‘Hang on Sloopy’
official state song?
Columbus — With the Ohio State University marching band providing the accompaniment, the Ohio House moved legislation May 7 designating “Hang on Sloopy” as the state’s official rock song.
House Bill 283 codifies what many residents thought was already the case, given an honorary resolution adopted by lawmakers nearly three decades ago honoring Sloopy.
HB 283 passed on a vote of 82-0 and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. It was among a handful of bills approved by the chamber as lawmakers returned to the Statehouse for their first post-primary voting session.
Backers say it’s an appropriate honor, given the songs Ohio roots - ‘Sloopy’ apparently was a woman from the Steubenville area, and the rock band that made the song famous was from Dayton.
The song has also become an anthem for the Ohio State University football team, prompting Buckeye fans to shout “O-H-I-O” during the chorus.
— marc kovac, capital bureau

More penalties for drug dealers sought
Columbus — A state lawmaker wants to increase penalties against dealers whose customers die from consuming the illegal drugs they provide.
Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) offered House Bill 508 as another means to cut down on drug abuse and addiction.
“... The drug problem ravaging communities throughout our state has hopefully shed light on this dark, dangerous, illicit business that continues to thrive, to the detriment of our kids,” Butler said in testimony submitted to the Ohio House’s Judiciary Committee May 7. “It is hard to make an argument that these vile entrepreneurs deserve anything other than the full force of our criminal justice system.”
HB 508 would institute increased criminal penalties for drug dealers in cases where the people who purchase illegal drugs die.
Existing state law allows sentences of up to 11 years in prison for such crimes; the legislation would allow sentences of life in prison with or without parole, depending on the circumstances.
— marc kovac, capital bureau

Man shoots woman, mistaking her for groundhog
Canton — A Northeast Ohio sheriff says a 79-year-old man accidentally shot and killed one of his farmhands after mistaking her for a groundhog as she lay in tall grass.
Natasha Stover, 22, of New Philadelphia was shot once in the head May 5 in Sugar Creek Township south of Canton. She died May 6 at a hospital.
Stark County Sheriff George Maier says Stover was shooting at targets with a BB gun when her boss, Ralph Adams Jr., spotted what he thought was a groundhog in one of his fields. The sheriff says Adams shot Stover with a rifle from a distance of 165 feet.
Maier said May 7 that the investigation will be given to the Stark County prosecutor’s office for review.
— Associated Press

Dimora sues over fall at prison
Cleveland — Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora is suing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction along with a company that runs a Youngstown prison where the convicted politician says he slipped and hurt himself.
The 58-year-old Dimora is serving a 28-year sentence after a federal court jury convicted him of more than 30 bribery- and corruption-related charges in 2012. He says he slipped in a puddle of water May 4, 2012, at Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a federal private prison run by Corrections Corporation of America.
A prisons department spokeswoman declined to comment but said the state doesn’t operate that prison.
Dimora was hospitalized for his injuries and is now housed at a federal prison in Victorville, Calif.
— Associated Press

Ohio leads country in metal thefts
Columbus — Ohio continues to lead the nation in metal thefts, with 1,446 insurance claims made last year, according to a new report.
A National Insurance Crime Bureau report released May 7 said the state reported more than 4,000 claims from 2011 through 2013 from homes and businesses, nearly all copper thefts.
That’s about a third more claims than second-place Texas and about 40 percent more than third-place California, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The 1,446 claims last year in Ohio is about flat with the number in 2012 and up from 1,232 in 2011.
Thieves have stripped sheets of metal from rooftops, stolen decorations from cemeteries, ripped apart air conditioners for the copper coils and stripped homes of wiring and piping, then sold the pieces for scrap.
— Associated Press

State officials urge immunizations
Columbus — Health officials tracking measles and mumps outbreaks in Ohio are urging residents to stay up-to-date on immunizations to prevent illnesses from spreading.
The Department of Health says the spread of such diseases can accelerate when people gather in large groups, such as at picnics, camps, fairs and other common warm-weather activities.
Health agencies have confirmed 321 mumps cases in central Ohio, and 191 of those are linked to Ohio State University. Officials say the origin of the outbreak might never be known.
A measles outbreak is being tracked a bit further to the northeast in a six-county area. Twenty-nine of the 42 confirmed cases are in Knox County. Officials say that outbreak began with unvaccinated travelers who visited the Philippines, which has had a measles epidemic.
— Associated Press