Top Ohio headlines
The Senate today passed a bill designed to put Ohio’s Internet café industry out of business, sending it to the governor for his signature. Bill supporters have argued that the more than 600 storefronts operating throughout Ohio are conducting illegal gambling operations. Law enforcement, including Attorney General Mike DeWine, have argued that the largely cash operations would be nearly impossible to regulate, and some are home to other illegal activity such as money laundering.
Though some Senate Republicans have argued that a House-passed bill designed to shut down Internet cafes in Ohio could be flawed, a divided Senate committee passed the bill yesterday without changes.
WASHINGTON — Air Force officials today declined to name Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base as a preferred alternative for a new fleet of refueling aircraft. The base, which has lost six of its 18 KC-135s because of military cuts, had hoped to land a fleet of new KC-46A aircraft. The new air tanker, which is being developed by Boeing to replace the KC-135, is modeled on the company's 767 passenger jetliner and is expected to be available by 2017.
State lawmakers are pressuring the School Employee Retirement System board to shave another $18,000 per year off of its travel budget, saying recently-passed restrictions do not go far enough. The Ohio Retirement Study Council passed a resolution today urging the SERS board to tighten its cap on out-of-state travel spending to $6,000 and three out-of-state per year for each of its nine members. In response to a public controversy earlier this year over a planned trip to Hawaii, the board had set the limit at $8,000 per member.
Senate Democrats want to direct another $508 million to Ohio schools over the next two years by eliminating part of a GOP-proposed tax cut for upper income Ohioans. More money for schools and local governments, plus an expansion of Medicaid to cover those up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level are among the priorities for Democrats as the Senate crafts changes over the next two weeks to the two-year, $61.5 billion budget.
Rape is forever and Ohio law should be, too. That’s the opinion of two state senators who want to eliminate the 20-year statute of limitations for prosecuting rape and sexual battery. Senate Bill 83 was prompted, in part, by the events that unfolded in Cleveland recently when three young women were freed after a decade of captivity during which they were repeatedly raped and assaulted. The current 20-year limit won’t affect the case against Ariel Castro. However, it could impact other cases involving both females and males, the bill’s sponsors said.
WASHINGTON — One week after indicating that he’d allow a vote on Richard Cordray's nomination as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to hold off on the vote until later this summer. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, did not file for cloture on Cordray’s nomination yesterday — a procedural move that must be done with two days’ notice to pave the way for a Senate vote. Reid had originally planned to put the nomination up for a vote on Thursday.
BOWLING GREEN — The State Highway Patrol says 29 people have been injured in a crash between a commercial bus and a car on Interstate 75 in northwest Ohio. The patrol says the crash on northbound Interstate 75 near Bowling Green happened at about 10:30 p.m yesterday, when the 2001 Bluebird bus ran into the back of a 1995 Toyota Camry that slowed down in traffic.
OTTAWA, Ohio — A 17-year-old boy charged with killing two teenage brothers in northwest Ohio has pleaded not guilty. Michael Aaron Fay entered the pleas during an arraignment yesterday in Putnam County Juvenile Court. He’s charged with delinquency in connection with aggravated murder.
LOGAN, Ohio — As the Ohio Department of Natural Resources investigates the third fatal fall from a cliff in the Hocking Hills region since April, a park ranger yesterday outlined planned safety improvements. The department intends to update the current signs that warn hikers not to go off the marked trails and onto dangerous cliffs, Ranger Paul R. Baker II said yesterday.
Higher speed limits coming this summer will shave a few minutes off the ride from Columbus to Cleveland, but don’t put the pedal to the floor just yet. Wait at least until you clear the Columbus city limits.
Federal and Ohio officials couldn’t agree on spending for a state-run stopgap health-insurance plan that covers Ohioans who can’t get coverage elsewhere, so the U.S. government will take it over, state officials said yesterday.
Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann wants to practice law again. Dann, a Democrat who resigned in 2008 after serving just 17 months as attorney general, filed an application yesterday with the Ohio Supreme Court seeking reinstatement of his law license.
A Knox County grand jury yesterday indicted a Mount Vernon man accused of hitting a Danville police officer with a car during a chase early Sunday morning.
UTICA, Ohio — Investigators say a Licking County woman used Facebook to stir public interest in a gut-wrenching medical battle her young son never actually waged.
A 2-year-old who drowned in the Muskingum River near Dresden on Saturday was identified yesterday as Andrew J. Howell of Akron.
Natural-gas utilities want to change the law to make clear that consumers rather than shareholders can be charged cleanup costs for about 90 abandoned natural-gas plants in the state, according to an amendment that might get tucked into the state budget.
Automotive supply company G-Tekt North American Corp. will move forward with a pair of projects, investing $28.6 million and creating an expected 100 jobs in central Ohio.
CINCINNATI -- Tea party activists waving flags and signs, singing patriotic songs and chanting anti-IRS slogans protested outside federal buildings across the country today to protest the agency's extra scrutiny of conservative groups. A crowd packed the sidewalks in front of and across the street from a Cincinnati federal building housing the Internal Revenue Service offices that handled tax-exempt status applications.
If you watch enough Hollywood movies, you know that when dinosaurs clamp onto human meals, they crush us with giant teeth and shake us back and forth, crocodile-style. Think Tyrannosaurus rex. But new research out of Ohio University suggests that style of feeding is not universal. Ohio University researchers say T. rex’s smaller cousin Allosaurus probably ate more like a bird.
WASHINGTON — Former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman said he was “deeply saddened’’ that IRS officials in Cincinnati targeted conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status but insisted he was unaware of the targeting during his tenure. Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Shulman, originally from the Dayton area, said he “deeply’’ regretted “what happened on my watch,’’ but declined to issue a specific apology for the intense questions IRS officials aimed at conservative organizations.
The traditional Memorial Day weekend start to summer has yet to arrive, but this year is shaping up to be an especially deadly one in state parklands. A fatal cliff fall in the Hocking Hills region yesterday was the third this year.
Republican state legislators are seeking to take away driver’s licenses from unauthorized immigrants who have been granted temporary amnesty by the federal government. A bill slated for committee discussion today would reverse a state Bureau of Motor Vehicles policy requiring administrators to issue temporary licenses for immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative.
Chris Bradley, chief meteorologist for WBNS-TV (Channel 10), said the western half of Ohio is under a slight risk of storms today from the same front that spawned the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma.
About 35 residents packed West Jefferson village hall last night to ask for the return of a Facebook page that had included police reports and open discussion.
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