State Briefing

Protest of oil pipeline blocks traffic in downtown Ohio city

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus police report an activist in a small group protesting construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline blocked traffic by handcuffing himself under a vehicle at a downtown intersection in the central Ohio city.

WCMH-TV reports other protesters chanted slogans like “water is life” as police and firefighters worked to remove the man from the minivan Monday. They used a saw to free him. Officers said the protester was facing various misdemeanor charges.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a group called Appalachia Resist said in a news release that the demonstration was part of a nationwide protest of the pipeline. The $3.8 billion pipeline is to carry crude oil from North Dakota to terminals in Illinois.

Native Americans and environmentalists say it will threaten water supplies and harm sacred tribal land.

Ohio State student arrested for attack at anti-Trump rally

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio State University student shoved a man down a flight of stairs during an anti-Donald Trump rally on the Columbus campus.

University police say they arrested 24-year-old Shane Stanton on Monday and charged him with a misdemeanor count of assault after he threw himself into protester Timothy Adams and sent the man hurtling down the steps.

Adams was giving a speech from a staircase landing in the student union building when the incident occurred shortly before 6 p.m. He wasn’t seriously injured in the attack.

University president Michael Drake tells the school’s student newspaper, The Lantern, that OSU protects First Amendment rights actively but does not tolerate intimidation or threats to students, faculty or campus visitors.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Stanton.

Big changes coming to beer sales in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Big changes are coming to beer sales in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Tuesday that will allow the state’s more than 1,000 beer distributors to sell suds in any quantity. That includes individual 32-ounce bottles, four-packs, six-packs and growlers.

The law takes effect in 60 days.

Also, it lets bars sell alcohol starting at 9 a.m. on Sundays, without a requirement to serve food, and allows consumers to legally participate in beer-of-the-month clubs that ship beer directly to homes.

Sporting venues also could sell mixed drinks.

Beer distributors had long sought to loosen restrictions on the beer quantities they could sell.

The changes arrive as state regulators increasingly grant six-pack licenses to convenience stores and after Wolf signed sweeping changes to liquor laws allowing wine sales in grocery stores.

Barn fire at Ohio poultry operation kills 22,000 chickens

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) — More than 22,000 chickens are dead after a fire at a barn in north-central Ohio.

The smoke was visible for miles as the fire burned Monday at a Mennonite poultry operation in Nova Township, north of Ashland. It took hours for crews from several fire departments to fully extinguish the fire.

Owner Matthew Van Pelt says he was cutting the grass when he noticed a fan blowing out smoke from the barn. The 500-foot-long facility was a total loss. All the chickens inside died, and thousands of eggs were destroyed.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Van Pelt says he suspects an electrical issue is to blame.