NORTHEAST OHIO

Local fire departments

awarded state grants

Sixty-four Ohio fire departments, including several in the Akron area, were chosen to receive a share of $693,000 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) under a program to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other health hazards encountered during work.

Several of the departments were awarded money to extractors with funding awarded under BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which helps departments purchase safety gear, exhaust systems and specialized washing machines. Because residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments, it is important not only to wear appropriate protective gear but also to ensure it is cleaned properly.

The grant program, announced as a component of BWC’s 2017 rebate, provides a five-to-one match up to $15,000 for public and private employers with annual payroll of at least $500,000. No match is required for employers with less than $500,000 in payroll. More about the program is available at www.bwc.ohio.gov.

Akron-area fire departments that received grants include:

Medina County: Brunswick Hills Township ($6,100 to purchase 40 hoods and 40 gloves), the city of Medina ($9,916 to purchase an extractor and base) and Sharon Township ($2,816 to purchase 40 gloves).

Portage County: Charlestown Township ($12,369 to purchase an extractor, 15 gloves and 15 hoods) and Paris Township ($12,763 to purchase an extractor).

Stark County: Marlboro Township ($6,997 to purchase an extractor).

Summit County: New Franklin ($14,691 to purchase an extractor, 16 hoods and 18 gloves) and the city of Twinsburg ($12,118 to purchase two extractors).

Wayne County: East Union Township ($14,998 to purchase an extractor, 34 hoods and 34 gloves).

CLEVELAND

Man gets death penalty 

in slayings of 3 women

An Ohio man has received a death sentence for killing a woman and her two adult daughters at their North Royalton home.

George Brinkman Jr., 46, didn't address the panel of judges as he was formally sentenced Friday in Cuyahoga County.

His lawyer, Fernando Mack, unsuccessfully argued they should spare Brinkman. Mack indicated Brinkman doesn't plan to appeal the sentence.

Brinkman had pleaded guilty to aggravated murder charges in the June 2017 slayings of Suzanne Taylor, 42, Taylor Pifer, 21, and Kylie Pifer, 18, in North Royalton. Authorities say Brinkman was a family friend, and the motive remains unclear.

Brinkman is separately charged in Stark County for two more slayings that month. A couple were found shot at their Lake Township home where he was house-sitting.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY

Man accused of fatally

running over his mom

Police near Cleveland say a man has been charged with striking and killing his mother with a vehicle inside a garage on Christmas Day.

Authorities in Mayfield Heights said that 35-year-old Vincent Varone has been charged with aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault.

Court records don't indicate whether he has an attorney.

Police say Varone hit his mother in the garage of a home early on Dec. 25. Officers say they found a vehicle inside the garage that appeared to have been rammed into the house.

They say Theresa Varone, 61, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities later said Vincent Varone was being evaluated at a medical institution.

STATE NEWS

Bill would make 18

minimum age to marry

The minimum age to marry in Ohio would be 18 with few exceptions if Republican Gov. John Kasich signs a bill sent to him last week by lawmakers with bipartisan support.

The current minimum is 18 for males but 16 for females if their parents allow it. The Dayton Daily News has reported judges also approved exceptions for marriages involving dozens of younger, pregnant teens between 2000 and 2015.

The new legislation still would let 17-year-olds wed someone up to four years older if a juvenile court approves and they wait two weeks. It also requires documentation of age from anyone seeking a marriage license.

Advocate Jeanne Smoot of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center tells the newspaper the bill is a "major step" to guard against abuse and exploitation.