Ohio News Notebook

Woman gets 15 years in prison for baby’s death

COLUMBUS — A baby sitter who authorities say gave a fatal dose of Benadryl to an 8-month-old boy has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Forty-five-year-old Lori Conley was sentenced Tuesday in the 2016 death of Haddix Mulkey. She previously pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and tampering with evidence.

Prosecutors say Conley gave Haddix an adult dose of Benadryl to get him to sleep while baby-sitting at her suburban Columbus home. She called 911 after finding the boy unresponsive.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Conley said that she didn’t intend to harm Haddix and that it was the only time she used the over-the-counter allergy medication to calm an infant. But Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch said she didn’t believe it was the first time Conley had tried that tactic.

Woman moves to church to avoid deportation

COLUMBUS — A woman trying to avoid being deported to Mexico and separated from her U.S.-citizen children has moved into a church offering her sanctuary in a symbolic gesture.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 39-year-old Edith Espinal and the Columbus Mennonite Church hope U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will honor guidance issued during Barack Obama’s presidency that recommended against making arrests at sensitive sites such as churches.

Espinal took refuge Tuesday and skipped a check-in where she anticipated being detained.

The newspaper says ICE didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Lawyer and church member Joseph Mas says the congregation understands it could be accused of breaking federal law about aiding illegal immigration.

Espinal has lived in Columbus for years and has no criminal record. Two of her three children are U.S. citizens.

Tornado sent woman flying on mattress

CRESTLINE — A Crawford County woman says she and her daughter were blown out of their home by a tornado and feel fortunate to have suffered only scratches and bruises.

Susan Cooper says the twister ripped apart her home’s roof and walls and sent her and her daughter flying into the yard on the mattress where they’d been sleeping. Cooper’s husband, John, says he heard crashing noises and made a frantic attempt to get into the bedroom where his wife and daughter had been, then was interrupted with relief when he heard them knocking on a back door.

Officials say the Monday night tornado damaged several homes near the village of Crestline. It was rated an EF2 twister, with estimated maximum wind speeds up to 130 mph.

Chief justice urges lawyers to offer free aid

COLUMBUS — The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court is urging lawyers in the state to offer free legal assistance to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The request by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor follows an emergency order from the Texas Supreme Court that allows out-of-state attorneys to temporarily practice in Texas to provide legal support to victims.

Lone Star Legal Aid has cited the need for help with FEMA appeals, securing temporary housing, getting money for home repairs and dealing with insurance claims.

The National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center is also serving as a resource during Harvey recovery efforts.

Health advisory empties Lake Erie beach

TOLEDO — A Lake Erie beach saw a drop in visitors over the Labor Day weekend as officials report high levels of toxic algae and E. coli bacteria in the water.

The Blade reports the beaches at Maumee Bay State Park were placed under a public health advisory after algae testing Aug. 28.

Test results found more than 25 parts per billion of the toxin microcystin in the water, the highest reported amount so far this year.

The Toledo Water Quality dashboard says the advisory does not affect Toledo drinking water.

While no additional algae tests have been done, researchers at the University of Toledo found Saturday E. coli bacteria are also at their highest levels this year.

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Associated Press