News from around the Buckeye State

Ohio woman gets 18 to life in boy’s fatal beating

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — One of the three women charged after the fatal beating of a 5-year-old boy at an Ohio motel has been sentenced to 18 years to life in prison.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports 29-year-old Rachel Bostian was sentenced Monday in Butler County. She pleaded guilty to murder and child endangering last month.

Alexander Stephens died from his injuries in April after police found him and his injured 6-year-old brother in Middletown.

Bostian told the judge if she could give her life to get his back, she would.

Police say Alexander’s mother, Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, and Bostian had tied him up for nearly a day and severely beat him. Hawkins-Stephens also pleaded guilty to murder and child endangering charges.

Bostian’s mother pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced last month.

City to pay $780K after girl hit when officer fired at dog

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus City Council is expected to approve a $780,000 lawsuit settlement payment to the family of a girl who was shot in the leg when a policeman fired.

Then-4-year-old Ava Ellis was accidentally shot in June 2015 at a home in Whitehall.

Police say the girl’s mother had cut herself on glass, and another relative had flagged down the officer for help. Police say the officer fired at a charging dog, but Ava’s family says the roughly 40-pound bulldog mix was retreating inside from the porch and the officer fired unnecessarily.

Ava’s parents and their attorney accused the policeman of acting recklessly with children nearby on the porch.

The family says the bullet broke Ava’s leg, and she had to have surgery.

Ohio gas prices down to start the workweek

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices in Ohio are down compared with last week and slightly lower than a month ago.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was $2.07 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s a drop from $2.16 a week ago and from $2.10 last month.

The average price in Ohio at this time last year was $2.24.

According to the survey, Ohio’s average price was lower than the nation’s.

The national average price Monday was $2.18, down two cents from a week ago and up five cents from the same time last month. The average national price a year ago was $2.35.

Democratic special primary to be held in Ohio US House race

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A former congressional staffer is set to be formally nominated without opposition as the Democratic challenger against recently elected Republican U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson in former House Speaker John Boehner’s home district.

But Steve Fought still has to go through a primary election Tuesday to officially replace former Democratic Party congressional candidate Corey Foister.

Foister abruptly withdrew from the race. State laws required the special primary.

Fought will become the nominee when the first certified voter casts his or her ballot for the Mercer County native.

Davidson won a June 7 special election to complete Boehner’s term with 77 percent of the vote and will seek a full term in November in the GOP-dominated, six-county 8th District.

Ohio coroner’s offices face shortage amid spike in cases

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Coroner’s offices in central Ohio are struggling to fill positions as caseloads increase and more doctors seek employment in the private sector.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the number of cases Ohio coroners and medical examiners are dealing with has been on the rise amid a drug-overdose crisis sweeping the state.

The Franklin County office performed 1,778 autopsies in 2015, up from 1,420 in 2014. That number is expected to jump to 1,854 in 2016. Records show the office has four forensic pathologists and one chief deputy coroner.

The newspaper reports that offices in Ohio are facing the risk of losing national accreditation due to a stagnant pool of pathologists and increasing cases. Officials say losing accreditation could damage their credibility when testifying in court.

Police: Man, ex-wife found dead in suspected murder-suicide

MORROW, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police say a man fatally shot his ex-wife in a murder-suicide near a suburban Cincinnati school.

Hamilton Township Police Chief Scott Hughes says 39-year-old David Garrett was holding an assault-style rifle in the driveway of the woman’s home when officers arrived there Sunday afternoon.

Hughes said Garrett told the officers he had just shot his ex-wife, 41-year-old Traci Fletcher-Garrett, and asked police to shoot him. Hughes said Garrett then shot himself.

The shooting prompted the temporary lockdown of a nearby school.

Little Miami School District had advised Sunday afternoon on its Twitter account that the high school and junior high buildings were on lockdown and that roads around campus were closed.

All buildings have since reopened, and the schools were operating on a normal schedule Monday.

High school closed after part of building catches fire

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A high school in northeast Ohio will be closed on Monday after a section of the building caught fire over the weekend.

The Akron Fire Department says firefighters were called to Ellet High School Saturday night and found light smoke throughout the hallways. Firefighters later found the fire and extinguished it.

A spokesman for Akron Public Schools tells the Akron Beacon Journal the fire is thought to have started in the building’s maintenance office. It damaged a section of the building that houses the school’s construction program.

There were no reported injuries.

The fire caused an undetermined amount of damage. An investigation is ongoing.