House Speaker Pelosi to headline state Democrats’ fundraiser

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the featured speaker at the annual fundraising dinner for Ohio Democrats.
The California Democrat is scheduled to speak at the state Democratic Party’s “legacy dinner” at the Greater Columbus Convention Center Friday. Tickets started at $250.
Pelosi’s appearance comes as 2020 presidential campaigning has already begun in the politically divided state. That’s included recent stops by Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala (KAH’-mah-lah) Harris.
Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made Ohio visits last month to tout Trump administration policies.
State Democratic Chairman David Pepper says as Democrats gear up for 2020, Pelosi has shown what it means to stand up to this president.
Trump decisively carried Ohio in 2016, after Democrat Barack Obama won Ohio twice.

Report: Ohio State team doctor abused 177, leaders knew

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — At least 177 men were sexually abused by an Ohio State team doctor who died years ago, the university said Friday as it released findings from a law firm that investigated the accusations, concluding that school leaders knew at the time.
The claims about Richard Strauss span from 1979 to 1997 — nearly his entire time at Ohio State — and involve athletes from at least 16 sports, plus his work at the student health center and his off-campus clinic.
Many of the accusers who have spoken publicly said they were groped and inappropriately touched during physical exams. Some also said they were ogled in locker rooms where athletes joked about Strauss’ behavior, referring to him with nicknames like “Dr. Jelly Paws.”
The law firm hired to conduct the investigation for the school interviewed hundreds of former students and university employees.
In releasing the report, President Michael Drake offered “profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’ abuse.” He called it a “fundamental failure” of the institution and thanked survivors for their courage.
The university said it has begun the process of revoking Strauss’ emeritus status.
His accusers allege more than 20 school officials and staff members, including two athletic directors and a coach who is now a congressman, were aware of concerns about Strauss but didn’t stop him. Most of those claims are part of two related lawsuits against Ohio State that are headed to mediation.
The university has said the law firm’s work included determining what Ohio State and its leaders knew during Strauss’ tenure.
But the independence of the investigation has been questioned by some of Strauss’ accusers, including some of the lawsuit plaintiffs, their attorneys and the whistleblower who helped to spur the investigation last spring.
Ohio State has sought to have the lawsuits thrown out as being time-barred by law, but university leaders have insisted they’re not ignoring the men’s stories.
The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights also is examining whether Ohio State responded “promptly and equitably” to students’ complaints.
Strauss, a well-regarded physician and sports-medicine researcher, killed himself in 2005.
No one has publicly defended him, though his family has said they were shocked at the allegations. Like the school, they said they were seeking the truth about him.
Employment records shared by Ohio State reflect no major concerns about Strauss before he retired in 1998. But alumni said they complained as early as the late 1970s, and Ohio State has at least one documented complaint from 1995.
The State Medical Board of Ohio said it never disciplined Strauss but acknowledged having confidential records about the investigation of a complaint involving him. Records of board communications indicate Ohio State reported Strauss to the medical board at some point but include no details.
Strauss’ personnel records indicate he previously worked at five other schools. None of those has said any concerns were raised about him.

Jury recommends death for man convicted in car lot slayings

CLEVELAND (AP) — A jury has recommended that a man who represented himself at trial be sentenced to death for the slayings of a couple at a Cleveland used car lot.
The jury in Cleveland deliberated less than an hour before reaching its decision Thursday. Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County Judge Brian Corrigan will announce Tuesday whether he’ll sentence 32-year-old Joseph McAlpin to death or to life in prison.
McAlpin was found guilty by the same jury last month of aggravated murder and other charges in the April 2017 slayings of Trina Tomola and Michael Kuznik.
Prosecutors say McAlpin fatally shot the couple and their dog and stole a car. reports McAlpin maintained his innocence and said he didn’t want his family to become props in a circus during his closing arguments Thursday.
Information from:,

Ohio governor: new lethal injection policy coming in ‘weeks’

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he expects Ohio to present a federal judge with a proposed new lethal injection system within several weeks.
The Republican governor says the system will be different than the previous protocol. But he wouldn’t say whether it would contain the sedative midazolam (mih-DAY’-zoh-lam), which has been used in several problematic executions.
DeWine said Thursday he anticipates court challenges as soon as the new process is announced.
The governor ordered the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in January to look at alternative lethal injection drugs. The announcement followed a federal judge’s ruling that said Ohio’s current execution protocol could cause inmates “severe pain and needless suffering.”
The governor postponed four executions to allow the development of the new system.

