Once again, Akron's Ronald Phillips breathes easier because a judge has stepped in to halt his last breath.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Merz ruled Ohio's plans to use a new three-drug cocktail to deliver the lethal injection that would kill Phillips is unconstitutional, a victory for opponents of capital punishment who've successfully out-maneuvered states where lethal injection is the form of execution by denying access to lethal drugs previously used because pharmaceutical and chemical companies won't sell them for the purposes of executions.
Phillips has been on Death Row for over a generation for raping his then-girlfriend's three year old daughter; Sheila Marie Evans died weeks later from the severe injuries. He had been scheduled for execution in the Death Chamber at the Ohio Correctional Insitution in Lucasville in January, but appeals put that schedule on hold until a scheduled February 15th date. Now that schedule is also on hold.
Ironically, the ruling by Judge Merz came almost to the day of the anniversday of the death of Evans on January 18, 1993.
Lawyers for Phillips and two other inmates argued before Merz that the use of a sedative, midazolam, couldn't meet a U.S. Supreme Court threshold of not causing "serious harm." Merz also barred the use of the two other drugs, rocuronium bromide and potassium chloride, ruling the State was not consistent in his offerings in the past on the new lethal cocktail as an alternative. The first two chemicals sedate and paralyze the inmate, while the potassium chloride stops the heart.
The 44 year old Lorain man charged in connection with the hit-skip death of Cleveland Police officer David Fahey earlier this week, appeared in Cleveland Municipal court for the first time today.
Bond was sent at $500 thousand dollars for Israel Alvarez, who is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, and felony hit-skip.
He is accused of leaving the scene after hitting Officer Fahey, who was setting up road flares at an accident site on I-90 in Rocky River, on Tuesday morning.
UPDATE: Thursday night, police located Khadijah Naseer in Washington D.C. No word on how she ended up there. Her parents called police Monday after Khadijah didn't come home from school.
Kent Police have issued an Endangered Missing Child Advisory for Khadijah Naseer, 17, who was last seen Monday, January 23.
Her family told police that the circumstances surrounding her disappearance were unusual, and now law enforcement is asking for the public's help.
Khadijah was last seen on Athena Drive in Kent about 9:30 a.m. Monday. She is an African American female, 17-years-old, 5'7", 193 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a dark colored hoodie, purple shirt, black leggings, burgundy coat, and possibly carrying a green backpack.
Anyone with information or who has seen Khadijah is asked to call 911 immediately.
UPDATE Portage County law enforcement now say they have an ID on the suspect.
Previous: Apparently "drive thru" doesn't mean 24/7. Portage County deputies are looking for a man thought to be 40 to 50 years old who forced his way into Mike's Drive Thru in Deerfield Township; the same individual may have also broken into a Sebring convenience store a day later. Video images taken from that robbery show him as a white male, balding and wearing glasses wearing a sweatshirt with "Timberland" on the front. A photo taken from the heist at Mike's Drive Thru is displayed above.
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(Portage County Sheriff) Portage County Sheriff David W. Doak is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying a subject who is a person of interest in a recent Breaking and Entering incident that had occurred in Portage County on January 13, 2017. During the early morning hours of this date, forced entry was made to Mike’s Drive Thru located at 9458 SR 224 in Deerfield Township.
On January 14, 2017 a subject was observed at a convenience store in Sebring, Ohio in possession of some of the items taken during the Breaking and Entering. The subject is described as a white male, wearing glasses. He is seen wearing a white sweatshirt that has the word TIMBERLAND on the front. This subject has a goatee and is partially balding. He is approximately 40 to 50 years of age.
This subject was seen to be driving a full size Chevy SUV, maroon in color. Anyone with information as to the identity of this subject is urged to contact the Portage County Sheriff’s Office at 330-296-5100
A 28 year old Akron man wanted in connection with the deaths of two women last June, has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and drug trafficking.
Vernell Lavon Curry was arrested by officers from the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, who have been looking for him since 22 year old Abigail Hackett, and 25 year old Sara White--both from Stow--were found dead in his apartment from overdosing on fentanyl.
He's being held now in the Summit county jail.
(Stow PD/Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force) Force, located and arrested Vernell Lavon Curry, age 28, of Akron, Ohio, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and drug trafficking in connection with the June, 2016, deaths of two Stow women. The investigation by the Stow Police Department began on June 21, 2016, when Abigail Hackett, age 22, and Sara White, age 25, were found deceasedin Hackett’s apartment. At that time, indications were present that the women had died within moments of each other from a suspected drug overdose. On October 24, 2016,the Medical Examiner for Summit County released their Report of Investigation for both victims. The cause of death for both women was listed as acute fentanyl toxicity. ATM receipts helped to develop a timeline of victim activities leading up to their deaths.
