MASON, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio theme park is adding another wooden roller coaster next year.
Officials at Kings Island announced its latest attraction Thursday and say Mystic Timbers will be the park's 16th roller coaster. The coaster will be more than 3,000 feet in length, reach 109 feet into the air and will top out at 53 mph.
The new ride is the park's fourth wooden roller coaster, giving Kings Island more than 18,000 feet of wooden tracks.
The coaster will be designed and built by Great Coasters International, Inc. out of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.
This is the first major new roller coaster announcement since 2013, when it announced the addition of the Banshee, an inverted steel roller coaster.
Mystic Timbers is expected to open in April 2017.
MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio tree that became a popular attraction for its role in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" has fallen.
Jodie Snavely, of the Mansfield and Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says high winds last week apparently downed the tree, which had split during a storm in 2011. The bureau was informed Friday about the downed tree.
The tree is featured in one of the final scenes of the 1994 film. The movie, based on a novella by author Stephen King, stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It's underneath the tree that Freeman's character finds an important letter buried by Robbins' character.
The tree sits on private property, but fans could view it as part of a series places in north-central Ohio related to the film.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio troopers will be targeting distracted driving in an enforcement effort that starts Sunday and includes their counterparts from five neighboring states.
The State Highway Patrol says this latest enforcement initiative from the 6-State Trooper Project will run through July 23.
The patrol's superintendent, Col. Paul Pride, says people should be fully focused on driving when they're behind the wheel.
The project includes state police in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They're partnering on efforts to improve highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence-sharing.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A proposal in Ohio would set certain rules for public access to video footage captured by police body cameras.
Legislation from state Rep. Niraj Antani (nih-RAJ' ahn-TAH'-nee) would spell out that body camera videos are a public record, except for footage recorded inside a private residence. The Dayton-area Republican also says his legislation would bar public access to videos taken of a minor or a victim of a sex crime.
Antani says in a news release Tuesday that Ohio's public records laws need to be clarified.
The state Legislature is currently on summer break.
The Ohio Supreme Court recently heard arguments over public access to police body camera videos and dash cam footage. The cases were the first substantive claims about such recordings to reach the state's highest court.
POWELL, Ohio (AP) — An animal care team administered CPR to an ailing alligator in front of onlookers at an Ohio zoo, but it wasn't enough to save its life.
WBNS-TV reports that officials at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium say the male alligator had been under veterinary care for weeks because of a respiratory condition. A crowd watched Saturday as the team performed CPR.
Zoo officials say the alligator's health continued to decline rapidly and he died Saturday night.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A recent spike in drug overdoses in Akron over just a few days is drawing renewed attention to what Ohio authorities describe as a growing epidemic of abuse of heroin and a more potent painkiller, fentanyl.
Emergency responders in Akron reported at least 25 suspected overdoses in three days last week, and four people died. Officials suspect at least some involved fentanyl, a synthetic opiod sometimes added to heroin or disguised to look like less powerful painkillers.
Meanwhile, in Columbus authorities say seven people were treated Sunday for what's believed to be opiate overdoses; one died.
In May, the state launched a six-month awareness campaign targeting 15 counties hit hard by fentanyl-related overdose deaths.
Ohio had roughly 500 such deaths in 2014. The Department of Health expects 2015 data by September.
CINCINNATI (AP) — A Brazilian street artist is honoring astronaut and Ohio native Neil Armstrong in a downtown Cincinnati mural.
The nonprofit ArtWorks announced Friday that muralist Eduardo Kobra's piece will feature Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon.
The announcement comes shortly before the 47th anniversary of the July 20, 1969, moon landing.
Armstrong later taught aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati. The Wapakoneta (wah-puh-kuh-NET'-uh) native died in 2012 in Cincinnati at age 82.
Kobra is known for his hyperrealism style and using colorful patterns. He plans to begin painting early next month. A dedication ceremony is planned several weeks later.
At more than 7,500 square feet, the piece will be the largest project in ArtWorks' 21-year history.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A newly released report says there's limited information about what happens to the thousands of juveniles who end up in the Ohio justice system.
The report released by the Juvenile Justice Coalition of Ohio says few of the state's 88 juvenile court systems keep comprehensive data on juveniles who pass through their doors. The nonprofit says fewer than half of the courts had a publicly available report on their cases.
State law calls on each court to prepare those reports annually and file them no later than June. The nonprofit is calling on the state to implement a comprehensive juvenile-justice data collection system for Ohio.
The report also found that spending on juvenile court systems varies widely from county to county, ranging last year from $116,000 to $45 million.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — When election time rolls around this November, Ohioans won't find any statewide issues on their ballots.
Groups working on proposed initiatives say they're not planning on submitting signatures by Wednesday's deadline to qualify for this year's election. But that doesn't mean those issues are off the docket for good. The signatures can be submitted for another election.
Advocates for the Drug Price Relief Act say they plan to continue picking up signatures to meet a September deadline for the November 2017 election.
The proposal calls for state agencies to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veteran Affairs. The measure went before the legislature, which didn't approve it.
A lawsuit filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America is challenging the validity of the petitions.
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a 4-year-old Ohio boy died at a hospital after falling into a swimming pool.
The Montgomery County sheriff's office says the child was discovered, not breathing, Saturday evening and was transported by the Washington Township fire department near Dayton. He was later pronounced dead.
The sheriff's office says the case is under investigation and that the coroner's office has been contacted. No names were released and no additional information was available Sunday from the sheriff's office.
LOVELAND, Ohio (AP) — Residents can still buy consumer-class fireworks in Ohio but this Fourth of July will be the first that doesn't require buyers to sign a former identifying themselves and acknowledging that state law prohibits using fireworks.
The so-called "liars law" required anyone buying anything other than sparklers and other novelty items to promise that they'd take the fireworks out of the state within two days. Rozzi's Fireworks President Nancy Rozzi says employees still remind consumers to comply with the decades-old law barring fireworks from being ignited in the state.
Ohio is among the four states that allow only novelties, along with Illinois, Iowa and Vermont.
Under state law, failing to take consumer-class fireworks outside Ohio's borders within 48 hours could result in a $1,000 fine and six months behind bars.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio's attorney general says cities can't set a minimum wage higher than what the state has set.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Thursday issued his opinion after a request by the Hamilton County prosecutor in Cincinnati. Prosecutor Joseph Deters had asked for DeWine's opinion on whether businesses would be subject to a minimum wage hike in cities when the General Assembly already has set the state minimum wage.
Cincinnati City Council voted in April to increase Cincinnati's minimum wage for full-time city workers and contractors to at least $15 per hour. Cleveland officials are debating a similar proposal.
Ohio's minimum wage is currently $8.10 an hour.
An attorney general opinion isn't binding. But it's often cited in lawsuits brought over issues related to state law and the Constitution.