State briefs

Fair attendance drops; manager points to weather

COLUMBUS (AP) — Organizers say an estimated 921,000 people went to this year’s Ohio State Fair, putting the attendance total short of the record crowd from last summer.

The 12-day event in Columbus drew about 61,000 more visitors in 2015, when the weather was clear and sunny for most of the fair’s run.

A statement from General Manager Virgil Strickler says rain and extreme heat on a few days during this year’s fair probably affected attendance.

The 2017 Ohio State Fair will run from July 26 to Aug. 6.

OSU ex-player pleads not guilty to assault

COLUMBUS — A former Ohio State University running back has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and assault.

Bri’onte Dunn pleaded not guilty in Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus. Court documents say Dunn is accused of hitting his girlfriend in the head and face on July 17 in central Ohio. He was dismissed from Ohio State’s football program the next day. Coach Urban Meyer’s statement said Dunn violated team rules but didn’t specify the violation.

A message left at Dunn’s attorney’s office on Tuesday wasn’t immediately returned.

The 23-year-old from Canton had been expected to compete for OSU’s starting running back position vacated by Ezekiel Elliott.

Dunn played in 21 games in three seasons and had 196 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

State to prevent dual payments to publicly funded preschools

CLEVELAND — Ohio plans to prevent publicly funded preschools from receiving overlapping payments from multiple sources for services. reports a memo from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services director to advisers to Gov. John Kasich says some preschools have incorrectly received “dual payments” from the state and from the federal Head Start program.

Katie Kelly directs the Pre4Cle organization advocating for extended preschool services in Cuyahoga County. But Kelly says some preschools may have to turn kids away without funding from both sources.

State officials estimate stopping dual payments will save $12 million.

Job and Family Services spokesman Jon Keeling said Wednesday that disallowing dual payments just clarifies a longstanding policy and that savings will be spent on publicly funded child care services.

Newspaper sues for autopsies of 8 slain relatives

COLUMBUS (AP) — A newspaper is suing a coroner for autopsy records in the slayings of eight people from an Ohio family.

The Columbus Dispatch says a lawsuit filed in Ohio Supreme Court against the Pike County coroner alleges final autopsy records have been improperly withheld.

The coroner says the autopsies are “confidential law enforcement investigatory records” that aren’t subject to public records laws. Ohio’s attorney general says he supports that position to avoid jeopardizing chances of catching the killers.

Editor Alan Miller says the Dispatch would act responsibly in dealing with the records from the sensitive case.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has filed a similar lawsuit.

Seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family were found shot at four homes near Piketon on April 22.

Man faces drug charge after 24 stricken at music fest

MANSFIELD — A Michigan man has been charged with felony drug trafficking after 24 people were sickened at an Ohio rap music festival when they ate candy laced with the marijuana ingredient THC.

A Mansfield Municipal Court judge set a $50,000 cash bond for 28-year-old Matthew Gross, of Ypsilanti (ihp-sih-LAN’-tee). He is jailed, and no attorney information is available for him.

Emergency crews were called to EST 2016 outside Mansfield on Saturday after people reported feeling ill.

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Authorities say all those sickened are expected to recover.

The festival was headlined by Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly.

The charge is expected to be transferred to Richland County Common Pleas Court, where prosecutors will decide whether to present the case to a grand jury.