Kasich declares emergency over Ohio flooding

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:51 PM

A man paddles his boat alongside a home in the East End along the Ohio River, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 floods. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
AP
A man paddles his boat alongside a home in the East End along the Ohio River, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 floods. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)(AP)

Gov. John Kasich issued an emergency declaration today for 17 counties in southern and eastern Ohio affected by flooding amid continued downpours.

The  emergency declaration allows the governor to use state resources, including activating the National Guard.

Counties affected are Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Clermont, Columbiana, Gallia, Hamilton, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Monroe, Meigs, Muskingum, Scioto and Washington.

>> Expect heavy rain, strong winds; flood watch in effect, warning for some in Miami Valley

An additional 1 to 2 inches of rain is forecast by Sunday morning, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said.

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Endangered Missing Adult Alert canceled for northern Ohio man, 83

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 2:30 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:25 PM

UPDATE @ 10:25 p.m.:

The endangered missing adult alert was canceled for 83-year-old Shelden Kamen, who was found, according to the Aurora Police Department.

FIRST REPORT

A statewide Endangered Missing Adult Alert has been issued for an 83-year-old northern Ohio man who hasn't been seen since he left his residence Friday morning. 

Sheldon Kamen was last seen about 10:30 a.m. when he was leaving his residence on Southhampton Drive in Aurora, Portage County. He hasn't been seen since, according to Aurora police. 

He suffers from Alzheimer's. He has gray hair, brown eyes, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 170 pounds. 

He is believed to be driving a black Toyota Rav4 bearing Ohio license tage GLZ 4994.

Sheldon Kamen is believed to be driving a vehicle similar to this one, Aurora (Ohio) police said Friday. (Courtesy/Aurora Police Dept.)

 

Police issued a photo similar to one Kamen is believed to be driving. 

Call or dial 911 if you see the adult or the vehicle. 

You can also call the Aurora police, 330-562-8181, the Ohio Attorney General Missing Persons Unit, 1-866-693-9171 or 911 to be transferred directly to the investigating law enforcement agency or to hear the alert information.

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ODH issues statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 5:34 PM

Thirty one cases have been reported in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health declared a statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A Friday evening, with 79 hepatitis A cases associated with the outbreak so far this year.

As of June 1, there were 11 cases of hepatitis A in Montgomery County. In 2017 there was one case, and none were reported in 2016, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County reported.

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Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person. Hepatitis A also can spread from close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex, according to the ODH.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stools and jaundice. People with hepatitis A can experience mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

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“Good hand-washing and vaccination are the best ways to prevent hepatitis A in at-risk individuals,” said Sietske de Fijter, state epidemiologist and chief of the ODH Bureau of Infectious Diseases. “If you or someone you know has one or more risk factors for hepatitis A, call your local health department to see about getting vaccinated.”

ODH has provided more than 5,000 doses of hepatitis A vaccine to local health departments.

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Declaring a hepatitis A outbreak ensures ODH access to additional hepatitis A vaccine through the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ODH said.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Perales GOP opponent indicted for extortion and coercion

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:42 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:48 PM

State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek defeated Republican Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn in the May 8, 2018 Republican primary election
State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek defeated Republican Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn in the May 8, 2018 Republican primary election

Former Republican statehouse candidate Jocelyn Smith, 36, of Fairborn, was indicted on felony and misdemeanor counts related to alleged threats she made during her campaign against State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, during this year’s GOP primary, according to Greene County Common Pleas Court records.

Smith faces a third-degree felony count of extortion and a second-degree misdemeanor count of coercion, according to court records of the secret indictment filed June 15. Smith, who is a registered-nurse case manager at Sheakley Unicomp and a teacher at Fortis College, is scheduled to be arraigned in Greene County Common Pleas Court on July 6 at 1 p.m.

RELATED: Perales: My opponent is extorting me

Greene County Prosecutor Stephen K. Haller referred the case to a special prosecutor, Madison County Prosecutor Stephen J. Pronai, to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

“The indictment against my client, Jocelyn Smith, is a politically motivated witch hunt by the Greene County ‘good-old-boys’ network and a prosecutorial abuse of discretion and power that will be vigorously defended against,” said Smith’s attorney, Ben Swift, in an email Friday. “We look forward to our day in court when all of the true facts will come out.”

Perales, a former Greene County commissioner and Beavercreek councilman, said he just wants to focus on serving his western Greene County 73rd District, which he has represented since 2013.

“There are no winners in this situation. Justice just needs to take its course,” Perales said. “People have to be held accountable for their words and deeds. I remain focused on winning in November.”