Further investigation developed a suspect who was eventually identified as Vernell L.Curry and charges were authorized.Curry was arrested, booked at the Stow Police Department, and transported to Summit County Jail.
Charges: Involuntary Manslaughter, O.R.C., 2903.04(A), felony of the first degree, x2;
Drug Trafficking, O.R.C., 2925.03(A) (2), felony of the fifth degree.
Arrested: Vernell Lavon Curry
280 Grand Ave.
Akron Ohio 44302
Local doctors and pharmacists have been paying attention to the explosion of heroin and other opioid abuse. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy reports prescriptions of opioids are down for a fourth consecutive year, with 2016 numbers showing a decline of more than 20% the past four years.
At it's peak, Ohioans were prescribed opiates with 793 million doses; the latest number shows that dropped to 631 million doses.
The latest report from the State has a 78.2 percent drop in cases of "doctor shopping", where patients move from one doctor to another to score drugs. The State uses an automated reporting system to track prescriptions.
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(Ohio Board of Pharmacy) Opioid prescribing in Ohio declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2016, according to a newly released report from the State Board of Pharmacy’s Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS).
Between 2012 and 2016, the total number of opioids dispensed to Ohio patients decreased by 162 million doses or 20.4 percent, from a peak of 793 million doses to 631 million doses. The number of opioid prescriptions provided to Ohio patients decreased by
20 percent during the same period. The report finds a 78.2 percent decrease in the amount of people engaged in the practice of doctor shopping since 2012. Additionally, the use of OARRS continued to increase, reaching an all-time high of 24.11 million requests in
“This report highlights the state’s continued efforts to promote best practices when treating patients with prescription opioids” said State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven W. Schierholt. “I am confident that such best practices, including the use of OARRS, will further decrease opioid prescribing and expose fewer Ohioans to these potentially addictive medications.”
Established in 2006, OARRS is the only statewide database that collects information on all prescriptions for controlled substances that are dispensed by pharmacies and personally furnished by licensed prescribers in Ohio. OARRS data is available to prescribers when they treat patients, pharmacists when presented with prescriptions from patients and law enforcement officers during active drug-related investigations.
“Ohio has one of the most comprehensive approaches to address the responsible prescribing of opioid pain relievers. The progress shown in these data illustrate that our partnership with prescribers is helping to reduce opportunities for prescription opioid misuse and addiction,” said Tracy Plouck, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation announced Wednesday that 41 employers in Ohio will share more than $942,000 in federal safety grant money.
The cash infusion will be dedicated to purchasing or upgrading equipment designed to reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illness. The money was designated to these companies because of their ongoing commitment to worker safety.
The employers operate in 28 Ohio counties, including Stark, Wayne, and Portage Counties.
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison today announced 41 employers will share more than $942,000 in grants to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.
“BWC commits $15 million to the safety grant program each year to partner with businesses that make safety a part of their plans to thrive and grow,” said Morrison. “By investing in workplace safety, they’ll have fewer injuries and a more stable workforce.”
The Safety Intervention Grants were approved in December. The recipient employers operate in 28 counties around the state, including:
Vernell Lavon Curry, 28, of Stow, has been arrested after nearly seven months on the run.
U.S. Marshalls and the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force took Curry in Tuesday, January 24, in connection to the overdose deaths of two women in his apartment back in June. He's being held in Summit County Jail on charges of Involuntary Manslaughter and Drug Trafficking.
In June, 2016, Abigail Hackett, 22, and Sarah White, 25, both of Stow, were found dead inside Curry's Stow apartment. An autopsy showed the two women died within minutes of one another of acute fentanyl toxicity. Curry wasn't connected to the case until October when the autopsy results came back on the two women.
Cleveland Police Patrolman David Fahey was killed when he was hit along I-90 Westbound in Rocky River around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Officer Fahey was providing assistance to an earlier accident when a white Toyota Camry hit him. He was transported to an area hospital where he died.
After an hours-long manhunt, police in Lorain County located the suspect vehicle outside a home on E. 31st St. in the 11 a.m. hour. Authorities surrounded the home and shortly after noon, a suspect was in custody.
No suspect information, nor charges have been released at the time of the arrest.
Cleveland Police were assisting after a van had run into the back of a fire truck along I-90 near the Warren Rd. exit. That is when the driver of the 2000 Camry hit Officer Fahey and drove off. The highway was shut down for hours between the Innerbelt and Detroit Rd.
