Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in July 2017, up from 5.0 percent in June 2017.
Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 1,600 over the month.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in July was 300,000, up 9,000 from 291,000 in June.
The number of unemployed has increased by 19,000 in the past 12 months from 281,000. The July unemployment rate for Ohio increased from 4.9 percent in July 2016.
The U.S. unemployment rate for July was 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in June and down from 4.9 percent in July 2016.
County by county unemployment rates for the state will be released on Tuesday.
COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced 8,800 new entities filed to do business in Ohio throughout the month of July, an increase of 1,279 when compared to the same month in 2016.
So far, 71,979 new entities have filed to do business in Ohio this year. Due to the use of Ohio Business Central, the online business filing site founded by Secretary Husted in 2013, this number continues to climb. Already in 2017, three out of every four entities founded were started online. From the time Ohio Business Central was launched until the end of July 2017, the Secretary of State’s Office has processed over 274,196 online filings.
July 2017 marked 21 months since Secretary Husted reduced the cost of starting and maintaining a business in the Buckeye State by 21 percent. This change has saved Ohio businesses over $4.5 million to date.
Secretary Husted’s efforts to cut costs don’t stop there. In fact, his request for a 100 percent cut in the amount of tax dollars needed to run his office was recently approved in the state’s budget. Husted’s request will save taxpayers nearly $5 million in the next two years. Secretary Husted was able to do this because of his wise financial stewardship. During his first term, he reduced spending by $14.5 million, a 16 percent reduction when compared to the previous administration. Secretary Husted is also operating his office with nearly 40 percent fewer staff and payroll costs at the Secretary of State’s Office are at the lowest level in 10 years.
Secretary Husted’s success in improving customer service is also apparent by the fact that more people are choosing Ohio as the place to do business. Earlier this year he announced that 2016 was the seventh consecutive year the state has seen a record number of new entities filing to do business in Ohio (read more). With strong filing growth in the first quarter of 2017, Ohio is well on its way to another record year.
Though the most visible role of the Secretary of State is that of chief elections officer, the office is also the first stop for individuals or companies who want to file and start a business in Ohio. While recognizing these numbers can’t provide a complete picture of Ohio’s jobs climate, they are an important indicator of economic activity that Secretary Husted hopes will add to the ongoing discussion of how to improve the state’s overall climate for business.
The sales tax holiday started today 12:00 a.m. and ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
During the holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:
Clothing priced at $75 per item or less;
School supplies priced at $20 per item or less; and
School instructional material priced at $20 per item or less.
Items used in a trade or business are not exempt under the sales tax holiday.
For more details you can visit tax-dot-ohio-dot-com
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown encouraged Ohioans to seek nomination from his office to U.S. service academies for 2018 admission.
Brown’s office will accept completed application packets from now until the deadline of September 22, 2017.
Each year, Brown nominates up to 10 students for each service academy requiring congressional recommendations: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Students interested in applying to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy do not need a congressional recommendation.
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today offered consumer protection tips ahead of Ohio’s sales tax holiday, which runs this Friday through Sunday.
“As people take advantage of the sales tax holiday and complete their back-to-school shopping, we want them to be prepared,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We’ve helped thousands of people resolve consumer complaints, and we know that many disputes are the result of a misunderstanding. We put an emphasis on prevention to help people avoid problems and make the most of their money.”
During the sales tax holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:
.Clothing priced at $75 per item or less;
.School supplies priced at $20 per item or less; and
.School instructional materials priced at $20 per item or less.
The Ohio Department of Taxation provides detailed information about the sales tax holiday on its website, including FAQs about what is and what is not exempt from sales tax during the holiday.
Tips for consumers include:
.Plan ahead. The sales tax holiday runs from Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. Determine in advance the purchases you want to make, and review the Department of Taxation’s FAQs to understand what is and what is not exempt from sales and use tax during the sales tax holiday. Also research sellers’ reputations by reading customer reviews and checking for complaints on file with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau.
.Understand return policies before you buy. In Ohio, sellers can choose to set their own return policies, including policies of “no returns,” but they should clearly tell you what their return policy is before you check out or complete the transaction. For example, the return policy shouldn’t be posted only on the back of a receipt.
.Stay safe online. Research websites you plan to use, and make sure a website is secure before you enter any personal information or payment details. In the web address, look for the “s” in “https” and/or a lock symbol to help ensure a website has security features. Also consider paying with a credit card, which generally gives you stronger protections to dispute unauthorized charges.
.Check the exclusions and limitations of an offer. Exclusions and limitations must be clearly disclosed in advertisements, including online, so review terms and conditions carefully before you go to the store or make a purchase.
.Keep your receipts. Maintaining a complete record of a sale will help you handle problems that may arise after the purchase. Keep receipts, copies of advertisements, photos of products, and other documentation until the transaction and billing process are complete.
