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  • Ohio prison director gives food vendor ultimatum after reports of maggots

    Ohio’s prisons director told lawmakers today that Aramark Correctional Services either will clean up its food-service operations in state prisons or face the danger of losing its $110 million, two-year state contract. Mohr said he believes Aramark is turning the corner on correcting a host of problems – food shortages, reports of maggots in food-preparation areas and others – and that he will settle for no less.

  • Reynoldsburg man killed in crash near Granville

    A Reynoldsburg man was killed in a two-car crash today just south of Granville in Licking County. Michael R. Swiger, 40, of 2090 Hughey Square Dr., died at Licking Memorial Hospital of injuries sustained in head-on collision on Rt. 16 near Sunset Drive just before 10 a.m.

  • Rigid coal regulations echo Obamacare, Taylor says

    PITTSBURGH – Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor told a pro-coal rally today that proposed carbon emissions standards by the Obama administration are “very similar” to Obamacare and “it doesn’t end well for us.”

  • Common Core supporters ready to defend it

    Following a new push to derail Ohio’s use of Common Core academic standards, supporters acknowledge they’ve been complacent and need to step up their game. Ohioans “are hearing from one side and not the other. We have not been effective in our counterpunch, and that needs to change,” said Greg Harris, state director for StudentsFirst. “We have to be much more aggressive in explaining what Common Core is about.”

  • Homeownership at 19-year low, though Ohio’s rate has steadily climbed during past year

    WASHINGTON — U.S. homeownership hit a 19-year low in the second quarter as tight finances continued to drive Americans toward renting, one of the lasting legacies of the recession.

  • Love letters to Warren G. Harding’s mistress released

    WASHINGTON — The love letters between America’s 29th president, Marion native Warren G. Harding, and Carrie Fulton Phillips, the wife of one of his good friends — opened to the public for the first time yesterday by the Library of Congress — reveal a man deeply passionate about both his lover and the policies he supported.

  • Tree-trimming helicopter crashes; pilot seriously hurt

    A pilot suffered serious injuries when he lost control of his tree-trimming helicopter and crashed yesterday afternoon in Logan County, authorities said. Logan County law-enforcement and fire departments were called at 4:45 p.m. to the crash site, which was in the area of Township Rd. 188 near Liberty Hills Golf Club. The pilot, Leo Boucher, 50, of Manchester, N.H., was in serious condition in OhioHealth Grant Medical Center last night.

  • First gay-marriage ad airing in Ohio since ’04

    TV advertising about same-sex marriage is back in Ohio for the first time in a decade, even though nothing about the issue is on the November ballot. An official with Why Marriage Matters Ohio, a statewide coalition advocating same-sex marriage, said the new ad — featuring two elderly Ohioans, Henry Hawley and George Vassos of Chagrin Falls near Cleveland — is part of a continuing education campaign.

  • Kasich maintains double-digit lead over FitzGerald, poll says

    Despite the launch of Democrat Ed FitzGerald’s first TV ad earlier this month, Gov. John Kasich’s healthy lead remains virtually the same, a new poll shows. The Republican incumbent tops the Cuyahoga County executive by 12 percentage points, 48 percent to 36 percent, a Quinnipiac University poll released today shows.

  • Kasich touts shared roots on campaign visit to Steubenville

    STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Gov. John Kasich made Ohio history in 2012 when he moved his State of the State speech out of Columbus and delivered it in this Ohio River city. If he wins Jefferson County, of which Steubenville is the county seat, in his race this fall against Democrat Ed FitzGerald, Kasich would make a little more history: He’d become only the second Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the county since 1978, joining Gov. Bob Taft in 2002.

  • Ohio to centralize computer systems for state agencies

    The state is spending $62 million to combine widely scattered information technology under one roof, including 9,000 computer servers and 30 data centers in 26 state agencies. Consolidation is expected to reap savings of $150 million over three to five years, Ohio Department of Administrative Services officials said.

  • Company tapped to handle claims in Ohio workers’-comp settlement

    The Garden City Group has been appointed to handle claims from the settlement of a lawsuit brought by employers who said they were overcharged for workers’-compensation premiums from 2001 to 2009.

