TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A mass shooting that left nine dead in Dayton, an investigation into a Columbus doctor accused of ordering excessive painkillers for dozens of hospital patients who then died, and the closing of a massive auto plant near Youngstown that drew attention from the White House are among Ohio’s top stories in 2019 as selected by The Associated Press.
General Motors ended more than 50 years of car manufacturing at its massive Lordstown assembly plant in March, leading to a political firestorm all the way up to President Donald Trump.
As the Cuyahoga River neared the 50th anniversary of its infamous fire, federal environmental regulators declared in March its fish are safe to eat.
MISSING CHILD INVESTIGATION
A man who claimed to be a long-missing Illinois child was jailed in April after the FBI uncovered the hoax.
A suburban community near Cincinnati was shocked in April by the discovery of four bodies in an apartment. The husband of one of the victims was later charged.
After a decade-long legislative fight, a bill banning most abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat — one of the most stringent restrictions on the restriction in the country — was signed into law in April by new Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican.
A federal court panel ruled in May that Ohio’s congressional map was illegally gerrymandered, but it remained in place after the U.S. Supreme Court called redistricting a state political matter.
OHIO STATE TEAM DOCTOR
An investigation for Ohio State in May concluded now-deceased team physician Richard Strauss sexually abused young men throughout his two decades at the school, which now faces lawsuits by over 300 accusers and has promised a “ monetary resolution.”
A series of powerful tornadoes pounded western Ohio starting on Memorial Day, causing widespread damage, power outages and injuries.
Farmers dealt with seemingly never-ending rain in the spring across northern and central Ohio, with some saying it would take years to recover their losses.
OBERLIN COLLEGE LAWSUIT
A jury in June ordered Oberlin College to pay $44 million in damages to the owners of a market who said the school ruined their business by branding them as racists. A judge later reduced the amount by nearly half.
A doctor accused of ordering excessive painkillers for dozens of hospital patients who then died pleaded not guilty to 25 counts of murder in June, while his employer began settling wrongful death lawsuits and some nurses and pharmacists faced potential disciplinary action.
RED STOCKINGS ANNIVERSARY
Cincinnati celebrated the 150th anniversary of baseball’s first all-salaried pro team, the 1869 Red Stockings, with season-long events and tributes.
Problems mounted at the troubled county jail in Cleveland amid reports of “inhumane” conditions, abusive behavior by corrections officers and unsanitary conditions.
The western Ohio hometown of astronaut Neil Armstrong returned to the national spotlight in July as America marked the 50th anniversary of his historic moon walk.
State lawmakers and DeWine agreed in July to a roughly $1 billion financial rescue for Ohio’s two nuclear power plants that will add a new fee on every electricity bill in the state.
A gunman wearing body armor killed nine people in Dayton’s crowded Oregon entertainment district before police fatally shot him, ending the nation’s second deadly mass shooting in the first weekend in August.
SERIAL KILLER INVESTIGATION
A man the FBI says is the nation’s most prolific serial killer in August pleaded guilty to killing four women in Ohio.
A young woman accused of killing an unwanted newborn baby and burying her in her family’s southwest Ohio backyard soon after her senior prom was acquitted in September on murder charges, while convicted of corpse abuse.
Two Ohio counties struck a $260 million settlement in October with the nation’s three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker to avert what was expected to be a bellwether trial over the impact of an epidemic started by prescription painkillers on local communities.
Ohio State President Michael Drake announced his retirement in November after a tenure complicated by scandal.
OHIO STATE FOOTBALL
First-year Ohio State football coach Ryan Day led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season and a spot in the playoffs.
The British rock band The Who announced plans in December to perform in the Cincinnati area next year for the first time since 11 fans died in a stampede 40 years earlier.