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  • Ikea plans to open Polaris store in 2017

    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.

  • Murray coal company complains about delays for permit to mine under state park

    A coal company owned by a major supporter of Ohio Gov. John Kasich is accusing the governor’s administration of killing potential jobs by deliberating delaying a request for 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 claims it encountered delays and was forced to withdraw its application.

  • Ohio Democrats optimistic about Columbus landing 2016 convention

    A delegation from the Democratic National Committee revisited some of Columbus’ trendy downtown neighborhoods Monday while working to decide on a host city for its 2016 convention.

  • Arsons apparently on the rise in Newark

    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.

  • Athens County sheriff's racketeering trial underway

    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.

  • Attorney General Mike DeWine sues feds over Obamacare fee

    Making good on his threat, Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing the federal government, contending an Obamacare fee charged to states and local government is illegal and unconstitutional. DeWine, a Republican, teamed with GOP officials from Warren County on a lawsuit being filed today in U.S. District Court.

  • Monster snowstorm swirls into densely populated Northeast U.S.

    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.

  • Ohio House Speaker on Medicaid: It's not whether, it's how we reauthorize

    Newly elected House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger said today that the focus this session will be on mobility — moving people off of public assistance – as the House moves toward reauthorizing Medicaid expansion. The 33-year-old Republican from Clarksville in southwest Ohio sat down with the Statehouse press corps this morning.

  • Environmental groups complain to U.S. EPA about state fracking oversight

    Dozens of environmental-advocacy groups are challenging the authority of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to manage and respond to emergencies related to the oil and gas industry. The groups — including ProgressOhio, the Sierra Club and Ohio Citizen Action — sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Director Gina McCarthy today saying Ohio law contradicts federal reporting requirements for hazardous chemicals.

  • Ohio Politics Now: Gov. John Kasich talks presidential run, Common Core and Tom Brady

    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.

  • New video will help Ohio jurors know what they’re in for

    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.

  • Nazi flag heirloom missing from Pickaway County veterans office

    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.

  • Cincinnati Zoo to move cheetah program to Warren County site

    LEBANON, Ohio — A female cheetah peers with amber eyes from behind a low hilltop, her ropy tail flickering back and forth in the high grass. Nearby, her four cubs boldly scan the terrain, their still-shaggy downy fur — a camouflage adaptation against predators — bristling as they assess for threats.

  • Plan to bolster levee encourages Zoar residents

    ZOAR, Ohio — Residents of a nearly 200-year-old community in northeastern Ohio are hopeful about a plan to fix the aging levee that protects their village from flooding from the Tuscarawas River.

  • Theft adds to turmoil at Logan County Humane Society

    BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio — The Logan County Humane Society is in turmoil after the director was fired, three employees quit and more than $1,300 turned up missing in the past week.

  • Blocked rail crossings might cause trouble, Ottawa County sheriff says

    PORT CLINTON, Ohio — A sheriff in northwestern Ohio is raising concerns about trains that have been blocking rail crossings.

  • Teamwork of businesses, nonprofits renews Cleveland neighborhood

    With a foreclosure rate among the nation’s highest, Cleveland’s Slavic Village was a prime example of the country’s housing crisis. What had been a relatively stable neighborhood in a city struggling with industrial decline became one filled with blighted, vacant houses.

  • Corruption trial of Athens County sheriff to start today

    ATHENS, Ohio — Right after he was handed a 25-count indictment on Jan. 31, 2014, charging him with racketeering and theft, Athens County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Kelly fired off a statement denying the charges. He said they were an injustice and everything would be cleared up in court, “where the facts will be presented.” That day has arrived. The suspended sheriff is scheduled for trial today.

  • Transgender Ohio teen’s suicide spurs discussions

    CINCINNATI — Leelah Alcorn wrote a note on her Tumblr blog, then walked through the night and into the path of a tractor-trailer rumbling down a highway. In the final message attributed to her, she pleaded: “My death needs to mean something. ... Fix society. Please.” Although many details about her life and tragic end are still unclear, the transgender Ohio 17-year-old became, within days of her death on Dec. 28, the new face of a growing movement of people hungering for acceptance.

  • Pataskala man killed in hit-and-run accident in Kansas

    LENEXA, Kan. — A pickup-truck driver left the scene of a crash in Kansas that killed a 19-year-old pedestrian from central Ohio, authorities say.

  • Fire Chief: Two Newark fires appear to be arson

    NEWARK, Ohio -- Firefighters from Newark and neighboring departments battled two house fires a block apart just south of downtown early Sunday morning. Both fires appeared to be arson, said interim Newark Fire Chief Patrick Connor, who said investigators have not determined whether the two fires are related.

  • Job training for poor gets priority

    The number of poor Ohioans receiving a welfare check or food stamps has dropped to a record low while enrollment in tax-funded Medicaid has soared. Overall, about 1 in 4 Ohioans receive some type of public assistance, a rate that Gov. John Kasich’s administration hopes to reduce with a renewed focus on education and workforce development.

  • House finance panel’s chief, Rep. Ryan Smith seeks focus on poverty

    Rep. Ryan Smith does not talk about education, taxes and Medicaid in the same tone as a number of his fellow House Republicans. It’s no coincidence that the new chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee comes from a district that doesn’t look like those represented by many of his GOP colleagues.

  • Hospital aid policies can’t rule out medical bills

    Michelle Brown says she regrets not securing better health coverage before becoming a mother at age 18. She was a full-time restaurant worker making minimum wage when she became pregnant. She had no health benefits. So she signed up for a financial lifeline through the state’s Hospital Care Assurance Program, or HCAP.

  • Capitol Insider: Counting kids takes time, Yost says

    Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said he was left “speechless” by the discrepancies in attendance his investigators found during surprise visits to 30 charter schools. Half of the schools had significantly lower attendance than they had reported to the state. Investigators found no students at one school.

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