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  • Gov. John Kasich will propose $500 million tax cut

    Ohioans will see a half-billion-dollar tax cut proposed when Gov. John Kasich unveils his two-year state budget proposal on Monday. The Republican governor rolled out the first piece of his plan today: Eliminating state income taxes for 1 million small businesses, while also reducing income taxes for 3 million low-income and middle-class families. And, he wants the working poor to hang onto state-subsidized child-care benefits longer instead of having them completely cut off as families make more money.

  • Cleveland police will get body cameras starting next month

    A total of 250 officers with the Cleveland police, which has been criticized by federal officials because of excessive use of force, will receive body cameras in February as part of what will become a citywide program, a spokesman said today. The officers who receive the cameras first - about 17 percent of Cleveland’s 1,500-strong police force - had been part of pilot programs testing the cameras, said Cleveland police Sgt. Ali Pillow. Policies on camera use, including when officers will record and how long footage will be kept, are pending.

  • Seized exotic animals' future debated

    Six tigers, a lion, cougar, leopard, Kodiak brown bear and liger were shaking off the effects of a tranquilized trip to Columbus today, as lawyers debated their future.

  • Bakken crude oil rolls over Ohio rails

    Millions of gallons of some of the most volatile crude oil in North America are being transported on rail lines through Ohio each week, according to reports that the state had kept secret until this week. The railroad-company reports show that 45 million to 137 million gallons of Bakken crude oil come through Ohio each week from North Dakota oil fields on the way to East Coast refineries. Two million to 25 million gallons a week come through Franklin County alone.

  • Ohio Politics Now: Higher ed costs, charter schools, toxic algae on GOP agenda

    House and Senate Republicans laid out their agenda yesterday including charter school reform, decreasing the growth in college tuition, creating a college grant program for high-demand jobs, and combatting toxic algae, Dispatch reporter Jim Siegel writes. “Higher education is rapidly pricing itself out of the marketplace for average Ohioans. We’ve got to stop that trend,” said Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina.

  • Better campsites, fewer old cabins recommended in state parks audit

    Ohio should create more campsites for RVs and motor homes in state parks and dump 29 less-profitable cabins, a new performance audit by state Auditor Dave Yost recommends.

  • Union wants Ohio Supreme Court’s Judith French off case, alleging bias

    Ohio’s largest state-worker union accuses state Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French of showing potential bias in favor of fellow Republican officeholders in remarks she made at a campaign rally last fall.

  • Activist’s acquittal unlikely to end church-directory fight at Athens courthouse

    Eliot Kalman won’t be punished for pasting a First Amendment sticker over the church directory on the Athens County Courthouse. But this fight isn’t over. Those stickers could come back.

  • Delaware to improve boat access to Olentangy River

    DELAWARE, Ohio — Since Delaware’s early settlement more than 200 years ago, boats and canoes have been launched from its Olentangy River banks. With the help of a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there will now be a safer, easier method of entry than climbing over rocks and along crude paths.

  • GOP plan would increase accountability for Ohio charter schools

    Majority Republicans in the General Assembly pledged yesterday to change Ohio charter-school law to make the privately operated, tax-funded schools more transparent and accountable. Gov. John Kasich also is expected to address what charter-school supporters and critics alike say is lax state oversight in the two-year state budget proposal he will unveil Monday.

  • Ohio House page who forged letter in GOP leadership fight acted alone, investigators say

    Investigators have concluded that a young legislative page acted alone and for “stupid reasons” when he forged a letter last year under the name of a lawmaker who was running to become the next House speaker. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said on Tuesday that the young man passed a polygraph test regarding his role in the incident, in which he forged a letter under the name of Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, last February to the GOP primary opponent of now-Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville.

  • Ohio lawmakers welcome superintendent’s plan to trim standardized testing

    Lawmakers heard State schools Superintendent Richard A. Ross’ recommendations on cutting the time students spend taking standardized tests and said they will look to expand on them. “It’s a good set of recommendations,” Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Centerville and chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, said, “I think that we may be adding on to some of the recommendations. I see us expanding them as opposed to throwing any of them away. I think the ones that are out there are solid.”

