Ohio unemployment rate drops again
Columbus — The state says Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped again in August to 4.7 percent.
That’s down from 4.8 percent the previous month but up slightly from 4.6 percent in August 2015. The national unemployment rate for last month held steady at 4.9 percent.
The state Department of Job and Family Services said Sept. 16 that Ohio had 272,000 unemployed workers last month. That’s 6,000 less than in July but 9,000 more than a year earlier.
The sectors that reported job gains in Ohio compared with a year ago included educational and health services, government employment, leisure and hospitality, construction and goods-producing industries.
Losses were reported in mining and logging and information jobs.
— Associated Press

Police officer fatally shoots man who had assault rifle
Akron — Police say an officer fatally shot a man in Ohio after he pulled an assault rifle from his car.
Police say officers had been responding to an apartment complex Sept. 18 in Akron after a caller said his 61-year-old neighbor had slammed the caller’s arm in a car door during an argument.
Police say the man reached for an assault rifle as the officers approached him in a parking lot behind the building. They say one officer shot several times and hit the man when he ignored orders to stop.
The man was declared dead at a hospital. He wasn’t being publicly identified until his family was notified.
The officer, who wasn’t immediately identified, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The shooting remains under investigation.
— Associated Press

Judge sentences
woman slumped in car after overdose
East Liverpool — A woman photographed with her boyfriend slumped in a vehicle after overdosing on heroin and her 4-year-old grandson in the backseat has pleaded no contest to a child endangering charge in southeast Ohio.
A judge in East Liverpool Sept. 15 sentenced 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek to 180 days in jail. The boyfriend received 360 days in jail last week after pleading no contest to child endangering and operating a vehicle under the influence.
Photos taken by East Liverpool police of Pasek and 47-year-old James Acord went viral last week after being posted on Facebook. Pasek and Acord had to be revived with the heroin antidote Narcan.
A Columbiana County Juvenile Court judge has granted custody of the boy to relatives in South Carolina.
— Associated Press

Man pleads guilty in 1 killings, sentenced to life in prison
CANTON, Ohio — A Northeast Ohio man charged in the shooting deaths of two women has pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping a potential death penalty for him.
The Repository in Canton reports a judge on Sept. 16 sentenced 59-year-old Leeroy Rogers Sr. to life in prison for aggravated murder and other charges. He’ll have the possibility of parole after 61 years.
Pausing at times as he spoke, Rogers admitted he killed the women at different times and dumped one body at a creek and the other at a park.
An assistant prosecutor says the victims’ relatives supported the plea deal to make sure Rogers spends the rest of his life behind bars.
Some of them provided statements in court. One offered Rogers forgiveness. Another suggested that would be impossible.
— Associated Press

Abortions in 2015 fewest since 1976
Columbus — The state says the number of abortions reported in Ohio declined again in 2015, which had the fewest recorded since the data-tracking started in 1976.
In an annual report posted Sept. 16, the state’s Department of Health says 20,976 pregnancies were terminated last year. That’s about a 1 percent decline in induced abortions compared to those reported in 2014.
The reports don’t speculate on reasons for the decline.
Since 2001, there’s been a steady decline in abortions in Ohio. And at least a half-dozen abortion clinics have closed or reduced services over the last several years.
About 94 percent, or nearly 20,000, of the state’s abortions last year were obtained by Ohio residents.
More than half of all induced abortions involved pregnancies of less than nine weeks.
— Associated Press

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