Bank robber gets 20 years

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – An unemployed Washington state restaurant worker has been sentenced to two decades in federal prison for robbing banks in Illinois and two other states.

Forty-nine-year-old Carl Frederick Kieffer of Spokane, Washington, pleaded guilty in May in East St. Louis to charges linked to holdups weeks apart last year in O’Fallon, Illinois, Michigan’s Charlotte and in Lusk, Wyoming. He was arrested shortly after making off with $3,300 from an O’Fallon bank.

Kieffer also was suspected of bank holdups last year in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Ohio’s Tipp City and Bolivar, and Illinois’ Farmersville. Investigators say he confessed to many of those, though he was never charged.

U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan noted that Kieffer has spent 30 of his 49 years behind bars.

Conviction adds to sentence

CLEVELAND (AP) – Prosecutors in Cleveland say DNA evidence in another cold case helped add to the prison sentence of a serial rapist.

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that 54-year-old Ralph Kent pleaded guilty to one count of rape and was sentenced to 15 to 25 years in prison for the 1994 attack on a 66-year-old woman.

Kent had been convicted of three other sexual assaults and is serving time on two of them. The prosecutor’s office says he has a parole hearing set for this fall, but the latest conviction definitely will keep him behind bars.

The sexual-assault kit taken from the 1994 victim after the attack was among those submitted by police recently to the state crime lab, which matched it to Kent’s DNA profile in a database.

Man tried to suffocate dad

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (AP) – Police in a Cleveland suburb say a man from Florida is accused of trying to suffocate his 86-year-old terminally ill father at a nursing home.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that 58-year-old Steven Curtis of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is facing charges including attempted murder following the incident at a Brecksville nursing home early Monday.

Police say his father, Roy Curtis, died several hours after the incident, but the medical examiner hasn’t yet ruled on the cause of death.

A report said police were called after staff members witnessed an intoxicated Steven Curtis with his hands over his father’s nose and mouth.

Steven Curtis appeared in court Tuesday, and his case will be bound over to the grand jury. No attorney information was available.

Forum to focus on foster care

CINCINNATI (AP) – The second of five public forums around Ohio on the issue of whether to extend foster care for young people from the age of 18 to 21 includes state legislators and community leaders.

The forum Wednesday in Cincinnati is focusing on what happens when young people leave foster care and how extending that support might help. Currently, foster care covers youths to age 18.

Federal funding became available to states to expand their foster care services in 2008. Advocates say 26 states and the District of Columbia have since extended their foster care to age 21 or are in the process of doing that.

Advocates say extending care results in improved outcomes, with young people more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college and avoid homelessness.

Group releases gay marriage ad

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A group supporting gay marriage in Ohio is airing its first television ad as a federal appeals court prepares to hear oral arguments on the issue.

The ad from the Why Marriage Matters Ohio campaign features a gay couple from the state who married last October in New York after 50 years together. The two men discuss their long-term relationship in the 30-second spot released Wednesday.

The ad is expected to run for a week in the Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo markets.

Ohioans approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear two challenges to the Ohio ban on Aug. 6, along with cases from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Trimming helicopter crashes

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) – A tree-trimming helicopter carrying an aerial saw has crashed in western Ohio’s Logan County, injuring the pilot.

The aircraft crashed late Tuesday afternoon near Bellefontaine (behl-FOWN’-tihn), about 45 miles northwest of Columbus. The cause wasn’t immediately clear.

The South Carolina company that runs the helicopter tells The Columbus Dispatch the 53-year-old pilot from New Hampshire was critically hurt.

Bellefontaine’s mayor tells the Dayton Daily News the pilot was alert and conscious after the crash and was taken to a local hospital.

West Liberty’s fire chief says bystanders who witnessed the crash pulled the pilot from the wreckage, and he had pain in his limbs.

Panel to get update on food

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A legislative committee is ready to hear more about complaints facing the private food vendor that won the contract to feed Ohio inmates.

Reports indicate employees with Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services have repeatedly failed to provide food or run out of it since beginning work last September.

Reports also document several days when Aramark employees simply failed to show up, cases of unauthorized relationships between inmates and Aramark workers, and five reports since January of maggots in food or the preparation process.

The Correctional Institution Inspection Committee will hear from Ohio prisons director Gary Mohr on Wednesday, along with Aramark and the union representing prison employees.

Aramark has called the complaints part of an anti-privatization effort and says it’s making steady progress managing operations.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

o7276 ohoh- r n bx BC-OH-Youth Violence-Cleveland (AP 7-30-2014 06:04 EDT)

Group attacks youth violence in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (AP) – Spending more money on prevention programs and working harder to keep guns out of the wrong hands are among the proposals floated by a group in Cleveland working to slow down youth violence.

Treating youth violence as a public health epidemic and strengthening existing anti-violence programs also were listed by participants Tuesday. The panel includes prosecutors, mental health and medical professionals, and neighborhood groups.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports the group sifted through 18 short- and long-term solutions, developed over three years of meetings, and decided on the four primary steps.

The meeting was to finalize a “wish list” of everything the group said needs to be done to supplant “an infrastructural change” in violence. The group will continue to meet regularly.