Top Ohio headlines
The communications director at the Ohio Department of Education was asked to remove a tweet from his personal twitter account urging charter school opponents to take a break from debate over the schools and maybe “get laid.” John Charlton said today he removed the tweet at the request of his supervisor.
Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to begin proceedings to extradite a former Ohio deputy treasurer who fled to Pakistan after pleading guilty to bribery. Amer Ahmad pleaded guilty on Dec. 23 to bribery in a scheme in which he steered state investment business to a financial adviser who in turn kicked back $522,622 to Ahmad and a co-conspirator.
Ohio officials are planning to go ahead with a September execution using the same drugs and in the quantity as those used in a troubled execution Wednesday in Arizona. An order issued by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost, putting Ohio executions temporarily on hold, expires Aug. 15. Barring further legal action, that clears the way for the scheduled Sept. 18 execution of Ronald Phillips, a Summit County child-killer who already has had two reprieves.
A Pataskala man was indicted today, accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the Watkins Memorial High School band boosters club. Ernest T. Bowers, 51, of 688 Citation Dr., was the club’s former treasurer. Bowers was indicted by a Licking County grand jury on a charge of grand theft. Authorities say he stole about $67,000 from the band boosters between November 2009 and Dec. 31, 2013.
CINCINNATI -- Vice President Joe Biden says investment in infrastructure and job training is needed to increase economic opportunities in the nation's cities. Biden spoke today at the National Urban League conference in Cincinnati. The conference's theme is "One Nation Underemployed."
A Delaware County judge pretty much hammered a Columbus man when the career criminal appeared before him for prying open hotel vending machines and stealing $117 in change. Common Pleas Court Judge W. Duncan Whitney sentenced Randall Bonnell Jr. to eight and-a-half years in prison by imposing four consecutive sentences on three counts of burglary and a count of tampering with coin machines.
A former deputy tax commissioner has been convicted of dereliction of duty for his role in failing to refund more than $30 million in tax overpayments to Ohio businesses. Rick Anthony, 54, of Hebron, pleaded guilty on Monday and was fined $750 by Franklin County Municipal Court Judge David C. Young.
Athens County law-enforcement officials said today they are joining the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit to collaborate on investigating drug trafficking and related crimes along the Rt. 33 corridor. Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith and county Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said their offices and the Athens, Nelsonville and Ohio University police departments will join the unit.
Gov. John Kasich declared this “an era of good feeling right now” in Ohio as the Republican seeks re-election this fall. “I think people feel good about the state and that’s what matters the most,” Kasich said during a brief chat with reporters as he toured the fairgrounds on opening day of the Ohio State Fair. “When people feel positive and good about the way things are, that’s what makes me feel good.
Twice-convicted and once-cleared, a former Akron police captain freed in his ex-wife’s death could be headed to prison or a new trial. In a 4-3 vote, the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear Douglas Prade’s appeal of an appellate-court decision that reinstated his conviction for the brutal murder of his physician wife.
MARYSVILLE, Ohio — Jon Costell thought his paraplegic wife was a burden, so he poisoned her with prescription pills, authorities said. Now, the Union County man is in jail with a $500,000 bond on an aggravated-murder charge. And Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips said that Debra Costell’s death was no mercy killing.
An unknown number of Licking County jail employees have resigned from their posts following an internal investigation into their work performance.
A years-long legal fight over allegations that hundreds of thousands of Ohio employers were overcharged workers’ compensation premiums from 2001 to 2009 was settled last night. The state agreed to create a $420 million fund to pay claims to employers — many of them small businesses — that had sued over the premiums. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and a group called Pay Us Back Ohio BWC announced the agreement.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan accused the Internal Revenue Service of withholding the fact that IRS employee Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive had crashed, saying yesterday that the agency only told congressional investigators that they’d lost Lerner’s emails after it was forced to do so. The Urbana Republican spoke at a hearing of a House panel investigating allegations that the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups. He said the agency only confessed to losing emails sought by House oversight panels after the conservative organization Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency.
WASHINGTON — The federal government said today that nearly 36,000 people in Ohio will receive refunds from their health-insurance companies because of a requirement in the 2010 health law that insurers spend the vast majority of premiums on patient care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calculated that insurance companies will refund $1.2 million to Ohio families, which averages about $69 per family.
With 22 Republican signatures, a discharge petition aimed at forcing a House vote on a bill that would eliminate Common Core in Ohio remains well short of the 50 needed to initiate action. But more important than the number of signatures is who has signed it. One name in particular stands out: Rep. Cliff Rosenberger of Clarksville, the front-runner to become the next speaker.
The state of Ohio has sued Credence Law Group Inc., a Chicago-based mortgage-rescue business, accusing it of taking money from consumers while making false promises about its ability to rescue them from foreclosure.
WASHINGTON — A Senate committee cleared the way today for a final floor vote next week to confirm former Proctor & Gamble Chairman Robert McDonald of Cincinnati as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
CINCINNATI — The National Urban League wants to make sure job issues and economic insecurity are in the forefront of this fall’s election campaigns, its leader said today as members of the civil rights organization gathered for their four-day conference.
CINCINNATI — A coroner says there are no signs of foul play in the death of a University of Cincinnati student whose apparent disappearance triggered a wide search in May.
“Green”-energy efforts in Ohio might not be in suspended animation after all. All but one of Ohio’s regulated electricity utilities plan to continue with their green-energy programs despite a new state law that allows the companies to put a two-year freeze on the initiatives.
NEWARK, Ohio — A former Newark High School assistant band director pleaded guilty today to 13 counts involving inappropriate sexual contact with three students. Anthony J. Miller could be sentenced to up to five years on each sexual battery count, and faces additional prison or jail time on each of the other counts. Ten of the 13 counts also are sexually oriented offenses, meaning Miller likely will have to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug.15.
In his most pointed charges to date, Democrat David Pepper accused Attorney General Mike DeWine today of “running a massive pay-to-play operation” out of his state office. Pepper focused on contracts awarded by DeWine’s office to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid debts owed the state. In a press conference at Ohio Democratic headquarters, he blasted DeWine for rigging the contract award system to reward individuals and firms that give money to his political campaign.
It took dental records to make a positive identification, but the Pickaway County sheriff’s office now knows for certain who was killed in a crash just north of Circleville on Sunday.
OBERLIN, Ohio (AP) — A body found at a northeastern Ohio landfill has been identified as a man who disappeared during a Cleveland concert.
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