Ohio State boat-engine team aims for speed record

Kevin Klosterman wants a new jacket, one with “Buckeye KiloWatt” on one side and a long list of winning years on the opposite sleeve.

But before he can get it, Klosterman and C.G. Cantemir will have to do two things: get their electric-boat program up and running and break the world speed record for such a boat.

That’s all. Piece of cake.

A few years ago, that would not have been easy, but thanks to new electric-motor technology developed by NASA, the two men call breaking the 98-mph record “low-hanging fruit.”

Klosterman, a boat enthusiast who has been involved with racing for years, and Cantemir, an Ohio State University researcher with the College of Engineering, worked for about five years on breaking the 2009 record. At the time, Cantemir said, there was no available technology up to the task.

“(I said) ‘If it becomes possible, let’s talk,’” Cantemir said. “Well, now it’s possible.”

This year, Cantemir heard about a project NASA was working on that involves electric and hybrid-power air travel. The project aims to reduce fuel and energy consumption by fixed-wing aircraft, such as jetliners, by 2035.

Continue reading “Ohio State boat-engine team aims for speed record”

Girl with progressive neurological disease benefits from Children’s clinical trial

Maria Graham shuffled through videos on her Facebook page, eventually stopping on one from 2014.

In it, 3-year-old Layla smiled, dashed around the living room and told her mother that she wanted to listen to one of her favorite songs.

Graham closed the video and scrolled to another one made of her daughter a few months later. In this one, Layla’s steps were more labored, and she struggled to speak the word baby.

“See, that was really hard for her to get out,” Graham said.

Layla is 6 now, and things have progressively become more difficult. She has Batten disease, a rare, degenerative disorder that renders its victims blind, unable to speak and paralyzed before it kills them. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects 2 to 4 of every 100,000 live births. Continue reading “Girl with progressive neurological disease benefits from Children’s clinical trial”

State will use Battelle DNA technology at crime lab

LONDON, Ohio — The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation soon will boost its DNA testing abilities, thanks to new technology from Battelle.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Thursday that the bureau is working with Battelle, the Columbus nonprofit research giant, to validate new DNA-sequencing — called Next Generation Sequencing — technology.

Traditional DNA testing uses capillary electrophoresis, a process of “stretching” the DNA to examine it and identify it by size. Next Generation Sequencing, however, looks at the nucleotides — the building blocks of nucleic acid —that make up sequences in DNA, said Richard Guerrieri, Battelle’s director of forensic and biometric initiatives. Nucleotides determine the characteristics of an individual, providing a more accurate DNA identification, Guerrieri said.

DeWine said the new technology has the ability, for example, to help identify human remains that are especially decomposed.

“Some of the human remains discovered are so degraded, so damaged, that current testing does not produce a DNA profile,” DeWine said. “When we move to (Next Generation) testing, we expect that we’l l get a profile or an identity on even those types of samples.”

DeWine said that down the road, Next Generation Sequencing also could be used in sexual-assault and murder cases.

Continue reading “State will use Battelle DNA technology at crime lab”

Re-enactors refight D-Day in central Ohio, honor veterans

It was a sweltering summer day as Preston McCollum sat in an airplane hanger and watched men in German officers’ uniforms walk by.“There were a few kids here, and two German soldiers walked by, and they said, ‘Don’t you wish you had a rifle?’ “ McCollum recounted, laughing good-naturedly.

The days of rifles and animosity were long over for the 90-year-old World War II veteran. Besides, McCollum spent most of his time in the Army helping people in the Medical Corps.

Most of the restored equipment, vehicles and uniforms at the Knox County D-Day Re-enactment near Mount Vernon were familiar to McCollum, though he hadn’t seen most of the items since he was an 18-year-old on foreign soil. This year’s re-enactment, the third since the event’s conception, featured a T-51 Mustang.

