Ohio News Notebook

Associated Press

Somali community condemns bombing

COLUMBUS — Members of Ohio’s Somali community are condemning a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital that killed more than 300 people and injured hundreds more.

Somalia’s government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group, which has not commented on the Saturday attack.

Horsed Noah (HOR’-sed NOH’-ah) is the outreach director of Somali Islamic Centers of Ohio, a group representing six Somali mosques and religious centers in central Ohio.

The Columbus area has the country’s second largest population of Somalis after the Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

Noah says his group condemns the bombing, supports Somali’s current government, and calls on people to help victims financially.

Noah says virtually everyone in the central Ohio Somali community has a friend or relative affected by the attack.

Pelanda ends secretary of state bid

COLUMBUS — A state lawmaker has dropped out of the race to become Ohio’s next elections chief, leaving one Republican and one Democrat vying to be elected secretary of state.

Republican Rep. Dorothy Pelanda, of Marysville, said Monday that she’s ending her campaign in the spirit of supporting party unity to keep the Ohio GOP strong.

Two announced candidates are still in the race: Republican state Sen. Frank LaRose, of Hudson, and Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, of Kent. They’re seeking to succeed the current secretary of state, Republican Jon Husted, who is term-limited and running for governor.

Clyde serves on the state ballot board and has often been critical of Husted. LaRose has backed changes to how legislative districts are drawn in an effort to make them less partisan.

Deputies find $4K on ‘penniless’ man

COLUMBUS — A defendant who vowed he was penniless and couldn’t pay a fine now faces a big one after deputies escorting him from court found he had over $4,000 in his clothes.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that 36-year-old Lawrence Knox swore he was indigent during an Oct. 5 hearing after pleading guilty to a drug charge in Franklin County court. Deputies taking him to be processed for his six-year prison sentence then found he had $4,060 on him.

When the judge learned that, he gave Knox the maximum fine of $20,000, plus court costs.

About half the discovered cash was ordered to go to Knox’s attorney, Michael Hayes, who’d been shorted on his fees. The rest was applied toward the fine.

Hayes declined to comment about the matter Tuesday.

Turnpike plans system for tech-connected cars

BEREA — Officials are planning a new system of travel alert information for part of the Ohio Turnpike near Cleveland with an eye toward a day when autonomous vehicles might regularly cruise that roadway.

The Plain Dealer reports the Turnpike Commission will use roadside sensors and other technology to produce traffic and weather alerts that could serve self-driving vehicles. For now, the data about factors such as foggy conditions and snowplow angles could serve newer vehicles equipped to receive digital short-range radio signals and display the results for drivers.

The commission approved a $1.46 million contract for the equipment and software.

The technology should be in use by early next year between Amherst and Streetsboro. Turnpike officials say if the results are good, they might expand it along the 241-mile toll road.

City settles with chase victim

EUCLID — An attorney says the city of Euclid has agreed to a $675,000 settlement with his client after she was injured during a high-speed police chase.

Attorney Terry Gilbert said Monday the chase started when Euclid Police Officer Jose Alcantara attempted to stop a driver suspected of committing a traffic violation in March 2013. The driver took off and Alcantara followed, at times reaching 100 miles per hour on a busy street.

Gilbert says the officer pursued the person for about a minute before the driver crashed into Regina Hardesty’s car. The attorney says his client suffered serious injuries following the crash.

Court records show Alcantara was eventually reprimanded for failing to end the chase.

The Euclid Police Department has declined to comment.


Associated Press