Search of Ohio prison turns up several fake guns, explosive
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Wednesday, February 13
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio authorities confiscated three fake handguns, drawings of handguns, and a fake explosive device at a maximum-security prison in what they’re calling “a very serious and unique situation.”
An investigation continues of the incident that unfolded Tuesday night at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, said prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith.
The first item found was a fake explosive device, located in a hole in a shower stall frame, and constructed of grout shavings, copper wire from ear buds, batteries, and a small radio, said Smith, spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The weapons, made to resemble Glock handguns, were made of bars of soap, pieces of eye glasses, battery casings, and carbon paper from legal kits provided to inmates, she said. Parts of a fourth gun were also found.
Events leading to the search began after an inmate called The Associated Press Tuesday afternoon, warning of a potential hostage-taking plot in the works.
The AP contacted the State Highway Patrol, which investigated along with prison authorities.
The inmates involved were placed in restrictive housing and the facility was back to normal Wednesday, said Smith.
“This was a very serious and unique situation,” she said in an email. “We take very seriously any information that suggests there may be weapons within our facilities and immediate actions are taken to ensure the safety and security of the staff and inmates.”
Prisoners with fake weapons can pose the same kind of threat as robbers who claim to have guns in their pockets, whether real or not, said Richard Lichten, a Los Angeles-based jail and police practices expert.
“It’s no different in jail or prison,” he said. “If somebody manufactures a weapon that’s thought to be real, then that’s an issue.”
Compounding the problem are scattered examples of real weapons being smuggled into correctional facilities, said Lichten.
As a high-security prison, Lucasville holds many inmates who have racked up discipline problems in other facilities.
A 2016 legislative prison inspection committee found that Lucasville has traditionally had high assault statistics in part because of gang-affiliated prisoners.
An 11-day riot at the prison in 1993 was one of the country’s longest and deadliest, leaving nine inmates and a guard dead by the time it ended.
Two former Lucasville inmates currently face charges in Scioto County for stabbing a guard 32 times last year near a prison infirmary.
One of those inmates has also been charged in a 2017 knife attack on four other inmates who were shackled to a table and unable to defend themselves.
Ohio man pleads not guilty to deputy slaying charges
By DAN SEWELL
Wednesday, February 13
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man who could face the death penalty if convicted pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he fatally shot an Ohio sheriff’s deputy and tried to kill others during a standoff.
Wade Edward Winn, 23, was indicted this week on two counts of aggravated murder and 12 counts of attempted aggravated murder in Clermont County, just east of Cincinnati. Prosecutors have said Winn faked killing himself during a 12-hour standoff that began Feb. 2 at an apartment, then shot through a wall at deputies.
Clermont County deputy Bill Brewer died. Another officer was wounded in the leg
Asked for his plea during Wednesday afternoon’s arraignment, Winn replied: “Not guilty, your honor.” Common Pleas Judge Anthony Brock ordered Winn held without bond and scheduled a Feb. 28 pretrial conference.
Brock said he would impose a gag order to limit pretrial publicity. He asked both sides to submit proposed wording for the order.
“Obviously, this is a very serious case, and this is a case that has great public interest,” Brock said. Saying he wanted to disclose any facts that might raise questions about the court’s impartiality, Brock cited a range of items including that he had contributed $20 to a fund to benefit the slain deputy’s family and that he formerly regularly played basketball with one of the deputies who was shot at.
Earlier, he appointed Greg Meyers of the state public defender’s office to lead Winn’s defense after Clermont County public defenders cited possible conflicts of interest.
Winn spoke clearly as he answered the judge’s questions about his rights, the charges against him and the potential penalties. The judge read each count of Tuesday’s indictment to him along with death penalty specifications.
Follow Dan Sewell at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell
Michigan governor on way out pardoned ‘career drunk driver’
By ED WHITE
Thursday, February 14
TROY, Mich. (AP) — In his final days in office, Gov. Rick Snyder wiped out the felony drunken-driving conviction of a man who pleaded for a pardon so he could seek a promotion as the next president of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.
Jim Jagger’s application for a pardon sailed swiftly: He filed in late October, got a hearing in December and won Snyder’s blessing before Christmas, despite opposition from the Oakland County prosecutor, who vigorously claimed it was “special treatment” for a “career drunk driver,” according to records obtained by The Associated Press.
“The average Joe out there is not going to get a pardon” for the same crime, prosecutor Jessica Cooper told the AP. “Nor should they.”
A pardon is an extraordinary tool in the state constitution that makes a conviction disappear. During Snyder’s eight years as governor, people filed more than 4,000 applications for a pardon or commutation, which shortens a prison sentence. He granted fewer than 100.
