Top Ohio headlines
State officials announced yesterday they will spend more than $100 million to rehabilitate Ohio state parks over the next two years. They also said they don’t yet know exactly where that money will go.
CINCINNATI — A fairly rotten day on the campaign trail yesterday ended with a good sight for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ed FitzGerald. About 75 people who had paid money to his campaign still were waiting at Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood to hear him speak, even though FitzGerald was more than an hour late to his fundraiser.
A far-reaching investigation into auto-parts price-fixing has hit a Honda supplier with a central Ohio plant. Showa Corp. has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $19.9 million fine. The company helped to organize a conspiracy to suppress competition and fix prices for power-steering assemblies sold to Honda, according to the complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.
The state fund for injured workers has increased to $1.2 billion the amount of savings it will provide to employers on their workers’ compensation premiums as part of the move to a new method of billing them for premiums.
Energy-efficiency programs that could be changed or eliminated as a result of a legislative proposal have led to consumer savings of $1 billion compared with costs of about $500 million, according to company reports and an analysis by “green” energy advocates.
ONTARIO, Ohio (AP) — Police are trying to identify a woman who took a stuffed animal from an Ohio boy’s gravesite after other toys and solar nightlights were stolen from there. On Saturday, the child’s family left a stuffed yellow duck for Easter at a cemetery in Ontario, near Mansfield. Surveillance video taken hours later shows a woman pick up the duck, look around and walk away.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that voters in each state can decide to ban racial preferences from school admissions. In a 6-2 decision that some experts called a blow to affirmative-action programs, the court upheld a Michigan law that removed race as a consideration for admission to state universities. Seven other states have adopted laws similar to Michigan’s. But Ohio has no such law.
The parents of Sam Wiater asked for prayers yesterday as Athens police identified the body pulled from the Hocking River on Monday as their son. Wiater, 21, a 2011 graduate of Pickerington Central High School, had been missing since the night of March 13.
A missing northeastern Ohio woman was found dead in a farm field near Ashley in Delaware County late yesterday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said.
Cash Yoakem admitted yesterday that, in looking for money to fuel his drug habit, he broke into at least two dozen Ross County churches and stole just about anything he could find. Money, televisions, copper wire — even a space heater and heirloom Communion trays were taken.
County prosecutors think that Ohio’s death-penalty laws and system “are already heavily tilted in favor of the defendant.” Changes suggested by a majority of the Ohio Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force would further tilt the system by protecting some suspects who deserve to die, argue prosecutors in Ohio’s three largest counties.
Drive-thrus will be set up across Ohio for voters to quickly sign a revamped petition supporting a state constitutional amendment that would legalize same-sex marriage. But with fewer protections for religious organizations in the new proposal, how easy will it be to get the necessary support?
After decades of budget cuts, Ohio has committed to spending tens of millions of dollars to give the state’s parks a face-lift. The state is putting at least $110.1 million in the next two years into fixing dams, replacing latrines with flush toilets, updating wastewater systems, improving campgrounds and rehabilitating lodges, among other projects, at Ohio’s 74 state parks.
WASHINGTON — A majority of the Supreme Court justices yesterday seemed to express deep reservations about Ohio’s election law banning false statements in election campaigns, a possible sign they will allow a legal challenge to the law to proceed before a federal judge in Cincinnati.
A Franklin County judge yesterday denied former state Rep. Clayton Luckie’s request for early prison release, noting “a bargain is a bargain.” Luckie, a Dayton Democrat, pleaded guilty in January 2013 to eight felony charges, including money laundering and grand theft.
The state agency for injured workers is proposing a 6.3 percent cut in the rates that Ohio’s private employers pay for workers’ compensation premiums.
An Ohio man who was 19 when he made a false distress call that triggered a massive, 21-hour search on Lake Erie must pay $489,000 in restitution to the U.S. and Canadian agencies involved in the needless rescue effort, a federal appeals court ruled today.
Gov. John Kasich is releasing his second campaign TV ad in as many weeks, another 60-second spot that also mirrors his first ad in that it is largely a biographical piece. If you’re counting at home — that’s two re-election ads for Kasich before then-Gov. Ted Strickland had aired any in his failed re-election bid four years ago. Also, Kasich’s likely Democratic opponent this time, Ed FitzGerald, has released only one radio ad.
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Police are urging people in a western Ohio community who know the 17-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of a high school football player to persuade him to surrender. “Anyone that can reason with this young man would ask him to turn himself in to the police division before there’s further violence,” Springfield police Chief Stephen Moody said.
SOUTH LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Police say a man who barricaded himself inside a southwest Ohio home was fatally shot by officers when he took “aggressive action.” The armed man killed in South Lebanon last night by Warren County sheriff’s deputies was identified as 56-year-old Gary Cook.
CINCINNATI — A mother who police say was with her two children when she and her boyfriend overdosed on heroin at a McDonald’s play area pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of child endangerment but could be released from jail in less than two months.
Athens police have not identified a body that was pulled from the Hocking River this afternoon, Lt. Anthony Fish said. A water-rescue crew recovered the body from the river off West State Street Park’s baseball fields. Authorities searched the water after two fishermen in a canoe spotted the body at about 1 p.m. and called 911, Fish said in a news release.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an appeal from a Madison County man who claimed police violated the Fourth Amendment when they discovered more than 170,000 images of child pornography on his personal computer.
CINCINNATI — A mother who police say overdosed on heroin with her boyfriend at a McDonald’s play area near Cincinnati has pleaded guilty to child endangerment. Tamica Jeffers pleaded guilty today in Hamilton County court after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a second charge of child endangerment.
NEWARK, Ohio — Newark area drivers likely will pay one way or another for the tough, icy winter that just passed. Mother Nature took a toll on the city’s roads. Residents will pay with dented rims, or likely a new property or income tax. Last night, the city council gave its first reading to a resolution to direct Licking County Auditor Michael Smith to certify how much revenue would be raised by a 2-mill property tax increase.
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