City expects to delay Internet cafe ban

Published: Sunday, September 02, 2012 @ 10:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, September 02, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

Nearly one month before Springfield’s ban on Internet cafes is scheduled to begin, city commissioners will likely delay its start until July of 2013.

Commissioners will likely vote on the updated ordinance on Sept. 11. Mayor Warren Copeland said he expects the revised ordinance to pass at the next meeting.

In December, city commissioners voted 3-2 to a delayed ban on Internet cafes, beginning this October, with hopes the state would regulate the industry in the state and to give local businesses time to comply.

The city has more than a dozen of the businesses.

Internet cafes and game rooms typically offer phone cards that can be purchased for time on computers and also includes sweepstakes entries for games where cash payouts are awarded. Many state and local lawmakers believe the computers are designed to take advantage of loopholes in Ohio’s gaming laws.

A statewide moratorium on new Internet cafes was enacted in May, but no other action has been taken by Ohio lawmakers. Attorney General Mike DeWine recently reiterated his stance that the Ohio General Assembly should adopt regulations on Internet cafes and sweepstakes parlors.

DeWine believes lawmakers must define the sweepstakes rules, establish a state-mandated payout, require certification of software and equipment, establish a computer system which monitors all machines in the state and the designation of a state agency to oversee the parlors. He also believes parlors should pay taxes and license fees.

City leaders wanted to give commissioners an opportunity to delay the ban in case the state does take action during the moratorium, according to Jerry Strozdas, the city’s law director. The statewide moratorium ends on June 30, 2013.

“We feel its appropriate to give (the commissioners) the option to wait and see what the state does,” Strozdas said.

Copeland said they’ve felt all along it was best to let the state take the lead on the issue of Internet cafes. If commissioners were to close down the Internet cafes in October, Copeland said, they’d likely try to move outside the city limits to stay open.

“We’re just trying to get out of the way to let the state what it needs to do and decide what the status of these facilities are,” said Copeland, who voted for the ban last December. “I hope they do that instead of sitting on the moratorium and not taking any action.”

Local Internet cafe owners or managers declined comment for this story.

Officials initially thought three Internet cafes were located within the city limits, but the number is higher. Affidavits filed through state Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office show 782 Internet cafes or sweepstakes parlors in Ohio, including 25 in Clark County.

Of those 25, 14 are located within the city limits, according to the affidavits. Three businesses call themselves Internet cafes, while other businesses like bars, drive-thrus and restaurants offer similar computer devices.

City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill said the attorney general’s report shed a little different light on Clark County because “there was more found than we ever thought were out there.” He was happy to see the ban extended and that the employees of the Internet cafes will keep their jobs.

“I’m still a firm believer that they aren’t causing any problems,” O’Neill said. “I believe everyone that goes in there are adults, and they’re treated as such.”

He also believes it’s a quality of life issue for some people, rather than a way to make money.

“They don’t want to sit around a bar, they don’t want to look at the TV all the time,” O’Neill said. “Maybe they’re not computer-literate enough to get on a computer at home. I think it’s a good thing. If we wait for the state to take the lead and it’s governed properly, it’s a good thing.”

The state Senate and House of Representatives each have bills in the early stages of development in committees, Senate Bill 317 and House Bill 195. According to his office, DeWine prefers HB 195, which mirrors his beliefs on Internet cafes, but said some form of regulation is needed.

State Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, said he supports the regulation of Internet cafes, especially after the creation of the Ohio Gaming Commission. He expects it to happen before the moratorium ends next summer.

“We’re regulating everything else, Internet cafes should also be subject to consumer protection regulations,” McGregor said. “They should be regulated and held accountable to make sure they’re not ripping people off.”

1 flown to hospital in crash that closes I-75N in Shelby County

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:01 PM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:25 PM

UPDATE @ 6:25 p.m.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 75 are back open at Ohio 274 near Botkins in Shelby County.

The vehicle in the crash is off the side of the highway, but traffic remains backed up.

A medical helicopter took one person to an area hospital.

FIRST REPORT

The northbound lanes of Interstate 75 are shut down this evening near Botkins in Shelby County.

The highway is closed at I-75 N at Ohio 274.

A medical helicopter has been called to the crash scene, and the crash resulted in significant vehicle damage, according to initial reports.

Cedarville HS band plays Greenon fight song in honor of student killed in crash

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 10:44 PM

At tonight's Greenon vs Cedarville game, Cedarville's band played Greenon's fight song to honor Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, who died in a car accident on Sunday (CONTRIBUTED/Mariah Gossett).

The Cedarville High School marching band tonight played the Greenon High School fight song in honor of the marching band member killed in a weekend crash.

The Cedarville band faced Greenon fans when they played the fight song.

>>Driver in crash that killed Greenon student says he ‘fell asleep’

It was in tribute of 16-year-old Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, a Greenon  junior who was a passenger in a car that crashed Sunday afternoon on Fowler Road in Clark County. He was a member of the marching band and on the swim team.

The musical tribute happened during the football game at the Cedarville stadium, which Greenon’s varsity team won with a score of 7-6. Video above was contributed by student Mariah Gossett.

>>Greenon mourns 3rd student death in 2 months in fatal car crashes

The driver of the car was a fellow Greenon student, 16-year-old Andrew Scott, who sustained non-life threatening injuries.

DePhillip was the third Greenon student to die in a crash this academic year.

A crash in August killed David Waag and Connor Williams.

New Carlisle news photographer shot by deputy back at work

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 11:43 PM

New Carlisle News photographer Andy Grimm on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, shows where a bullet went in through his torso and out the side while on the scene of an accident. He was shot around 2 a.m. Sept. 4 when a Clark County Sheriff's deputy said he mistook Grimm's camera for a gun.
New Carlisle News photographer Andy Grimm on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, shows where a bullet went in through his torso and out the side while on the scene of an accident. He was shot around 2 a.m. Sept. 4 when a Clark County Sheriff's deputy said he mistook Grimm's camera for a gun.

Andy Grimm, the New Carlisle News photographer shot on the job by a deputy last month, was spotted working today at an accident scene.

News Center 7 photographer Jim Noelker this evening caught up with Grimm today when they both responded to a crash in New Carlisle.

RELATED: Body camera footage released of news photographer shot by deputy

Grimm showed Noelker where the bullet entered on the left side of his torso and came out on his side.

RELATED: Ohio news photographer shot by deputy

He was shot around 2 a.m. Sept. 4 by Clark County Sheriff’s deputy Jacob Shaw at a crash scene. Shaw said he shot Grimm because in the dark he mistook the tripod Grimm was carrying for a gun.

Girl climbs out from under pickup unscathed after her bike is hit

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:22 PM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:40 PM

North main in New Carlisle child struck

UPDATE @ 5:40 p.m.

A girl and her bicycle landed underneath a pickup truck after she was hit by the vehicle.

The girl was able to climb out from underneath the Chevrolet Avalanche unscathed, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Springfield Post.

The driver was headed south on North Main Main Street and tried to avoid the girl who rode into traffic, the trooper said.

FIRST REPORT

A child riding a bicycle was hit by a car late this afternoon in New Carlisle.

The incident was reported around 5 p.m. in the 400 block of North Main Street.

The severity of the child’s injuries is unknown.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report.