.Monitor your accounts. Regularly check your credit card and bank accounts for unauthorized charges or unexpected activity. If you find problems, immediately notify your credit card provider or bank. The sooner you identify a problem, the sooner you can work to correct it.
.Protect your personal information. Don’t carry around extra, unneeded credit cards, debit cards, or other sensitive information in your wallet or purse. Also limit giving out your personal information. Check privacy policies to see how sellers will use your information.
.Watch for scams and identity theft. Con artists operate year round. If you receive a message saying you’ve won the lottery, the IRS is coming to arrest you, or a family member is out of the country and in need of money immediately, it’s likely a scam. Also, help watch for signs of potential identity theft by checking your credit report using www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels announced today the winners of the 2017 “Agriculture is Cool!” visual arts contest. Ohio children enrolled in school or home schooled during the 2016-2017 academic year shared their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is “cool” for their chance to win a trip to the Ohio State Fair.
Twelve entries were selected as winners in their respective categories, and in our region, the 6th to 8th grade photography winner was 12 year old Abby Breece of Alvada in Hancock County.
The winners were honored by Lt. Governor Taylor, Ohio Agriculture Director Daniels and Ohio State Fair Manager Virgil Strickler at a ceremony at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.
WCMH-TV NBC4 reports that the Ohio State Highway Patrol has released the names of the victims in the state fair accident. 18 year old Tyler Jarrett is the identity of the man that was killed in the incedent.
36 year old Tamika Dunlap (Rynoldsburg), 42 year old Russell Franks (Columbus), 19 year old Keziah Lews (Columbus), 22 year old Jacob Andrews (Pataskala), 18 year old Jennifer Lambert (Columbus), and a 14 year old boy who's name isn't being released at the request of the family, were all injured in that incedent.
One person is dead and seven injured after an amusement ride accident that occurred Wednesday, at the Ohio State Fair, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The Amusement ride known as the “Fire Ball” malfunctioned, ejecting eight individuals from the ride.
The ride is described as an “aggressive thrill” swinging riders 40 feet above the ground.
Ohio Governor, John Kasich ordered that all other operating amusement rides within the Ohio State Fair be shut down for further inspection. The Governor released a statement via Twitter.
The FBI Internet Crimes Center released a bulletin late last week concerning "Smart Toys" that connect to the internet and can pose cyber security and privacy concerns for consumers.
These toys can potentially collect information about you and your family.
The bulletin notes that in some cases, toys with microphones could record and collect conversations within earshot of the device. Information such as the child’s name, school, likes and dislikes, and activities may be disclosed through normal conversation with the toy or in the surrounding environment.
The bulletin was issued so parents can use caution when purchasing new toys for their children.
The Ohio National Guard will celebrate its birthday and honor the 100th anniversary of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
The event will be held at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon at the Major General Robert S. Beightler Armory located at 2825 West Dublin Granville Road in Columbus.
The Ohio National Guard was organized on July 25, 1788 — nearly 15 years before Ohio gained statehood — in Marietta, Ohio, as the Northwest Territory Militia.
This year the Ohio National Guard turns 229 years old, celebrating more than two centuries of being a trusted team of Soldiers and Airmen serving their communities, state and nation.
Alumni and veterans of the 37th representing several eras including World War II will be in attendance.
Ohio's unemployment rate was 5 percent in June, up from 4.9 percent in May.
According to a release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in June was 291,000, up 5,000 from 286,000 in May.
The U.S. unemployment rate for June was 4.4 percent slightly higher than in May.
County unemployment rates will be released on Tuesday.
Ohio Farm Bureau and Nationwide will present the Land and Living Exhibit at the Ohio State Fair.
The exhibit will offer visitors family fun and a connection to rural Ohio and will demonstrate agriculture's link to everyday life.
Visitors can participate in a variety of interactive opportunities such as playing with local rescue dogs, learning about nutrition, watching chicks come out of their shells and much more.
The exhibit will be in the Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building during the fair which runs July 26 through August 6 in Columbus.
COLUMBUS, OH - The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Perry County until 2 p.m. today; Flash Flood Warning for Fairfield and Licking counties until 2:45 p.m. A Flood Warning has been issued for Hancock, Hardin, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties until further notice. Forecast river flooding in these areas increased from moderate to major severity. A Flash Flood Watch has also been issued for 70 Ohio counties through tomorrow (July 14).
The NWS also noted that a flood threat exists for all of central and southern Ohio. The NWS forecasts heaviest rain throughout tonight in northern Ohio. Major flooding is expected for Blanchard and Portage rivers, with moderate flooding expected for the Scioto and Auglaize rivers.
“The State of Ohio continues to monitor weather conditions and is in communication with affected county EMA offices,” said Sima Merick, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. “With the severe weather and flood advisories issued, right now is the best time to take steps to protect your flooding and home from potential flooding.”
