Ohio News Notebook


Drugmakers ask judge to dismiss opiate lawsuit

CHILLICOTHE — Five drugmakers are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Ohio attorney general that alleges they helped perpetrate the state’s addictions epidemic.

Attorney General Mike DeWine accuses the companies of intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers and promoting benefits of the drugs not backed by science.

DeWine announced the complaint in May as he accused the companies of creating a deadly mess in Ohio that they now need to pay to clean up.

Cleveland.com reports the companies filed documents in Ross County Court in Chillicothe last week arguing that federal requirements for their products preempt Ohio law.

The companies also argue DeWine failed to prove the companies’ actions caused the alleged harm.

DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney says the filings are being reviewed.

Otte waiting at death house

COLUMBUS — A condemned killer of two people arrived at the southern Ohio prison Tuesday where the state carries out executions.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says Gary Otte arrived at the Southern Ohio correctional Facility in Lucasville at 9:46 a.m. Tuesday. He’s scheduled to die at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Smith says that Otte’s requested final meal, called the special meal in Ohio, includes a mushroom and Swiss cheese hamburger, a quart of Heath Bar ice cream and a slice of banana cream pie.

Otte was convicted of the 1992 killings of Robert Wasikowski and Sharon Kostura. Both slayings took place in Parma, in suburban Cleveland.

The state plans to execute the 45-year-old Otte with a lethal combination of three drugs.

Officer pleads guilty to assaulting women

EAST CLEVELAND — A suburban Cleveland police officer suspected of assaulting two women with a sex toy during an illegal traffic stop has pleaded guilty to charges including gross sexual imposition.

Cleveland.com reports that prosecutors dropped a kidnapping charge against former East Cleveland Officer Kenneth Bolton Jr., of Middlefield, as part of a plea deal.

Prosecutors say Bolton illegally pulled over two women, ages 22 and 23, in February and used a sex toy he found in the back seat to rub their genitals over their clothing while they were seated in the vehicle.

Bolton must register as a sex offender and will no longer be allowed to work as a police officer.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

Feedback sought on plan to protect Great Lakes

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Federal officials are hosting three public meetings this week to get feedback on a plan to prevent Asian carp from slipping into the Great Lakes and threatening native fish species.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a proposal in August to block the invasive fish at a lock-and-dam complex in Joliet, Illinois, a choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan.

The $275 million dollar plan includes measures such as installing underwater sound equipment and electric barriers.

The first hearing was held Monday in Chicago. The second is scheduled for Thursday at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan, and the third will be Sept. 18 at Joliet Junior College in Joliet.

The meetings are being broadcast live on the Army corps’ Rock Island District Facebook page .

Akron will continue celebrating Columbus Day

AKRON — The Akron City Council has voted to kill a resolution that would have changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the council voted against the change Monday in an 8-to-5 vote.

Councilman Russ Neal proposed the change. He said it would help correct “the wrongs of the genocide that took place,” and encourage celebration of Native American culture.

The proposal was opposed by groups representing Italian-Americans, who said it sought to diminish contributions made by Christopher Columbus and other Italians.

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Associated Press