Turnpike warns of E-ZPass email scam
Berea — Ohio Turnpike officials are warning their E-ZPass customers of an email scam.
Officials said July 14 that emails from the sender “EZPass Info” are likely attempts to steal personal information from some of the 150,000 customers who use the automated E-ZPass system to automatically pay tolls on the northern Ohio thoroughfare.
The email says the customer owes money and asks the receiver to click a link to download an invoice.
The same e-mail scam also has been reported in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
Officials say the customers with questions about the validity of a message from E-ZPass should call the Turnpike’s customer service center at 440-234-2081, extension 1075.
— Associated Press

Woman critical after rock dropped on car
Akron — A Northeast Ohio woman was in critical condition July 15 after police say some teenagers deliberately dropped a rock from a highway overpass onto the windshield of the family’s car in Pennsylvania last week.
Sharon Budd, 52, was struck in the face by the rock dropped onto Interstate 80 near Milton, Penn., on July 10. Four teens are charged with assault for dropping the 7- to 8-pound rock from an overpass.
Her husband, Randy Budd, told the Akron Beacon Journal July 14 that she was is in critical condition at a hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania, and was to have another surgery July 15.
Sharon Budd, a language arts teacher in Perry, was sitting in the front passenger seat when the rock blasted through the windshield at around 11:45 p.m. July 10.
Randy and his 19-year-old daughter Kaylee — who was driving — were not injured.
— Associated Press

Browns will have live ‘dawg’ mascot
Berea — The Cleveland Browns are going to have a live, barking, panting mascot when they take the field this fall.
Kevin Griffin, the Browns vice president of fan experience and marketing, tells a Cleveland radio station that the team will have a bullmastiff named Swagger leading the players onto the field at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that for years, the team has had just costumed canines roaming the sidelines, playing to the raucous fan section known as the Dawg Pound.
A few other NFL teams feature live mascots, including the Seattle Seahawks (Taima the hawk), the Denver Broncos (a white Arabian horse named Thunder II) and the Baltimore Ravens (ravens named Rise and Conquer).
— Associated Press

Akron, union push new Goodyear plant
AKRON — Local union leaders are working with Akron and surrounding Summit County to persuade Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to build its new $500 million plant in Northeast Ohio and bring potentially hundreds more jobs to the area where the company was founded.
After Goodyear announced plans in May for a state-of-the-art factory to make about 6 million tires annually, Akron’s mayor sent a letter to Goodyear’s CEO, City Council passed a resolution on the issue, and the local union made no secret of its willingness to do what it can to make the facility a reality in the Akron area.
“We’ve let Goodyear know that pretty much anything it would take to land that facility here, we’re willing to make happen,” Jack Hefner, president of United Steelworkers Local 2, said. “To do nothing, you get nothing. If they don’t build it here, it certainly won’t be from a lack of trying.”
Goodyear has said it would consider sites in both North and South America for what will be its first new plant in the Americas since 1990. It likely won’t discuss the locations under consideration until a choice is announced early next year, company spokesman Keith Price said.
— Associated Press

— Associated Press

Man arrested for threatening copter
Cincinnati — Police in Cincinnati say a man was arrested after driving to a hospital and threatening to shoot down a medical helicopter the next time it flew over his property.
Police say 56-year-old Leonard Pflanz drove to Mercy West Hospital on July 13, yelled at the University of Cincinnati Health Air Care pilot and threatened to shoot down the aircraft.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Pflanz was arrested and charged with a felony count of disrupting public service, and misdemeanor counts of misconduct at an emergency and aggravated menacing. Jail records didn’t say whether he had an attorney.
The helicopter apparently flew over the man’s property en route to the hospital early July 13. Authorities say Pflanz drove to the hospital, got out of his vehicle and began yelling at the pilot.
— Associated Press