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  • DeWine sues Marion home-improvement company for failing to deliver

    Marion home-improvement company Beltran Construction LLC and its owner, Jon Settlemire, are being sued by the state, accused of failing to deliver promised services and failing to pay supply companies, resulting in liens placed on consumers’ homes.

  • Pickerington North girls basketball coach charged with drunken driving

    The Pickerington North High School girls basketball team coach was charged with drunken driving and failure to control after a minor crash in Violet Township on Friday night. David A. Butcher, 59, is scheduled for arraignment on the charges tomorrow in Fairfield County Municipal Court.

  • Akron school bus driver killed while saving 10-year-old girl

    AKRON — An Ohio school bus driver is being hailed as a hero after tossing a child out of the way of a rolling bus today before the vehicle rolled over the driver herself and she was killed. “She sacrificed her own life to save the life of this 10-year-old girl,” said Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards.

  • Columbus charter school part of expanded state investigation

    The Ohio Department of Education is reviewing allegations against two more charter schools operated by the Chicago-based Concept Schools, including Horizon Science Academy High School in Columbus. Department spokesman John Charlton said today that the department is following up on complaints to see if investigations are warranted. The other complaint is against the Horizon Science Academy in Cincinnati.

  • Cedar Point won't rename roller coaster after LeBron James

    SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park is partnering with the LeBron James Family Foundation instead of renaming a roller coaster for the basketball superstar.

  • Man sets himself afire on highway as children watch

    CLEVELAND — A man who stepped into traffic and then set himself on fire in an apparent suicide attempt has been connected to a woman found dead in a Cleveland home, authorities said.

  • Probe into forged Ohio House letter in GOP tiff may conclude soon

    Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien could take action soon regarding a forged letter allegedly written by an Ohio House page. The situation involves a letter forged under the name of Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, written in late February to the GOP primary opponent of Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville.

  • Fairfield County woman charged in crash that killed motorcyclist

    LANCASTER, Ohio — A Fairfield County woman was charged yesterday with aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, accused of causing a weekend crash that killed a motorcyclist and injured his passenger. Devin R. Downour, 20, of Rushville, appeared from Fairfield County jail by video arraignment before Fairfield County Municipal Court Judge David A. Trimmer, who entered not-guilty pleas on her behalf.

  • Surgeries back underway at Chillicothe hospital

    Surgeries resumed yesterday at a Chillicothe hospital that postponed procedures last week when stains were discovered on surgical towels.

  • Auditor candidates hold spirited debate on protecting public money

    CLEVELAND — The three candidates for state auditor sparred yesterday over possible misuse of public money on JobsOhio and charter schools, the plight of cash-strapped local governments and the need for more-competitive legislative districts during an energetic debate before the City Club of Cleveland.

  • Husted directs elections boards to be ready for voting in two weeks

    Secretary of State Jon Husted wants a court to throw out his own directive. Under an order to county elections boards Husted issued on Friday, Ohioans could start voting a week earlier than he’d planned and cast a ballot during the two weekends before Election Day. But at the same time, the Republican is pushing for a higher court to overturn the lower-court ruling that added the days of early voting and eliminate them.

  • ‘Feral’ kids too scared for court, judge says

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Even after they were removed from a home where authorities say unspeakable things happened, the three young children simply could not understand that they were safe. A Scioto County Children Services sex-abuse investigator said the kids — two girls ages 9 and 11 and an 8-year-old boy — said their grandmother would kill them for talking. They said that when they were bad, their punishment was rape. They begged Brittany Mitchell to keep whatever they told her a secret.

  • Teen forced to live in shed sought help from neighbor

    A 15-year-old girl wrote a note to her neighbor and tucked it in her door. She said she needed food and other help, and asked the neighbor to meet her outside but not to tell her mother. The note, which followed the neighbor’s own observations that the girl appeared to be living locked out of her home and was using a garden hose to shower, led her to contact Fairfield County deputy sheriffs to investigate, according to the incident report.

  • Husband of ex-Fairfield County court clerk pleads guilty to corruption charges

    LANCASTER, Ohio — The husband of the former Fairfield County clerk of courts took a negotiated agreement yesterday and pleaded guilty to theft in office and having an unlawful interest in a public contract. Visiting Judge Dale Crawford convicted David E. Smalley and scheduled sentencing for Oct. 6. He could receive a maximum of 41/2 years in prison if Crawford orders the maximum sentence for each crime to run consecutively.

  • Pepper, DeWine spar over testing rape kits

    Testing rape-evidence kits and awarding special-counsel contracts are two of many areas of disagreement between Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and his Democratic challenger, David Pepper.

  • Escaped Chardon killer had pitchfork when recaptured

    The convicted killer of three high-school students who briefly escaped from an Ohio prison last week had a pitchfork when he was captured, the State Highway Patrol said yesterday.

  • Ohio casinos bet on preshuffled cards to save time

    Opening a section of blackjack tables at one of Ohio’s four casinos is a long, labor-intensive process, as dealers spread out and carefully inspect all 312 cards in the six-deck stacks they often use. That will change this year, as the Ohio Casino Control Commission has approved the use of pre-shuffled stacks of multiple decks of cards at blackjack and mini-baccarat tables in the state’s casinos.

  • Chances of hitting a deer are rising for Ohio drivers

    Ohio motorists’ chances of colliding with a deer over the next year have gone up. State Farm, the state’s biggest auto insurer, said yesterday that the odds are 1 in 127 in Ohio for the one-year period that began Aug. 1. That’s an increase of 6 percent from last year, when it was 1 in 135.

  • Wal-Mart begins offering auto insurance in Ohio

    Wal-Mart is bringing its online auto-insurance service to Ohio.

  • Wind energy beating expectations, Honda says

    Six months after two wind turbines were installed at Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America Inc. in Russels Point, the company has announced power output has exceeded projections by 6.3 percent.

  • GOP positioned to retain statewide offices

    Ohio Republicans are poised to sweep all statewide nonjudicial offices for the fifth time in the past six elections. However, a new Dispatch Poll shows that the Democrats are within striking distance in at least one race, and that a GOP Supreme Court justice is in danger of losing in what could be another name game for a seat on the state’s highest court.

  • Suspect in Kentucky slayings caught on I-75 near Middletown

    The Warren County prosecutor’s office has filed aggravated murder charges against a man who led police on a multi-state search that ended Friday on I-75 on a stretch of highway between Monroe and Middletown, Ohio.

  • Victim had earlier called ambulance for suspect charged in Bucyrus killings

    One of four men found slain in their homes in Bucyrus had sought help two days earlier for the man now charged in the killings, according to police records obtained by the Associated Press.

  • Driver was impaired in Lancaster crash that killed motorcyclist, police say

    A woman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when she ran a red light in Lancaster on Saturday evening, killing a motorcyclist and injuring his 7-year-old passenger, police said. Lancaster police said Devin Downour, 20, of Rushville, was charged in the crash that killed James E. Lowe Jr., 63, of Lancaster, and injured Hailey N. Derbyshire, 7, also of Lancaster. Lowe died after the crash at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster.

  • Mystery gunk found floating in Muskingum River

    What is that brown gunk found floating yesterday in the Muskingum River in Coshocton and Muskingum counties? Tests ruled out oil or other petroleum products, said Bo Keck, director of the Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency.

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