The Stark County Coroner's Office is disputing media reports that the weekend heat killed at least 10 people.
Investigator Rick Walters says he did mention to a reporter over the weekend that the number of reported deaths was a little higher than normal, adding that most of the people were elderly, had chronic health problems or both. He also says it's not unusual for the heat aggravate those problems.
"We're not completely attributing these deaths to the heat," said Walters. "It just seemed like for a holiday weekend and the with final hot day being yesterday in the 90s, which we had no more reported deaths like that, it seemed like an inordinate amount."
He says the deaths were all reported to the coroner's office as part of a normal routine, not because there was necessarily anything strange about them.
"Every coroner's office in the state takes reported deaths 24 hours around the clock and it seems like maybe it's grown a little further than what it really is," said Walters.
Walters says his original comments were taken out of context, prompting local and national news organizations to create a link between the reported deaths and the heat wave.