State briefs


Ohioans warned of call scam

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohioans are being warned about suspicious calls reported recently in the state from callers asking if those answering the phone can hear them.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says similar calls have been reported throughout the country as part of an alleged scam to trick people into responding “yes.” That response is then used to place unauthorized charges on a consumer’s phone or utility bill.

DeWine’s release says those reporting the scam calls say they often appear to come from a local number and sometimes claim the consumer has won a vacation or cruise.

DeWine advises Ohioans to let calls go to voicemail or hang up, if they seem questionable.

Consumers also are advised to check phone bills and credit card statements regularly and report any suspicious charges to providers.

Some officials oppose Trump’s immigration order

AKRON — Officials in some Ohio metropolitan areas are opposing President Donald Trump’s order that put the U.S. refugee program on hold and also temporarily banned entries from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Cleveland City Council called the order un-American. Summit County Council in Akron also approved a resolution opposing the order.

Columbus officials say they’ll oppose using city resources to enforce federal immigration policy and plan to create a legal-defense fund to help affected immigrants and refugees.

Toledo’s mayor told The Blade the ban isn’t what Americans should be about.

Cincinnati’s mayor says it will continue to welcome immigrants and called it a “sanctuary city.” That label isn’t legally defined but has typically indicated reduced cooperation with federal immigration authorities on some immigration matters. Trump has threatened to withhold money from uncooperative jurisdictions.

Ohio Turnpike: Record 54.9M cars traveled in 2016

BEREA — The Ohio Turnpike says a record of 54.9 million vehicles traveled last year on the 241-mile toll road that crosses the state.

The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission reports that the total beat the previous record in 2015, which was 53.4 million.

The commission says it recorded the second most number of vehicle miles traveled— 3.037 billion miles. The record was set in 2006 and is about 2.6 million more than last year.

According to the commission, 57.1 percent of vehicles used E-ZPass, an increase of 2.2 percent. The turnpike collected $288 million in toll revenue in 2016. The commission says that was a 2.9 percent increase compared with $280 million collected in 2015.

Executive Director Randy Cole says relatively low gas prices were among factors in the traffic volume.

With $2.6M, Ohio creates network to support violence victims

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s attorney general is providing $2.6 million in grants to create a network of five trauma recovery centers to provide support services for hospitalized victims of violent crime.

The office says Ohio is the second state to have such a network, after California. The Ohio program is modeled on California’s network.

The funding will be split among hospitals and partner organizations in Cincinnati, Columbus, Springfield and Cleveland, which has two pairs of grant recipients.

The trauma recovery centers are intended to provide advocacy and mental health support for patients who have been victims of violence such as shootings, sexual assault, human trafficking or hate crimes. Center counselors will help such patients access victim services after they leave a hospital, too.

The grant funding comes from federal settlements, fines and fees.

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