Ohio’s unemployment rate dips slightly in April

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly from March to April.
State officials on Friday said the unemployment rate was 4.3% in April, compared with 4.4% the previous month. Ohio’s unemployment rate stood at 4.6% in April 2018.
The national rate was 3.6% in April, down from 3.8% in March, and down from 3.9% in April 2018.
The state Job and Family Services Department says Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 1,400 jobs from March to April.
The agency reports gains in educational and health services; financial activities; and professional and business services exceeded losses in trade, transportation and utilities; other services, leisure and hospitality; and information.
Manufacturing saw a decrease of 500 jobs in April while the construction sector gained 500 jobs.

Ohio capital still has a few bike couriers, despite e-filing

By KEN GORDON The Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — When he answered a newspaper ad for a bicycle courier in 1999, Kevin Cash figured he was embarking on a short-lived adventure.
“I thought it would be something I would do for a year,” he said, “or not even that — maybe just for the winter and then I would get myself a real job.”
Twenty years later, Cash, 42, is still at it, making a living by zipping through traffic on a bicycle, picking up and delivering documents throughout downtown Columbus.
“It hooked me,” said the resident of the Milo-Grogan neighborhood. “The freedom of being outside, interacting with different people all day — it just checked off a lot of boxes.”
In the two decades since Cash got his job, though, much has changed. Like it did for canal-boat skippers and telegraph operators in bygone days, technology has greatly thinned the ranks of bike couriers.
When Cash got started, about two dozen cyclists made a full-time living plying the city streets. Now, there are only four.
“The fax machine didn’t kill the bike courier, and it wasn’t the internet, either,” said Chuck Hootman, 45, another one of the fab four. “It was the advent of electronic signatures. Once you could do online filings, it cut back on the need for a lot of bike messengers.”
But Hootman, a Victorian Village resident, quickly added that he did not want to portray the situation as a “sob story.” Like the others, he loves his job and considers himself fortunate to be able to do it into his 40s.
All four couriers, in fact, are in their 40s — Norm Hall of North Linden is 47 and Nate Ziccardi of the South Side is 43 — and they have a combined 81 years of experience. Three have college degrees, and the other, Hall, attended Ohio State University before joining the Peace Corps.
Like Cash, Hall said he values the uniqueness of his job.
“It’s the independence. You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder telling you how to go about your day,” he said. “That and the physical nature of it, I really like.”
The couriers take great pride in riding in all weather. They also say they have not been involved in any serious accidents and credit Columbus officials for adding bike lanes and making their jobs safer in recent years. Their biggest hazards, they say, are distracted drivers and jaywalking pedestrians who step off curbs unexpectedly.
It’s not a lucrative job, but the couriers do make a living. Hootman said the range for a run is between $15 and $45, and he might make 20 to 25 runs per day. Ziccardi said he made only about $12,000 when he first started in 1996 but that couriers can make $40,000 a year or more now.
Of the four, Hootman and Ziccardi are married; Hootman is the father of children ages 3 and 1.
At 11 a.m. on a recent Tuesday, Hootman and Ziccardi were hanging out at the group’s unofficial headquarters, Cafe Brioso on Gay Street. Both had already made multiple runs and were awaiting further calls.
The Columbus couriers said they do most of their work for downtown law firms. Ziccardi estimated that comprises about 85% of their business.
Even though, as Hootman said, the advent of electronic filings eliminated much of their business, some documents still require “hard filings” — actual physical copies — to be filed with various courts and government offices.
And these four are experts in navigating the system.
“We have a great deal of trust in the service they provide,” said Doyle Rausch, an attorney with Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Peas. “They are subject-matter experts and they know how to get things done logistically, so they provide a lot of value.”
Rausch estimates that his firm alone requires couriers for 10 to 25 deliveries in a day.
Late in the day can get hectic, as clients often need documents delivered before courts close at 5 p.m.
On the recent Tuesday, both Hootman and Ziccardi had multiple late-day runs to the courthouses on South High Street. Both zipped in and out of elevators and greeted court clerks with an easy familiarity.
“I see them every day, and they’re awesome,” said Molly Gilbert, a deputy clerk at Franklin County Probate Court. “They’re very spirited, cool guys for sure, and they know what they’re doing.”
At about 3:30 p.m., Ziccardi emerged from Franklin County Municipal Court. He had at least three more pickups and deliveries scheduled before 5 p.m.
But it was a warm, sunny spring day. He was in shorts and a T-shirt, and the late-day rush did not seem to faze him.
“It’s the only job I’ve had that when I wake up, I’m not like, ‘Oh, God, I’ve got to go to work,'” he said. “And after 23 years, that feeling is still there.”
And then he zoomed off, headed south on High Street. In five seconds, he was out of sight.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,

