Friday, 31 October 2014 13:48

Ohio Health Strengthens Ebola Traveler Protocols

Written by

As monitoring for Ohio contacts with now-Ebola free nurse Amber Vinson winds down, the Ohio Department of Health has issued new, stronger protocols for anyone coming back to the state from West African nations with Ebola outbreaks.

The new protocols call for daily health checks for 21 days for those who came back but didn't have exposure to someone who's infected, recording of their out-of-home trips and discouraging visits to public places.

For those with exposure to potentially infected people, the new Ohio Department of Health Protocol calls for a 21 day quarantine and daily health checks, with possible trips outside the person's home, but avoiding public places.

The ODH says the protocols are stronger than what the CDC recomments, while they say the protocols are still "respectful of travelers".

--------

(Ohio Department of Health, news release) Today the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) strengthened its protocols for managing travelers returning from West African nations that have Ebola outbreaks. The new protocols are stronger than those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while still being respectful of travelers and informed by the latest medical considerations for risk and exposure.

Highlights of the new protocols include:

· Returning travelers who had no exposure to a potentially infected person are to:

o Undergo daily health checks by a public health official for the 21 days of the Ebola incubation period;

o Record any trips outside their homes;

o Avoid public places;

o Remain within their health district unless they can make arrangements for public health officials in the district to which they are traveling to assume their daily monitoring, and;

o Remain within the United States for their safety and the safety of other travelers.

· Returning travelers who did have exposure to a potentially infected person are to:

o Be quarantined at home with daily health checks by a public health official for 21 days, and;

o Possibly be allowed trips outside their homes in some cases, away from public places, if public health officials determine they are at a low risk.

If public health officials have any doubt about a travelers' history or exposure, they should always default to a stronger, safer protocol level.

"Our goal is to keep Ohioans safe, period—both those who travel to West Africa and those who don't. We're considering a lot of different needs with these new protocols, landing on the side of protecting Ohioans' health while still working hard to respect the rights of travelers," said ODH Director Richard Hodges. "We don't want to build counterproductive barriers to those who have a desire to volunteer for medical relief efforts. We believe these new protocols are the right approach—strong, common sense, and informed by science—but we're also continuing to monitor the situation to keep our protocols in the right place to protect Ohioans."

ODH will work with local health departments to implement the new monitoring and quarantine protocols, and also meet whatever needs arise from those people who might be placed under a 21-day quarantine.

To help protect the privacy of individuals under quarantine or monitoring, ODH and local health departments do not release their names or other information that could potentially lead to their identification. Traditionally the number of travelers returning to Ohio from West Africa is very low, averaging out to approximately two per day. For the safety of first responders, local health departments will verify a quarantined individual's identity and status in the event first responders must respond to a request for help at the home.

Ohio's stronger health monitoring and quarantine protocols for travelers returning from West Africa can be viewed here.

Friday, 31 October 2014 13:00

Snowflakes Expected This Weekend

Written by

We're expecting our first snowfall of the season this weekend with temperatures dropping to around 30 degrees in the Akron area.

If you think it's too early for snow, it's not...

"It's actually fairly normal. We start to see the first flakes, typically, toward the end of October. Last year, the first trace of snow was measured on October 24," said meteorologist Jim Kosarik with the National Weather Service in Cleveland.

Kosarik says we won't see any significant accumulation this weekend. The first snowfall that sticks to the ground is usually recorded in early to mid-November.

Temperatures are expected to climb back to the 50s by early next week.

Click here for the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Friday, 31 October 2014 12:40

UA Freshmen Retention Better

Written by

The University of Akron is seeing a payoff with efforts to retain students. The retention rate among first-time, full-time Freshmen has jumped 7.5-percent.

"Typically, you would seee, with some good concerted efforts 2% or 3%, so we were thrilled that we were able to move the needle that far," said
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Stacey Moore.

Nearly 74% of Freshmen enrolled again.

Moore credits an overhaul in everything from admissions and advising to orientation and communications.

"We're no longer sitting in our offices sending out passive communications about where we are, so we shifted what we do in academic advising and beyond to be high touch, highly-relational, highly intentional and highly structured," said Moore.

Moore says the biggest gains were among students who are typically the ones that bring the average down.

