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Summit County tops Ohio in meth labs

Akron -- Authorities say Summit County is a hotbed of methamphetamine production.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the county sheriff's drug unit found another 85 meth lab sites in 2013.

The multi-jurisdictional group now has identified more than 900 meth labs and places where meth equipment was dumped in Summit County since 2001. That's more than in any other Ohio county.

The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network says in a new drug trend report that the availability of meth has increased in the Akron-Canton area, partly because the drug has become easier to make. The drug report rates the availability of meth in the Akron-Canton area as a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Clandestine Laboratory Register lists 395 meth sites in Summit. Highland County, in southwest Ohio, is a distant second with 58.

Community and law enforcement officials here say they are much more aggressive in going after meth labs, and that has led to the misconception that it's a bigger problem in Summit County than elsewhere.

-- Associated Press

Two teens dead in Barberton shooting

Barberton -- Police say two teenagers were killed in a Summit County shooting New Year's Eve that also injured their father and their father's girlfriend.

The Barberton Police Department said the shooting was committed early in the evening by unknown people trying to rob a house.

Police in the small city near Akron identified the victims Jan. 1 as 18-year-old Ashley Carpenter and 14-year-old David Kohler-Carpenter, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say they are the children of 42-year-old John Kohler, who was injured in the assault along with his girlfriend, 38-year-old Ronda Blankenship. Police say both were taken to Akron hospitals.

-- Associated Press

Second Dem may enter governor race

Cincinnati -- Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune tells The Cincinnati Enquirer he wants to enter the Ohio governor race because, "there needs to be a choice."

Democrats have set their sights on taking back the governor's office from Republican John Kasich in 2014, but a primary could be costly for the party and the candidates.

The 55-year-old Portune spent the last two decades as a Cincinnati City Councilman or Hamilton County commissioner.

He says he'll travel throughout Ohio next month to gauge support before deciding whether to file as a candidate.

County Executive Ed FitzGerald has been considered the Democrats' presumptivegubernatorial nominee.

-- Associated Press

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