State briefs

Officials: 18 sickened by packaged salads from plant

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Health officials say more than a dozen people have become sickened by a listeriosis outbreak connected to a Dole processing plant in southwest Ohio.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that three more people have fallen ill, including two from Ohio and one from Missouri. Eighteen people in all have reported bacterial illnesses in nine states— one of whom from Michigan has since died.

Listeriosis is often found in raw vegetables and meats, along with some soft cheeses.

The Ohio Department of Health linked the outbreak to packaged salads produced in Springfield, Ohio. Products include Dole and store brands for Kroger, Aldi, Meijer and Walmart.

The most recent illness was diagnosed on Jan. 31.

Man accused of abducting, raping woman

KETTERING — A southwest Ohio man has been indicted on felony charges that he abducted and raped a woman.

A Dayton based newspaper reports that a Montgomery County grand jury indicted Craig Hamrock Thursday, a day after prosecutors filed charges accusing the Kettering man of kidnapping and raping a woman from northern Ohio.

Hamrock was jailed and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

Kettering police say the 28-year-old woman said she was kidnapped Feb. 19 in Mansfield and then held captive for three days and raped in Kettering. She says Hamrock, described as her ex-boyfriend, took her back to her home Monday.

Authorities say the woman was physically and sexually assaulted and some evidence was recovered from Hamrock’s home.

Man acquitted in crash that killed cyclists

GARFIELD HEIGHTS — A northeast Ohio man has been acquitted of charges stemming from a September crash that left two bicyclists dead and three others injured.

A defense attorney says the Garfield Heights jury reached its verdict around 5 p.m. Thursday in the trial of Timothy Wolf.

Wolf had been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and a count of willful or wanton disregard of public safety in the Sept. 17 crash.

A group of bicyclists were hit by a pickup truck driven by Wolf in Brecksville, about 13 miles south of Cleveland.

Thirty-three-year-old Matthew Billings of North Canton died at the scene. Fifty-two-year-old Jim Lambert of Cuyahoga Falls died from his injuries more than a week later.

The defense had said the crash was a “freak accident.”

Ford plans $145M upgrade at engine plant

BROOK PARK — Ford says it will upgrade its engine plant in suburban Cleveland.

The automaker says the $145 million investment will keep or create 150 jobs at its Brook Park plant.

Ford say the project will go toward production of a new 3.5-liter engine in its 2017 Ford F-150 trucks.

The engine plant near Cleveland employs about 1,500 people.

Appeals court reinstates inmate’s lawsuit

CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court has reinstated an Ohio prison inmate’s lawsuit over an alleged beating by a corrections officer and other punishment.

The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously overturned a lower court ruling that inmate Shannon Troche failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit alleging violations of his constitutional rights.

The judges ruled Thursday they couldn’t find evidence Troche was required to file a further administrative appeal under state grievance procedures.

He claims he was beaten in 2001 by a corrections officer at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility and placed in isolation without food for two weeks.

State records indicate Troche is serving time for aggravated robbery and is now housed at the Ohio State Penitentiary.

There was no word on a possible state appeal.

Court: felony, misdemeanor sentences served at same time

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that in most situations sentences for felony and misdemeanor crimes must be served at the same time.

The court’s 6-1 decision Thursday resolved conflicting decisions by lower courts that interpreted Ohio law differently when it came to running sentences together or one after the other.

Before the court was an appeal by a Lucas County man who pleaded guilty to both felony and misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property.

Justice William O’Neill said defendant Walter Polus should not have been sentenced to serve six months on the misdemeanor charge after serving 11 months for the felony.

Records show Polus bought tools he suspected were stolen and later offered them for resale.