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Ohio officer overdoses after accidental contact with fentanyl on traffic stop

Published: Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 1:59 AM

Officer overdoses after simply touching fentanyl

An eastern Ohio officer was revived with four doses of Narcan after he accidentally came into contact with fentanyl during a traffic stop and overdosed.

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Patrolman Chris Green of the East Liverpool Police Department responded to a traffic stop Friday evening, after officers blocked in a vehicle they believed was involved in a drug transaction, according to CBS affiliate WKBN-TV in Youngstown. 

“We think they were trying to flee, but they were blocked in,” East Liverpool Capt. Patrick Wright told the station. “Once they got blocked in, they tried to dispose of the evidence in the vehicle.” 

>> Fentanyl delivered through the mail 

“There was white powder on the seat, on the floor, on the guys’ shoes and on his clothing.”

Police arrested both the driver and passenger in the vehicle, identified as 25-year-old Justin Buckle, of East Liverpool, and 24-year-old Cortez Collins, of Cleveland, and searched the vehicle.

WKBN-TV reports after Green conducted the search and returned to the police station, a fellow officer noticed Green had white powder on his shirt. 

“Just out of instinct, he tried to brush is off — not thinking,” Wright said.

>> What is fentanyl and how does it kill?

An hour later, Green passed out in the police station, suffering from a suspected overdose from the white powder, which police believe was fentanyl. Police said fentanyl can enter the body simply through contact with the skin. 

“They called an ambulance for [Green] and the ambulance responded for him,” Wright said. “They gave him one dose of Narcan here and then transported him to East Liverpool City Hospital, where they gave him three additional doses of Narcan.”

Wright told the station Green was “fine” as of Sunday. 

>> Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip 

Wright added the incident is an example of how the drug epidemic has forced officers to change the aspects of their jobs.

“We changed our procedures to where we used to field-test drugs,” Wright said. “We don’t do that any longer because of accidental exposures.”

The suspects, Buckle and Collins, have been charged with tampering with evidence. 

East Liverpool, Ohio is located on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and is about 40 miles south of Youngstown.

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Gov. John Kasich wants group to act on gun issues by next week

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 2:15 PM

Gov. Kasich forms group to tackle gun violence in Ohio. Getty Images
Gov. Kasich forms group to tackle gun violence in Ohio. Getty Images

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he is hoping that a group he’s convened to find solutions to gun violence in the state will be able to deliver something by the end of business next week to the Ohio General Assembly.

Kasich, in Washington, D.C. for a meeting of the National Governors Association, declined to lay out what the group is considering, but said they’ve reached agreements on four different issues. The governor’s office declined to disclose the members of the group, but Kasich said they are on both sides of the gun debate.

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Kasich himself said he advocates complete background checks and “the need to have these large magazines” but acknowledged that the committee may go in a different direction. “One of the things I don’t want to do in this process is put my finger so much on the scale that the committee doesn’t have a chance to work,” he said.

He said he’s talked to House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Larry Obhof as well as some members to say “this is not going to go away.”

“It’s apparent,” he said. “People are saying something has to be done. And I think that peole are saying do something. When people demand something over and over and over again politicians usually respond.”

RELATED: 4 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

Kasich talks debt, New Hampshire

Kasich also spent time in D.C. where he accepted the Concord Coalition’s “Economic Patriot” Award and led a panel discussion on the nation’s woes.

Kasich, who chaired the House Budget Committee the last time the federal government balanced the budget in 1997, didn’t sound particularly optimistic about the nation’s current spending path.

“The biggest problem with spending is it’s all theoretical and hypothetical,” he said. “Nobody cares.”

He said Republicans and Democrats alike have contributed to the ballooning debt, which he predicts will ultimately have a “dramatic impact” on our economic growth.

“They’re all in the game – all of them,” he said. “Spend money like there’s no tomorrow.”

He also visited the nation’s capital on the same day that Politico reported he was preparing to run for president in 2020. Kasich dismissed the report, saying he told his wife “pay no attention.”

Still, he was more coy at the Concord Coalition event, saying he’d urged Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to run as a Democrat and urging those running in the state to “be real…because the people in New Hampshire are really cool. They smell a fraud.”

“And by the way,” he said, to laughter. “I like New Hampshire a lot.”

» TRENDING: Hundreds of local students walk out after Florida shooting, more walkouts planned

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Ohio may crack down on prostitution to fight opioid crisis

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:33 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:33 PM


            Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.
Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

A bill proposed would increase the penalty from a third-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor. Those convicted could face up to 180 days in jail. Currently the penalty is up to 60 days.

RELATED: Damage from opioid crisis tops $1 trillion

The bill was introduced by Rep. Adam Miller, D-Columbus, and Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Upper Arlington.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Democrat Sen. Enda Brown and Republican Sen. Stephanie Kunze plan to sponsor a sister bill that would increase the potential fine for so-called “johns” from $500 to $2,500.

MORE: Collaborative effort needed for solutions to Ohio opioid crisis

Brown says drug abuse leaves people vulnerable and susceptible to fueling their addiction any way they can. She says that’s resulted in a rise in prostitution among women suffering from addiction.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Take our poll: Would you vote for a levy to pay for school security?

