Ohio headlines


WSU prof not Columbia’s choice

The University of Missouri in Columbia has ended a search for a leader for its College of Education after controversy over a Wright State University professor being a finalist for the job.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the school is appointing the head of its faculty search committee as an interim replacement rather than hire retired Army Col. Larry James - who was a psychologist at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib - or a second finalist from the University of Minnesota.

James is dean of professional psychology at WSU. His 22-year military career includes two stints overseeing interrogations at the U.S. military detention centers.

Faculty and student critics said James was involved in abuse of detainees. He denied the charges.

James had also coordinated mental health resources at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


Man acquitted of 3rd count in Batman film case

An Ohio man who earlier pleaded guilty to two charges for bringing a loaded gun, ammunition and knives to a showing of the latest Batman movie has been acquitted of a third weapons count.

Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula heard evidence on the third charge without a jury and acquitted 38-year-old Scott A. Smith of North Ridgeville on Friday in Cleveland. The third charge was having a weapon under disability, which prosecutors said was a drug dependency.

Smith pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of carrying a concealed weapon.

Smith was arrested at an Aug. 4 showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Westlake. His attorney said Smith had the weapons for protection in case someone tried to copy the Colorado theater shooting that left 12 dead three weeks earlier.


Mom accused in teen fight defends actions

A mother accused of helping her 15-year-old daughter beat another teenager at a Cincinnati high school last week says police and school officials have it all wrong.

Precious Allen tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that the other girl attacked her and her daughter, and that the teen was bigger and taller than both of them.

Allen, a mother of five, says she was talking to a teacher when the girl cursed at her and charged.

Allen’s story differs from what police have described.

Police say Allen burst into a classroom, held the other teen down and told her daughter to hit the girl in the face with a combination lock. The girl suffered cuts and bruises.

Allen faces charges of felonious assault and trespassing. She’s been released on bond.


School shooting survivor advocates gun safety

A 17-year-old survivor of an Ohio school shooting rampage that killed three classmates says the tragedy has motivated him to lobby for gun safety.

Chardon High School senior Nate Mueller just returned home from a lobbying trip to Washington, urging lawmakers to create tougher gun-safety laws. He told WEWS-TV on Friday that surviving a bullet that grazed his ear prompted his involvement in the issue, and he feels it’s his duty.

An 18-year-old, T.J. Lane, is awaiting trial on murder charges in the shooting. Lane was at the Chardon school east of Cleveland waiting for a bus to his alternative school.

A judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine if Lane is competent to stand trial in the attack last Feb. 27.


Man tells 911 dispatcher he stabbed his wife

A central Ohio man told a 911 dispatcher that he had never hurt his wife before and didn’t know why he fatally stabbed her.

The Columbus Dispatch reported details on the 911 call on Friday.

Columbus police said Leif Mortensen called 911 Wednesday afternoon and reported that his 74-year-old wife Margaret was dead in the kitchen of their home. Authorities say he then tried to cut his own throat. He was taken to a hospital and is facing a murder charge.

Police have said 72-year-old Leif Mortensen told them he wasn’t taking drugs or drinking.

Stunned neighbors told reporters that the Mortensens seemed like nice, friendly people.

Police said it was the 10th homicide in Columbus so far this year.


Wind turbine project gets engineering boost

A nonprofit company developing wind turbines along Lake Erie has gained significant engineering support.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. has partnered with about a dozen national and international expert companies and laboratories in an effort to make the proposal happen. And the private partners are bringing an additional $1 million to the project.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. is using a $4 million federal grant to develop the initial engineering necessary to build wind turbines in fresh water, where ice can put pressure on any structure.

The company has a year to assemble detailed engineering plans and win preliminary permits to compete for a larger, three-year federal grant. That money would go toward constructing a pilot project seven miles offshore.

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