Top Ohio headlines
Six days before Gov. John Kasich unveils his two-year state budget proposal, advocates for a continuation of Medicaid expansion, along with other state programs and initiatives, are growing louder. A few hours before Medicaid supporters showcased their success stories, anti-smoking advocates held a conference call with reporters urging Gov. John Kasich to increase Ohio’s cigarette tax by a buck a pack and set aside some of the revenue for smoking prevention and cessation efforts.
ATHENS, Ohio — A jury of 10 women and two men will hear the public-corruption trial of suspended Athens County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Kelly. Kelly is charged in a 25-count indictment with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity by using his position as the elected sheriff to misspend public funds and pocket cash from selling county vehicles for scrap.
ATHENS, Ohio — A social studies teacher at Athens High School has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a student since December 2013. Isaac Thomas, 35, was escorted from the high school at 10 a.m. this morning and arrested at the Athens County sheriff’s office, said detective Brice Fick.
Newark police arrested a pastor, Scott E. Murphy, and charged him with having sex with a 15-year-old church member inside the church.
Ohio Right to Life is urging lawmakers to outlaw abortions in Ohio after 20 weeks into a pregnancy when, anti-abortion advocates say, a fetus can feel pain. Supporters expect the bill to be introduced in the Republican-controlled General Assembly in the coming weeks.
Ohio should create more camp sites for RV’s and motor homes in state parks, and dump 29 less profitable cabins, a new performance audit by state Auditor Dave Yost recommends. The changes could generate more than $3.3 million in average annual returns and $3.8 million in one-time cost avoidance, says the audit, one of a series conducted at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Ohio’s largest state-worker union is asking Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French to step aside from hearing its case, claiming campaign-trail remarks show potential bias in favor of Republican state officeholders.
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio — A police sergeant in southwest Ohio has been charged with assault after officials say she used physical force to remove a camera from a resident who was taping police activity.
The Democrats are taking one more look at cities before deciding where to have their national convention in 2016. Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz was in Columbus yesterday for a private tour - which also include lunch at Rigsby’s Kitchen in the Short North with political, civic, business and labor leaders, as well as Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (who gave Democrats their own flavor earlier this month).
It appears that there’s at least one firebug on the loose in Licking County. Four of the seven fires Newark’s fire department has responded to since Jan. 8 have been deemed arsons, and two of those appear to have been set by the same person, said interim Chief Patrick Connor. The fire department battled two blazes within a block of each other, on S. 4th Street and on S. 5th Street on Sunday morning, at two vacant houses on the city’s south side. Initially, both were being investigated as set fires, although one now appears to have been started by faulty electrical wiring.
Ohio’s increased attention on human trafficking last year led to the identification of 181 victims, four younger than 12, and 98 arrests of traffickers, a new state report shows. The Ohio attorney general’s office Human Trafficking Report documented activities by the state commission to “strengthen protections for victims, create stiffer penalties for traffickers and educate Ohioans on human trafficking and what can be done to stop it.”
Turns out Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber wasn’t trying to stiff Ohio Gov. John Kasich after all.
A record 125 exonerations were reported in the U.S. last year in cases where convictions for serious crimes were reversed, sometimes decades after the original offense.
A coal company owned by a major supporter of Gov. John Kasich is accusing the governor’s administration of killing potential jobs by intentionally delaying approval of a permit to mine beneath a sliver of a state park. A subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp., largely owned by Robert E. Murray, considered the application for the permit “routine” but says it encountered delays and was forced to withdraw its application.
More than a year after state officials temporarily pulled the plug on video raffle machines at veterans posts and fraternal lodges, the wheels are still spinning, and money is flowing.
Ikea is expected to announce today that it is coming to Columbus, with a store expected to open in 2017. After years of rumors that it would come to the area, the Swedish furniture retailer plans to open its second store in Ohio on the site of the former Germain Amphitheater, on Polaris Parkway just east of I-71, two Columbus city officials and a local developer confirmed to The Dispatch.
New House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger indicated yesterday that the upcoming Statehouse debate over Medicaid will focus on ways to move people off public assistance, not on whether Medicaid expansion should continue. “We’re not talking about expansion anymore. We’re talking about reauthorization,” the Clarksville Republican said during a meeting with the Statehouse press corps.
DELAWARE, Ohio — A Delaware County man was sentenced today to six years in prison for stabbing Ohio Wesleyan University’s senior-class president last year. Nicholas Eber, 24, has maintained his innocence in the May 3 attack on Anthony Peddle while Peddle slept in his room in the Chi Phi fraternity house. Eber wiped away tears as his family asked Common Pleas Judge Everett H. Krueger for mercy and described his crime-free life and plans to be a surgical technician.
A fee charged to states, some local governments and universities under Obamacare is unconstitutional, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday. DeWine, a Republican, teamed with GOP officials in Warren County and four Ohio universities in the action filed in U.S. District Court.
Dozens of environmental-advocacy groups are challenging the authority of Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources to collect and share information about the hazardous and toxic chemicals the oil and gas industry uses in fracking operations.
ATHENS, Ohio — Jury selection is scheduled to continue on Tuesday in the racketeering trial of suspended Athens County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Kelly. Kelly was charged in a 25-count indictment issued on Jan. 31 last year.
NEW YORK — The Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor of more than 35 million people began shutting down today as a monster storm that could unload a paralyzing 1 to 3 feet of snow swirled into the Northeast. Snow was blowing sideways with ever-increasing intensity in New York City by midafternoon as flurries began in Boston. Forecasters said the storm would build into a blizzard, and the brunt of it would hit this evening and into Tuesday.
While some potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders headed to a conservative billionaire Koch brothers event and others spent Saturday in Iowa this weekend (or in some cases, hit up both events), Gov. John Kasich was on “Fox News Sunday” where he said he has plenty of time to decide if he’ll run for president.
Ohioans called to jury duty can find out more about their role in the courtroom through a video developed by the Ohio Supreme Court and several other groups.
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Sandy Ankrom Williams brushed her fingertips across the photograph of the flag and apologized over and over. She said she’s sorry she is so emotional, sorry that she can’t stop crying. She doesn’t want to be angry, and she doesn’t want to be sad; but right now, truth be told, she is a whole lot of both.
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