“I remember when I was over in Germany, I saw them a lot escorting other planes,” said McCollum, a Mount Vernon resident.
Continue reading “Re-enactors refight D-Day in central Ohio, honor veterans”

A night with the Ohio University Police Department

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Officer Zack Hahn stopped his cruiser on the side of the road to watch a tipsy resident wobble across Athens’ west side.
It was “Bar:30”on the Friday night shift, as Hahn liked to call it, and bargoers were beginning their long stagger home.
“People like that sometimes are worth keeping an eye on,” he said. “(You have to) make sure they’re walking with a purpose.”
During the first three hours of Hanh’s shift, most of the calls from Ohio University included cases of public intoxication, which he maintained was fairly typical.
“It’s definitely a quiet night, that’s for sure,” he added.
Those kind of “quiet nights” are becoming more and more common for the Ohio University Police Department.
Since 2013, the number of alcohol related incidents fielded by OUPD has decreased by 30 percent, hitting a five year low, according to an analysis of police records.

For the full story, go to ouparties.weebly.com

Despite pleas in annual report, Athens Fire Department understaffed

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 1.05.06 AMEmily Bohatch | News Editor

When Athens Fire Chief Bob Rymer compared staffing from his Athens departments to those of fellow college towns Bowling Green, Oxford and Kent, he said Athens staffing was “lower, lower, lower.”

With only 22 full-time members on staff, the Athens Fire Department has the highest ratio of firefighters to residents among similar college towns, with about 2,151 residents for every firefighter.

Kent’s ratio follows closest with a ratio of about 1,797 residents for every firefighter.

Though AFD is budgeted for 22 full-time staffers, Rymer said the department is currently short-staffed by three personnel. He added, though, that it is currently in the process of hiring two new full-time firefighters.

For Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl, however, 22 is enough.

Continue reading “Despite pleas in annual report, Athens Fire Department understaffed”

APD, OUPD said they’re both understaffed

Whether it’s the Athens Police Department’s mounted patrol mingling with raucous festers or officers lining Court Street in anticipation of a protest — law enforcement officers have an active presence in Athens.

Despite that visibility, both the Athens Police Department and the Ohio University Police Department’s administration maintain they are understaffed when considering the area they’re tasked to cover.

With a total of 49 sworn police officers policing a city of about 53,000 residents and students, Athens has a higher citizen-to-police ratio than Ohio college towns such as Kent, Bowling Green and Oxford.

“I would say that, especially in the past few years, we felt short-staffed,” said OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan.
Continue reading “APD, OUPD said they’re both understaffed”

OUPD sees uptick in marijuana related calls


The Ohio University Police Department fielded 160 drug-related calls in 2014.

For Martha Compton, the director of OU Community Standards and Student Responsibility, that isn’t exactly surprising.

“If there is a drug out there, I’m pretty sure it’s been on this campus at some point,” Compton said.
Continue reading “OUPD sees uptick in marijuana related calls”

Former Athens Sheriff Pat Kelly sentenced to seven years in prison

Former Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday morning almost a month after he was found guilty of 18 of 25 accounts in February.

Kelly’s sentence will commence immediately.

Kelly was handed three years in prison for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which included Kelly instructing friend Pearl Graham to facilitate criminal actions by selling county property, and then ignoring the county’s requirement to provide car titles when scrapping vehicles at McKee Auto Parts & Recycling. Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity is a first-degree felony.

Additionally, Kelly was sentenced to two years for perjury by visiting Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove and two years for separate counts of theft.
Continue reading “Former Athens Sheriff Pat Kelly sentenced to seven years in prison”

Students pay over $1,000 on trash fines

It’s common for Ohio University students living along Athens’ so-called party streets to wake up to a ticket from local officials taped to their door.

Those tickets, from the Athens Office of Code Enforcement, typically claim there is loose trash — e.g., beer cans, pizza boxes, solo cups — around the premises of the property.

City code officers hand out the citations most frequently during weekend mornings when OU is in session, or just after peak party hours.

A first violation trash ticket is $50, a new fee that Athens City Council approved Oct. 20. Additional violations increase $25 each until $150.
Continue reading “Students pay over $1,000 on trash fines”