Teenager who tried to kill parents by setting fire to their home loses appeal

Published: 07/30/2015

A young man convicted of trying to kill his parents by setting fire to their home recently lost his appeal seeking postconviction relief.

The 12th District Court of Appeals rejected Mitchell Paul Simon’s appeal, finding that the Butler County Court of Common Pleas properly denied his motion to withdraw a guilty plea without holding an evidentiary hearing.

Immunity for helping someone with a drug-related medical emergency sought

Published: 07/30/2015

State Reps. Denise Driehaus and Robert Sprague have revamped a bipartisan proposal that would provide immunity from arrest, prosecution or conviction for an individual who seeks or obtains personal medical assistance or help for another person who is experiencing a medical emergency as a result of ingesting drugs.

House Bill 249 also would not permit a court to consider drug treatment for the individual or use an applicable situation as a mitigating factor in supervised release sanctioning.

Appeal denied for driver in street shooting

Published: 07/30/2015

This week a three-judge appellate panel in the 11th District Court of Appeals ruled that a 21-year-old Painesville man was properly found guilty of attempted murder and obstructing justice.

The defendant, Chaunton Ernest, appealed from the judgment of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas where he was found guilty on several charges following a bench trial.

The trial court chose to merge many of the convictions before sentencing Ernest to a total of 11 years in prison, a term that he challenged on appeal, stating it was excessive.

Baseball license plate would help fund Grove City ball field

Published: 07/30/2015

A bill that would create a “Baseball for All” license plate in support of the Grove City Little League Dream Field Fund has been presented to lawmakers.

The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 159, is sponsored by Sen. Jim Hughes.

“Some of my fondest memories growing up as a child in Franklin County were spending many long summer days playing baseball with my buddies on the hot, dusty baseball fields mimicking our favorite players such as Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Buddy Bell, Dennis Eckersley or Tony Perez,” said Hughes, R-Columbus.

Criminal damaging conviction affirmed for woman who scratched Jeep

Published: 07/30/2015

A panel of three judges in the 9th District Court of Appeals recently affirmed the conviction of Brittney Ortt, who was found guilty of criminal damaging after she scratched a neighbor’s car.

Ortt appealed from the judgment of the Wayne County Municipal Court which found her guilty and placed her on probation for damaging a Jeep belonging to Christina Kamp.

Kamp testified at Ortt’s trial that she could not sleep in the early morning hours of May 10, 2014 because her neighbor, Ortt, was vacuuming.

Canceled Utah race renews fears of shrinking salt flats

Published: 07/30/2015

WENDOVER, Utah (AP) — A small city of tents, trailers and thousands of visitors appears almost every August in the Utah desert to watch cars, motorcycles and anything with wheels rocket across gleaming white sheets of salt at speeds that can top 400 mph.

But wet weather has forced the cancellation of Speed Week for the second straight year and revived a debate about whether nearby mining is depleting the Bonneville Salt Flats of their precious resource.

Strong home sales, limited supply lift home prices in May

Published: 07/30/2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose steadily in May, pushed higher by a healthy increase in sales this year.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 4.9 percent in May from 12 months earlier, down slightly from a 5 percent pace in April, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Home sales have jumped in recent months as an improving economy boosts hiring and enables more people to afford a purchase.

High rollers: Dealers describe special treatment, abuse

Published: 07/30/2015

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — One high roller requests a refrigerator full of bananas that he squeezes and throws as he gambles. Another urinates against a wall. Other high-stakes players described by a pit manager at Mohegan Sun, one of the world’s largest casinos, throw chairs, scream at dealers and expect rules to be bent at the tables.

Scholars drawn to conflict zones stoke college safety debate

Published: 07/30/2015

BOSTON — Some colleges with overseas-study programs won’t touch Ukraine. Tufts University, on the other hand, is drawn to the turmoil in the former Soviet republic, which the State Department deemed dangerous for travel.

The potential to help activists and scholars, Tufts professor Peter Levine says, outweighs the risks posed by an unstable country. He is leading a conference in Ukraine next month on civics studies, in part because the country exemplifies the struggles of a fledgling democracy.

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