Last updated: August 21. 2014 9:30AM -
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Rock-throwing case that hurt teacher sent to court

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — One of four young men charged with throwing a rock onto a darkened central Pennsylvania interstate says they intended to do some damage but didn’t anticipate their actions would cause severe injuries to an Ohio teacher.

Keefer McGee testified Tuesday against a co-defendant after McGee and the other two waived their right to a preliminary hearing. The judge determined there was enough evidence to send the case against the fourth defendant, Brett Lahr, to county court for trial.

The district attorney says McGee is cooperating in exchange for lesser charges and county jail time rather than a state prison sentence.

McGee says they drove through a corn field and damaged a home’s windows before dropping a rock onto a passing vehicle, striking Sharon Budd in the head.

Couple stabbed at Ohio home; adult son arrested

WESTLAKE (AP) — Police say they’ve arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of stabbing his parents at their home in a suburb west of Cleveland.

Westlake police said in a statement Tuesday that a 58-year-old man had been flown to a Cleveland hospital with life-threatening injuries, and his 56-year-old wife was in stable condition.

Police say authorities learned about the stabbings after a hang-up 911 call on Monday night and a subsequent callback by a dispatcher.

The couple’s son was arrested without incident after a search, less than two hours after the 911 call was logged.

Police said he remained in jail Tuesday but had not been charged. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

New federal mining rule survives court challenge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — New federal rules that labor officials say could save lives at dangerous mining sites have survived a court challenge from mining industry groups.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by the National Mining Association and other groups.

The new rules, approved in January, allow federal labor officials to designate a mine as a repeat violator of safety rules without a prior warning. It also allows regulators to impose the pattern of violations designation before mine operators are finished appealing the violations, which could hold up enforcement for months or years.

The National Mining Association had argued that Brody Mining, a subsidiary of Patriot Coal in West Virginia, would “have to undergo substantial and costly changes to comply with the pattern of violations rule,” according to the opinion written Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said in a release last year that Brody Mining’s No. 1 mine had 367 lost work days stemming from eight injuries that the company failed to report to federal authorities. The mine was placed on a pattern of violations under the new rules in October.

The appeals court’s opinion said it did not have jurisdiction to rule in the case.

Nancy Gravatt, the National Mining Association’s senior vice president of communications said the group is “reviewing the decision and will be discussing with the other parties and counsel as to how we will proceed.”

The National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, the Kentucky and Ohio coal associations, the Murray Energy Corporation in Ohio, and the Kentucky-based KenAmerican Resources, along with other groups joined the mining association in the legal challenge.

Federal mine safety officials streamlined their approach to pattern of violations screening in 2007, after back-to-back disasters in 2006 at the Sago and Aracoma mines in West Virginia, and at the Darby No. 1 mine in Kentucky. MSHA developed new screening criteria and a scoring system to produce new computer-generated lists.

5K-8K gallons of fuel oil spills into Ohio River

CINCINNATI (AP) — An estimated 5,000 to 8,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled into the Ohio River, leading authorities to shut off water intake valves for both the Ohio and Kentucky sides of the waterway to protect water supplies, and a 15-mile section of the river was closed to allow cleanup.

The spill from a Duke Energy substation in New Richmond, about 20 miles southeast of Cincinnati, happened around 11:15 p.m. Monday, said Duke spokeswoman Sally Thelen. She said the spill occurred during a routine transfer of fuel oil from a larger tank to smaller ones and was stopped within about 15 minutes.

Coast Guard Lt. Katherine Cameron says the spill is considered medium-sized, a designation that applies to inland leaks between 1,000 and 10,000 gallons of oil.

“We are working with officials from Duke Energy to determine the extent,” Cameron said.

The section was closed to all river traffic, including barges carrying commercial goods, when the spill was reported. Tim Smith, chief of investigations for the Coast Guard’s Ohio Valley sector, said his agency hoped to reopen the section as soon as possible.

Local, state and environmental agencies also were at the scene Tuesday, and the Coast Guard said Duke has assumed responsibility for spill cleanup.

Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer said the water quality alert system for the Ohio River was activated and all river drinking water intakes in Ohio were sealed off. The Greater Cincinnati Water Works shut down its water intakes around 12:50 a.m. and monitoring of the water entering the system prior to shut-down showed no contamination, Griesmer said.

The spill comes just weeks after about 400,000 people in Toledo were left without clean tap water when toxins produced by Lake Erie algae got into the city’s water supply

Water quality scientists from the Greater Cincinnati Water Works continued monitoring the river in conjunction with the Northern Kentucky Water District. Rocky Merz, a spokesman for the city of Cincinnati, said no threats to drinking water have been found.

Merz said a strong odor of oil reported along the river early Tuesday morning seemed to dissipate as the day progressed.

U.S. Attorney asks FBI to probe Wal-Mart shooting

COLUMBUS (AP) — The U.S. attorney in Columbus has asked the FBI to investigate the police shooting of a man at a Dayton-area Wal-Mart.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart said Tuesday that the federal prosecutor made the request after speaking with a representative with the NAACP.

An FBI spokesman confirmed that a request was made but wasn’t immediately able to elaborate or share the status of the request.

Police say they fatally shot 21-year-old John Crawford III on Aug. 5 after he waved an air rifle at customers at a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek and refused officers’ orders to drop it.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office is investigating the shooting, planned an afternoon news conference Tuesday.

More than 100 demonstrators protested the shooting on Monday in Columbus.

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