Friday, 31 October 2014 07:23

VIDEO: A Bite Around Town

Written by

Not only is the paintbrush sitting on the counter in the back of the shop edible, but the attention to detail will make you look at chocolate in a different light.

Erin Rohr, owner of Chocolates by Erin in Massillon, likes to try new things -- like focusing on unique flavor combinations.

- Pumpkin white chocolate

- Maple pecan chocolate cups

- Dark chocolate with cranberries, blueberries and almonds

- Lemon meringue chocolate

This week, a Bite Around Town travels to Massillon to satisfy its sweet tooth...

Friday, 31 October 2014 04:34

AUDIO Buchtel Band: Size Does Not Matter

Written by

How can a marching band have a list of instruments that is longer than its list of members?

100 2570

That's what it takes to stage a marching band at Buchtel Community Learning Center.  There's nothing easy about putting together a high school marching band at any school.  It is, however, much easier when there are students who have access to instruments and students who can read music. Those basic assumptions about marching bands are not entirely true at Buchtel.Simple:  Just have most of the marchers play two instruments.

But they have not given up.

According to the band director, Lee Gibson, the program faltered a few years ago.  After all, schools are struggling to keep up with ever-changing academic standards, a revenue stream that is more like a trickle and a voter base that is sympathetic but worried about their own budget.  Those forces are much more powerful than research that suggests links between higher academic performance and students who participate in instrumental music.

Gibson has not given up.

At a recent practice there was one flute, two clarinets, one saxophone, one trumpet, one french horn, one sousaphone and five drums.  Only a couple of people were missing and a couple of those participating were alumni who just want to help.

Gibson says there are other students who would like to participate in the band but they don't have an instrument.  The school has an instrument rental program but even that is a problem:  First, there are almost no instruments available because they've been loaned to other Akron schools.  Second, Gibson says most of the students in the school come from families who can't afford to rent an instrument at any cost.

100 2568

But nobody has given up.

Most of the students have some of the fundamental music-reading skills that thousands of other band students in Summit County began learning as fifth graders and basically mastered before entering high school.  Gibson says has taught them a modified way to read music but the music they could realistically handle is limited.  They play pop music that the students and Gibson just figure out.

The students have not given up.

As for the number of instruments mentioned at the top of this article, Gibson says there's high demand from the stands for a drumline approach but he's concerned that if everybody plays percussion, there would be no band during the concert season, a concert band that does have additional members.  So, most of the students have a wind instrument and a drum.

Many other marching bands in Summit County will travel to Disney World, raise tens of thousands of dollars for uniforms, and offer scholarships.  At Buchtel, Gibson would just like to get some donated instruments.  You can hear from some of the students and hear the band in the audio file below.

If you would like to donate an instrument, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Thursday, 30 October 2014 17:45

Timken Steel Reports Big Increase

Written by

TimkenSteel is reporting a big increase in its net income.

The Canton-based steelmaker says its third-quarter net income went up over 50 percent to nearly 26 million dollars, on sales of over 430 million dollars, compared to the same period last year.

Timken says earnings per share are also up 107 percent compared to last year.

The company says it sees "continued strength" it its markets, and will continue to focus on sales growth.

----------

(TimkenSteel, news release) TimkenSteel (NYSE: TMST, timkensteel.com), a leader in customized alloy steel products and services, today reported third-quarter net income of $25.7 million on net sales of $434.2 million. Net income increased 50.3 percent, and net sales increased 23.9 percent compared with the same period in the prior year. Earnings per share (EPS) of $0.56 are 107 percent higher than adjusted EPS(1) of $0.27 for the third quarter of 2013.

"Our team's focus on executing the company's strategy delivered solid performance in this initial quarter as an independent company, enhancing shareholder value through increased profit. We also paid our first dividend and gained board authorization to repurchase up to 3 million shares through the end of 2016," said Ward J. "Tim" Timken, Jr., chairman, CEO and president. "We see continued strength in our markets and remain focused on sales growth from both our existing capabilities and recent investments, like the new jumbo bloom vertical caster."

THIRD-QUARTER 2014 FINANCIAL SUMMARY

Third-quarter net sales increased $83.7 million or 23.9 percent year over year.

