14th Ohio meningitis illness reported
A meningitis case in central Ohio increases the state’s total to 14 illnesses linked to a larger outbreak and recalled steroid injections for back pain.
The Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday the additional case involves a 39-year-old Union County woman. Cases of rare fungal meningitis also have been reported in Clermont, Crawford, Franklin, Hamilton, Marion, Morrow and Warren counties.
Those cases involve adults, and none have died.
Federal officials report more than 360 illnesses and 28 deaths in the outbreak linked to a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts called the New England Compounding Center. It recalled its products.
Officials say dozens of Ohio facilities received the pharmacy’s products. Four clinics in Ohio received the potentially contaminated steroids, and patients that got those injections were urged to watch for symptoms.
Glitch delays delivery of voter records
A glitch in the transfer of change-of-address records is being blamed for a small number of Ohio voters’ absentee ballot requests possibly being rejected by mistake.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that the problem can be traced to a delay transferring some updated address records from the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office.
Husted just this week sent about 33,000 updated registration records to local elections officials. Because of the delay, an unknown number of absentee ballot applications had been rejected because county elections officials didn’t have some voters’ current addresses.
Officials in Cuyahoga County — which includes Cleveland — said 71 such applications were rejected. Those voters will be sent new absentee ballots. Numbers weren’t available for other counties.
Board sets caging rules for exotic animals
A newly formed board created by Ohio’s law on exotic animals has set temporary rules for cage sizes and caretaking of the dangerous wildlife.
The Dangerous and Restricted Animals Advisory Board met for the first time Wednesday to establish interim housing rules for regulated animals, such as alligators, cougars and lions. A legislative panel would have to approve the rules.
The advisory board decides the proper thickness of the animals’ cages and how they should be maintained, among other requirements. More permanent standards will be put in place when new state permits are required in 2014.
Owners must register their exotic animals with state officials by Monday. If they don’t, owners could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge for the first offense, and a fifth-degree felony for each subsequent offense.
Officials grapple with Internet cafes
Columbus officials are so concerned about the burgeoning Internet cafe industry that they called a public meeting to talk about how to deal with it.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that a city council committee convened the public hearing Tuesday to discuss the impact of Internet cafes on the community — especially as it relates to problem gamblers.
An official of a Columbus addiction treatment center told council members that about 40 percent of the people seeking help for problem gambling frequent the unregulated gaming parlors. The Columbus area has 37 of the state’s 819 Internet cafes.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has urged stricter regulations for the businesses, which offer computer games functioning like slot machines with cash prizes.
Home invader shot by resident
Police in northeast Ohio say a man fatally shot an apparent home invader.
The (Youngstown) Vindicator reports that the invader was shot inside the Boardman home Tuesday afternoon as a driver waited for him outside. Police said that the resident likely knew the men who came to the house.
The alleged getaway driver was apprehended after a foot chase through the woods behind the house. He and the resident of the home were taken into custody while investigators sort out what happened.
No names have been released.