It’s not publicly known why the governor or his aides were so interested in helping Jagger, who makes $144,000 a year as a vice president at the CPA group. But with Snyder’s term nearing an end, his staff put the case “at the top of the stack and said, ‘Process this one,’” said Chris Gautz, a spokesman at the Corrections Department, where pardon files are screened.
Jagger, 54, of Royal Oak, had four drunken-driving convictions from 1989 to 2007. It’s typically a misdemeanor, but he faced a felony charge after the last arrest because of his repeat offenses. No one was injured in the incidents. Judge Michael Warren sentenced him to 135 days in jail after an assistant prosecutor called Jagger a “danger to the public.”
Jagger served his sentence, but the pardon means the felony is off the books.
He and his lawyer, Bill Urich, didn’t respond to AP’s multiple requests for an interview. Nor did Peggy Dzierzawski, the current president of the CPA group. Snyder, who is a CPA, left office on Jan. 1. An aide, Allison Scott, said he was away and unavailable to answer questions.
Jagger’s desire for a pardon is detailed in documents obtained by the AP under a public records request.
He explained it during a Dec. 12 hearing with the Michigan parole board, which makes recommendations to the governor and voted in Jagger’s favor. Since 2016, he has been senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the Michigan CPA organization. The Troy-based group serves 18,000-plus members by offering career workshops, monitoring industry trends and influencing laws and accounting rules in Lansing.
Jagger said he’s a “leading candidate” to succeed Dzierzawski as president in 2019 but that a felony conviction on his record would put him “down on the ladder” and probably spoil his chances with the board of directors, according to a transcript. He said Dzierzawski was the only person at work who knew about his past.
“I have a limited window of earning potential left, and I’m trying to maximize that. … But even if it’s not that opportunity, there will be other opportunities or I could actively pursue a job,” Jagger said of the benefits of a pardon.
He said he hasn’t had a drink since the 2007 arrest.
“The me of 14, 15 years ago wouldn’t imagine that I would have the life that I have now,” said Jagger, who is married and has two children. “So regardless of the outcome of this, I’m a fairly lucky, blessed person.”
The parole board recommended a pardon, 9-1, saying Jagger wanted to enhance his career and volunteer at his children’s school without the burden of a felony. Chairman Michael Eagen told Snyder that Jagger had made an “exemplary adjustment in the community.”
Gautz of the Corrections Department said the board was “never pressured” by Snyder’s office about what to recommend.
“The board’s vote doesn’t matter because the governor can pardon anyone he wishes,” Gautz said.
It wasn’t the first time that Snyder, a Republican, had used his power to clear a drunken driver. In 2014, he pardoned Alan Gocha , a $250,000-a-year lawyer with political connections to Republicans. Gocha said the misdemeanor was making it harder to work and to travel outside the U.S.
On its website , the CPA organization said it had an “impeccable relationship” with Snyder. Rich Baird, a Snyder confidant who was his personal trouble-shooter around Michigan, appears in a video on the website, praising the association for being a “steadfast partner in so many of the things that we’ve done.”
Jagger spent $24.70 in October to send his pardon application overnight to Lansing. A background investigation by the Corrections Department began immediately, records show.
Cooper, the Detroit-area prosecutor, smelled favoritism. She said Jagger’s “standout features” appeared only to be his “high income job and his apparent connections.”
“The term ‘justice is blind’ is meant to reaffirm the core concept of the criminal justice system; that all people are equal in the eyes of the law, regardless of how rich or poor they are, and regardless of how powerful or powerless they are in society,” Cooper said in a Nov. 28 letter to the parole board. “Granting Mr. Jagger’s pardon request … would make a mockery of this concept.”
Separately, the attorney general’s office also objected.
Cooper told the AP that her office in 2018 filed felony charges against nearly 700 people who were repeat offenders like Jagger.
“I’m sure they would all like to petition and be excused,” she said. “I’m a prosecutor. We have strong opinions because we see the devastation, the families destroyed, the people who might never walk again” because of drunken driving.
Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap
US unemployment claims rise by 4,000 to 239,000
By PAUL WISEMAN
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week but remains at levels low enough to show that most workers enjoy job security.
The Labor Department says claims for unemployment checks increased by 4,000 to 239,000. The four-week average, which does not bounce around as much, rose 6,750 to 231,750. That’s highest level since late January 2018.
Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. They are at low levels consistent with a healthy job market.
Employers last month added 304,000 jobs, the most in nearly a year. Unemployment is at 4 percent, near what economists consider full employment.
The economy has stayed strong despite a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government, higher interest rates, and trade disputes with China and other U.S. trading partners.
King the wire fox terrier takes Westminster’s best in show
By BEN WALKER
AP Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 13
NEW YORK (AP) — Wire fox terriers are still King at Westminster.
