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This Hour: Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment

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Man pleads not guilty in 4 slayings in Ohio town

BUCYRUS, Ohio (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, robbery and other charges in the deaths of four men at their homes in a small Ohio city.

Donald Hoffman is charged on 21 counts for the slayings in Bucyrus (byoo-SY'-rus). Some counts include specifications for a potential death penalty.

The 41-year-old Hoffman wore an orange jail outfit and handcuffs Monday in Crawford County court. He's jailed on $10 million bond. His attorney declined to comment.

Two men were discovered dead Sept. 1. Two others were found the following day after police say Hoffman approached officers with information.

A coroner determined the men were beaten, strangled or both.

They ranged in age from 55 to 67. Friends and relatives say at least some of the men knew one another and Hoffman.


Ohio man dies in mobile home fire

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 56-year-old man died when his mobile home caught fire in northeast Ohio.

The Stark County coroner identified the victim of the Sunday morning fire as Carl Lawson. It happened in Plan Township, north of Canton.

The (Canton) Repository reports a small area inside Lawson's home caught fire sometime between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. No foul is suspected.

The Ohio Fire Marshal's Office and other agencies are investigating.


Campaign probe witness wants guilty plea withdrawn

CLEVELAND (AP) - The star witness against a northeast Ohio telemarketer accused of federal campaign finance violations wants to withdraw his guilty plea.

Sixty-two-year-old Michael Giorgio was a top official at Suarez Corporation Industries Inc. in North Canton and was indicted along with his boss, company owner Ben Suarez.

Giorgio pleaded guilty before trial and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. A jury found Suarez not guilty of all but one count in June.

But Giorgio's new attorneys say their client's guilty plea should be withdrawn because his former attorney, Ralph Cascarilla, had a conflict of interest based on Suarez paying for Giorgio's $1.2 million legal bill.

Cascarilla said Monday it would be inappropriate for him to comment.

Giorgio's motion asks a federal judge to allow him to restart his case.


Arrest in week-old central Ohio school threat

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Police in suburban Columbus have arrested a high school student following a threat of a school shooting scrawled on a school bathroom wall a week ago.

Police in Westerville say they used video camera footage, more than 60 student interviews and reviews of handwriting samples to identify a suspect.

The student was charged with inducing panic and taken to the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center following his arrest Monday.

Police say the threat found a week ago on the bathroom wall warned students not to come to school Monday, saying there would be a shooting.

Westerville Division of Police Lt. Jeff Gaylor says any threat to school safety is taken seriously.


Ohio elections chief issues new early voting hours

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's elections chief has set extended early voting hours for the fall following a federal judge's order.

Court records show that Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) issued a directive late Friday to county boards of elections containing an expanded voting schedule.

The directive comes after a federal judge blocked an Ohio law trimming early voting and ordered Husted to set additional times, including evening hours. Under the Sept. 4 ruling, early voting would begin Sept. 30 instead of Oct. 7.

U.S. District Judge Peter Economus also barred Husted from preventing local elections boards from adopting additional early voting hours beyond his order.

Economus and a panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati have declined to delay the decision while the state seeks to reverse the ruling.


Cincinnati police fatally shoot suspect

CINCINNATI (AP) - Cincinnati's police chief says two officers fatally shot a man after he pointed a weapon at them.

Chief Jeffrey Blackwell says officers went to a residence in the Sedamsville neighborhood Sunday night following complaints about a man firing a weapon.

Blackwell says the man pointed a firearm at arriving officers who "were forced to defend themselves." He says it wasn't immediately clear if the man fired shots at officers, but there were multiple shots fired before the officers arrived.

The man's name hasn't been released. He is in his 30s.

Blackwell says a handgun and a shotgun were fired at the man by officers, who were not injured.

Police don't know if the man lived at the residence where he was killed or was just visiting.


Central Ohio teen shot to death

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A central Ohio teenager was shot to death over the weekend.

The Franklin County coroner identified the victim as 17-year-old Reb Barbee.

Police say the teen was shot at about 5 a.m. Sunday in Prairie Township west of Columbus.

Friends and neighbors told reporters that Barbee stumbled into his home leaving a trail of blood.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office hasn't released any details of the shooting and hasn't announced an arrest.


Ohio police say suspects fired at officers

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Police have arrested two people in northeast Ohio accused of firing shots at an officer during a foot chase.

Media outlets report that it happened in Springfield Township near Akron early Sunday.

Police say they responded to an address on a report of a suspicious person. When they approached, a man and a teenager wearing hooded sweatshirts fled into the woods.

The suspects pulled weapons and fired at least four shots at an officer. Police did not return fire.

Officers from several agencies searched for the suspects and eventually arrested 22-year-old Mathew Singelton of Akron, and a 17-year-old boy. Charges include felonious assault on an officer, theft and possession of a defaced firearm.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Singelton.


Concrete chunks fall blocks from Ohio tailgaters

CINCINNATI (AP) - Police say large chunks of concrete fell from an interstate support beam just blocks away from where Cincinnati Bengals fans were tailgating.

No one was injured, but a car was heavily damaged when concrete chunks fell on it Sunday afternoon near Paul Brown Stadium.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the concrete fell from a support beam for the exit ramp from the Brent Spence Bridge to downtown and Interstate 71.

A railroad track runs underneath the ramp next to the beam. Cincinnati police officer Ken Hall, who responded to the incident, thinks the vibration from the train tracks might have contributed to shaking the concrete loose.

The ramp is part of the transportation system surrounding the Brent Spence Bridge, which is scheduled to have an annual inspection beginning Monday.


Airbus officials meet with Ohio businesses

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Officials of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus are meeting with representatives of nearly 100 Ohio companies to talk about doing more business with them.

Airbus officials plan to meet Monday with businesses at a procurement conference in suburban Dayton to promote and facilitate increased business between the state's aerospace manufacturers and Airbus.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Airbus spent $14.4 billion last year on aircraft-related procurement in the U.S. That includes $6.1 billion in Ohio, the company's No. 1 supplier state.

Airbus intends to nearly double that spending amount in the U.S. by 2020 to meet growing global demand for more fuel-efficient jets.

France-based Airbus forecasts air traffic will grow 4.7 percent annually over the next 20 years, requiring 29,200 new passenger and freighter aircraft.


Ohio gas prices lower to start work week

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Prices at the gas pump in Ohio are down again.

A gallon of regular gas was averaging $3.31 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That's 12 cents lower than a week ago, and it's down 14 cents from a month ago.

The Ohio average is lower than the national average, which was $3.39 on Monday. That's about a nickel less than a week ago.

Among Ohio's metropolitan areas, the Toledo are has lowest average at about $3.17 per gallon.

Analysts say falling crude oil prices have driven the decline in prices over the past few weeks.

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