Ship tons were approximately 284,000, an increase of 22.2 percent over the third quarter of 2013.

Surcharge revenue increased 36.0 percent from the prior-year quarter.
Increased volumes in the energy and industrial market sectors were the primary drivers for growth.

EBIT was $39.9 million, a 104.6 percent increase compared to adjusted EBIT(1) for the same period a year ago.

Third-quarter EBIT was favorable, primarily due to increased shipments in the industrial and energy market sectors and manufacturing productivity.
Melt utilization of 75 percent for the quarter is 110 basis points (bps) higher compared with 64 percent in third-quarter 2013.

BUSINESS SEGMENT THIRD-QUARTER RESULTS

Industrial and Mobile Segment

Net sales of $240.8 million, including higher surcharges of $55.6 million, increased 10.0 percent over third-quarter 2013, driven by demand in the industrial market sector.

Third-quarter EBIT margin of 8.4 percent is 130 bps higher than the prior-year third-quarter adjusted margin(1) of 7.1 percent, primarily due to favorable volume.

Energy and Distribution Segment

Net sales of $193.4 million, including higher surcharges of $48.9 million, represent a 47.0 percent increase over the third quarter of the prior year, driven primarily by continued growth in demand in the energy end markets and strength in the distribution channel.

Third-quarter EBIT margin of 14.4 percent is 730 bps higher than prior-year third-quarter adjusted margin(1) of 7.1 percent, driven primarily by volume increases and manufacturing productivity.

The company announced a $40 million investment in a new advanced quench-and-temper facility in Canton to produce value-added steel for demanding applications in energy and other markets.

OUTLOOK

Sales growth for 2014 is projected to be 20-22 percent over full-year 2013, driven by strength in our end markets.

Surcharge for the fourth quarter is anticipated to be $10 to $15 per ton lower and base sales per ton will remain flat to third-quarter 2014.

Annual shutdown maintenance and caster ramp-up costs in the fourth quarter are projected to remain flat with the third quarter 2014.

Fourth-quarter LIFO expense is projected to be $1 million to $3 million.

Fourth-quarter 2014 capital spending is forecasted at approximately $55 million to $65 million.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 17:11

Stow Man Pleads Guilty To Prosecutor Forgery

Written by

A 40 year-old Stow man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to forging the signature of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

According to Walsh, James Six applied to a temporary job agency with a letter stating that his identity had been stolen and his criminal record consisted of only misdemeanor convictions. At the end of the letter, he sighed it "Sherri Bevan Walsh, District Attorney".

 

 Courtesy: Summit County Prosecutor's Office

 

 An employee of the agency thought the letter looked suspicious and contacted the Prosecutor's Office. He was told to file a police report. The employee says this is not the first time this has happened.

"My office never sends out letters regarding criminal records having been expunged, says Prosecutor Walsh "Should anyone see a letter like this, allegedly signed by Sherri Bevan Walsh, know that it is fraudulent."

Six is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2nd.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:10

Akron Area Wins Million Dollar Educational Prize

Written by

The Akron area has received a big educational honor.

Akron and Northeast Ohio won the million-dollar award from the Talent Dividend competition. The award was announced Wednesday afternoon in Washington, DC.

The Akron area's winning entry was fueled by a large increase in students earning degrees at five area institutions of higher learning - The University of Akron, Kent State, Hiram College, NEOMED, and Stark State.

The area beat out 56 other cities that were up for the award.

---------

(University of Akron, press release) Universities in northeast Ohio won a national award today—and a million dollars to put toward programs that boost student success and graduation rates. Across the country, 57 cities competed for the million dollar award from the Kresge and Lumina Foundations and CEOs for Cities. The Akron region won by having the greatest percentage increase in students earning degrees. The University of Akron, Kent State, Hiram College, NEOMED, and Stark State all contributed to the prize-winning increase.

The driving force behind the Talent Dividend competition is the belief that a region's economic success depends on how much of the population has a college degree. According to CEOs for Cities President Lee Fisher, "Each one percentage point increase in degree attainment in Northeast Ohio has a positive $2.8 billion increase in the per capita income for the region. That's the Talent Dividend for Northeast Ohio."

