Around Ohio

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Ohio mumps cases now number 469
Columbus — The number of mumps cases in the recent central Ohio outbreak has reached 469 cases.
Columbus Public Health says the number of cases linked to this year’s outbreak in Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties is more than in the entire country last year.
Patients have ranged in age from 4 months to 80 years, with many cases linked to Ohio State University in Columbus. The illnesses date back to January.
Officials are still urging people to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination.
— Associated Press

Prosecutors seek
3-year sentence
in fracking case
Cleveland — Federal prosecutors are seeking a three-year sentence and a $250,000 fine for the owner of a Northeast Ohio oil and gas drilling company accused of dumping large amounts of toxic brine down a storm sewer and into a creek that feeds the Mahoning River.
Sixty-four-year-old Ben Lupo of Poland, Ohio, pleaded guilty in March to one count of unpermitted discharge into U.S. waters. His sentencing is Aug. 5 in Cleveland.
Prosecutors wrote in a motion that Lupo had employees dump drilling fluids down a storm sewer 33 times between October 2012 and January 2013. The fluids contained chemicals such as benzene, toluene, barium and chlorides.
Lupo’s attorneys argue their client made poor choices because of his numerous health problems and that he should receive probation or home detention instead of prison.
— Associated Press

Judge steps aside
in slayings case
Akron — A judge in Akron accused of bias by county prosecutors has voluntarily stepped aside in a pending death-penalty case.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Summit County Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands on July 29 notified the Ohio Supreme Court of her withdrawal from the case of an Akron man facing aggravated murder charges in the drug-related slayings of four people last year.
In a letter to the court, Rowlands wrote that she was stepping aside because of the “complexity of the matter” and the “gravity of the issues involved.”
Rowlands had countered prosecutors’ claims, including that she wants them to drop death-penalty specifications in the trial of 22-year-old Deshanon Haywood.
Haywood’s co-defendant, Derrick Brantley, who was identified as the principal gunman, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
— Associated Press

Brothers convicted
in shooting of
bystander
Cleveland— A jury has convicted two brothers of murder in the death of a bystander while allegedly shooting at each other last year in Cleveland.
Twenty-five-year-old Jonathan Catron and 23-year-old Carvin Catron were found guilty July 30 after a four-day trial. They were charged with killing 20-year-old James Swindler III.
Swindler, who lived next door to the Catrons, had stepped onto the front porch of his home after hearing a commotion on the street. Jonathan Catron stood across the street and his brother was in front of Swindler’s home when the siblings fired their guns.
Ballistic tests showed that Jonathan Catron fired the fatal shot. Carvin Catron’s attorney said his client fired a shot into the air and not at Swindler.
Both brothers were sentenced to 21 years to life in prison.
— Associated Press

Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cards
Cleveland — A person familiar with the deal says the Cleveland Indians have traded starter Justin Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Masterson, who is in the final year of his contract, was dealt for outfielder James Ramsey, said the person who spoke July 30 to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams have not commented.
Ramsey was the Cardinals’ first-round pick (No. 23 overall) in 2012. He’s been at Double-A Springfield, where he batted .300 with 13 homer and 36 RBIs.
Masterson has been a disappointment for the Indians this season. He began the year as Cleveland’s No. 1 starter but has underperformed after turning down a contract extension from the club in spring training.
On July 29, Masterson, who is on the disabled list, said he knew his name was in trade rumors.
— Associated Press

Attorney general
warns of grant scam
Columbus — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning residents to beware of scam calls offering government grants.
DeWine says his office has taken more than 100 reports of suspected grant scams, and more than 20 consumers reported losing $200 to $6,000 or more to the ploy.
The attorney general’s office says scam callers will tell residents they have won a federal grant and must first sent money to cover taxes and other costs. Those who pay are sometimes contacted again by scammers who urge the consumer to send more money for additional expenses.
DeWine says consumers should be leery if they have to pay to get grants they never sought. He says scam artists have given phony justifications to people that have included being current on their taxes and having good credit.
— Associated Press

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