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:53 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:53 AM

After 17 people died in a high school shooting in Florida, one Ohio mayor wants school leaders to consider using the ballot box to improve school safety. (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
After 17 people died in a high school shooting in Florida, one Ohio mayor wants school leaders to consider using the ballot box to improve school safety. (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

After 17 people died in a high school shooting in Florida, one Ohio mayor wants school leaders to consider using the ballot box to improve school safety.

WOIO-TV reports Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska in a Facebook post reacting to last week’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting says the Streetsboro schools should either “find” money to pay for armed security guards or put a small levy on the ballot.

The district is outside of Cleveland.

Broska says at least $500,000 a year is needed to pay for two armed guards at each of the district’s four schools. Broska wrote: “We have to defend our children and it starts with us.”

RELATED: 4 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

The Streetsboro school board says it will consider Broska’s idea and suggested he might consider a city levy to finance increased school security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

» Can students get in trouble for #NeverAgain walkouts?

» TRENDING: Hundreds of local students walk out after Florida shooting, more walkouts planned 

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Back taxes sought on 1,614 properties in Montgomery County

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:05 PM


            Montgomery County Auditor Karl L. Keith. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Montgomery County Auditor Karl L. Keith. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Montgomery County Auditor’s Office is mailing out notices to the owners of 1,614 properties across the county in an effort to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars from a misapplied tax break that was first uncovered by the Dayton Daily News I-Team.

The properties are owned by businesses, landlords and those claiming more than one address as their primary residence. Combined, those property owners potentially owe up to $372,819 because of tax breaks they received but did not qualify for.

RELATED: I-Team probe led to changes, tax savings in Montgomery County

People who get the notices will have 90 days to appeal the bill to the Board of Revision.

“If they can show we shouldn’t recoup, they should have that opportunity,” said Doug Trout, auditor’s office real estate director.

The auditor’s office hopes to have the issue settled by the next tax collection period in July.

The I-Team originally reported in June 2017 that thousands of properties were listed on county tax rolls as receiving an owner-occupied tax credit meant only for people who own and occupy their home. The list included registered rental properties, businesses and owners who claimed the credit on more than one property.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Ohio county admits people got tax break they didn’t deserve

Auditor Karl Keith audited the program and removed 6,447 parcels from receiving the credit.

With the exception of the largest cases — such as a Florida company that agreed to pay back $25,041 — Keith originally said his office did not intend to go after back-taxes on most properties because there was no mechanism to do so.

But the Ohio Department of Taxation informed the county that state law requires it to go after uncollected taxes. The state reimburses communities for the cost of the credit, so every dollar not collected from property owners because of the tax credit costs state taxpayers.

The owner-occupied tax credit reduces the amount of taxes due by 2.5 percent on levies passed or in existence prior to November 2013. The average amount of the credit per parcel is $76, but with 139,295 properties getting the credit last year, the total impact was $11.3 million.

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Back taxes collected by the county will be deducted from the state’s reimbursement for the credit.

Trout said some of the misapplied tax breaks date back to the 1990s and identifying how much is due has been a challenge.

“The way we’re looking at that, and I think the state’s fine with it, is we’re looking back as far as the records will give us some certainty,” Trout said. “It is difficult and quite frankly most auditors have never done this.”

While some are due to auditor’s office error, Trout said most of the cases stem from property owners not taking off the owner-occupied credit when property is rented out or changes hands.

Property owners who are aware they are improperly receiving a credit and don’t report it can face misdemeanor charges potentially leading to a $250 fine, jail time and paying back the credit, plus interest.

RELATED: Judge denies legal challenge to tax law brought by Ohio cities

Fran Lesser, executive director of the County Auditors Association of Ohio, said she isn’t aware of a problem in other counties with the owner-occupied tax credit going to multiple owners who didn’t deserve it. She said many counties have worked hard over the years to make sure people who deserve the credit are getting it.

“Most county auditors maybe would prefer to err this way as opposed to a taxpayer who was deserving of it not getting it,” she said. “They want to make sure every owner-occupant is receiving it.”

Media reports over the years have found problems with the tax credit being misapplied. An I-Team investigation identified the problem in Clark County in 2014.

RELATED: Owner-occupied rebate errors remain on Clark County tax rolls

In 2012, the Dayton Daily News reported that a computer error led to thousands of Montgomery County property owners possibly not getting the credit when they deserved it.

Keith said the 2012 problem was discovered when his office created a county-wide registry of rental properties as required by a new state law. The rental registry was one tool the I-Team used to find misapplied tax credits. But the law only requires the registry in the state’s 14 largest counties, meaning most Ohio counties don’t have this tool.

Lesser said while maintaining accurate rental registries is a challenge for counties who have them — ultimately relying on property owners to tell the truth — she wouldn’t be opposed to requiring more counties to track rentals.

“I’m not sure it’s something we would ask for, but I don’t think we’d oppose it,” she said.

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