(Kent State University, press release) Kent State University’s efforts to help students succeed and graduate resulted in a big payoff for Northeast Ohio. The university accounted for the largest increase in the number of new graduates among colleges and universities in the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of Summit and Portage Counties, Ohio, contributing largely to the region’s win of a $1 million prize from CEOs for Cities’ Talent Dividend Prize national competition. The Northeast Ohio Commission on Higher Education (NOCHE) coordinated the participation of five institutions of higher education that serve Summit and Portage counties.

The Talent Dividend Prize was awarded today to the metropolitan area that exhibited the greatest increase in the number of postsecondary degrees granted per one thousand population over a four-year period. Degrees from the 2009-2010 school year to the 2012-2013 school year were weighted with one point for each associate degree and two points for each bachelor’s or advanced degree. According to CEOs for Cities, the Akron MSA produced 2,139 more postsecondary degrees than four years ago for an astonishing 20 percent increase.

With Kent State’s contributions from its Kent Campus, the Akron MSA beat out 56 other metropolitan areas across the country to claim the top prize. Kent State graduates are responsible for 57.69 percent of the total gain in degrees in the Akron MSA, and using the competition’s point system, Kent State graduates account for 61.53 percent of the percentage point increase in degrees awarded. View supplemental data here.

“At Kent State University, we have a students-first approach,” said Kent State President Beverly Warren, who attended today’s awards announcement in Washington, D.C. “Our focus is on student success, providing all students with the opportunity and support to achieve their dreams and aspirations. I truly appreciate that CEOs for Cities recognizes the great work that our universities and region are doing to help students reach the finish line of graduation.”

Kent State’s faculty, staff and administration have dedicated themselves to improving student success and degree completion. The university has built on that dedication by improving academic advising, expanding support services and co-curricular experiences, and providing students with the Graduation Planning System, or GPS, that helps students track their progress to graduation.

“In addition, we have recently launched our ‘Formula to Finish’ initiative that encourages students to register for and pass at least 15 credit hours per semester,” said Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “By taking and passing at least 15 credit hours per semester, students will be on track to graduate in two years to get their associate degree or four years for a bachelor’s degree. Students who follow the ‘Formula to Finish’ program and graduate in four years versus six can save $36,000.”

The university is setting retention records, which also contribute to student success. This fall, Kent State reported that retention of its Kent Campus freshmen had increased to 81.7 percent, up from last year’s record retention level of 77.6 percent. This represents the percentage of freshmen who continue their studies at the university for their sophomore year.

In addition, the Kent Campus welcomed its highest-achieving freshman class this fall while also setting a new all-time high enrollment record. The academically motivated freshmen have an average grade point average (GPA) of 3.34 and average ACT score of nearly 23; both are records for an incoming class. Unduplicated headcount at the Kent Campus for fall 2014 is 28,457, exceeding last year’s record of 28,019. This marks the eighth consecutive year of enrollment growth on the Kent Campus.

Kent State recognizes the very important role that higher education plays in terms of being an economic driver with a local and regional impact, Warren said.

“We all know that educational access and attainment are linked inextricably to regional prosperity,” Warren said. “And so we must also be vigilant about economic development. The great news is that our region is brimming with leaders in the public and private sectors who are committed to economic development in word and deed.”

A 2010 economic impact study to commemorate the university’s centennial reported that Kent State’s eight-campus system generates $1.96 billion in added income to the Northeast Ohio economy. This includes $1.6 billion attributed to raising the educational attainment and productivity of the workforce; $292 million in added income due to Kent State’s business, employment and research operations; and $64 million generated from Kent State attracting nonlocal students and visitors to the region.

Kent State will receive $143,750 of the $1 million Talent Dividend Prize money. The university intends to invest the dollars in programs geared toward college completion. Other higher education institutions in the Akron MSA that also will receive a portion of the prize money are Hiram College, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), Stark State College and the University of Akron.

# # #

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 13:58

Cavs Hosting Free Fan Event Before Home Opener

Written by

Those who don't have a ticket for tomorrow's Cavs game as they open their season at home with Akron's own LeBron James will get a chance to experience the hype with a free event before tip-off.

Not only can you watch the game in downtown Cleveland's Gateway District with a free viewing party, but you'll hear from Grammy-winning rock band Imagine Dragons and hip-hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar.