A wire fox from Brazil who’s won big in Europe became America’s top dog Tuesday night, beating out a crowd-pleasing longhaired dachshund and popular Sussex spaniel.
There were some boos — along with modest cheers — at Madison Square Garden when judge Peter Green pointed at the 7-year-old King.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” handler Gabriel Rangel said.
The win was hardly a surprise.
Wire fox terriers have won 15 times at the nation’s most prestigious dog show, far more than any other breed (Scottish terriers are second, with eight).
Green is a renowned figure in the dog world, especially for his work with terriers. He’s previously picked King as the champ at other shows.
Wired to win, this dog was.
“I look at King, he’s like a beautiful painting, a piece of art,” Rangel praised earlier in the day. “The way he stands and performs, he’s the whole package.”
A Havanese named Bono came in second among the more than 2,800 dogs who entered here.
Also in the final ring were Bean the Sussex spaniel, Burns the longhaired dachshund, Wilma the boxer and Baby Lars the bouviers des Flandres.
The fan favorites at the Garden were clearly Bean and Burns.
Chants of “Bean! Bean! Bean!” bounced around the packed arena as the Sussex spaniel rounded the ring. And Burns drew loud cheers as his long hair flowed while circling the green carpet.
There was a bit of dog show drama, too, at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club.
A day after earning a coveted spot in the final ring of seven, spirited Colton the schipperke was ruled ineligible for best in show.
There was a conflict of interest — Green’s longtime partner has co-owned dogs with one of Colton’s co-owners. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused.
“This doesn’t negate all he’s done here,” handler Christa Cook said as she brushed Colton’s colt backstage at the Garden. “It’s been a great experience, his accomplishment is in the book forever.”
Wagging his tail, the tri-colored King was completely in control under Rangel, who won for the third time at Westminster.
Rangel teared up in the middle of the ring after the win, overwhelmed by the moment and the recognition from Green.
“Special win because of that judge,” Rangel said.
Neither he nor King will have much time to rest.
Wednesday’s victory lap includes visits to morning television shows, a steak lunch at midtown eatery Sardi’s, a trip up the Empire State Building and a walk-on part in the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman.”
Owner Victor Malzoni Jr. of Brazil gets no prize money for this win. Besides a shiny silver bowl, the reward comes in lucrative breeding rights and a lifetime of bragging rights.
This was the 47th overall best in show win for the wire fox with a full name of Kingarthur Van Foliny Home. He’s also done well at the largest dog show in the world, Crufts in England.
Packed with personality, Burns had all the qualities of a Westminster champion.
He had a great coat. He had a wonderful gait. He had a playful spirit.
But did he have the right combination to become the big winner here? His body of work said yes. History said no.
“Best in show breeds need the flash to compete,” handler Carlos Puig said in the afternoon.
Despite always being among the nation’s most popular dogs, a dachshund has never won best in show at Westminster. Neither has a Havanese, schipperke or bouviers des Flandres.
Rangel twice previously guided terriers to best in show at Westminster — Sadie the Scottie in 2010 and Sky the wire fox in 2014.
That’s a lot better showing than popular golden retrievers and Labs. They’ve never taken the top title at Westminster.
“I love goldens. They’re so sweet, you just want to hold them,” he said. “But they don’t have that sharp expression.”
AP freelance writer Ginger Tidwell-Walker contributed to this report.
More AP dog show: https://apnews.com/WestminsterKennelClubDogShow
Rep. Liston introduces bipartisan bill to shield personal information of mental health providers
COLUMBUS—State Reps. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) and Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) today (Feb. 13) introduced House Bill (HB) 61, bipartisan legislation to add certain mental health workers to the list of those exempt from disclosing identifying personal information under Ohio public records laws.
“Mental healthcare providers are often put in difficult positions while serving their patients,” said Rep. Liston. “HB 61 is a bipartisan, commonsense bill that will allow providers to be able to do their work without having to fear for the security of themselves or their families.”
Under HB 61, forensic mental health providers, mental health evaluation providers, and regional psychiatric hospital employees would be exempt from having their residential and familial information disclosed to the public. It would also allow the employee or provider’s address to be redacted from any public office’s records except from records of the county auditor, but would have the option to ask the county auditor to replace their name with their initials in public databases.
Ohio passed similar bipartisan legislation in 2018 to expand personal information exemptions to include judges.
The bill sits before the House Civil Justice Committee. No hearings have been scheduled on the bill to date.
Director of Public Service Clyde “Butch” Seidle has retired from the City of Hilliard effective March 1.
City of Hilliard, Ohio – Government
February 8 at 4:37 PM
Seidle has served as Director of Public Service and City Engineer since January 2004. His retirement follows nearly five decades in public service.
“I’ve never thought of this as a job, because this life of public service has been a pleasure,” Seidle said of his life’s work.