  • Wright-Patterson pressured to fill more hospital beds

    DAYTON — Ohio’s largest military base is under pressure by the U.S. Department of Defense to fill more beds in its hospital. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton needs to boost the use of its 62-bed inpatient hospital, where the occupancy rate has been about 45 percent.

  • Akron schools to pay autistic child's education

    AKRON, Ohio — The Akron school district has agreed to pay just over $100,000 a year to send an autistic child to a private school after a longstanding challenge by the child’s parents.

  • Murder charge added against man involved in Cincinnati chase

    CINCINNATI — A man has been charged with aggravated murder in the aftermath of a slow-speed chase on Cincinnati-area interstate highways in which police say he held a handgun to his head.

  • Ohio House Republicans introduce bill to replace Common Core

    Ohio school districts that have spent four years implementing new Common Core standards might soon be told to change course. Hearings will begin in August in the Ohio House on a new bill designed to eliminate the Common Core math and English/language arts standards and begin developing new standards for the state. The bill also might rework new science and social studies standards, said Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, the No. 2 leader of the House.

  • Proposal to replace Smokey Bear put on hold

    Smokey Bear, who has greeted tens of thousands of visitors by name at the Ohio State Fair since 1959, is going to be replaced. Like many other aging workers, old Smokey is a victim of technology, in this case an $80,250 “animatronic” Smokey Bear to be manufactured by LifeFormations, a Cincinnati company.

  • Former contractor extradited from Iraq to face federal charges

    A former Las Vegas contractor who was extradited from Iraq has pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges for attempting to bribe U.S. officials to steer multimillion-dollar contracts his way. Metin Atilan, 54, is the first person to be returned to the United States under the U.S.-Iraq extradition treaty of 1936, federal officials said in a statement today.

  • Chillicothe officials mum after police chief suspended again

    Police sources have confirmed that long-embattled Chillicothe Police Chief Roger Moore has been suspended. But no one is saying anything else. City Safety-Service Director Mike Green wouldn’t comment but released a statement saying only that more information will come when Everson returns on Friday from a planned vacation and that the police department is in the “capable hands” of three other commanders. Green’s statement said Moore’s suspension is a paid administrative leave. According to the city auditor’s office, Moore’s annual salary is $90,588.

  • Woman’s body found in Muskingum County

    The Muskingum County sheriff’s office is calling the death of a woman suspicious. A missing-person report was filed on Friday about a woman living in the Brookside Apartments just east of Zanesville.

  • State won’t probe mishap on Cedar Point’s Skyhawk ride

    TOLEDO (AP) — Ohio’s amusement ride inspectors won’t conduct an official investigation into an accident that injured two people when a cable snapped on a swing ride at Cedar Point.

  • Walnut Township school district ‘desperate’ for voters to pass levy

    Voters in the Walnut Township Local school district in Fairfield County will be asked to approve an emergency operating levy on the November ballot that would increase their property taxes. The school board voted last week to ask for an 8.8-mill levy for five years that would generate about $1.25 million annually for operating expenses.

  • Newark council OKs raises for union workers in 2015, 2016

    NEWARK, Ohio — The city council approved a new three-year contract last night for the largest of Newark’s three unions. The city’s 110 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2963 agreed to no raises through the remainder of 2014. Its members will then receive a 1 percent raise in 2015 and a 1.5 percent raise in 2016.

  • Michigan woman dies at weekend festival

    A Michigan woman attending an event at Legend Valley in southeastern Licking County died on Sunday. Kristal Tsosie, 27, of Flint, Mich., was attending the weekend-long Gathering of the Juggalos, a festival and concert event featuring the band Insane Clown Posse, whose fans are known as Juggalos.

  • Companies step up to help Watkins Memorial band after theft

    One marching band story had a happy ending this week. Drum Corps International announced yesterday that Mapex Drum Co. and its primary local distributor, Columbus Pro Percussion, teamed to help outfit the Watkins Memorial High School drum line with new equipment.

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