.Move valuable household possessions to upper floors or to safe grounds, if time permits.
.Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or a local news station for the latest storm and weather information.
.Ensure you are covered for flood damage. There are two types of flood policies: one for building structures and one for its contents. Have good photos of your home in its pre-flood conditions. National Flood Insurance Program
.If instructed by local officials/authorities, turn off all utilizes at the main power source and close the main gas valve.
.Be prepared to evacuate.
.NEVER drive through flooded roadways. When approaching a flooded road, stop and do not cross. Drivers cannot always determine the depth of water or if roadbeds are washed out.
The best advice: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
Know before you go. Current road conditions, closures, accidents are available by logging onto the Ohio Department of Transportation’s www.OhGo.com.
For additional flood safety and flood insurance information, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website: www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture will be sponsoring a collection for farmers wishing to dispose of unwanted pesticides on Aug. 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the OSU Extension Putnam County Office 1206 East 2nd Street in Ottawa.
The pesticide collection and disposal service is free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted. Paint, antifreeze, solvents, and household or non-farm pesticides will not be accepted.
Pesticide collections are sponsored by the department in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.
The Ohio State University will propose the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee. Tuition and fees would increase 5.5 percent for incoming Ohio freshmen in August and then, under the guarantee, be frozen at that level for four years.
This will apply to incoming freshmen only. Tuition and fees will not change for existing in-state students, including current sophomores, juniors and seniors.
This would mark the fifth straight year of a tuition-and-fee freeze for existing students.
Concurrently, Ohio State will significantly expand aid for middle- and lower-income students.
The Board of Trustees will deliberate and discuss these proposed changes at a meeting on July 11.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Thursday that the Ohio Business Profile program will feature businesses with products "Made in Ohio" throughout the month of July.
Companies profiled this month in our region is Gasdorf Tool and Machine Company in Lima, which has been recognized as a pacesetter in the production of precision machinery.
They specialize in various types of equipment ranging from simple fabrication to complete assembly machines.
Columbus - As of July 1, 2017, a new law goes into effect requiring first-time applicants for a driver’s license, who have not taken a course, to take an abbreviated adult driver training course when they fail their first attempt at the driving test.
This new law applies to first-time applicants age eighteen (18) years and older, who have never held a driver’s license. If they fail their first attempt at maneuverability or the road portion of their driving test, they will be required to take the abbreviated adult driver training course before they are able to test for a second time.
There are four options for customers who are required to take the abbreviated adult driver training course with a licensed school. The options are:
1. A 4 hour in-person class followed by 4 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor with a licensed abbreviated adult driver training school; or
2. A 4 hour in-person class followed by 24 hours of driving with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older; or
3. A 4 hour state-approved online course followed by 4 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor with a licensed abbreviated adult driver training school; or
4. A 4 hour state-approved online course followed by 24 hours of driving with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older.
The customers who choose the option for 24 hours of driving with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older cannot complete more than four hours of driving in one day. The customer is required to complete the Twenty-four Hour Affidavit (BMV 5789) found on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV’s) website, www.bmv.ohio.gov.
When the customer returns to the BMV for the second attempt at the driving test, they shall bring the certificate of completion of an abbreviated adult driver training course, along with the Twenty-four hour affidavit, if they chose that option. The affidavit shall be completely filled out, signed and notarized to be accepted.
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned consumers to beware of home rental scams. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received over 40 reports about the scams in 2017, and summer is a peak time for moving and traveling.
In a typical rental scam, a con artist posts an ad online offering a house or apartment for rent. When interested consumers respond to the ad, the con artist tells them to send a deposit. Later, the consumers discover that the rental ad was phony and the con artist had no affiliation with the property. Reported losses have ranged from $250 to $5,000.
“Scam artists will say, ‘You send us the money, and we’ll send you the keys,’ but that’s a lie,” Attorney General DeWine said. “The truth is these con artists are offering properties they don’t own and hoping people will take the bait. We encourage people to be very careful. If someone’s asking you to wire a deposit for a property you’ve never seen in person, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.”
To make the scams seem believable, con artists often steal photos and property information from legitimate real estate listings then repost the information as rental property ads on Craigslist or other sites. The advertised rent is often low, and con artists generally tell people to wire a few hundred dollars (or more) to secure the rental or to prevent others from viewing the property.
Signs of the scam include:
.Requests for payment via wire transfer, money order, prepaid card, or gift card.
.Ads offering below-market rates on houses or apartments.
.Rental ads offering properties that are listed for sale on other websites.
.Landlords who offer to rent to you immediately, without checking your credit.
.Requests for you to wire money before you’ve seen the property.
.Landlords who claim they’re out of the country for business or missionary work.