  • Seized exotic animals from Perrysburg in limbo

    The future is uncertain for 11 exotic animals seized by the state yesterday after a judge ordered them returned to the Wood County owner. What happens next will test a 2012 state law that banned the sale, ownership and breeding of certain exotic animals without proper permits and facilities

  • Treasure hunter Tommy Thompson arrested at hotel in Florida

    Fugitive treasure hunter Thomas G. “Tommy” Thompson and his girlfriend will be returned to Columbus to face federal charges after their arrests in southern Florida on Tuesday. The one-time golden boy among the shipwreck crowd is scheduled for a hearing in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach on Thursday on a criminal contempt charge stemming from a civil lawsuit in Columbus. Thompson, 62, and his assistant and girlfriend, Alison Antekeier, 45, had been on the lam for more than two years.

  • Governor's pardon does not mean criminal records can be sealed, court rules

    James Radcliff’s hopes of erasing the old criminal convictions that disturbed his otherwise good life were extinguished today by the Ohio Supreme Court. In a 4-3 vote, the justices ruled that the Delaware County man was not entitled to have his record expunged despite receiving a gubernatorial pardon recognizing his transformation to model citizen.

  • College grants, lower tuition costs among House GOP priorities

    House Republicans want to offer students up to $5,000 a year to help them earn degrees in “high-demand” jobs, while Senate Republicans are prepared to push Ohio universities to lower their cost to students by 5 percent starting next year. “Higher education is rapidly pricing itself out of the marketplace for average Ohioans. We’ve got to stop that trend,” said Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, who said past temporary tuition freezes or guaranteed tuition have not achieved affordability.

  • Rep. Tim Ryan says he's no longer against abortion rights

    Rep. Tim Ryan’s decision to support abortion rights is a sign that he is considering a statewide run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2016 or governor in 2018, political analysts said. In an opinion piece posted Tuesday evening on the Akron Beacon Journal’s website, Ryan, 41, wrote that he has dropped his opposition to abortion rights, an abrupt change in his anti-abortion stance during his 15 years in public office.

  • Case against suspended Athens County sheriff takes shape

    ATHENS, Ohio — State special prosecutors began shaping a picture for jurors today portraying suspended Athens County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Kelly as corrupt and greedy. Defense attorney Scott Wood, however, said Kelly made honest mistakes and committed no crimes, and told jurors they will hear that from the sheriff himself toward the end of the trial in two weeks.

  • Ohio Politics Now: Groups push Medicaid, tobacco tax hike ahead of budget proposal

    Ahead of Gov. John Kasich’s budget unveiling on Monday, groups are out advocating, Dispatch reporter Catherine Candisky writes. Issues on yesterday’s agenda? Medicaid expansion and an increase in the cigarette tax. Advocates shared success stories of people who used Medicaid and were able to get find jobs and move off Medicaid, something Republicans have said they want to see happen more.

  • Port Clinton man says dog got the best of would-be burglar

    PORT CLINTON, Ohio -- A family in northern Ohio says a man trying to break into their home left behind a trail of blood after meeting their dog at the front door. The family in Port Clinton says they were home when their 11-year-old pit bull named Mamma heard something at the door and began growling.

  • Medicaid backers press for continued expansion in Ohio

    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.

  • Licking County pastor charged with sex with teen congregant

    NEWARK, Ohio — The website for Newark Heights Church of God says its senior pastor “has a heart for the poor, lost and wounded.” On Monday, Newark police arrested the pastor, Scott E. Murphy, and charged him with having sex with a 15-year-old church member on church property.

  • Ban on abortion after 20 weeks being pushed by anti-abortion groups

    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.

  • Ohioans’ insurance rates for autos, homes to rise

    The cost of insuring autos and homes in Ohio is expected to rise in 2015, although rates will continue to be below the national average.

  • Honda begins building Acura ILX in Marysville

    The list of Ohio-made vehicles has expanded by one with the start of Acura ILX production yesterday in Marysville. Honda, which owns Acura, said last year that it was moving assembly of the compact car to Marysville from Greensburg, Ind., which had produced the model since its debut in 2012.

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