Group: Attacks on
homeless should
be hate crimes
Cincinnati — A southwest Ohio homeless advocacy group wants assaults on homeless people to be considered hate crimes under the law.
The Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition says the designation of homeless people as a protected group would enhance penalties for offenders and help deter attacks.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that homeless coalition executive director Josh Spring says the proposal comes on the heels of the beating of a homeless man in July. Spring said one of the three men accused of the assault said they did because they were “bored.”
The National Coalition for the Homeless says that since 1999 the number of crimes against homeless people resulting in death outnumber the number of deaths in crimes associated with race, religion, sexual orientation and ethnicity combined.
— Associated Press

State may establish poet laureate
Columbus — Ohio is one of six states that don’t have an official state poet — but a bill in the Ohio Legislature could change that.
A bill that has passed the Senate would create the position of Ohio poet laureate.
Chiquita Mullins Lee, a program coordinator with the Ohio Arts Council, tells The Columbus Dispatch that popular music has helped create awareness about the powerful art of poetry. That makes the establishment of the Ohio position timely.
The bill says qualifications for the job would include “proven history in poetry that includes works published in books, anthologies, literary journals, or magazines...”
While 44 states have an official poet, the role is a more recent trend, with many states establishing it only within the past 20 years.
— Associated Press

Lawmaker proposes Lebron license plate
Columbus — An Ohio lawmaker wants to create a specialty license plate celebrating the homecoming of LeBron James.
State Rep. Rep. Bill Patmon, D- Cleveland, says he plans to introduce legislation within the next two weeks for the “LeBron James Witness 2.0” tag.
James, an Akron native, announced on July 11 that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, four years after breaking the city’s collective heart by jumping to the Miami Heat.
In a letter to legislative colleagues, Patmon said the plate would “honor the return home of our prodigal champion.” He said the plate would commemorate the NBA star’s contributions to the economy of Ohio and to its children and families through his charity, the LeBron James Family Foundation.
Ohio has more than 70 specialty plates.
— Associated Press

Fair’s champion steer brings $80,000
Columbus — The grand champion steer at the Ohio State Fair this year has been sold at auction for $80,000.
Eighteen-year-old Garrett Davidson of London, Ohio, raised the 1,339-pound steer and stood by it as an auctioneer solicited bids at the fair’s Sale of Champions livestock auction on Aug. 3.
Steve Rauch, who owns an excavation and demolition company as well as a few farms, was the winning bidder for the steer.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that this year’s auction on the last day of the fair generated $343,500 — just under last year’s record amount.
In other sales, the grand champion market turkey brought $15,000, and the grand champion market lamb was sold for $46,500.
— Associated Press

Firefighter feted for chip flavor idea
Troy — A firefighter is being celebrated in his Ohio hometown for concocting a new potato chip flavor that’s being produced by Frito Lay.
Dayton firefighter Matt Allen is competing for a $1 million prize in an online best-new-flavor contest sponsored by the snack maker. Allen says he came up with the cheddar bacon, mac and cheese chip while cooking at a firehouse.
The Dayton Daily News reports that his hometown of Troy celebrated July 31 with an event in the public square. Troy Mayor Michael Beamish proclaimed it “Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Potato Chip Day” in the city just north of Dayton.
Allen says his wife Danielle encouraged him to enter the contest.
Chip lovers can vote on their favorite of the four new flavors on social media.
— Associated PresS