To avoid scams:
.Be wary of requests for wire transfers, money orders, prepaid money cards, or gift cards. These are preferred payment methods for scammers, because once payment is provided, it is nearly impossible to recover.
.Be skeptical of ads offering below-market rates on houses or apartments. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
.Check the county auditor’s website to determine who owns the property. Be aware that scam artists may pretend to be the true owner.
.Don’t send any money until you’ve seen a property in person and/or verified that the person communicating with you is truly who he or she claims to be.
.Be wary of landlords, property owners, or real estate professionals who say they had to leave the country quickly for business or missionary work. These kinds of claims are made often by scam artists.
.Be wary of landlords or property managers who offer to rent property to you without gathering any information from you, such as your credit score or a background check.
.Copy and paste an image from an online listing into a search engine to determine if it has appeared elsewhere online.
.Read and follow the scam prevention tips provided by any house or apartment-searching websites you use.
Real estate agents and sellers can help protect their listings by watermarking their photos and reporting fraudulent postings to the website where they appeared.
In addition to rental scams, consumers also should watch out for closing-cost scams that target home buyers or sellers. In these scams, a con artist typically poses as a title office or a real estate agent and emails the home buyer or seller with instructions to wire closing costs to a certain location. The instructions seem legitimate, but the message is bogus and any money sent will go to a scammer.
Consumers can learn more about scams or report potential scams to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.
Independence Day and fireworks go hand in hand, but fireworks shouldn’t go in consumers’ hands. That’s the message the National Fire Protection Association is reinforcing this Fourth of July.
Fireworks annually cause devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even death, making them too dangerous to be used safely by consumers.
On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire.
U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks-related injuries; 51 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 41 percent were to the head.
A Ball State audiologist is warning people to take precautions this summer as they enter a world filled with lawn mowers, concerts, marching bands and fireworks.
Sounds louder than 80 decibels have the potential to cause permanent damage. Yet noise created by fireworks, traffic, concerts and landscaping equipment ranges between 90 and 140 decibels.
Loud noises put children’s hearing at risk as well. Recent studies found that about 12.5 percent of American children have hearing loss caused by noise exposure.
June is National Internet Safety Month, and with data breaches, ransomware attacks, fake tech support scams, and phishing emails becoming more and more prevalent, it is becoming increasingly important to be in the know regarding internet safety.
The Consumer Fraud Advisory Group joins with the National Cyber Security Alliance in suggesting several cyber hygiene defenses including: Don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources, prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as patches or new operating system versions are available, use strong authentication, requiring more than a username and password to access accounts and make better passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.
To obtain additional information or to report a scam, contact the BBB serving Northwest and West Central Ohio at 419-531-3116.
The last chance to honor veterans who have served their communities following military service is fast approaching.
The deadline for nominations for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2017 is June 30.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to recognize the achievements of veterans in community service after their military service ended.
The Hall of Fame Executive Committee, made up of veterans, selects not more than 20 inductees annually. Men and women chosen for induction into the Hall come from all eras, all branches of service and all walks of life.
Nomination guidelines and forms are available at dvs.ohio.gov.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the football regions and schedule format for the 2017 playoffs.
New in 2017, all playoff games during the first four rounds will be played on Friday nights. Also announced was the format for the state championship games, which will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.
The new regions and playoffs format were approved last Thursday by the OHSAA Board of Directors at their June meeting as part of the 2017 football tournament regulations.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the college entrance exam ACT sent 21 school districts incorrect test versions during the April 19th state mandated exam to high school juniors. Each test date had a different version of the test.
The testing company refused to place marks on the tests, and offered a free test to affected students on a later date.
State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria calls the jesture "unsatisfactory" and is requesting the students exams be scored to be included in college applications.
Some districts reportedly had hundreds of students impacted.
One of these schools where some 500 juniors test scores were invalidated, was Reynoldburg. School Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning said that even though the students could retake the test in the fall, it would be too late for early applicatoin deadlines.
NBC 4 News reports that a 3.4 magnitude earthquake shook south of McArthur, Ohio just after noon on Wednesday. McArthur is located in Vinton County.
The United State Geological Survey says that around 55 poeple felt the earthquake.
This is the second and largest quake of the year in Ohio. The first, struck in Monroe County and measured in at a 3.0 magnitude in early April.
As concert-goers mourned the death of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, thunderstorms canceled some performances Friday at Rock on the Range at Mapfre Stadium.
The rock festival’s opening day was cut short as attendees were evacuated due to severe weather that moved through the area. Once the weather cleared, doors reopened at 7:10 p.m.
The canceled performances added to the already somber atmosphere at the stadium. Soundgarden was to be the headliner Friday night and was scheduled to be the last act. Cornell was found dead Wednesday night in his hotel room after his concert performance in Detroit.
