Ex-Ohio choir director indicted on sex charges
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A former choir director at an Ohio high school has been indicted on charges related to accusations he solicited sex and naked pictures from teenage boys in exchange for positions in the state fair's choir.
The Franklin County prosecutor's office says Zachary Ruppel faces 13 counts including pandering obscenity involving a minor, compelling prostitution and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Thursday that Ruppel is accused of soliciting a sex act and nude pictures from several students between February 2012 and July 2013.
The 27-year-old Ruppel is the former choir director at St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus. He's a former choir staff volunteer for the state fair's All Ohio Youth Choir.
Defense attorney Mark Gusley has declined to comment.
Hearing delay for Ohio school workers in rape case
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Wintry weather has postponed a court hearing for school workers charged following an investigation prompted by the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two eastern Ohio high school football players.
Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove delayed Friday's hearing for six current or former workers at the Steubenville (STOO'-behn-vihl) school district. They were scheduled to appear before Cosgrove in Jefferson County court.
Cosgrove set the new hearing for Dec. 13.
A grand jury indicted five of the workers with charges including lying, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice from an investigation launched after the rape of the West Virginia girl last year.
A sixth employee faces theft and receiving stolen property charges related to alleged crimes uncovered during the grand jury investigation but unrelated to the rape case.
Western Ohio school bus driver charged with rape
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) - A western Ohio school bus driver has been arrested on rape charges that police say involve an 11-year-old student.
The Clark County sheriff's office says 21-year-old Adam James Overholser (OH'-vur-hol-sur) of New Carlisle (CAR'-leye-ul) was charged with rape of a child under 13 and gross sexual imposition. The sheriff's office says the driver had initially befriended the child, who was a passenger on his bus. Police began investigating Monday after receiving a complaint from the child's mother.
Authorities say the Tecumseh (Tuh-KUM'-suh) school district has cooperated with investigators and has suspended the driver. Investigators say it's not believed the alleged crimes took place on school property.
Overholser remained Thursday in Clark County Jail in Springfield. No attorney information was listed for him.
NURSING HOME-RAPE CHARGES
Aide charged with raping Ohio nursing home patient
CINCINNATI (AP) - A prosecutor says a nurse's aide has been charged with raping a 92-year-old woman at a suburban Cincinnati nursing home.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters says 22-year-old Samuel Onyenweaku was indicted Thursday in Cincinnati on charges of rape, felonious assault and patient abuse. Deters say the West Chester man could face more than 19 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Deters says the aide was fired and has been in jail since his arrest Nov. 26. A defense attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.
The aide is charged with the Nov. 24 rape of a patient at a nursing home in Deer Park. The patient was taken to a hospital for treatment and later released to the care of a hospice.
Missing Ohio man found dead in submerged vehicle
ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) - The body of a northeast Ohio man who was missing for 10 days has been found in his submerged vehicle in a backyard pond at his home.
The Lorain County coroner's office handled Thursday's autopsy for 46-year-old Brian Hoffman of Huntington Township, south of Elyria (eh-LEER'-ee-uh). Autopsy results were pending.
The body was found Wednesday in his Jeep Cherokee, which was submerged in about 14 feet of water in a backyard pond. It was found by sheriff's deputies rechecking the area.
Hoffman was last seen Nov. 24. His wife reported him missing two days later.
How the vehicle went into the pond remains under investigation.
Ohio issues guidance on canceled health plans
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's insurance director is giving guidance to insurers who want to reissue health plans ticketed for cancellation under federal law, following a recent change announced by President Barack Obama.
Some people who buy their own insurance received cancellation notices because their plans don't meet the requirements of Obama's health law. The president has proposed allowing those customers to keep their existing plans for another year.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who heads Ohio's Department of Insurance, says the bulletin issued this week by her agency sets up a process for insurers. Under the guidance, insurers reissuing the canceled plans are expected to tell consumers their premiums may be affected, along with the time at which any changes to their coverage or premiums will take place.
Ohio ex-pharmacist sentenced on fraud convictions
COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) - Ohio officials say a former pharmacist convicted in a $2.1 million health care fraud scheme has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.
Barbara Elise Miller of Coshocton was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Akron.
A statement from Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, the state insurance director, says Miller's conviction stemmed from charges that she defrauded state, federal and private medical insurance companies. Prosecutors say she also was ordered to pay $2.1 million in restitution.
Authorities say Miller owned Three Rivers Infusion and Pharmacy Specialists in Coshocton, in east-central Ohio, and carried out the scheme between 2003 and 2009.
Authorities say Miller used a false provider name, overstated time needed to provide injections and made fraudulent claims about drug dosage.
Miller's attorney didn't immediately return a call Thursday.
POST OFFICE EXPLOSION
Police: NE Ohio man admits post office explosion
CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) - Police say a northeast Ohio man who admitted setting off an explosive device in a window well at a post office is charged with felony arson and other counts.
Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) Falls police say a 42-year-old resident walked into the department early Thursday and reported he'd just set off the device.
No one was hurt. Officers found the window well damaged and a window broken in the rear of the post office. No other threatening device was found.
Police believe the post office was a random target.
The suspect, Shane Fraley, also is charged with vandalism, having criminal tools and unlawfully having and manufacturing a dangerous ordinance. The clerk's office says his bond was set at $500,000 at his initial court appearance.
A message was left for his attorney.
Cocaine, marijuana worth $500K seized at Ohio home
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in central Ohio say a search at a Columbus home turned up large amounts of cocaine and marijuana, with an estimated street value of more than $500,000.
Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott says the drug seizure early Thursday morning was part of a large-scale joint investigation by a local task force and the Drug Enforcement Agency targeting cocaine distribution. He says about 6.5 kilograms of cocaine and about 190 pounds of marijuana were found.
The sheriff's office says a 33-year-old man from the home was arrested on a charge of conspiring to have cocaine with intent to distribute it. A 46-year-old man, also from Columbus, was arrested on the same charge.
Ohio AG's office to inspect for raffle machines
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's attorney general says his office will start cracking down on electronic raffle machines that have been operated by veterans and fraternal posts.
A portion of the proceeds generated by the raffles go to charity. Attorney General Mike DeWine has declared the devices to be illegal, but he delayed enforcement against them for months to allow time for legislative compromise.
DeWine said Thursday that because the state Senate has wrapped up its work for the year, it is clear the General Assembly won't be changing the law soon. He said in a written statement that he has no choice but to enforce the law and will start inspections beginning Monday.
Any organizations found to be in violation of the law may face civil action or be referred for criminal prosecution.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.