Lamar's latest single "i" is featured in a promotional campaign for Turner Sports highlighting the start of the new NBA season.

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart will be making a guest appearance. The fan fest is free, hosted by Turner Sports and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The event starts at 4 p.m. before the game in the Huron (Stark) Parking Lot (directly across from The Q).

Once the Cavs and Knicks tip-off, the event will turn into a viewing party with the game shown on massive video boards that will be set up in the space.

(Press Release)

WHEN:

Thursday, October 30, 2014
4:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET
Free Event Open to the Public
The Huron (Stark) Parking Lot (surface lot directly across from The Q)

WHO:

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Turner Sports will bring a free fan event and viewing party to downtown Cleveland's Gateway District.

WHAT:

The Cleveland Cavaliers will tipoff the most anticipated season in the team's history on Thursday night October 30th when they host the New York Knicks as part of TNT's national broadcast of NBA Opening Week.

To commemorate the evening, Turner Sports and the Cavs will host a free fan event outside Quicken Loans Arena that will feature a musical performance by hip-hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar, as well as appearances by the Cavalier Girls dance team, the Scream Team hip-hop troupe and more. Once the Cavs game begins, the event will serve as a viewing party for fans with the TNT broadcast featured on the massive video boards that will be set up in the space.

The free event will be open to the public beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Huron (Stark) parking lot (directly across the street from The Q). Turner Sports will feature footage from the event and Kendrick Lamar's performance, sponsored by Samsung GALAXY Note 4, within the hour-long TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com. With a special guest appearance by Kevin Hart and NBA TV's Inside Stuff host Kristen Ledlow, the special will air at 7:00 p.m. ET before TNT's coverage of the Cavaliers vs. Knicks game tips off at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Top Dawg Entertainment recording artist Kendrick Lamar's latest single "i" is featured in Turner Sports' promotional campaign highlighting the tip off of the 2014-15 NBA regular season, with a 30-second video currently available at NBA.com.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 09:19

Cop-Killer Thompson Remains On Death Row

Written by
Ashford Thompson will not only remain in prison for the murder of Twinsburg police officer Joshua Miktarian in 2008 -- but he'll stay on Death Row with the clock ticking down the seconds on his execution date.
 
The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that any hint of prosecutorial misconduct in his trial wasn't enough to overturn his conviction for shooting Miktarian to death during a traffic stop because of loud music coming from Thompson's vehicle. Thompson shot Miktarian in the head four times; his license and registration were still in Miktarian's pocket when police arrived minutes after the shooting after dispatchers couldn't raise Miktarian on the radio after he requested backup.
 
Thompson also tried to have the court overturn his death sentence and on that issue the Court split 4-3 with justices French, O'Connor,  O'Donnell and Kennedy voting in the majority. 
 
- - -
 
(Ohio Supreme Court) The Ohio Supreme Court today ruled in the case of Ashford L. Thompson, who was convicted in 2010 for the murder of Twinsburg police officer Joshua Miktarian during a traffic stop.
 
In an opinion written by Justice Judith L. French, the court unanimously affirmed Thompson’s convictions for the murder and other crimes. However, the court split 4-3 on imposing a sentence of death.
 
In July 2008, Thompson picked up his girlfriend after midnight, and they went to a bar. An hour or two later, Officer Miktarian started following Thompson’s car because of loud music coming from the vehicle. Thompson turned into his driveway, and the officer called dispatch to report that he was making a traffic stop and pulled in behind Thompson. The officer’s police dog was in the cruiser. A few minutes later, Miktarian requested backup. A dispatcher relayed that Thompson had a license to carry a concealed handgun, but Miktarian never responded.
 
Witnesses reported yelling and popping sounds. When additional officers arrived at the scene, Miktarian was found on the ground next to his cruiser, and no other vehicles were in the driveway. Thompson’s driver’s license and insurance card were in Miktarian’s front shirt pocket. Miktarian had been shot four times in the head.
 
Soon after, police went looking for Thompson at a prior address – his sister’s house in Bedford Heights. When an officer stepped into the house, he found Thompson with a pair of handcuffs dangling from one wrist. The handcuffs were later determined to belong to Miktarian. Thompson struggled with the officer but was eventually arrested. A handgun found on the stove was also seized.
 