The Wayne County, Michigan, medical examiner’s office ruled 52-year-old Cornell’s death a suicide by hanging. Detroit police said he was found with an exercise band around his neck.
During his Detroit performance, in which he praised Detroit Rock City, he had said, “I feel bad for the next city.”
Cornell was an icon during the ’90s grunge-rock movement through his time as a lead vocalist with bands Soundgarden and Audioslave.
“When you come to an event like this, where you were looking forward to seeing him, it’s tough to take,” said Tara Sigal, who traveled from New York to Columbus for the Rock on the Range show. “This is really hard to accept, especially for rock music fans.”
Cornell’s wife, Vicky, and his family are disputing the suicide ruling, saying in a statement that it is not possible to rule he “knowingly and intentionally” killed himself without toxicology tests because Cornell might have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.
Meanwhile, Rock on the Range attendees tried to make sense of it all.
“I really hope they come out with how he died because I really don’t think it was a suicide,” said Pittsburgh resident Nadine Luther. “I am just so shocked. Everyone here is so shocked.”
“I heard the news on the radio on my way to work, and my jaw just dropped. I was really looking forward to seeing them this weekend,” said Columbus native Harry Cutting. “... I really hope they do something cool for him during the festival because this impacts a lot of people.”
Rock on the Range planned a special tribute for Cornell on Friday after Live’s performance. Stone Sour also paid tribute to Cornell and Soundgarden at a festival kickoff Thursday night.
“Our hearts are filled with sorrow,” Rock on the Range spokeswoman Kristine Ashton-Magnuson said of Cornell’s passing, “but the show must go on.”
The festival is expected to bring in 120,000 people over three days for dozens of performances.
As storms moved through the area Friday, organizers shut down the show shortly after 3 p.m. Some attendees argued with employees about the legitimacy of the closing for the storm as others flooded the parking lot to leave or camp out in their cars.
The second day of Rock on the Range is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. today with Korn as the headliner. Metallica is scheduled to kick off the final day of the series Sunday.
According to WBNS 10TV: COLUMBUS - He is ready to get to work on going for Ohio's top job.
Early Sunday morning, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced on social media he is running for governor. Current Governor John Kasich's term will end in 2018.
On Monday, Husted gets to work on his campaign by launching a statewide tour. He will appear at 10 public events across Ohio this week.
"Jon Husted is the conservative candidate to lead the Republicans to victory in 2018," said Joshua Eck, spokesman for Husted for Ohio. "This week, we want to give as many Ohioans as possible the opportunity to hear his positive vision for state's future as he launches his campaign to be our next Governor."
According to the Columbus Dispatch:
Ohio House Republicans are proposing hundreds of amendments to the budget proposed by Gov. John Kasich.
While most agencies saw funding cuts, House Republicans added nearly $90 million over two years for schools.
The House slightly increased the cap on funding increases to any one district, from 5 percent to 5.5 percent, increased the base per-pupil funding amount by 0.3 percent — to $6,020 — and put more money into capacity aid for poorer districts.
The House funding proposal would mean at least $100,000 extra for each of 165 districts. However, many districts cut under Kasich’s plan are still getting cut, just by a lesser amount.
Kasich’s budget left 390 districts with less money. The total is 350 under the House plan.
House leaders said the additional money shows education is a priority, but “frankly, $40 million (per year) over 612 districts doesn’t spread very far,” said Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, chairman of the House Finance Committee. “It’s nothing that’s going to blow people away.”
COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The first of three polar bears born at the Columbus Zoo over the winter will be out for public viewing Wednesday morning.
The zoo plans to have Anana and her cub out on April 19 at 9am.
Aurora and her twins will be able to be seen by the public at a later date. The zoo said the three cubs will not be on view together because female polar bears typically raise their young independently.
According to the zoo, the polar bear mothers have been caring for their cubs in their dens and behind-the-scenes areas to ensure healthy development. After successfully completing “swim lessons,” the cubs have become acclimated to the outdoor habitat at Polar Frontier, where visitors can enjoy viewing them and learn more about this threatened species.
The three cubs are the only three polar bears born in a zoo in North America in 2016.
The zoo plans a special public announcement shortly after the viewing begins.
NEWCOMERSTOWN, OH (WCMH) – The Tuscarawas County Sheriff said a Newcomerstown police officer made up a story about being shot last week.
Officer Bryan Eubanks originally said he was investigating a meth lab operating out of a Geo Tracker. He said the suspects shot him in the arm and drove off.
Now, investigators say Eubanks shot himself in a failed suicide attempt.
Sheriff Orvis Campbell said Eubanks claims he was under emotional stress before he shot himself.
Eubanks is expected to be charged, but no other details have been released.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's new anti-bestiality law was prompted in part by the case of a man charged with engaging for years in sexual intercourse with dogs. Similar laws against human-animal sexual acts are passing around the country.
