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Village along Erie reports ‘erosion emergency’

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio village along Lake Erie is experiencing what officials describe as an “erosion emergency” because the lake hasn’t frozen over.

With more waves pounding the shore, erosion has eaten away more than 40 feet (12 meters) of land from a park in Geneva-on-the-Lake in a two-week span, village administrator Jeremy Shaffer said.

The damage started earlier this month. Lake Erie broke its February high water record that it set in 1987, and it’s expected to continue setting records through May.

Less than half of a percent of Lake Erie had ice on Feb. 10. On average, about two-thirds of the lake has ice coverage on that date, Cleveland.com reported.

“Water is crashing into shore and hitting areas it never hit before, and a lot of the earlier erosion control is now under water,” Shaffer told the outlet.

The village is seeking a short-term emergency response, such as putting rocks along the shoreline. Shaffer said a complete erosion control solution could cost an estimated $1.3 million.

Man dead after trench collapse

NEWARK (AP) — A man was killed in a reported trench collapse at a construction site in central Ohio, authorities said Monday.

Granville Township Fire Chief Casey Curtis confirmed the death at a property just north of Interstate 70 in Licking County, roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Columbus. Officials didn’t immediately release further details, including the man’s identity and the nature of the construction project.

As emergency responders were sent to the scene Monday morning, scanner traffic had indicated one person was trapped in a trench about 10 feet (3 meters) down, The (Newark) Advocate reported. No one else was believed to be trapped, and there was no word of any other injuries.

Inmate death investigated

LONDON, Ohio (AP) — The weekend death of an inmate at a prison is being investigated as a homicide.

Robert Leach Jr., 23, died after “an incident” midday Saturday at Madison Correctional Institution, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirmed, giving no other details.

Leach was serving a seven-year sentence for burglary and trespassing charges from Lake County, where he had been arrested in 2016 as a suspect in multiple burglaries, according to court and prison records and local media accounts from the time. The Willoughby man had been incarcerated since May 2017.

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