Ohio bill would set 18 as minimum age to marry in most cases

Ohio bill would set 18 as minimum age to marry in most cases


The minimum age to marry in Ohio would be 18 with few exceptions if Republican Gov. John Kasich signs a bill sent to him last week by lawmakers with bipartisan support.

The current minimum is 18 for males but 16 for females if their parents allow it. The Dayton Daily News has reported judges also approved exceptions for marriages involving dozens of younger, pregnant teens between 2000 and 2015.

The new legislation still would let 17-year-olds wed someone up to four years older if a juvenile court approves and they wait two weeks. It also requires documentation of age from anyone seeking a marriage license.

Advocate Jeanne Smoot of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center tells the newspaper the bill is a “major step” to guard against abuse and exploitation.

Police: Boy, 4, got hold of gun, shot and wounded himself


Police say a 4-year-old boy apparently shot himself in the chest after getting hold of an unsecured, loaded pistol at a Cincinnati apartment.

The child was reported in critical but stable condition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as of late Friday.

Police said a 20-year-old man has been charged with child endangerment in connection with the Friday afternoon shooting in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood.

Capt. Martin Mack says another child and adults were in the room at the time.

Neighbors said a man calling for help from an apartment window yelled that his child had shot himself.

Police Sgt. Eric Franz told The Cincinnati Enquirer that it’s especially important for people with children to secure their firearms. Franz said free gun locks are available at the city’s police stations.

Second officer reprimanded for using racial slur


After suspending a white officer’s police powers for using a racial slur during a black woman’s arrest last weekend, Cincinnati’s police chief has similarly reprimanded a black officer for using the word while dealing with a family in September.

Chief Eliot Isaac told city leaders the black officer’s case came to his attention amid an internal investigation after the white officer’s comments. Both incidents were recorded on body-worn cameras and are being investigated.

Isaac said he didn’t have all the facts when he previously OK’d a written reprimand for the black officer, Donte Hill.

The local police union president, Dan Hils, told The Cincinnati Enquirer officers often hear the slur on the street but “there is no place for it in a professional capacity.”

Isaac said such language is unacceptable.

2 men in custody on gun charges in Ohio shootout that hurt 4


Police say two men are in custody on federal firearms charges in connection with an August shootout at a central Ohio park that injured one of the suspects, another man and two children.

Columbus police said they believe the shootout during an Aug. 11 party was gang-related. A 5-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl were injured.

Police said scores of people were there, but only three provided witness statements. Investigators said DNA on guns recovered in connection with the shooting was linked to the suspects in custody.

Police said one of the injured men, 26-year-old Keveante Smoot, was arrested last week. His public defender declined to comment.

WBNS-TV reported a second suspect, 38-year-old Cornelius Allen, turned himself in Friday. A message was left Saturday for his appointed attorney.

Man charged in deadly break-in attack on 94-year-old woman


A man has been charged with aggravated murder for an attack during a Cleveland home invasion that killed a 94-year-old woman and injured her 74-year-old daughter.

Cleveland.com reports police allege 25-year-old Cornelius Pames Jr. broke into a home in September and attacked the sleeping women, who were in town from Honduras to visit relatives. Eucebia Garcia Gutierrez died, and her daughter was hospitalized with injuries.

Cleveland police say Pames pushed out a window air conditioner to get inside the home and stole electronics, jewelry and loose change.

Court records list no attorney for him in that case.

Pames has been jailed since October in a separate case alleging he propositioned a 13-year-old girl for sex. A message seeking comment was left Friday for his public defender in that case.

Man accused of fatally running over his mom on Christmas Day


Police near Cleveland say a man has been charged with striking and killing his mother with a vehicle inside a garage on Christmas Day.

Authorities in Mayfield Heights said Friday that 35-year-old Vincent Varone has been charged with aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault.

Court records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

Police said Varone hit his mother in the garage of a home early Dec. 25. Officers said they found a vehicle inside the garage that appeared to have been rammed into the house.

They said 61-year-old Theresa Varone was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities later said Vincent Varone was being evaluated at a medical institution.

Weed that sprouted holiday cheer mysteriously uprooted


A street corner weed that had been decked out with Christmas lights and brought out holiday goodwill in Ohio has apparently met an early demise.

WTVG-TV in Toledo reported that someone pulled out the “Christmas weed” early Friday morning and drove off with it in his trunk.

The weed had become a holiday attraction after a family decorated it with tinsel to spread some Christmas cheer.

Others added their own ornaments and began leaving behind donations for the needy. It became so popular that Toledo officials set up donation boxes and handed out the items to local charities.

The weed had been scheduled to be cleaned up today.

1 of 2 escaped inmates recaptured in southwest Ohio


Authorities in southwestern Ohio say a tip about a suspicious person led to the capture of one of the two inmates who escaped from the Community Correctional Center in Warren County.

The men were reported missing early Friday from the facility in Lebanon, about halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton. Both were serving time on drug charges.

Authorities say 23-year-old Logan Michael Lee Fithen was apprehended Friday afternoon in the nearby city of Monroe. Officials were still seeking 34-year-old James Warren Adams III.

Sgt. Ryan Saylor of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office told WCPO-TV it’s not clear how the men escaped. Saylor says they were held in different parts of the facility but apparently left at the same time.

Authorities say the men will face additional charges for escape.

Associated Press

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