In Ohio, animal-rights groups have joined with domestic violence shelters, psychologists and law enforcers to fight the perception that bestiality is little more than a joke. One criminologist reports a 600-percent increase in such crimes over the past seven years.
Experts say the internet has allowed like-minded individuals seeking to share animals for human sexual purposes to more easily communicate.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation released animal cruelty crime statistics for the first time last year. Bestiality is now seen as a red flag for acts of human violence, including against children, women and family members.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A work group that reviewed Ohio's new graduation requirements tied to more demanding exams recommends giving the first affected high schoolers more flexibility in how they can earn a diploma in a points-based system.
Educators say too many current juniors are at risk of not graduating in 2018 under the requirements, which outline three paths to earn a diploma: through college entrance exams, or through points systems for end-of-course exams and career-readiness. The work group suggests allowing the class of 2018 to earn points for alternatives such as "capstone" projects, community service or strong attendance.
Ohio's superintendent will review the recommendations before giving his own to the state school board.
The board could alter the number of required points, but changing the three diploma pathways themselves would require legislative approval.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two Democratic state lawmakers in Ohio are proposing an equal pay hotline that they say could help fight wage discrimination.
State Reps. Kent Smith, of Euclid, and Janine Boyd, of Cleveland Heights, introduced legislation Tuesday establishing the hotline.
Their bill would establish a toll-free number where workers could anonymously report instances of alleged wage discrimination. The phone line would also provide information to workers on whether they could be victims of pay discrimination.
The bill is unlikely to get far in the Republican-dominated state Legislature, where Democrats have long pushed measures to close the pay gap between men and women.
A 2016 study by the American Association of University Women found Ohio had one of the nation's biggest gender wage gaps, ranking 42nd nationally in pay equity.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A repeat proposal seeking to eliminate Ohio's renewable energy requirements is headed toward a crucial committee vote.
The House Public Utilities Committee has set a Wednesday hearing on the measure, which is likely to clear the panel and head to a House floor vote this week.
Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) vetoed a similar bill last session, but fellow Republicans in the Legislature are determined to try again.
The latest bill would lift mandates requiring utility companies to generate or buy and sell a percentage of power from alternative and advanced sources, such as solar and wind, by set dates. It would also eliminate penalties utilities face for non-compliance.
House approval would send the bill to the GOP-led Ohio Senate, where its fate is uncertain.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland's main airport is developing a system to help travelers more accurately compare wait times at its security checkpoints and better plan their trips.
Cleveland.com reports the system is being developed in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration. It allows travelers to view wait times at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport's three checkpoints.
The TSA currently offers wait time estimates for airports nationwide on its website and mobile app. But that information is based on traveler feedback and is sometimes unreliable.
Airport spokeswoman Michele Dynia says the new system should begin testing in early April. Implementation is targeted for later in the month.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio motorists are now required to provide at least three feet of clearance when passing bicycles.
The Plain Dealer reports a law that took effect this past week expands on efforts by municipalities that had already imposed the three-foot passing rule.
The new law that cleared the state Legislature in December updates an earlier law that required drivers to pass cyclists at an unspecified safe distance.
Ohio joins more than half of U.S. states that now have three-foot passing laws in place. The standard is supported by the American Automobile Association and the League of American Bicyclists.
CLEVELAND (AP) — New U.S. Census Bureau estimates indicate that Ohio's most populous county is no longer the one that includes Cleveland but the one that includes Columbus.
The estimates have Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County losing about 5,700 people last year while Franklin County gained over 14,000 residents. That would leave each county with a population of more than 1.2 million people, with Franklin County ahead by roughly 15,000.
Cleveland.com reports that a big factor in the Cleveland area's population loss was people moving elsewhere. The bureau estimates that more than 10,000 Cuyahoga County residents moved elsewhere in Ohio or to another state. The counties anchored by Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo also lost residents to so-called domestic migration, in smaller numbers.
The statewide population held relatively steady at more than 11.6 million.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced a program to help families hurt by parents' addiction to painkillers and heroin.
The $3.6 million program unveiled Wednesday will aid children abused or neglected due to parental drug use in 14 southern Ohio counties.
Parents of children referred to the program will also receive drug treatment.
The Public Children Services Association of Ohio says one of every two children placed into foster care in 2015 were there because of abuse and neglect associated with their parents' drug use.
The Franklin County Coroner said last week that nearly a person a day is dying in central Ohio by overdosing on the painkiller fentanyl.
The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Medical Examiner says a record 60 people in that county died from opiate overdoses in February.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Dozens of Ohio municipalities are challenging a law that allows four telecommunications companies to place wireless antennas on municipal buildings within city limits.
Lawsuits to be filed in Columbus, Cleveland and elsewhere Monday say the new law prohibits cities from effectively managing where wireless facilities are placed in local communities.
