OHIO LANDLORD WHIPPED TARDY-PAYING TENANT : WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio landlord is accused of whipping a tenant with a belt on his bare buttocks for falling behind on his rent.
Ron Kronenberger, 53, was charged with assault for the Jan. 22 encounter in his office, police in the village of Waynesville said. He was due in court Thursday in Warren County.
Police said the tenant, 29, was late with a $2,800 rent payment.
"If you're going to act like a child, I'm going to treat you like one," Kronenberger was quoted in the police report as telling the tenant before striking him four times with a belt. The report said the belt left "little marks."
Waynesville Police Chief Gary Copeland talked to the accuser, who reportedly told him he submitted to the whipping because "he was scared and just wanted to get it over with," according to the police report.
Kronenberger is a former chamber of commerce president who was Waynesville's "Citizen of the Year" for 2006. His home phone wasn't accepting messages Thursday.
MASS. BOY, TRYING TO AVOID BEDTIME, CALLS 911: BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — Police in Massachusetts say a 10-year-old boy called 911 because he didn't want to go to bed.
Brockton police say the boy made the emergency call just after 8 p.m. Wednesday and told the dispatcher he was calling to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed.
There was no emergency.
The Enterprise reports that according to the police log, an officer went to the boy's home and explained to him when it's appropriate — and when it's not — to call 911.
AUTHORITIES RAID THE SCOOTER STORE'S TEXAS OFFICES: NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) — Dozens of law enforcement officers have raided the Texas headquarters a power wheelchair and scooter company as part of an investigation into alleged fraud.
Authorities on Wednesday carried out a search warrant at the New Braunfels offices of The Scooter Store. Company officials didn't immediately return messages for comment Thursday.
Timothy Menke with the Office of the Inspector General says the investigation involves his agency, plus the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Texas attorney general's Medicaid fraud unit. An FBI spokesman declined comment.
The Scooter Store earlier this month cut 150 jobs and blamed pending government changes in claims processing and reimbursement. The company in September laid off about 220 workers, citing a drop in Medicare reimbursements.
CALIFORNIA'S RETIREE HEALTH LIABILITY UP TO $63.8B: SACRAMENTO (AP) — The long-term cost of providing health and dental benefits for retired state workers has jumped up $1.7 billion in a year.
State Controller John Chiang released a new report Thursday showing that California taxpayers are on the hook for an estimated $63.8 billion over 30 years. The unfunded liability as of June grew from $62.1 billion a year earlier.
Chiang says the liability grew less than expected due to fewer and less expensive claims.
California follows a pay-as-you-go method and allocated $1.8 billion in the current budget to pay for current and future retirees. Chiang says California should have really put in $5 billion to meet its long-term obligations.
The controller is urging lawmakers to pre-fund the benefits just as the state does for pension benefits.
PETERSON SCREAMS, THEN GETS 38 YEARS FOR MURDER: JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Drew Peterson — the swaggering Chicago-area policeman who gained notoriety after his fourth wife vanished — lost his characteristic cool in court Thursday, screaming out his innocence before a judge sentenced him to 38 years in prison for the murder of a previous wife.
"I did not kill Kathleen!" Peterson shouted, leaning into a courtroom microphone and emphasizing each of the five words.
Without missing a beat, his dead wife's sister, Susan Doman, shouted back, "Yes, you did! You liar!" before the judge ordered sheriff's deputies to remove her from the courtroom.
For years, Peterson had casually dismissed and even joked about suggestions he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, or that he was behind the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
His sudden explosion of fury Thursday as he stepped up to address the judge who would sentence him for Savio's 2004 death left spectators gasping. Lead state prosecutor James Glasgow said it exposed the real Drew Peterson — the one more than capable of murder.
'DOUBLEHEADER' FUNERAL SERVICE HELD FOR NY COUPLE: CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. (AP) — Norman Hendrickson was known for telling jokes and never wasting money. So when he died suddenly while en route to his wife's funeral, the couple's daughters knew there was only one thing to do: Hold a doubleheader service.
The 94-year-old World War II veteran's impromptu wake was held Saturday at the same eastern New York funeral home where his wife Gwen's funeral was already scheduled. She was 89 when she died on Feb. 8. After Norman died just steps from the funeral home, the daughters decided their parents would be mourned together at the same time.
The daughters said it was a fitting way to say goodbye to a couple who had been together since meeting in Europe during World War II and who had been married for nearly 66 years.
"After we had a little time to process the shock and horror, we felt we couldn't have written a more perfect script," Norma Howland told the Post-Star of Glens Falls. "My sister said the only thing he didn't do was fall into the casket."
FLA COLLEGE STUDENT CHARGED IN CLASSROOM STABBING: WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a university student in Florida stabbed a classmate with a screwdriver while uttering racial slurs during a statistics class.
Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson says 29-year-old Xavier Nunez uttered slurs and stabbed a black classmate several times in the neck and shoulder during class Thursday at Full Sail University.
The victim was treated at the scene and released. His name has not been released.
Williamson says the stabbing is being classified as a hate crime. Nunez has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
Full Sail University is a for-profit arts school located in Winter Park, about 10 miles northeast of Orlando.