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  • Charter-school sponsor system is ‘broken,’ Yost says

    A special state audit of charter-school sponsorships shows a “broken system,” and “highlights the need for increased sponsor oversight of schools,” State Auditor Dave Yost’s office said Thursday. “Today’s report underscores Ohio’s need for real reform in our community schools,” Yost said in a written release. “The legislation pending in the General Assembly is a step in the right direction to increase accountability and transparency in our broken system.”

  • Ohio Supreme Court can’t investigate corrupt guardians, chief justice says

    Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is pushing back against more calls for the court to increase its scrutiny of the state’s guardianship system, the same system that Ohio’s attorney general said is “crying out for reform.” O’Connor said on Thursday that the scrutiny should instead come from county probate judges.

  • Data-rigging for Ohio charter-school evaluations involved several officials

    Records reveal a coordinated effort among Ohio Department of Education staff to falsely inflate evaluations of some charter-school sponsors, possibly in violation of state law, according to an initial review of the documents that were released Thursday. While emails indicate that multiple agency employees appeared to know of former state Department of Education Director of School Choice David Hansen’s grade-fixing scheme, there was no documentation of their reporting it to higher-ups including state Superintendent Richard A. Ross.

  • Thai company gets serious about possible Belmont County chemical plant

    A giant Asian petrochemical company is taking the next step in a process that could lead it to build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex in eastern Ohio along the Ohio River. Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical said on Thursday that it will spend $100 million on engineering work over the next nine to 12 months at the site of the proposed complex — a shuttered coal-fired power plant in Belmont County.

  • Advocate takes own life a year after testifying for expanded mental health treatment

    Fourteen months after advocating for state lawmakers to pass a bill helping those with mental illness, Amanda Baker became a tragic victim of the disease she hoped to beat. No one knows what she was thinking in those final moments standing along I-75 in southwest Ohio one warm August night as the whoosh of diesels and cars flew by. She might have been thinking about family, or about her new husband, or about the agonizing struggle with mental and physical health problems that left her hopeless.

  • Three get jail time for throwing rock that injured Ohio teacher

    LEWISBURG, Pa. — Three young men apologized to their victim on Thursday after a judge sentenced them to time behind bars for throwing a rock from an interstate overpass, striking the woman in the head and causing her severe brain damage. A judge ordered Dylan Lahr, Tyler Porter and Keefer McGee to serve at least 4½ years, 1 year and 10 months, and 11½ months for the July 2014 attack on I-80 that injured Sharon Budd.

  • Crashes causing auto-insurance rates to climb

    A recent increase in auto crashes may be putting dents in more than just cars and trucks. Several insurers have begun raising rates, while others are considering such a move as their costs head higher because of rising claims.

  • Ohio Politics Now: John Kasich draws crowds, talks climate change in New Hampshire

    Gov. John Kasich continued his swing through New Hampshire Wednesday with four stops throughout the state. “As Donald Trump and Jeb Bush spent another day waging verbal warfare on Wednesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich drew enthusiastic responses from standing-room-only crowds jamming four locales across the state holding America’s first 2016 presidential primary,” Dispatch Public Affairs Editor Darrel Rowland writes.

  • Building board warns schools on barricades

    Ohio’s building-standards board cautioned schools on Wednesday against buying or installing barricade devices meant to stop active shooters until rules are developed for the devices.

  • At Ohio town halls, Tiberi, Bolton say nuclear deal only helps Iran

    NEWARK, Ohio — With a congressional vote this month on the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi is on a mission to inform Americans of his opinion about the agreement.

  • Couple found dead in Delaware County home in apparent murder-suicide

    GALENA, Ohio — A couple died Wednesday night in their Delaware County home in what authorities are calling a murder-suicide shooting. Sheriff Russell Martin identified the victims as David Lee Rings and his wife, Teresa Rings. Both were 42 years old and pronounced dead at the scene. Martin said, “It’s somewhat premature yet, but it appears that he shot her then took his own life.”

  • Sides dig in on Mount McKinley name

    WASHINGTON – More than a century after he was assassinated by a gun man in Buffalo, Republican President William McKinley has become entangled in a modern day partisan battle that divides Republicans and Democrats. Just four days after the Obama administration changed the name of Mount McKinley in Alaska back to its original Native American name of Denali, members of the Ohio congressional delegation fired off a brusque letter to the White House declaring McKinley’s “legacy has been tarnished by a political stunt to promote a partisan agenda.”

  • Former Marysville Art League boss charged with theft

    A former president of the Marysville Art League has been indicted on three counts of felony theft that accuse her of taking money and art from the organization. Karen Iden, 58, of Urbana, is accused of committing thefts between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 30, 2012, the year she resigned from the league.