Jerry Grassick, 51, of Green Township is in jail, arrested for allegedly breaking into a woman's home, hiding in her bathroom, and attempting to steal her Salisbury Steak... The kind with the gravy!
According to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, upon returning home, the female resident noticed someone or something moving in her bathroom. She thought it was her cat. Turns out, Grassick was hiding in her bathtub behind her shower curtain.
The Sheriff's Office report states that Grassick was attempting to steal Salisbury Steak, frozen chicken, and pork chops.
Grassick is charged with burglary and is due in court January 30th.
A Wadsworth High School student is under arrest after posting threats against the school on a personal Facebook page.
Wadsworth City School Superintendent Andy Hill says the student, whose name and age has not been released, did not single out any specific other student or faculty member, but mentioned the school itself in the threat.
Once the threat was made public and made known to the Wadsworth Police and school district Sunday, the student was arrested shortly after. Hill says the school district then posted to their own Facebook page and made calls to students and families regarding the incident. "We don't have any reason to believe there was anything more to this than the one student who is now in custody," Hill said Monday.
There is no word on the charges that student is facing. No other arrests were made in the case. Classes continued as normal Monday morning at Wadsworth High School and throughout the rest of the district.
We've already got the standards to worry about. Then this past summer we were introduced to fantanyl and carfetanil. Now, after some popularity in Florida and other places across the U.S., Northeast Ohio has another drug showing up on the streets; FLAKKA.
Medway DEA and Wooster Police seized 2 ouncese of the substance that was being delivered through the mail to a Wooster home. FLAKKA is chemically similar to bath salts, and can be snorted, smoked, or even injected. Side effects have been described as “excited delirium” that involves hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can lead to violent aggression and self-injury.
No suspect information from the bust that happened January 11th in Wooster. Police say they'll release more information later.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh was sworn into office Thursday; making history as the first Summit County Prosecutor in the past 60 years to be elected to five consecutive terms.
2017 marks Prosecutor Walsh's 17th year as Summit County Prosecutor, passing former County Prosecutor Lynn Slaby, who served from 1980 through 1995. Former Summit County Prosecutor Alva Russell still holds the title of longest-serving prosecutor in Summit County history, holding the office from 1936 to 1956.
In a statement released Friday, Walsh said, "I want to thank Summit County voters for having the faith in me as their county prosecutor. It has been an honor to serve them."
It's official -- the Ohio state high school football championships are coming back to the birthplace of football. The board of directors of the Ohio High School Athletic Association approved taking the games back to Canton at the remodeled Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium for 2017 and 2018.
The intention is to return the games to Ohio Stadium in Columbus in 2018, but the board hasn't voted on that issue. This year's championship games will be played the week after Thanksgiving.
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(OHSAA) The Ohio High School Athletic Association football state championship games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton in 2017 and 2018 following approval from the OHSAA Board of Directors at its January meeting Thursday. The OHSAA staff had previously confirmed its intent to return to Canton in 2017 and 2018 and the 9-0 vote by the board of directors Thursday makes the move official.
After a 24-year stay in Stark County from 1990-2013, the football state championship games were held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“We had great hosts in Stark County before, and I know we will again,” said Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner. “We are blessed in Ohio to have so many outstanding playoff venues like Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and Ohio Stadium here in Columbus, and our intent all along has been to rotate the finals between the two sites. The last three years in Columbus have been great, and the timing worked out well because Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame had major stadium renovations underway at the same time.”
The 2017 OHSAA football state championships weekend is Thursday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 3. The exact dates and times of the games will be finalized this spring. All seven state championship games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
“Visit Canton is excited to see the tradition of the OHSAA High School Football Championships return to Stark County, and we are so eager to showcase the world-class Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium,” said Allyson Bussey, President of Visit Canton. “Our team at the Convention & Visitors’ Bureau is working hand-in-hand with OHSAA and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to plan an experience of excellence for the athletes, coaches, parents, students and everyone involved in this prestigious event.
”The stadium complex, which is next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will include Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, featuring hotels, shopping, a conference center and parking decks. The world-class stadium and entertainment complex, adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is one of nine major components of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, a $600 million development project under way to transform the Hall of Fame’s campus.
“We look forward to the OHSAA High School Championships returning to Canton,” shared David Baker, President & CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village that includes the spectacular, state-of-the-art Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will provide a rich experience for the many players, coaches, families, and fans attending the games. The excellence in competition among the best football players in the state will be celebrated by the Hall of Fame and our community.”
No details for the football state championship games after 2018 have been finalized, but the OHSAA intends to return to Ohio Stadium in Columbus for the 2019 state championship games.