Dems get nominee for special election to succeed Murphy
A 33-year-old former federal prosecutor and Marine veteran from a political family became the Democratic nominee Sunday for next year’s special election to complete the term of an anti-abortion Republican congressman who resigned in a scandal.
Democrats on Sunday chose Conor Lamb, a first-time candidate and Marine veteran, as their nominee for the March 13 balloting. Former eighth-term U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy resigned last month after his hometown newspaper reported that he had suggested to a mistress that she get an abortion.
Lamb, the nephew of Pittsburgh’s elected city controller, beat out six others in a vote by party committee members from southwestern Pennsylvania’s 18th District at a meeting at Washington High School.
Republicans last weekend picked state Rep. Rick Saccone.
Next year’s primary and general elections will determine who holds the seat in the 2019-20 term.
Ohio woman 1 of 32 Americans named as a Rhodes Scholar
A Cincinnati woman has been named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars from the U.S.
The Rhodes Trust says 21-year-old Camille Borders, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, was chosen from more than 850 applicants who received endorsements from their schools to study at Oxford University in England.
A biography provided by the Rhodes Trust says Borders is a history major whose senior thesis examines the lives of black women after slavery.
The biography says Borders founded Washington University Students in Solidarity to address police brutality and racial profiling and was active in protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal shooting of a black man by a white officer.
She will be reading for a master’s degree in social and economic history.
Efforts to reach Borders were unsuccessful Sunday.
Lawmaker wants to test theory about traffic cameras
An Ohio lawmaker wants to test the theory that traffic cameras are meant to prevent crashes and not boost municipal budgets by cutting funding to cities that use them.
State Rep. Bill Seitz introduced a bill that would offset revenue cities earn from cameras by reducing the same amount from its state funding.
“The cities have claimed the red light and speed cameras are all about safety and not about money,” the Cincinnati Republican told Cleveland.com . “We’re going to put them to the proof.”
The bill would also move all civil traffic violations to municipal court and leave cities on the hook for court costs regardless of outcome. Some violations are currently handled by an administrative hearing officer.
Kent Scarrett, executive director of the Ohio Municipal League, said the bill is a “gotcha” that could tie the hands of cities and towns with limited law enforcement resources.
“This carrot and stick approach on issues is a little tiresome for our members when we’re trying to deal with real issues like job creation and fighting the opioid epidemic, and repairing our infrastructure so we can retain jobs and businesses,” Scarrett said.
Several cities shuttered their fixed traffic cameras in 2015 after the Legislature passed a law requiring police officers to be present when camera tickets are issued. The Supreme Court struck down that restriction earlier this year, saying it interfered with local authority.
Dayton plans to reinstall the cameras. Akron and other cities are considering whether to implement camera programs.
Ohio justice issues another apology over Facebook post
An Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate has issued another apology on Facebook after a post Friday outlining his sexual history with women drew widespread condemnation.
William O’Neill latest post Sunday morning says he admits he was wrong and that he was headed to church to “get right with God.” He apologized to his two daughters and two sisters and says he realizes he’s hurt family, friends and strangers with his “insensitive remarks” while damaging the national debate on sexual harassment and abuse.
O’Neill deleted his original post from Friday that he says was intended to be a defense of U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who critics say should resign after a woman accused him of groping her during a 2006 USO Tour.
O’Neill also apologized Saturday on Facebook.
More than 1.5 million free needles given out in Columbus
Officials say more than 1.5 million free needles have been handed out to 3,000 drug users in Columbus as health advocates work to stop the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the Safe Point syringe access program administered by Equitas Health has been busy since it began operating in January 2016 with its two centers at near capacity.
Advocates are seeking to prevent new HIV and hepatitis C infections spread by drug users sharing needles.
Participants can obtain 150 syringes every two weeks and are assessed on their needle use at each visit and whether they have access to naloxone, an opioid reversal drug used to treat overdose victims.
Many of Safe Point’s clientele have been referred to drug and alcohol counseling.
Kings Island’s WinterFest making return after 12 years
A southwest Ohio amusement park is reviving its once-popular winter festival after a 12-year absence.
Kings Island’s WinterFest is returning Friday and will run through Dec. 30.
Park spokesman Chad Showalter tells WLWT-TV that parkgoers have been asking for years when the event would return.
Crews are stringing up more than 5 million lights to transform the park for the winter season and a new cooling system has been installed to keep the ice rink frozen in any weather.
Seventeen rides will operate during WinterFest.
Showalter says people who remember the old festivals will be able to pass the memory on to their children and grandchildren.
Air Force awards contract to research cybersecurity
The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a nearly $50 million contract to a defense contractor to research ways to protect weapons systems from cyberattacks.
The Dayton Daily News reports that Colorado-based Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will conduct the research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in southwest Ohio. The contract is set to expire in 2023.
Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, former Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, has previously told the newspaper that addressing vulnerabilities in weapons systems is “paramount.”