  • Kasich finds new support on swing through N.H.

    WEST LEBANON, N.H. — As Donald Trump and Jeb Bush spent another day waging verbal warfare on Wednesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich drew enthusiastic responses from standing-room-only crowds jamming four locales across the state holding America’s first 2016 presidential primary.

  • Bill aims to help pregnant women get drug treatment

    With growing numbers of babies born to drug-addicted mothers, a pair of state lawmakers introduced a bill on Wednesday aimed at encouraging pregnant women using heroin and opiates to seek treatment. Reps. Doug Green, R-Mount Orab, and Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, said they hope the legislation will reduce the number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

  • Jon Husted defends use of 'monopoly' for Issue 3

    Secretary of State Jon Husted today defended use of the word “monopoly” in ballot language describing state Issue 3, which seeks to legalize marijuana in Ohio. “We are trying to use simple, plain language that accurately describes the issue,” Husted said during a Columbus Metropolitan Club luncheon, where, when asked, he also said he is interested in being governor someday.

  • Wording aside, state has no intent to privatize lottery

    State officials say there are no plans to privatize the Ohio Lottery Commission amid a pending top-to-bottom review of its management and a document holding out privatized state lotteries as “models of interest.” A state request for proposals issued on Aug. 24 seeks a consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the lottery and recommend ways to contain costs and maximize profits, which largely are routed to public schools. One part of the document states that “models of interest” to be studied by the consultant include the lottery systems in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and New Jersey — all of which have privatized their lotteries.

  • Rt. 40 in West Jefferson reopens after weekend building collapse

    A section of Rt. 40 in West Jefferson has reopened after it was closed on Sunday when a building collapsed. The east side of the two-story building at 38 W. Main St. caved in around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

  • Number of abortions in Ohio hit 38-year low

    The number of abortions in Ohio fell to a 38-year low in 2014, according to a report released Wednesday by the state Department of Health. The 21,186 abortions performed last year marked an 8.7 percent decrease from 2013 and was the lowest number of abortions since 1976, when the state began keeping records. “Overall, since 2001 there has been a steady decline in terminations,” the annual report noted.

  • Ohio Supreme Court hears case about medical records and patient rights

    If the Ohio Supreme Court upholds a decision that exempted some of a patient’s medical records from his daughters’ request, hospitals could hide critical details about the care of those who are harmed or die there, say the plaintiffs of a case heard this morning. The lawsuit arose in Canton, where Howard E. Griffith died in 2012 at Aultman Hospital. Griffith’s heart monitor somehow was ripped off and he spent 40 minutes alone before he was found unresponsive, according to court records. He died two days later in intensive care. When his family, which has since settled with Aultman, sought his medical records they did not receive the EKG monitoring strips kept for hospital review after Griffith’s death, their lawyers said.

  • John Kasich on minimum wage raise: It's about balance

    Gov. John Kasich gave a mixed message today on whether he supports increasing the federal minimum wage. “What I think is important on that is we all want to see it go up, but we don’t want to have the unintended consequences of having people lose their jobs,” Kasich said in response to a question from reporters after a crowded campaign rally at a picturesque country store on the banks of the Merrimack River.

  • Holiday forecast: Labor Day travel expected to be highest since 2008

    Expect plenty of company from fellow travelers trying to hold on to the last vestiges of summer if you’re planning to take a trip for Labor Day weekend. The AAA Auto Club is predicting that 1.5 million Ohioans will be among the 35.3 million people jamming highways and slowing security lines at airports as they take trips that are at least 50 miles from home this weekend. That’s the highest number of people expected to travel during the holiday weekend since 2008.

  • High-school football: Ohio reviewing Massillon team's use of tiger mascot

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The tiger cub being used to continue a high school football team's live-mascot tradition this season stays at an out-of-state facility, meaning it doesn't quite fit under the exemption created for it when Ohio tightened rules on possession of dangerous animals, the state Department of Agriculture said today.

  • State sued over new rules for abortion clinics

    The operators of two southwest Ohio abortion clinics asked a federal court on Tuesday to declare recently enacted state laws governing their operations unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and Women’s Med Group sued in U.S. District Court, targeting several provisions tucked into the state’s two most recent operating budgets, signed into law by Republican Gov. John Kasich this year and in 2013.

  • Investors in proposed Ohio marijuana farms are diverse lot

    There is a doctor, a developer, an NBA legend, a fashion designer, a knight, an ex-boy-band member, a professional football player and two relatives of a U.S. president. Despite their widely varied backgrounds, investors in the for-profit ResponsibleOhio marijuana-legalization plan have something in common: They all want to make money, and lots of it.

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