A jury convicted Thompson of aggravated murder with specifications that carried the death penalty, including purposely killing a police officer. He was also found guilty of escape, resisting arrest, tampering with evidence, and carrying a concealed weapon. The jury recommended a death sentence, and the court agreed.
 
Thompson appealed the conviction and death sentence directly to the Ohio Supreme Court. He presented 18 claims of errors during his trial.
 
One issue raised was a mistake in the trial court’s June 23, 2010, sentencing opinion. The opinion merged two felony escape charges, even though one of the charges had already been dismissed. The opinion then claimed to sentence Thompson on the dismissed escape offense, which carried a longer prison term.
 
However, in the trial court’s journal entry the next day, the court correctly sentenced Thompson on only the single felony escape offense for which he was found guilty. The entry eliminated any reference to the dismissed escape charge and the incorrect prison sentence.
 
Justice French explained that the Supreme Court may consider both the trial court’s sentencing opinion and the subsequent journal entry to determine whether it has jurisdiction to consider Thompson’s appeal. Together, the documents met the necessary requirements for a final appealable order.
 
Thompson also made several claims of prosecutorial misconduct, which he argued deprived him of due process and a fair trial. Justice French concluded that some statements made by the prosecutor were inappropriate. In closing arguments during the trial phase, the prosecutor asked, “How much more do you think the Defense is willing to deceive you to find out—find the defendant not guilty?” Justice French noted that the state may not suggest that the defense’s case was dishonest. The prosecution also improperly suggested that Thompson had pressured his girlfriend to lie in the trial with no evidence to support the claim and that Thompson was “obsessing and controlling,” implying negative conclusions about Thompson’s character, Justice French added.
 
While these comments were not acceptable, none were so substantial that they changed the outcome of Thompson’s trial, Justice French reasoned.
 
The court rejected Thompson’s numerous other charges of misconduct by the prosecution. Thompson’s other arguments – related to the selection and dismissal of some jurors, pretrial publicity concerning Thompson’s original guilty plea that was withdrawn, and comments by a bar patron – also lacked merit, Justice French wrote.
 
The court concluded that the evidence supported the jury’s finding of two aggravating circumstances – that Thompson murdered an on-duty law enforcement officer and that he committed the murder to escape detection for another offense, such as resisting arrest or carrying a concealed weapon.
 
The court reviewed factors that might lessen Thompson’s punishment. Thompson was a licensed practical nurse who assisted patients who lived in difficult neighborhoods. As a result, he obtained a license to carry a concealed weapon to protect himself. He had a stable upbringing and was close to his family. He did not have a significant criminal history, and he expressed remorse for the murder.
 
However, the court found that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors, and the death penalty in this case was proportionate to death sentences imposed in other similar cases.
 
Joining the four-justice majority opinion affirming the death sentence were Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Terrence O’Donnell and Sharon L. Kennedy.
 
Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, in an opinion joined by Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, concurred with the majority in affirming Thompson’s convictions but dissented on the death sentence. He concluded that Thompson’s history, character, and background were sufficient to outweigh the aggravating circumstances in the case, so he would have sentenced Thompson to life without parole.
 
In a separate opinion, Justice William M. O’Neill also concurred in the convictions but dissented on the death penalty. He took issue with contention that Thompson killed the officer to escape detection or punishment for another offense. While the record showed that Thompson did violate a noise ordinance and resisted arrest, the testimony of Thompson and his girlfriend refuted the theory that Thompson was trying to avoid responsibility, Justice O’Neill wrote.
 
Instead, he added, the evidence indicated that Thompson was confused and frightened and incorrectly thought that Miktarian was going to release his police dog or shoot him. Justice O’Neill concluded that the allegation that Thompson killed the officer to escape detection or punishment was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
Justice O’Neill expressed gratitude and sympathy for the officer’s family. However, he reasoned that the only aggravating factor remaining for Thompson – killing a police officer – did not outweigh the mitigating factors in the case to justify imposition of the death penalty.
 
“[T]he evidence in this record establishes that this was a routine traffic stop gone tragically wrong,” he wrote. “This case is not in the same category as the premeditated intentional taking of the life of another.”
Page 1 of 580