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This Hour: Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment

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German retailer opening US flagship in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) - A German store that's the official supplier of lederhosen for the Munich Oktoberfest is opening a flagship U.S. store inside a Cincinnati brewery.

Wiesnkoenig (VEE'-sehn-koh-neg) is hoping its fashion-forward take on traditional clothing like lederhosen and dirndls takes off in America.

Wiesnkoenig USA is opening in the Christian Moerlein Brewery in Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

The neighborhood was founded by German immigrants in the 1800s and is now home to a fledgling brewery district.

A launch party for the store is planned for Wednesday.

Founded in 2007, Wiesnkoenig has five stores throughout Germany and sells in department stores there and in Switzerland and Austria.

The Cincinnati store will be its first presence in the U.S.


Water intake resumes after Ohio River oil spill

CINCINNATI (AP) - Ohio and Kentucky water districts have resumed taking water from the Ohio River after a fuel oil spill led them to stop doing so.

The Greater Cincinnati Water Works and the Northern Kentucky Water District stopped pumping drinking water from the river because of the fuel oil spill at a Duke Energy power plant about 20 miles southeast of Cincinnati on Monday night.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is coordinating continuing containment and cleanup of the spill that authorities have estimated could be up to 5,000 gallons.

The water districts reopened their intakes Tuesday night after finding no contamination in river samples.

A 15-mile river section, which had closed after the spill, also reopened Tuesday with some restrictions. Vessels traveling through must get Coast Guard clearance.


Brine hauler sues over biblical fracking billboard

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man who uses a biblical reference and a statement against "poisoned waters" on billboards opposing local deep-injection gas wells is facing a legal threat from the well's Texas operator.

Austin, Texas-based Buckeye Brine alleges in a July lawsuit that the billboards paid for by Michael Boals contain false and defamatory attacks against its two wells. They dispose of contaminated wastewater from oil and gas drilling.

The 55-year-old Boals refuses to pull the billboards. He says stating they "pump poisoned waters" underfoot is true. An environmental legal group argues quoting prophecy from Revelation - on men dying from waters "made bitter" - is hisĀ free-speech right.

The company says its well is safe and legal and the messages are misleading. It has taken its complaint to the sign owner.


Ohio abortion clinic ends fight over closure order

CINCINNATI (AP) - A Cincinnati-area abortion clinic has ended its fight with the state over a closure order and will stop performing surgical abortions on Friday.

An attorney for the Lebanon Road Surgery Center of Sharonville made that announcement Wednesday at her law office in downtown Cincinnati.

The move comes after a Hamilton County judge ruled Friday that he doesn't have the jurisdiction to change an order for the clinic to close from the Ohio Department of Health.

The clinic's attorney, Dorothea Langsam, says the clinic has decided not to appeal the order and will stop performing surgical abortions Friday.

That will leave just one clinic in the Cincinnati area that will offer surgical abortions, and none with late-term abortions.

Langsam says the clinic is looking into the possibility of performing non-surgical abortions.


States' longtime lethal injection expert ends role

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A leading expert witness for states defending their lethal injection methods has ended his role, creating another potential hurdle for states scrambling to find workable execution systems.

Mark Dershwitz, a University of Massachusetts anesthesiologist and pharmacologist, was the witness called by Ohio in support of its new two-drug combination that led to a troubling 26-minute execution in January.

The same drug combination led to a nearly two-hour execution in Arizona last month.

Dershwitz has provided expert opinions for 22 states and the federal government over the past decade. He announced in June that he would no longer do so, saying he didn't want to risk his professional license.

The news comes as states are running out of execution drugs and having difficulty finding alternatives.

Dershwitz' decision was first reported by The New Republic.


Health officials: 2 Ohioans have West Nile virus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio health officials have confirmed that two women have been hospitalized with the West Nile virus in state's first human cases.

The Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday a 24-year-old woman in Muskingum County and a 78-year-old woman in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County have been hospitalized with encephalitis. That's an inflammation of the brain caused when someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

The cases were identified Tuesday by the health department.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio says Ohio could see a growing number of West Nile cases. She's urging people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Officials recommend using insect repellant and wearing long pants and sleeves outside, especially at dusk and dawn.

The state health department has identified at least 120 positive West Nile Virus mosquito samples since mid-July.


Ohio family that sued over miniature horse appeals

CINCINNATI (AP) - The family of a physically disabled Ohio girl is appealing a judge's decision that dismissed their federal lawsuit over their city's refusal to let them keep a miniature horse as a service animal.

Ingrid Anderson and a housing advocacy group had sued the city of Blue Ash, alleging it violated federal housing law and protections for people with disabilities. Anderson's daughter used the horse as a therapy animal.