Space exploration exhibit for Apollo 11 opens at Ohio museum

CINCINNATI (AP) — A new permanent exhibit focusing on space exploration and the Ohio native who was the first person to walk on the moon has opened at a Cincinnati museum.
The Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery opened May 6 in the Cincinnati Museum Center. It celebrates the legacy of Apollo 11 and its crew members. The exhibit focuses especially on Neil Armstrong, the mission’s commander and the first person to step foot on the moon.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the exhibit includes interactive elements, original artifacts and equipment, and an immersive theater. A jacket Armstrong wore during the Apollo 11 mission and a moon rock are among the many artifacts.
Officials say the gallery will expand in 2020 to include more interactive and virtual reality elements and live NASA briefings and information.

Police: Minivan strikes, injures police motorcycle officer

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Police say the driver of a minivan failed to yield at an intersection, striking and seriously injuring a motorcycle officer.
Akron police say the officer was attempting to stop another motorist when the minivan pulled out in front of the officer around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Police say the officer was ejected from his motorcycle and pinned under the minivan.
Police say the officer was hospitalized in serious condition. The 65-year-old driver and her 11-year-old granddaughter weren’t injured.
Akron Municipal Court records show the minivan driver, Corrie Sharpe, of Akron, was arrested on charges including aggravated vehicular assault and child endangering. She was booked into the Summit County Jail.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Sharpe.
Police did not release the identity of the officer.

Port of Cleveland plans new US Customs facility for cruises

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Port Cleveland is planning to develop a more permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility to process cruise passengers disembarking in the city on Lake Erie.
The Cleveland port is planning to spend $600,000 to develop the facility for an increasing number of Great Lakes cruise passengers, The Plain Dealer reported .
“We’re positioned as well as any port city in the Great Lakes to be a stopover for a wave of ships that are coming into the system,” said William Friedman, president and CEO of the Port of Cleveland.
The port plans to convert the Seamen’s Service building into the new facility, which will offer air conditioning, heat and restrooms.
Port officials for two summers have set up large tents alongside the dock for Customs, but the federal government now requires a more permanent location.
The renovations planned for the new facility are awaiting the federal approval and should be complete by September or October, said Jade Davis, the port’s vice president of external affairs.
Many of the ships docking in Cleveland come from Canadian waters with passengers who need to pass through U.S. Customs. Cleveland’s is expecting as many as 7,500 passengers from mid-May through mid-October, up from 1,500 just two years ago.
Cruise ships currently tie up at the port’s dock, in an industrial area just west of the Cleveland Browns’ stadium.
Friedman said the port eventually may want to move cruise ships to a more tourism-friendly location, possibly as part of a development planned for the lakefront area just north of FirstEnergy stadium. That space is close to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center and could work well for a cruise terminal type of facility, Friedman said.
Dick Pace, whose Cumberland Development firm has already developed part of North Coast Harbor, says plans for eventual development in the area behind the stadium already include a hotel, apartments and retail. He says a cruise terminal could fit in well with those plans, although its “not something that’s going to happen tomorrow.”
Friedman said port officials want to see how cruising in the Great Lakes develops in the next three to five years before considering any additional improvement plans.
Information from: The Plain Dealer,

