Abusing pets is now a felony crime
Columbus — A new law in Ohio stiffens penalties for abusing pets.
The law that took effect Sept. 13 makes it a fifth-degree felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal. Such an act could include depriving it of water, food and shelter. People punished under the law could face between six months and one year in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
A companion animal does not include livestock or any wild animal.
The law also imposes mandatory time in prison and mandatory fines for assaulting a police dog or horse that dies as a result of its injuries.
The measure further requires state officials to develop resources to help veterinarians identify clients or potential clients who may abuse opioids and may use their pets to get opioids.
— Associated Press

Officials: Student hit by school bus dies
Norton — Officials say a 16-year-old high school student was hit by a school bus and killed in a Cleveland suburb.
District officials say the crash happened Sept. 14 afternoon near Norton High School.
Police say the student had fallen off of a skateboard moments before being hit. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office declared the student dead at the scene from severe head trauma.
The accident remains under investigation.
— Associated Press

Deer-hunting season kicks off with archery
Columbus — Ohio is opening deer hunting with the annual archery season, followed by statewide youth gun, gun and muzzleloader seasons.
Hunters participating in the archery season that starts Sept. 24 must have a valid Ohio hunting license and a valid deer permit.
The Department of Natural Resources says white-tailed deer hunters will find similar hunting regulations to last year and county bag limits and antlerless permit use unchanged. The statewide bag limit is six deer, including no more than one buck.
Overall, deer populations are slightly higher than last year, spurring predictions that the statewide harvest could increase 5 percent to 10 percent.
The youth gun season runs Nov. 19-20, with gun season taking place Nov. 28-Dec. 4 and Dec. 17-18. Muzzleloader has been moved to Jan. 7-10.
— Associated Press

Shelter kills 60
dogs after outbreak of distemper
Columbus — A central Ohio animal shelter says eight more dogs have been put down following a deadly disease outbreak over the weekend bringing the total number of euthanized dogs to 60.
The Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus had put down 52 dogs that showed severe signs of distemper or were deemed unfit for a prolonged quarantine. They announced on Sept. 13 more animals had been put down.
Distemper is a contagious and often fatal airborne canine virus.
At least 19 dogs exposed to distemper have been moved to a medically supervised quarantine area.
Shelter officials say they’re working with rescue groups to move more dogs, though they must be assured any outbreak could be contained..
— Associated Press

Lake Erie lighthouse restored
Put-In-Bay— A 19-century lighthouse on a Lake Erie island has been restored and is being offered for events like weddings.
The 2 1/2-story brick South Bass Island Lighthouse guided ships from July 1897 until October 1962.
The Blade reports that Ohio State University, which acquired the building from the federal government in 1867, is making the restored lighthouse available for special events starting next year.
The lighthouse with a 60-foot tower is unusual because of the amount of living space in an attached Queen Anne-style home.
The grounds, which include a butterfly garden, are a popular spot for viewing Lake Erie.
— Associated Press

Students enjoy first ever pizza ATM
Cincinnati — Students and others at an Ohio university are enjoying a tasty slice of life thanks to a newly installed ATM for pizza.
Xavier University in Cincinnati has partnered with a French company to install the first Pizza ATM in North America.
The company, Paline, says the machine will hold 70 pizzas at once. Customers will be able to use a touch screen to pick one of the $10 pizzas, which will be heated for several minutes, placed in a cardboard box and ejected through a slot.
Paline says the pizza dispensers have been in Europe for 14 years. They’re typically in small towns, at gas stations or pizzerias.
Pizza lovers have been using the machine since it started providing pies on Sept. 8.
— Associated Press