State briefs


Kasich not worried about being bumped by Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday it’s too early to worry about whether Donald Trump might bump him from the first GOP presidential debate if Kasich decides to run.

“Let’s not put carts before horses,” the two-term governor told reporters in Washington, where he was trying to rally support for a possible bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

“We have a month to go, so let’s see what happens,” Kasich said, adding that he’ll announce whether he’s running on July 21.

The first confrontation between GOP hopefuls, set for Aug. 6, is to take place in Kasich’s own state. Debate organizers at Fox News Channel, backed by the Republican National Committee, have limited the debate to the top 10 candidates in national polling.

Trump would qualify under those terms, while Kasich would not.

The billionaire New York developer and reality TV star has dominated the news with his description of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists. Many Republican officials have condemned those remarks, but Trump has not backed down.

Republican donor John Jordan said Monday that GOP leaders should take steps to block Trump’s access to the debate.

Court says condemned inmate can make mental disability claim

CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court says a condemned Ohio killer who beat a 65-year-old man to death almost three decades ago can continue arguing he shouldn’t be executed because he is mentally disabled.

The ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati came in the case of Andre Williams, sentenced to death for the 1988 beating death of George Melnick of Warren in an attack that severely injured Melnick’s wife, Katherine Melnick.

The appeals court said Tuesday that state courts failed to properly apply federal law governing claims of mental disability in capital punishment cases.

The federal court said a lower court ruled improperly when it refused to recognize evidence of the 48-year-old Williams’ disabilities dating to when he was a teenager.

Prosecutors allege probation violation in football rape case

STEUBENVILLE Prosecutors are alleging a new probation violation by a volunteer football coach whose Ohio house was the scene of a party that preceded the 2012 rape of a girl by two high school football players.

Ohio Attorney General spokesman Dan Tierney says former coach Matt Belardine (BELL’-ahr-deen) is accused of violating his probation with a drunken driving arrest last week.

Belardine was sentenced to two months in jail last year after violating his original probation by being arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct in Arizona.

The 27-year-old Belardine pleaded no contest to one count of making a false statement and one count of enabling underage drinking for his role in the party before the rape.

A message seeking comment was left with his attorney.

Ohio casinos bring in $63.5M for June, $409M so far in 2015

COLUMBUS Revenue dropped from May to June at Ohio’s four casinos, though three brought in more than they did a year earlier.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission said Tuesday casino revenue in June totaled $63.5 million, a bit less than a year earlier.

Compared with June 2014, the Cleveland casino lost about as much as the other three gained. Revenue for the Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo casinos was up by a combined $2.5 million, but Cleveland’s revenue dropped by $2.6 million despite more table game and slot activity. A casino spokeswoman says guests in Cleveland were lucky last month.

The casinos have reported $409 million in revenue this year, on pace with last year. About one-third is collected in taxes and given mostly to counties, school districts and host cities.

Ohio city will follow state law on camera tickets

DAYTON — A southwest Ohio city will start following the new state rules on traffic camera tickets, while continuing its court challenge.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley says the city will keep its cameras on, but issue tickets only when an officer is present. A Dayton-based paper reports the decision was because of a state budget restriction passed last month that will withhold funds from cities to offset ticket revenues they collect through photo enforcement without officers present.

Legislative critics of camera enforcement passed the requirement for officers that took effect earlier this year. Dayton won an injunction against the new rules, among several cities fighting them legally. Ohio has appealed the injunction for Dayton, which now is asking Montgomery County court to allow it to keep revenue.

LeBron James hosting movie screening in Ohio hometown TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James is bringing a little Hollywood to his Ohio hometown.

The NBA superstar is hosting a private screening of “Trainwreck,” a new comedy in which he plays himself in a supporting role as the best friend of star Bill Hader.

James is showing the movie to family and friends in Akron on Friday, a few days before its premiere in New York. The R-rated film will be released nationally on July 17.

This is the first major acting role for James, who guided the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals this season. The four-time league MVP is currently a free agent but is expected to re-sign with the Cavs this month.

Hader, actress Amy Schumer and director Judd Apatow are expected to attend the invitation-only screening. James previously worked with Hader when he hosted “Saturday Night Live.”

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