75 years later, French ‘HistoPad’ offers new view of D-Day

By DAN SEWELL Associated Press
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The French and the Americans are working together again on a D-Day project — this time to give museum visitors the opportunity to travel back in time and experience the milestone World War II invasion 75 years later.
From the viewpoints of a paratrooper snagged on a church steeple or a soldier firing a bazooka at a German tank, visitors at Ohio’s National Museum of the U.S. Air Force can soon be transported to Normandy, where the June 6, 1944, attack happened.
Using tablets called HistoPads, museumgoers will be able to move a slider to contrast current views of historic sites with re-creations of them in the past. They can tap on icons to see animation, as well as video footage, photos and maps from 1944.
The new way of learning about D-Day is set to launch Monday as part of the museum’s D-Day commemorations, which will also include paratroopers dropping from a vintage C-53D dubbed “D-Day Doll,” exhibits and movies.
Codenamed Operation Overlord, D-Day saw some 156,000 U.S., British and Canadian forces landing on five beaches along a 50 mile (80 kilometer) stretch of France’s coast, supported by thousands of ships, landing vessels, planes and gliders, and with inland help from French resistance fighters.
The Ohio museum, near Dayton, will be the first in the U.S. to use the HistoPad, although there are talks of expanding around the country, according to Histovery, the French company that developed it.
The tablets are among new technology increasingly in use at museums and historic sites that offer virtual and augmented reality to help learning and understanding, such as in the “Heroes and Legends” exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The D-Day exhibit was a natural place to start the U.S. rollout, also the first site outside of France, said company spokesman Bruno de Sa Moreira.
“It’s a very exciting adventure,” he said by telephone from Normandy. “We are basically telling our joint history, when the American soldiers fought for the liberty of France. We have a common past and a common duty to remember.”
HistoPads, introduced five years ago at a medieval castle, are used in 15 monuments and museums in France by more than 1 million visitors per year. Among the historic sites where they are available are the Popes’ Palace in Avignon and the Royal Fortress of Chinon .
The Air Force museum has extensive collections of the troop carriers, fighter planes, gliders, and even German planes and weapons of the time.
A U.S. paratrooper display shows him loaded for combat with a ready-to-assemble rifle, field radio, gas mask, grenades, anti-tank mine and backup parachute, all weighing some 150 pounds for the perilous drop behind German lines in the darkness hours before the invasion.
The HistoPad will provide a paratrooper’s-eye view of the drop.
“It makes it very real,” Duford said. “It’s a device that allows us to connect our visitors with that moment in time and in doing so, it makes the artifacts from that time and that place even more powerful.”
Chuck Edmonson, the museum’s marketing director, gave a couple visitors a demonstration of the HistoPad on a recent morning.
“Oh, my, that’s what you’d see,” said Deane Sager, 67, of Louisville, Kentucky, who was a Navy reservist during the Vietnam era.
The Air Force museum is also planning more D-Day events June 6, complementing several days of commemorations in France.
Cathy Sager, who recounted having her “breath just taken away” by a visit to Normandy years ago, was also impressed by the HistoPad. They plan to return to Dayton, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from their home, after the full exhibit is open.
“The technology we have today is being used to take us back to that time,” said Deane Sager.
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