He said his proudest single accomplishment has probably been the work he was involved in to get Britton Parkway and Trueman Boulevard extended from Cemetery Road to Dublin. That parallel project was key to significant economic development and moving some of the traffic off I-270.
There have been numerous other highlights during his career with Hilliard.
“I think our biggest accomplishments with the City have been our enhanced capital improvement program for the past 15 years,” Seidle said. “We’ve completely redone our fleet. We’ve learned to work smarter, not necessarily harder. We have better equipment, better staffing, and better-trained personnel. And, of course, we’ve made a huge difference in the overall economic growth of the community.”
Mayor Don Schonhardt said Seidle will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues in the City.
“Butch leaves a tremendous legacy in this community,” Schonhardt said. “He deserves so much of the credit for the significant projects that have made Hilliard the great community it is today. His hard work and dedication will leave a lasting positive impact on this city. Beyond that, I can personally say that Butch has been a close friend and valued colleague, and I will be forever grateful for the chance to work alongside him over the past 16 years.”
He graduated from University of Maryland with an undergraduate degree in Engineering in 1976. He studied Civil Engineering at The Ohio State University from 1977 to 1980.
Prior to coming to the City of Hilliard, Seidle was Principal and Director of Moody Nolan Inc. from 2000 to 2004, Chief Deputy Engineer for Delaware County from 1995 to 2000, and Federal/State Projects Programming and Bridge Engineer for the City of Columbus from 1969 to 1995.
City of Hilliard, Ohio – Government
February 11 at 6:39 PM ·
Hilliard City Council will be accepting applications for residents interested in applying to fill the vacancy of council member Albert Iosue, who has tendered his resignation effective Feb. 10.
Resumes and letters of interest should be submitted by Feb. 25 to Hilliard City Council, c/o Lynne Fasone, Clerk of Council, 3800 Municipal Way, Hilliard, Ohio 43026. Resumes and letters also may be emailed to Clerk of Council Lynne Fasone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VARGO® designs new global hub for international distributor
KLX Aerospace Solutions goes live with state-of-the-art warehouse
HILLIARD, Ohio (Feb. 13, 2019) — VARGO® is proud to announce that a new global distribution center built in Miami, Florida, for KLX Aerospace Solutions has gone live.
VARGO®, a leading provider of material-handling systems integration, warehouse execution software and equipment solutions for major fulfillment and distribution centers, designed and engineered the new distribution center.
KLX Aerospace Solutions had previously announced news about a new 700,000-square-foot headquarters site in Miami, which includes the new, automated 400,000-square-foot warehouse dedicated to distribution. With the new facility, KLX has consolidated its warehouse facilities from three buildings to one.
KLX Aerospace Solutions currently markets and distributes more than 1 million catalog items from more than 3,000 manufacturers.
VARGO® worked with KLX to design, engineer and integrate fulfillment solutions for the facility —including conveyors, sorters and a three-level pick module — to create an efficient, state-of-the-art facility that will enable KLX to serve its customers around the world. VARGO® is using its Continuous Order Fulfillment Engine (COFE®) in the facility.
“With this project, COFE® provides routing and basic warehouse control system functionality, although the facility was designed with the possibility of COFE®’s functionality increasing as the KLX business continues to grow,” said J. Michael Vargo, president of VARGO®. COFE® is capable of sequencing and synchronizing all work resources within a facility — machines, people and processes — enabling a facility to process orders for both efficiency and expediency with one inventory and one workforce.
KLX offers end-to-end services that reduce cost, risk and complexity. The company employs more than 2,600 people in more than 15 countries who work in the military, commercial and business jet space.
In October, Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced that it had acquired KLX Aerospace Solutions, which is a major global provider of aviation parts and services in the aerospace industry. As of February 2019, KLX will be known as Boeing Distribution Services Inc.
VARGO® is a team of mechanical and software engineers changing e-commerce operations by designing fulfillment solutions differently than anyone else in the industry. For more than four decades, VARGO® has been working with retailers, manufacturers and distributors to improve material handling operations. VARGO® uses its proven, pull-based methodologies to create intelligent solutions for fulfillment centers and is the only company that offers COFE® (Continuous Order Fulfillment Engine), the software that does for fulfillment what Lean did for manufacturing. For more information, visit www.vargosolutions.com.
About KLX Aerospace Solutions
KLX Aerospace Solutions is the world’s leading distributor and value-added service provider of aerospace fasteners and consumables, offering the broadest range of aerospace hardware and consumables and inventory management services worldwide. Beginning February 2019, KLX will be known as Boeing Distribution Services Inc. Learn more at klxaerospace.com.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. Boeing is also the world leader in combined commercial airlines and government services with customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. Boeing employs approximately 140,000 people across the United States and in more than 65 countries.