Mayors and city managers argue the provision violates the so-called Home Rule rights guaranteed municipalities in the Ohio Constitution.
They also argue the law was improperly tucked into an unrelated bill that dealt with pet store regulation in Ohio.
Cities challenging the law include Columbus and several central Ohio suburbs along with Cleveland and numerous northeastern Ohio municipalities.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office is reviewing the claim but didn't immediately comment.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The mother of an Ohio college student who went missing while bicycling and was found dead days later is asking Ohio lawmakers to create a public registry that tracks people convicted of violent crimes.
Sheila Vaculik told lawmakers this past week that she doesn't know if a registry could have prevented her daughter's death. But she says it might help someone else.
The idea came about after the death this summer of University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin (JAW'-gihn) and the arrest of a neighbor who was convicted of abducting another woman in 1990.
Two state lawmakers have proposed making a registry that tracks people convicted of crimes including murder, kidnapping and abduction.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association support the idea.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Majority Republicans in Ohio's state Legislature are again seeking to eliminate the state's renewable energy requirements.
A House bill introduced this past week would get rid of requirements forcing utilities to generate or buy and sell a percentage of power from alternative and advanced sources, such as solar, wind and clean coal.
Under the legislation, utilities would no longer face penalties for not meeting annual benchmarks for purchases of renewable energy and would instead have optional goals. The measure has more than 50 co-sponsors.
Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed similar legislation last session, but the House GOP now has enough votes to override a governor's veto.
If the bill clears the House, it would still need to go through the Ohio Senate, where its fate is not yet clear.
CLEVELAND (AP) — A state panel is recommending changes to Ohio court practices that keep defendants in jail because they can't afford bail.
A special committee of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission wants the state to create a system that determines release based on a defendant's likelihood of committing new crimes or skipping hearings.
The commission says release shouldn't depend on defendants' ability to pay for their freedom.
Cleveland.com reports the committee plans to present its recommendations to the Sentencing Commission on Thursday. The commission is expected to vote on the proposal in June.
A committee report says the reality is defendants with money can buy their freedom regardless of any danger they present to the community. The report says poor defendants, meanwhile, remain in jail before trial.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials will spend more time reviewing public feedback before sending federal regulators Ohio's education and accountability plan under the law that replaced No Child Left Behind.
Ohio intended to submit the plan next month, but educators raised criticisms about the draft, particularly about not reducing standardized testing. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria says Ohio will wait until a September deadline to submit the final plan and will carefully consider feedback in the meantime.
He says he'll convene an advisory committee to consider the testing issues. Ohio has 24 tests, more than required in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which gives states more control over schools and education policy.
DeMaria rebuffed critics' claims that the draft ignored public feedback, noting that its development took a year and involved 15,000 Ohioans.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Casino Control Commission has reported that revenue last month was down at the state's four casinos, but up at Ohio's seven racinos, compared with the same time last year.
Commission authorities announced Tuesday that casino revenue decreased 6.8 percent statewide to $67.2 million, compared with $72.1 million in February 2016. That marks the 10th consecutive month in which year-over-year revenues were lower.
Last year, total gambling revenue from Ohio's casinos totaled $797.9 million, down from $812.3 million in 2015.
Revenue at the state's racinos, which feature horse tracks with video slot machines, rose 8.4 percent to $78.3 million this February, compared with $72.2 million in February 2016.
Experts say racinos have been aided by their location and successful efforts to draw in gamblers.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's state income tax revenue has come up short of estimates in the past several months, and state tax revenue overall is nearly 3 percent below estimates for the fiscal year.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state collected almost $280 million in February income taxes. That was 27.5 percent short of estimates, leaving total income tax collections $352 million short for the fiscal year. The total is also 5 percent behind revenue from the same period last year.
The newspaper reports that collections were short $71 million in November, $29 million in December, $92 million in January and $77 million in February.
The state's tax revenue overall is $412 million below estimates. Ohio's unemployment rate is currently at 5 percent.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — High winds topping 50-60 mph in northern Ohio have shut down a bridge that carries Interstate 280 through Toledo and affected air travel in Cleveland.
Ohio's Department of Transportation posted a video showing a tractor-trailer toppling over Wednesday after crossing the Veterans' Glass City Skyway bridge. Crews later stopped traffic from crossing the bridge on I-280, a heavily traveled connector for trucks going between Detroit and northern Ohio.
The Ohio Turnpike banned some large vehicles because of the wind. The ban stretched from the Indiana-Ohio state line to Interstate 71 near Cleveland.
High winds also led some airlines to divert flights from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to avoid any dangerous landing conditions from wind gusts.
