The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

July 6, 2014

Ohio’s arson registry grows to 221 people in first year

AKRON — A year after Ohio created a registry to track convicted arsonists, 221 people are on the list.

The vast majority are men and many are living in prison or in urban counties, according to data released to the Akron Beacon Journal by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The state launched the registry last July as a tool for arson investigators, under the assumption that people caught setting fires may do so again.

At the time, state officials said they weren’t sure how many arsonists were living in Ohio.

It’s unclear if the registry has made a difference in any cases. The state fire marshal and an Akron investigator said they haven’t used the registry yet, but believe it’s a valuable asset to have available.

Fire marshal spokeswoman Lindsey Burnworth said it should be helpful for local fire departments, which may not know about an arson committed elsewhere in the state.

“It connects everyone,” she said. “It increases communication.”

The registry was modeled after the sex offender registry and is maintained by the state attorney general.

Unlike the sex offender list, the names of arsonists are not released publicly. Instead, they are provided only to law enforcement.

At the request of the Beacon Journal, the attorney general released where the arsonists were living by county as of July 2 and a breakdown by sex.

The agency would not release ages. Nearly 190 of the 221 arsonists are men.

Meanwhile, 44 were in prison or jail. Many others were living in urban counties: Franklin (25), Cuyahoga (24), Summit (14) and Montgomery (14).

In other Akron-area counties, there were seven in Stark, two in Wayne and one in Medina.

There were none registered in 45 counties, including Portage.

Under the law, anyone convicted of an arson crime or who was in prison for arson at the time the law took effect has to register with his or her county sheriff.

Convicted arsonists are required to pay a $50 registration fee and a $25 annual fee after that to help maintain the registry.

Anyone who fails to register could be charged with a fifth-degree felony.

Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Rain of asteroids melted early Earth, boiled its oceans

    When you look up at the moon’s pockmarked face, you’re actually staring at Earth’s early history. The rain of asteroids that pummeled the lunar surface hit our planet too - it’s just that erosion and plate tectonics blotted out the evidence. In fact, no rocks anywhere in the world survived to tell the story of the first 500 million years of Earth’s 4.5 billion-year existence, a tumultuous period of frequent impacts known darkly as the Hadean.

    August 1, 2014

  • As U.S. job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

    For millions of workers, happy days aren’t quite here again.

    August 1, 2014

  • Energy boom brings new focus on rail, pipeline safety

    The sharp increase in U.S. oil production and its promise of energy independence is coming with a disastrous byproduct: spills that threaten lives, communities and the environment.

    August 1, 2014

  • Deep-sea octopus goes without food for 4.5 years while watching eggs

    Talk about extreme parenting: Scientists have found a deep-sea octopus mama that faithfully guards the same clutch of eggs for an incredible 4 1/2 years — a record.

    July 31, 2014

  • Study finds 35 percent in U.S. facing debt collectors

    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

    July 30, 2014

  • U.S. blasts Israel for Kerry criticism

    The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

    July 29, 2014

  • Outlook on Medicare finances improves

    Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.

    July 29, 2014

  • Plan to simplify 2015 health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hospital shooting suspect charged with murder

    A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man seeks video of Oklahoma City bombing

    One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

    July 28, 2014

House Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video