On May 8 Perales defeated Smith 80 percent to 20 percent after bitter primary campaign. Perales faces Kim McCarthy, a Sugarcreek Twp. Democrat, in the Nov. 6 General Election.

During the campaign, Smith alleged that Perales had choked, forcibly kissed, fondled and sexted with her in 2015.

RELATED:Ohio House Rep. denies opponent’s claim he kissed and choked her

Perales, who is married, admits sending inappropriate sexually oriented text messages to Smith during a brief consensual relationship in early 2015 but denies that he choked, kissed or touched her in any intimate way. Perales said Smith sent him topless photos of herself but that he did not send any sexually oriented photos to her.

Smith denied sending the pictures and said that because she refused to have sex with him Perales would not sponsor a pancreatic cancer specialty license plate bill she supported. State records show Perales did co-sponsor and vote for a bill establishing the specialty plate.

RELATED: Perales prevails over Smith in bizarre Greene County statehouse race

The indictment stems from a complaint accusing Smith of extortion that Perales filed with Fairborn Police in April after Smith held a March 27 news conference in Fairborn. At the news conference, Smith said that if Perales did not resign from the state legislature and withdraw from the Republican primary, she would release texts and other documentation she said proved her allegations.

“Please don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages and other mountains of evidence,” Smith said at the news conference. “I think you know the honorable thing to do is to step down.”

RELATED:‘Don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages,’ local candidate tells lawmaker 

In a May 2 interview Smith called Perales’ extortion complaint “a bogus charge. Perales is very good at writing these false reports.”

Smith ultimately released some sexually oriented texts to local news media but there was no way to verify that they came from Perales, nor did they contain any proof that he had choked, forcibly kissed or fondled her.

Perales questioned Smith’s credibility, saying her story changed multiple times and pointing to court cases involving her.

RELATED: Polygraph test for local statehouse candidate canceled

In 2014, a Warren County judge placed Smith in a pre-trial diversion program on three counts of telephone harassment of a man, according to court records. She completed the program and the case was dismissed in November 2014.

In September 2017 Smith successfully petitioned the court to expunge the case, according to Warren County court records.

In 2015 she obtained a temporary civil protection order against the man in the telephone harassment case, and that protection order was later dismissed at her request, according to Greene County court records.

In a separate court case, a civil protection order was issued in 2009 against Smith by a Clark County Common Pleas Domestic Relations Court magistrate after a former boyfriend accused her of harassing him after they broke up, Clark County court records show. That temporary order was dismissed 17 days later after a hearing in which a Clark County Common Pleas magistrate warned Smith against escalating her behavior.

In 2008 Smith was fired as a Clark County deputy after being accused of showing photos of her nude breasts to male co-workers, pointing pepper spray at an inmate as a joke and having an inappropriate relationship with a former inmate. Smith denied all the charges except the pepper-spray incident but lost her 2009 lawsuit and 2012 appeal alleging race and gender discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis responded to the indictment of Smith by saying, that Democratic Party “candidates are focused on fixing the GOP culture of corruption in Columbus, rather than the unseemly details of their opponents' private lives. That said, we hope Representative Perales has taken the time over the past few months to reflect on how he should interact with constituents moving forward."

Other stories by Lynn Hulsey

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Cincinnati Zoo says farewell to last white tiger, Popsy

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:59 PM



CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN
(CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN)

Popsy, the last white tiger at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, was euthanized Thursday due to age-related health issues.

The zoo announced the death of the 22-year-old “Queen of Cat Canyon” on its website and social media.

Popsy was the oldest tiger of her kind in any accredited North American zoo. The rare white tiger is not an albino, rather, the striking white coat with black stripes and icy blue eyes are an expression of recessive genes.

“The animal health staff has been closely monitoring Popsy’s medical condition over the past several months,” said Dr. Mark Campbell, Director of Animal Health at the zoo. “As a geriatric tiger she had several health issues we were managing and treating. The animal health and care staff collaboratively concluded that we were unable to continue to maintain her good quality of life.”

Popsy arrived in Cincinnati from Nashville in June 1996. She and her sister Erica were named after the late Erich Kunzel, conductor of the Cincinnati Pops orchestra who was a great supporter of the Cat Ambassador Program. She spent the last 10 years with male companion Akere, who died in December.

White tigers have been at the Cincinnati Zoo since 1974 and have been popular with visitors.

“Popsy was a great animal ambassador for her species for more than two decades and a favorite with our zoo guests,” said Mike Land, Team Lead at Night Hunters and one of Popsy’s caregivers. “For the last 12 years she was the “Queen of Cat Canyon” and she let the other tigers know it. Her presence will be greatly missed.”

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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