Normalcy elusive in community where women held captive


Normalcy elusive in community where women held captive

CLEVELAND

Residents on a Cleveland street where three women were held captive say they’re tired of being eyed by spectators who still visit the site five years after Ariel Castro’s house of horrors was demolished.

Cleveland.com reports cars and buses continue to crawl past the lot where Castro’s home once stood. Resident Anthony Westry says “it’s like being a monkey in a cage.”

Castro kidnapped Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus between 2002 and 2004. They escaped in May 2013. Castro later hanged himself in prison.

The home was razed in August 2013. Cleveland officials previously discussed turning the space into townhomes.

City spokesman Dan Williams says there are no current plans for developing the lot.

96-year-old WWII vet gets degree delayed by nearly seven decades

TOLEDO

A World War II veteran who flew planes for the Navy has received his college degree to a standing ovation 68 years after he took his last class.

Ninety-six-year-old Bob Barger was honored Saturday at the University of Toledo’s commencement ceremony, where he received an associate degree.

A review of his transcripts from the late 1940s shows he completed enough classes to qualify for the degree, which wasn’t offered when he was in school.

Barger came home to Toledo after World War II and started taking college classes. But he never finished his degree because he was busy with a job and raising a family.

He says getting the degree reminds him of all the friends and family who’ve been a part of his life.

Couple awakens to find stranger asleep on couch

RITTMAN

Authorities say a couple in Ohio was startled to find a stranger who had helped himself to leftover Easter candy and then fell asleep on the couch of their apartment.

Rittman police say a 36-year-old man climbed through an unlocked window, got his a sugar fix and fell asleep overnight Friday in the couple’s living room. A male resident of the home called 911 around 6 a.m. to report that “some random guy” wouldn’t wake up. He can be heard yelling at the man to “get out of here.”

The man did leave and was arrested nearby. Officers found prescription medication and two knives on him. Police say the man is being charged with aggravated burglary.

Woman sues cop who shared pornographic photo on her phone

AKRON

An Ohio woman has sued a police supervisor who searched her cellphone and found a pornographic photo the lawsuit claims was illegally shared with people.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the 39-year-old woman is seeking $15 million in a lawsuit filed Thursday against Akron Lt. Brian Simcox and Chief Kenneth Ball.

The lawsuit says Simcox and other Akron officers detained the woman last September in a parking lot suspecting she was there to buy drugs. Simcox looked through the woman’s phone and found an offensive photo that he copied with his phone and then shared.

The woman says it’s not her in the photo.

Simcox was demoted after an investigation over the photo and another incident. A prosecutor declined to file charges.

$143 million Mega Millions winning ticket sold in Ohio

CLEVELAND

Ohio Lottery officials say a winning ticket in Friday’s $143 million Mega Millions drawing has been sold in Ohio.

Lottery spokesman Mike Bycko said Saturday the ticket was sold at Fat Daddy’s Road Dog in Moraine, outside of Dayton.

The winner has 180 days to claim his or her prize. If the winner chooses the cash option, the payout is $86.4 million before taxes.

The winning numbers Friday were 4, 5, 10, 12 and 18. The Mega Ball was 21. The odds of buying a ticket with the winning number combination are 1 in 303 million.

Restaurant where man won $5M pauses game amid legal probe

CLEVELAND

The Cleveland restaurant where a man won $5.5 million in a weekly raffle has temporarily suspended its jackpot game after Ohio’s attorney general was asked to determine whether it’s legal.

Grayton Road Tavern announced Thursday it’s putting the “Queen of Hearts” game on hold while it awaits an opinion from the attorney general’s office.

Their previous game lasted nearly a year before an unidentified man from Hinckley won in March.

The tavern keeps $550,000 of the winnings to launch the game’s next round.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says the game may be violating gambling rules because the winner isn’t paid in full.

About 1,000 tickets were sold before the game was suspended. The restaurant says all ticket holders will be refunded.

Auditor subpoenaing data from closed online school ECOT

COLUMBUS

The state auditor’s office says it’s subpoenaing computer data from Ohio’s largest online charter school to preserve information in case the funding dispute that caused the school’s closure is followed by a criminal case.

The auditor’s office told a judge Friday it wants to copy data from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s administrative computers and servers.

That move comes ahead of an ECOT equipment auction and days after the auditor delayed releasing his latest ECOT audit, citing new information about money used in an ECOT advertising campaign attacking Ohio’s effort to recoup funding.

ECOT has challenged how student participation was tallied to determine it should repay tens of millions of dollars.

Associated Press

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