Blue Ash's solicitor argued the city was enforcing its ordinance.

A federal judge granted judgment in the city's favor and closed the case last month. He concluded Anderson hadn't proved it was necessary to keep the horse at their property and that the same therapy could be accomplished elsewhere.

Anderson is appealing to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.


Kasich mum on Democratic challenger's campaign

CINCINNATI (AP) - Ohio's governor is staying mum on his Democratic challenger's recent campaign problems.

Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) told reporters Tuesday at a campaign stop in Cincinnati that he pays no attention to the other side.

Two top aides to Democrat Ed FitzGerald have left his campaign, forcing the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County executive to readjust his strategy less than 50 days before early voting begins.

FitzGerald's campaign manager Nick Buis (byoos) and communications director Daniel McElhatton (MAK'-uhl-haht'-uhn) have departed. Further staff announcements are expected by week's end.

FitzGerald has been barraged with questions recently for lacking a permanent driver's license for more than a decade, an issue brought to the surface by 2012 police records that showed him in parking lot at 4:30 a.m. with a woman who isn't his wife.


Youngstown State sees drop in student enrollment

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - The freshman class at Youngstown State University has nearly 300 fewer students than last fall's class.

The (Youngstown) Vindicator reports that preliminary enrollment is down 6.5 percent from last year, but officials say the new class is the strongest academically it's ever had.

The new class has 1,717 students. They have an average grade point of 3.12, compared to 2.97 in 2013. Their average ACT score is 21.05, compared to 20.48 last year.

Gary Swegan, associate vice president for enrollment planning and management, said the decline was partly due to the university's change from an open-enrollment to an open-access university. That change to no longer accept every student took effect this fall.

Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was officially installed as the university's president on Monday.


Northern Ohio city fights algal bloom in reservoir

Officials in a northern Ohio city say its drinking water is safe as they battle a harmful algal bloom in a reservoir.

The Sandusky Register reports that test results released Tuesday for the body of water in Norwalk showed 22 parts per billion of microcystin toxin, up from an initial result of 10 parts per billion.

The city's public works director Josh Snyder says the EPA's limit for recreational use is 6 parts per billion.

Norwalk doesn't draw drinking water from the Upper Reservoir, but residents are being warned not to let pets drink from it.

Snyder says the city's treated water hasn't shown any algal toxins.

Earlier this month, toxins from algae in Lake Erie left about 400,000 people in Toledo without clean tap water for several days.


1 person injured in small plane crash in Ohio

BETHEL, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 72-year-old man is recovering from injuries after crash-landing his plane on his own property in southwest Ohio.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Roland Franke was piloting the homebuilt aircraft Tuesday evening when he experienced engine trouble.

Authorities say he had just taken off from a field on his property in Clermont County's Tate Township, about 30 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

They say he crashed while attempting to make an emergency landing back onto the field.

Franke was taken to a Cincinnati hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene, and the crash remains under investigation.


Police: 1 dead, 1 critically hurt in Ohio shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) - Cincinnati police say one man is dead and another was critically injured after an afternoon gun battle at a street intersection.

WLWT-TV reports that police responded to the shooting before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday where they found one man dead from apparent gunshot wounds. A second man was transported to University Hospital in critical condition.

Police identified the deceased victim as 21-year-old Antwon Ward.

Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told the TV station that the shooting was gang-related and that he believed it was in retaliation for a separate shooting in the same area that occurred this past weekend. He said the street has been plagued with violence and police plan to step up their presence in the area.


Ohio police say man was shot in back while in car

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in southwest Ohio say a man was shot in the back while sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.

Middletown police are investigating what led to the shooting of the 20-year-old man, who has been hospitalized for treatment. His condition was not immediately known Wednesday.

Police say multiple people were in the vehicle at the time of the Tuesday night shooting, and they are working to identify those in the back seat who might be responsible.

Other details were not immediately available.


Ohio's pharmacy board director to leave post

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The director of Ohio's pharmacy board is leaving his post in September and a new change in state law could impact his replacement.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Kyle Parker will step down as executive director of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy on Sept. 1.

The General Assembly approved a provision in a budget bill this June that eliminated the requirement that the pharmacy board's director be a pharmacist.

The board enforces laws governing the legal distribution of drugs. The agency also regulates Ohio's pharmacists and investigates potential license violations.

It wasn't immediately clear why Parker was leaving. Agency officials told the newspaper he did not want to be interviewed.

An Ohio Pharmacy Association spokesman says the group believes the director needs to be a pharmacist.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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