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Around Ohio: Rare newborn twins doing well; Bear roams downtown Youngstown; Attorney general warns o

Published: May 14, 2014 12:00 AM

Rare newborn

twins doing well

Akron -- A Northeast Ohio mother says her twin girls are doing well after being born with a rare condition.

Sarah Thistlethwaite, 32, says babies Jillian and Jenna were removed from ventilators May 11 after they were able to breathe comfortably. She tells The Associated Press that she and her husband Bill both held them for awhile on Mother's Day.

The identical twin girls shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. They were born May 9 at Akron General Medical Center, grasping each other's hands when doctors lifted them up for their parents to see after delivery.

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They were moved temporarily to Akron Children's Hospital because they needed breathing assistance.

-- Associated Press

Ohio leads country in metal thefts

Youngstown-- Wildlife officials are hopeful a young black bear that took a Mother's Day stroll near downtown Youngstown is back in the woods.

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The Vindicator reports that employees at a hospital just north of downtown spotted the bear around 9 a.m. May 11. Youngstown police notified the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which sent rangers to coax the bear out of town.

Youngstown State University Police sent out an alert telling people to stay indoors.

A state wildlife technician said May 12 that rangers harassed the bear to move along and that it was last spotted in a tree near some railroad tracks May 11.

Wildlife officers estimated its weight at between 115 and 145 pounds. Officers think it's a young male forced away by its mother.

-- Associated Press

'Hang on Sloopy'

official state song?

Columbus -- With the Ohio State University marching band providing the accompaniment, the Ohio House moved legislation May 7 designating "Hang on Sloopy" as the state's official rock song.

House Bill 283 codifies what many residents thought was already the case, given an honorary resolution adopted by lawmakers nearly three decades ago honoring Sloopy.

HB 283 passed on a vote of 82-0 and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. It was among a handful of bills approved by the chamber as lawmakers returned to the Statehouse for their first post-primary voting session.

Backers say it's an appropriate honor, given the songs Ohio roots - 'Sloopy' apparently was a woman from the Steubenville area, and the rock band that made the song famous was from Dayton.

The song has also become an anthem for the Ohio State University football team, prompting Buckeye fans to shout "O-H-I-O" during the chorus.

-- marc kovac, capital bureau

More penalties for drug dealers sought

Columbus -- A state lawmaker wants to increase penalties against dealers whose customers die from consuming the illegal drugs they provide.

Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) offered House Bill 508 as another means to cut down on drug abuse and addiction.

"... The drug problem ravaging communities throughout our state has hopefully shed light on this dark, dangerous, illicit business that continues to thrive, to the detriment of our kids," Butler said in testimony submitted to the Ohio House's Judiciary Committee May 7. "It is hard to make an argument that these vile entrepreneurs deserve anything other than the full force of our criminal justice system."

HB 508 would institute increased criminal penalties for drug dealers in cases where the people who purchase illegal drugs die.

Existing state law allows sentences of up to 11 years in prison for such crimes; the legislation would allow sentences of life in prison with or without parole, depending on the circumstances.

-- marc kovac, capital bureau

Ohio leads country in metal thefts

Columbus -- Ohio continues to lead the nation in metal thefts, with 1,446 insurance claims made last year, according to a new report.

A National Insurance Crime Bureau report released May 7 said the state reported more than 4,000 claims from 2011 through 2013 from homes and businesses, nearly all copper thefts.

That's about a third more claims than second-place Texas and about 40 percent more than third-place California, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The 1,446 claims last year in Ohio is about flat with the number in 2012 and up from 1,232 in 2011.

Thieves have stripped sheets of metal from rooftops, stolen decorations from cemeteries, ripped apart air conditioners for the copper coils and stripped homes of wiring and piping, then sold the pieces for scrap.

-- Associated Press

AG warns of home improvement scams

Columbus -- Ohio's attorney general is warning consumers about spring home improvement scams.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says warmer weather brings more door-to-door home improvement sales. He says consumers should be cautious and research the reputation of a business and individual contractor before agreeing to anything.

DeWine says consumers should check with his office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the company. Ohioans also can search the Internet and ask contractors for references from past customers.

DeWine says consumers have a three-day right to cancel most door-to-door sales and businesses must give written notice of that right.

The Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section has filed five home improvement lawsuits so far this year against contractors believed to be violating the state's Consumer Sales Practices Act.

-- Associated Press

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