

Hetrick is challenging the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s decision denying him a permit to keep the animals at his home just outside Toledo.

Last year, Ohio took custody of the animals from Hetrick’s roadside sanctuary after officials said he ignored warnings about needing a permit for the exotic animals. Inspectors also reported that his cages weren’t secure enough to prevent an escape.

The state relocated the animals in August under contracts with facilities in Arizona, Florida and South Dakota.

Hetrick argued that violated his rights. The state said it was for the animals’ benefit.

Man charged in death of 16-month old girl

REYNOLDSBURG — A central Ohio man has been charged with child endangering in a 16-month-old girl’s death that a coroner has ruled a homicide.

Police say 20-year-old Kyler Larrick is charged in the death of Khloe Lee who died late Jan. 25 or early Jan. 26 in an apartment in the Columbus suburb of Reynoldsburg. The Franklin County coroner’s office says the child suffered a major skull fracture from someone squeezing her head.

Authorities say the child was the daughter of Larrick’s girlfriend and Larrick was babysitting her while her mother was at work.

Larrick could not immediately be reached for comment. Court records show he was released on bond. But no telephone listing for him could be found.

Court records do not list an attorney for Larrick.

Man dies in house fire

LEBANON — Fire officials say a man trapped in a house fire has died in southwestern Ohio.

Authorities say the 66-year-old man lived with his mother in the home in Lebanon. Fire officials say she was able to escape the fire with help from a neighbor, but the man was not able to get out and died at the scene.

Authorities didn’t immediately release the man’s identity.

Fire officials say the house was fully engulfed in smoke when crews arrived around 2 a.m. Thursday. They were trying to determine what caused the blaze and said the state fire marshal’s office will be investigating.

Crews say the fire was mostly in a back bedroom of the home.

Lebanon is about 25 miles north of Cincinnati.

Teen finds good Samaritan from crash via Facebook post

GAHANNA — A central Ohio teenager says social media helped her locate the good Samaritan who aided her family at the scene of a Tennessee car accident that killed her mother in June 2002.

Eighteen-year-old Maddie Williams posted a public Facebook status months ago in hopes of thanking the man who removed her from the car and held her after the crash north of Nashville.

The Gahanna teen tells WBNS-TV the widely shared post drew thousands of comments, including one from a Texas man who said, “I think it was me.”

The man, C.W. Freeman, says he remembers waiting with the girl while her father tried to help her injured mother and brother. Freeman left when rescue crews arrived.

He says he simply did what any decent person would’ve done.