Ohio News Briefs: Flags at half-staff to honor Ohio soldier

Flags ordered at half-staff

COLUMBUS (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered flags in parts of the state lowered to half-staff to honor an Ohio soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The Republican governor on Wednesday ordered U.S. and Ohio flags flown at half-staff at all public buildings and grounds throughout Williams County and at the Ohio Statehouse, the Vern Riffe Center and the Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus. The order honoring Pfc. Brandon Kreischer, of Stryker, is effective until sunset the day of his funeral.

The Defense Department says the 20-year-old died Monday as “a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident” in Tarin Kowt, in southern Afghanistan. Kreischer was assigned to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Stryker is roughly 60 miles southwest of Toledo.

2 accused robbers indicted

Two accused armed robbers have been indicted on eight charges each in Clinton County Common Pleas Court.

According to the court’s website, indictments on James Clifton, 61, and Levi Cutcher, 56, both of Cincinnati, were filed on Monday. Both were indicted with three counts of felony 2 level felonious assault, four counts of felony 1 level of aggravated robbery, and one felony 3 failure to comply charge.

Both remain incarcerated at the Clinton County Jail on a $1 million bond.

The two were apprehended after a Clinton County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the Shell station on U.S. 68 near Interstate 71 on July 10. The initial caller reported the two suspects came in, one brandishing a shotgun, and stole money and miscellaneous items.

Deputies had determined they matched the characteristics of a robbery that occurred on June 28 at the Shell station located on State Route 73 near Interstate 71.

According to police, the suspects led sheriff’s deputies on a chase which later involved the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Mason Police Department. The vehicle was eventually slowed when stop sticks were deployed the Ohio State Highway Patrol. — Wilmington News Journal

Audit: OSU didn’t report felonies

COLUMBUS (AP) — An audit has found an Ohio State University center intended to support sexual assault survivors failed to report 57 potential felonies to law enforcement as legally required during the three years it was open.

The school closed its Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit in June 2018 after finding workers didn’t properly document and report students’ sexual assault complaints.

The Columbus Dispatch learned of the audit’s findings through public records requests.

University spokesman Chris Davey told the newspaper it’s an unacceptable failure and among the reasons the school dissolved the center and redesigned its program for supporting victims of sexual assault.

The university says all 57 cases have now been reported to law enforcement. Davey says the survivors were informed of their rights and options, but none pursued police investigations.

— Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Amazon gets tax incentives

COLUMBUS (AP) — The state has signed off on tax incentives for two more Amazon distribution centers in Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the tax breaks could be worth up to $12.1 million based on how many jobs the internet retailer creates.

The new centers in Akron and in Rossford near Toledo are expected to create 2,500 jobs. They will be seventh and eighth for Amazon in Ohio.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved both projects on Monday. Amazon will receive a portion of the state income tax that the new workers pay.

The fulfillment center in Akron is hiring 1,500 workers with a total payroll of $46.8 million annually. In Rossford, Amazon will hire 1,000 workers at a payroll of $31.2 million.