State briefs

Inmates escape from correctional center

LEBANON (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Ohio say two inmates serving time on drug charges have escaped from the Community Correctional Center in Warren County.

They were reported missing early Friday from the facility in Lebanon, about halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton. Sgt. Ryan Saylor of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office tells WCPO-TV it’s not clear how the men escaped.

Saylor says they were held in different parts of the facility but apparently left at the same, and authorities don’t know if they’re together. Officials say 34-year-old James Warren Adams III and 23-year-old Logan Michael Lee Fithen were wearing CCC-branded clothing when they disappeared. Authorities say they men will face additional charges for escape.

Former police chief accused of misusing donations

WILMINGTON — Officials say a former Ohio police chief used donations that were meant for a police K-9 on himself.

The Ohio Auditor’s Office announced Thursday Clinton Brown has been indicted by a grand jury on felony theft of office.

Auditor Dave Yost says donors gave more than $14,000 to the New Vienna Police Department K9 Fund in 2017, an account set up in Brown’s name so he could purchase a police dog.

New Vienna Mayor Kathi Stone later requested state officials to investigate how the money was spent.

Yost’s office says Brown acknowledged spending some of the money on clothing, food and gas.

He resigned as village police chief in December 2017.

Yost’s office says the village discovered outstanding bills of more than $3,000 after Brown resigned.

Mail carrier dies after minivan hits truck

WADSWORTH — The State Highway Patrol says an Ohio mail carrier was killed on his route when a minivan hit the back of his U.S. Postal Service truck as he pulled into traffic and he was partly thrown from the vehicle.

Troopers say 59-year-old Randy Irwin, of Macedonia, died at the scene of the Wednesday afternoon crash on state Route 94 in Wadsworth Township, roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Cleveland.

Investigators don’t believe drugs or alcohol was a factor in the crash.

They say the 31-year-old Doylestown woman driving the van suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital.

Authorities say she was wearing a seat belt, but Irwin was not.

The crash remains under investigation.

9 killed on roads during holiday weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says nine people were killed in traffic crashes around Ohio during the Christmas weekend.

The patrol says three people died in drug or alcohol related crashes during the five-day holiday period that began last Friday.

It also says three fatalities were related to the lack of seatbelt usage.

During this year’s Christmas travel period, troopers arrested 404 drivers for operating a vehicle while impaired. They also made 164 drug arrests and issued 635 safety belt violations.

3-week-old elephant dies at Ohio zoo

POWELL — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says an elephant born three weeks ago has died.

The zoo says the female Asian elephant died Wednesday after a sudden illness.

The zoo’s veterinary team says that the elephant appeared sluggish Wednesday morning and was found to have an infection. The team gave her fluids, antibiotics and blood plasma from her mother.

She initially seemed to rebound but then her health declined again.

The zoo had not yet named the elephant who was born on Dec. 6. It was the first elephant birth at the zoo in almost 10 years.

The elephant was born to a 31-year-old Asian elephant named Phoebe who was artificially inseminated with sperm from two elephants, one at the Columbus zoo and one at another zoo.

Fiona hits big milestone

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating another milestone for its famous premature baby hippo.

The zoo said Wednesday that Fiona has hit 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms).

The zoo acknowledges reaching that weight mark is more of a sentimental milestone since full-grown female hippos weigh about three times that. Senior keeper Jenna Wingate tells WVXU radio that it’s “a big deal” because the zoo didn’t know whether she would survive at birth.

Born nearly two months early in January 2017, she was 29 pounds (13 kilograms). That’s about a third the size of a typical full-term Nile hippo. She also was unable to stand or nurse.

A zoo staffer hand-milked her mother Bibi, and Smithsonian’s National Zoo helped develop a special formula. Nurses from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital put in a hippo IV.

Cincinnati looks to sell historic showboat

CINCINNATI (AP) — Show the money, get a showboat.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the city is looking to sell the Showboat Majestic, a 95-year-old riverboat that was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

Cincinnati’s parks department says the cost to maintain the old riverboat is too high, at some $100,000 a year. The boat’s floating theater hasn’t been used regularly for years.

It was previously for sale in 2014. A later proposal to move it across the Ohio River to Newport, Kentucky, didn’t work out.

The boat built in Pittsburgh provided entertainment to riverside communities for decades. Cincinnati paid $5,000 for the boat back in 1967, obtaining it from Indiana University.

The newspaper reports the city plans to list the riverboat on an online government surplus auction site.