Ohio municipalities challenge law allowing wireless antennas

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:04 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:03 PM

A law taking effect Monday that allows telecommunications companies to place wireless antennas on municipal buildings is an unconstitutional violation of cities' rights to control how they regulate such economic activity, according to lawsuits filed by multiple communities.

The complaints filed in Columbus and Cleveland say the law prohibits cities from effectively managing where wireless facilities are placed in communities by undermining their local control, known as Home Rule rights.

The law was improperly tucked into an unrelated bill that dealt with pet store regulation in the state, the lawsuits also contend.

"Ohio municipalities embrace the rapid deployment of small cell technology for our residents and businesses," Dana McDaniel, city manager in Dublin in suburban Columbus, said Monday. However, "that must be balanced with the orderly management of public rights of way and publicly owned properties," McDaniel said.

Rights of way include streets, alleys and other public thoroughfares.

The law raises serious questions about local governments' rights, constitutional authority and control of city property, said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

The state Attorney General's Office is reviewing the lawsuits, spokesman Dan Tierney said.

The wireless measure was approved as part of a bigger bill passed by lawmakers late last year. That legislation began as a proposal to override local ordinances that regulate pet stores, requiring them to buy animals from shelters and rescue groups instead of high-volume breeders, which critics say often treat animals poorly.

Later, bans on bestiality and a crackdown on cockfighting and "bearbaiting" were added to the measure.

Still other amendments added the wireless antenna provision and a measure prohibiting local municipalities from setting minimum wages higher than the state level.

The Ohio Constitution's "single subject rule" prohibits rolling unrelated bills into one piece of legislation, the lawsuits contend.

The bill contains "no common purpose or relationship between the municipal regulation of micro wireless facilities and any of the other subjects," according to the lawsuit filed in Franklin County court.

Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Lima sued, along with numerous smaller communities including Athens, Brookville, Delaware, Huber Heights, Lancaster, Mason, New Albany, Oakwood, Sharonville and Springfield.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/andrew-welsh-huggins

Dayton Shell robbery suspect arrested, police say

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 2:54 PM

Update@4:56 p.m. (March 28):

The suspect accused of robbing the Shell gas station is 16 years old, and is being held in the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center, according to Dayton police.

First report:

DAYTON - Dayton police have arrested the man they believe robbed the Shell on North Main Street Sunday night.

Officers responded to the business, 3613 North Main St., after the male suspect was accused of putting a gun in the clerk’s face and demanded money.

The suspect got away with an undetermined amount of cash.

Police have not yet released the identity of the suspect they arrested Monday.

I-75 ramp to U.S. 35 to close Tuesday

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 3:16 PM

The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to close the northbound Interstate 75 ramp to eastbound U.S. 35 Tuesday night for a project that will keep the ramp closed for six months.

The $1.8 million project is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., when ODOT is expected to close the ramp to repair the ramp’s bridge deck.

The work had been scheduled to begin Monday, but was delayed for a day, the department said.

ODOT recommends drivers use a detour that would have drivers exit I-75 north to U.S. 35 west and exit onto James H. McGee Blvd., before reentering the highway onto eastbound U.S. 35.

Brookville woman faces charges after pets found in ‘poor health’

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 3:12 PM

A Brookville woman is in jail on suspicion of animal cruelty as two dogs and four cats receive treatment at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.

Kathleen Cummins, 24, of the 500 block of Adrian Court, is being held on $2,500 bond after Brookville police found her pets alone and in cages and they appeared to be in poor health, according to the arrest report.

VIDEO: Pets now at Animal Resource Center

Police responded to the home Monday afternoon on a criminal trespass complaint and found the two boxer-type dogs confined to a cage covered in feces in a small bedroom and there were four cats in another bedroom with no food or water, according to the report.

Brookville Major Tom Simon said officers responded to a burglary complaint and the resident Cummins let the officers inside. There was no indication of a break-in.

Simon said there was pet food in the house but for some reason the suspect was not feeding them.

An ARC officer responded to the home and the animals were taken in to be examined and treated.

Bob Sexton, ARC supervisor, said a veterinarian is examining the animals today. He said the dogs appeared to be “extremely emaciated.”

It’s too early to tell whether the animals will be available for adoption.

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Driver caught after pursuit leads to crash on U.S. 35 in Dayton

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

UPDATE @ 4:28 p.m.

The suspect who police say led them on a pursuit that ended in a crash has been identified as Roderick Boyd, 21, of Dayton. He’s being held in the Montgomery County Jail on charges of felony fleeing and eluding, possession of drugs and some other traffic offenses.

UPDATE @ 11:55 a.m.

A driver was arrested after he allegedly was speeding on U.S. 35 East and fled from an attempted traffic stop, then caused a crash that slowed traffic in the westbound lanes.

All but the left westbound lane was closed on U.S. 35 West just after the North Smithville Road on-ramp.

RELATED: The Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

According to the patrol, the driver lost control on wet pavement when he tried to exit U.S. 35 East onto Smithville. The vehicle spun around and was facing the wrong way before it crossed the median, crashed through a guardrail and struck a westbound vehicle.

The suspect driver bailed from the vehicle and ran away but he was caught a short time later.

RELATED: Suspect in custody following 2nd pursuit in Dayton

The driver whose vehicle was struck suffered minor injuries, according to the patrol.

EARLIER

We’re working to learn more about a pursuit in Dayton involving the Ohio State Highway Patrol Dayton Post.

Emergency police scanner traffic indicates the pursuit occurred on U.S. 35 and a crash occurred on the westbound side west of North Smithville Road.

We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

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