New concealed
carry licenses drop
Columbus — The number of new licenses to carry concealed firearms dropped in the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2013, according to statistics released May 13 by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
But the number of license renewals during first quarter increased from the year-earlier period.
For January, February and March, a total of 16,205 regular concealed carry licenses were issued, along with 15,832 license renewed. Another 350 licenses were suspended, 111 were revoked and 262 were denied.
The results compared to first-quarter 2013 totals of 31,407 new licenses, 6,354 renewals, 283 suspensions, 64 revocations and 342 denials.
Among area counties:
• A total of 283 new licenses and 161 renewals were reported in Portage County, along with 10 license suspensions, four revocations and two denials.
• A total of 484 new licenses and 580 renewals were reported in Summit County, along with 16 license suspensions and 19 denials.
— Marc Kovac, Capital Bureau

Unbuckled child passengers could be a primary offense
Columbus — Drivers who allow youngsters to sit in vehicle cargo areas or other spaces without seat belts could get pulled over by officers, under legislation being considered in the Ohio Senate.
Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) wants to make it a primary offense to allow children younger than 15 to travel in vehicle spaces without appropriate constraints. The infraction is currently a secondary offense, meaning drivers must be breaking another specified traffic law in order for law enforcement to stop them and issue citations on Ohio roadways.
Schiavoni told members of the Ohio Senate Transportation Committee May 13 that he introduced SB 302 in response to a triple-fatal accident in Columbiana County in which a sports utility vehicle was hit head on by a Jeep.
There were nine passengers in the former, including an 11-year-old girl who was riding in the cargo area of the vehicle, Schiavoni said. She and two others were killed.
“Although there is no law that addresses the maximum occupancy for vehicles, it does require children to be seated in areas where there are restraints available and requires them to wear safety belts until the age of 15,” Schiavoni said, adding later, “Allowing this provision to become a primary offense would give law enforcement the opportunity to pull over vehicles where children are clearly unrestrained and hopefully prevent a tragedy.”
— Marc Kovac, Capital Bureau

Woman charged for taking medication
Akron — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident where a woman was injured when a deputy allegedly pried her mouth open after she took prescription Tylenol.
The incident occurred as the Akron woman was in a prisoner-holding room in Summit County domestic relations court last week where she said she was told to wait while a warrant was being lifted.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported May 14 the woman didn’t believe she was in custody and felt free to take the medication for a tooth infection.
A sheriff’s spokesman tells the paper the woman was in custody and was stopped from taking the medication for her own protection.
She was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing official business after the May 8 incident.
— Associated Press

AG warns of home improvement scams
Columbus — Ohio’s attorney general is warning consumers about spring home improvement scams.
Attorney General Mike DeWine says warmer weather brings more door-to-door home improvement sales. He says consumers should be cautious and research the reputation of a business and individual contractor before agreeing to anything.
DeWine says consumers should check with his office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the company. Ohioans also can search the Internet and ask contractors for references from past customers.
DeWine says consumers have a three-day right to cancel most door-to-door sales and businesses must give written notice of that right.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section has filed five home improvement lawsuits so far this year against contractors believed to be violating the state’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.
— Associated Press

TV meteorologist rescued from flood
CLEVELAND — A longtime Cleveland TV meteorologist had to be rescued after rising water swamped his car on a highway exit ramp this week.
Eighty-three-year-old Dick Goddard, a local weatherman for more than 50 years, says he thought he was going to “buy the farm” when water flooded his car on an Interstate 71 exit south of Cleveland during heavy rain Monday night.
Goddard — who talking on the air about the rain before leaving work at WJW-TV — was trapped for about 45 minutes before firefighters in a rubber boat reached his car, broke the window and pulled him out. He was treated for hypothermia.
Goddard tells The Medina Gazette the water was up to his chin. He credits firefighters with saving his life.
— Associated Press

New law allows free beer, wine samples
Columbus — A new state law will allow Ohio retailers to hand out free samples of beer and wine.
Existing state law allows sampling of beer, wine and spirits at retailer such as grocery stores and wine shops, but customers have to pay for their samples.
The Dayton Daily News reports that the new measure — which takes effect July 10 — allows retailers to host free tastings. But it preserves a minimum 50-cents-per-sample charge for liquor stronger than 42 proof.
State Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, who sponsored the legislation, says the law will lead to more sales, more state revenue and “ultimately aid in job creation.”
Hughes says no opposition emerged to the bill as it made its way through the Legislature.
— Associated Press

No more kids for deadbeat dad
Elyria — An Ohio appeals court has for now upheld a judge’s order that a deadbeat father can’t have any more kids until he pays his back child support.
The decision issued this week by the 9th District Court of Appeals didn’t provide an opinion as to whether the order was appropriate. Instead the judges said they didn’t have enough information to decide the merits of the case without a copy of the pre-sentence report detailing Asim Taylor’s background.
Lorain County Probate Judge James Walther made the ruling in January 2013. The judge said the order would be lifted if Taylor pays the nearly $100,000 in overdue support for his four children.
The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports that Taylor’s attorney is arguing that the order violates Taylor’s right to reproduce.
— Associated Press