Health officials:
Two have West Nile
Columbus — Ohio health officials have confirmed that two women have been hospitalized with the West Nile virus in state’s first human cases.
The Ohio Department of Health said Aug. 20 a 24-year-old woman in Muskingum County and a 78-year-old woman in Cuyahoga County have been hospitalized with encephalitis. That’s an inflammation of the brain caused when someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.
The cases were identified Aug. 19 by the health department.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio says Ohio could see a growing number of West Nile cases. She’s urging people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
Officials recommend using insect repellant and wearing long pants and sleeves outside, especially at dusk and dawn.
The state health department has identified at least 120 positive West Nile Virus mosquito samples since mid-July.
— Associated PresS

New rules for tattoo artists, piercers
Akron — Ohio is redrawing the rules for tattoo artists and piercers for the first time since the late 1990s.
New regulations going into effect Sept. 1 include limiting piercing guns for use only on lower earlobes, and restricting minors from getting certain areas of their bodies pierced, even if their parents approve.
New state laws also require all body art businesses to have an infection and disease control plan. The updates also are expected to protect consumers by encouraging more training among the public health inspectors who make sure the rules are being followed.
Patrick McCarthy, president of the newly created Association of Body Art Professionals, tells The Akron Beacon Journal that the changes are good for the industry, which has grown significantly since the last times rules were changed.
— Associated PresS

Diocese discourages
ALS ice challenge
Cincinnati — A Roman Catholic diocese in southwest Ohio is discouraging students and staff at its schools from taking on the ice-bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association.
In a letter sent to its schools Aug, 19, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s superintendent of Catholic schools says the ALS Association funds research involving embryonic stem cells “in direct conflict with Catholic teaching.”
The superintendent told the schools that students and staff can still do the ice-bucket challenge, but that any funds raised should be given to other organizations that combat Lou Gehrig’s Disease without embryonic stem cell research.
The ALS Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The association has raised $41.8 million in donations since videos of the ice-bucket stunt began appearing on the Internet July 29.
— Associated PresS

Chevy pickup
most stolen vehicle
Columbus — A new report from a national insurance group has identified the vehicle most targeted by thieves in Ohio last year: a 1994 full-size pickup truck.
It was the second straight year that this Chevy truck headed the list from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The 2000 Dodge Caravan, which used to be at the top of the list, was second.
The rankings are dominated by old cars, which are easier to steal and don’t stand out, according to The Columbus Dispatch, which reported on the release of the survey Aug. 18. The newest vehicle on the list is the 2004 Ford full-size pickup.
Nationally, the Honda Accord was the most frequently stolen car last year, regardless of model year. That’s followed by the Honda Civic and two full-size pickup trucks from Ford and Chevrolet, according to the report.
In Ohio, the number of stolen cars has fallen by nearly half since 2006 and is the lowest since at least 1996, according to the state insurance group. The institute estimates that 18,888 cars were stolen last year in Ohio.
— Associated PresS

Bailiff saves man’s life in traffic court
Cleveland — A Cleveland man says he owes his life to a court bailiff and officers who performed CPR after he collapsed from a heart attack in traffic court last month.
Donald Austin tells WKYC-TV3 that he has a second chance at life thanks to the quick action of those in the courtroom.
Austin was waiting on a friend at traffic court on July 29 when he collapsed.
Deputy Bailiff Stephen Gaines rushed to him and performed CPR, while another officer grabbed an automatic defibrillator to help revive him.
Gaines said his training helped snap him into action. He told the TV station he was happy to be in the right place at the right time.
— Associated PresS