Supreme Court of Ohio: Psychologist cannot testify after man abandons insanity defense

Published: 01/27/2015

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently ruled that a psychologist’s testimony that a man feigned mental illness was inadmissible after that man abandoned an insanity defense.

In the 7-0 decision, the high court affirmed a First District Court of Appeals ruling granting Joseph Harris a new trial in a case charging him with aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery and having a weapon under disability.

Man who murdered victim at house party loses appeal

Published: 01/27/2015

An opinion recently released by the 8th District Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in a murder case.

The defendant, Evontae “Ebay” Williams, was bound over from the juvenile division of the court to be tried as an adult on two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault following a shooting at a house party.

Williams pleaded not guilty and the matter proceeded to a jury trial where several witnesses testified about the events of March 24, 2013, the day of the shooting.

Genetic engineering will be a main topic at food, farm conference

Published: 01/27/2015

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is gearing up to host the state’s largest food and farm conference Feb. 14-15.

The 36th annual conference, “Sustainable Agriculture: Renewing Ohio’s Heart and Soil,” will take place at Granville High School and feature a presentation by respected scientist, author and sustainable agriculture and genetic engineering expert Doug Gurian-Sherman.

Gurian-Sherman is the director of sustainable agriculture and senior scientist at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C.

Ohio Treasury program helps small businesses get low-interest loans

Published: 01/27/2015

One of the biggest challenges facing many small business owners can be securing a loan with a reasonable interest rate, but the Ohio Treasury thinks it may have found a way to help.

The office’s GrowNOW program focuses on reducing interest rates by up to 3 percent for small Ohio-based companies that agree to help keep and create jobs within the state.

GrowNOW has formed a partnership between the Ohio Treasury and eligible banks.

Central Ohio home sales slipped 2.1 percent last year

Published: 01/27/2015

The central Ohio housing market last year continued to recover from the crash of 2008-11, but failed to keep pace with home sales from the previous year, during which sales rose 5.4 percent, according to a new report from Columbus Realtors.

Last year central Ohio home sales slipped by 2.1 percent, though the average and median home prices each rose by more than 5 percent.

Still, last year’s sales of 26,655 homes was the fourth-highest on record for the Columbus region.

'Not Mayberry anymore': Oil patch cops try to keep up

Published: 01/27/2015

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — Police chief Art Walgren knew how much the oil boom had changed this once-sleepy town when he spotted something that would have been unheard of not long ago: license plates from Sinaloa, Mexico, home to one of the world’s most violent drug cartels.

Before, there was little chance police would see cars here from nearly 2,000 miles away and little reason to worry about out-of-state plates.

Monthly rents keep climbing, especially in San Francisco

Published: 01/27/2015

WASHINGTON — U.S. home rental prices continued to climb at a modest pace in December, but rapidly escalating costs in cities such as San Francisco and Denver suggest that apartment dwellers are facing more financial pressure.

Prices rose 3.3 percent in December compared with 12 months earlier, real estate data firm Zillow said. Although that increase is less than the recent appreciation in home values, a surge in apartment costs in several of the hottest markets indicates that renters who aspire to buy homes face mounting financial challenges.

Surprise! Magnets used to plant drugs under cars from Mexico

Published: 01/27/2015

SAN DIEGO — Drug smugglers are turning “trusted travelers” into unwitting mules by placing containers with powerful magnets under their cars in Mexico and then recovering the illegal cargo far from the view of border authorities in the United States.

One motorist spotted the containers while pumping gas after crossing into Southern California on Jan. 12 and thought it might be a bomb.

What issues roil Washington? Obama's veto threats are microcosm of American politics

Published: 01/27/2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has a telling hit list.

The veto threats that he’s issued over the last three weeks are a microcosm of American politics, representing the roiling issues of the day, the power struggle playing out between Congress and the White House, and even the pique between the president and GOP congressional leaders.

Obama, who vetoed just two minor bills over the past six years, has been tossing out veto threats like confetti since Republicans took full control of Congress. 

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