Man charged with arson in fire

WAPAKONETA (AP) — Authorities say they’ve arrested an Ohio man accused of starting an apartment complex fire that displaced more than 20 people.

The Wapakoneta-area newspaper reports fire crews responded Sunday night to a blaze in Wapakoneta, some 120 miles (193 kilometers) northwest of Columbus. Fire Chief Tony Stinebaugh says no injuries have been reported.

Police early Monday arrested 19-year-old Wesley Slaughter, who lived in the building, in connection with the fire. Auglaize County sheriff’s records show he’s been charged with aggravated arson, a second-degree felony.

The apartment complex also housed a first-floor restaurant. All residents are staying in emergency housing accommodations.

A sheriff’s official said Monday he couldn’t provide information on whether Slaughter had an attorney.

Cincinnati Zoo welcomes baby tamandua

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo has welcomed a baby tamandua.

Zoo officials announced on Christmas Eve that the pup was born to first-time mother Isla on Dec. 20. They say the baby tamandua needs to develop and won’t make its public debut for another couple months.

The tamandua is a type of anteater, smaller than its more well-known relative. Experts say the long-snouted mammals can eat up to 9,000 ants in a day.

Interpretive Animal Keeper Colleen Lawrence says the zoo had performed weekly ultrasounds on Isla since August. Lawrence says tamanduas can be pregnant for up 190 days.

Zoo spokeswoman Michelle Curley says the caretakers will name the baby tamandua after they learn the sex of the animal.

Court upholds death sentence in mother’s killing

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a northeast Ohio man convicted of murder in the 2013 beating death of his mother.

The high court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision on James Tench’s murder charge, finding the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming. Justices did dismiss an aggravated robbery conviction in the case.

The then-30-year-old Brunswick man was convicted five years ago of aggravated murder and kidnapping in the death of his mother, 55-year-old Mary Tench.

Prosecutors say he fatally beat his mother after she confronted him about using her credit card, including forging advance checks.

Mary Tench was found dead inside her car. The county coroner said she died from several blunt trauma injuries that fractured her skull.

Advocates pay tribute to man

CINCINNAT — Advocates for the homeless handed out meals in Cincinnati to pay tribute to a man who was found dead on a downtown street a year ago.

Organizers of the event that gave out lunches and gifts Christmas day at Cincinnati’s Fountain Square say it was the best way to honor the memory of Ken Martin.

Police officers found Martin unconscious last Dec. 26 at a downtown bus stop. He was 55.

He died from died an unknown cause and police said there was nothing suspicious at the scene.

Samuel Landis is president of a group called Maslow’s Army that works on homeless outreach.

He tells WCPO that Cincinnati’s nonprofit agencies are working together to help those experiencing homelessness.

Anonymous letter blasts anti-hate sign

MEDINA — An Ohio small business owner says a small sign promoting empathy and kindness he put in his window has prompted an anonymous letter criticizing him for his “political views.”

Thomas Flood owns the Medina Family Practice and Wellness Center in northeastern Ohio, where he treats minor illnesses and provides student physicals. He told the Plain Dealer that he put up a sign reading “Hate has no home here,” when he opened his business in July.

Flood says he received an anonymous letter about the sign earlier this month, supposedly from a coach who said he’s refusing to send athletes to the business over the “political sign.”

Police Chief David Arbogast says police are investigating. Medina Diversity Project leader Pamela Miller calls the letter “a black eye for this community.”

Nearly 4,500 in medical marijuana registry

COLUMBUS — State officials say doctors have submitted nearly 4,500 recommendations in the medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry for Ohio.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced on Monday that the number of recommendations now totals 4,440, with at least 3,036 people completing the information online and activating registration e-cards.

The registry is the online portal where doctors certified to recommend medical marijuana can register patients and caregivers. It went live Dec. 3.

After the state confirms who they are, recommended patients and caregivers can get registration e-cards. The cards allow them to get medical marijuana from dispensaries once they open.

Medical marijuana is expected to be ready over the next few weeks or months.