Power lines and trees were reported down across various parts of northern Ohio.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say a record number of concealed carry licenses for handguns were issued last year.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office said Wednesday that nearly 118,000 new permits were issued in 2016 along with 41,000 renewals. The total of 159,000 permits is the highest number since the state began issuing concealed carry licenses in 2004.
The previous high for new and renewed permits was 145,000 in 2013.
The state also saw new highs last year for the number of licenses suspended after someone was arrested or charged with certain crimes, licenses revoked and license applications denied.
Each county sheriff must report concealed handgun license statistics to the state on a quarterly basis.
DANVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The trial of a man accused of fatally shooting an Ohio policeman has been pushed back again, this time until early October.
Herschel Jones III has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges in the January 2016 slaying of Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell. The 34-year-old officer was found behind the village's municipal building, after Jones' ex-girlfriend warned police that he was "looking to kill a cop."
Jones' trial was scheduled for March, but has been rescheduled for Oct. 3.
The Mount Vernon News reports Jones' public defender, William Mooney, requested a delay for personal reasons.
The defense had argued that publicity would make it difficult to find an impartial local jury, but a judge refused to move it elsewhere.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland's police chief has held a disciplinary hearing for the 911 dispatcher who took a call that led to an officer fatally shooting 12-year-old Tamir (tuh-MEER') Rice, a black boy who was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center in 2014.
The caller told dispatcher Constance Hollinger that the suspicious person was probably a juvenile with a fake weapon. Hollinger is accused of not relaying that to another dispatcher communicating with responders.
A prosecutor said the responding officers, who are white, believed the gun was real. They weren't criminally charged, but also face potential internal discipline.
The police union president says Hollinger is a good dispatcher who responded according to training and experience.
She could face up to 10 days of unpaid suspension. The chief makes that decision. The was no immediate word when the chief will release his decision.
VAN WERT, Ohio (AP) — A 95-year-old World War II veteran in Ohio has received his combat medals that were mistakenly withheld.
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta presented a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and other decorations to Orval Mullen on Wednesday, his birthday, at an American Legion hall in Van Wert.
Latta says Mullen earned the commendations for heroic actions in combat but never got them because of "a military oversight." Latta says he learned about that oversight last summer while interviewing Mullen for the Library of Congress Veterans' History Project and wanted to make sure the error was corrected.
Mullen received nearly a dozen medals or other honors in all.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio drivers may be paying more to get their license plate or driver's license under proposed changes to the state transportation budget.
One change proposed Tuesday by the Ohio House of Representatives Finance Committee would allow county commissioners to levy a new $5 fee for Ohio license plates. Money collected through the increase would be used to pay for transportation projects.
If approved, the proposal would increase the total base cost of a passenger car plate to $39.50, while the cost of a motorcycle plate would increase to $33.50.
Service fees paid to deputy registrars who run the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices also would increase under the proposed changes to Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) two-year, $7.8 billion transportation budget. The service fees would rise from $3.50 to $5.25.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Some state lawmakers want to bring back cursive handwriting as a requirement in Ohio's elementary schools.
Republican Reps. Andrew Brenner and Marilyn Slaby have proposed legislation that would again make cursive instruction mandatory between kindergarten and fifth grade. Thirteen representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.
The bill would require schools to make sure students can write legibly in standard print by third grade and in cursive by the end of fifth grade.
The state doesn't currently require that cursive be taught in schools, and it's not part of the multi-state Common Core standards on which Ohio's standards are based. However, cursive instruction is included in the state's "model curriculum" for third and fourth grade.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal appeals court is hearing arguments over the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection process as the state tries to start carrying out executions once again.
State attorneys say they've provided plenty of evidence to show that the contested first drug in Ohio's three-drug method will put inmates into a deep state of unconsciousness.
The state also argues that the U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the use of that drug, midazolam (mih-DAY'-zoh-lam), in a case out of Oklahoma.
Lawyers for death row inmates are challenging the effectiveness of midazolam.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati scheduled arguments Tuesday.
Ohio is appealing a federal judge's decision that rejected the state's current three-drug execution method.
Ohio plans to execute condemned child killer Ronald Phillips on May 10.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — John Glenn is continuing to inspire 55 years after becoming the first American to orbit Earth.
Since Glenn's death on Dec. 8 at the age of 95, devotees have visited an exhibit of his artifacts at Ohio State University, backers have begun fundraising for an observatory and astronomy park in Glenn's name and work has begun on a 7-foot statue in his likeness.
Glenn's storied life included time as a military test pilot and U.S. senator, but it was the history-making Mercury mission that propelled Glenn and his spacecraft Friendship 7 into the history books.
The anniversary of the flight is Monday.
During 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds on Feb. 20, 1962, the capsule circled the Earth three times, making Glenn the first American to orbit Earth.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — In the timeline of politics, Ohio's next statewide election is just around the corner.
For Republicans, that means working to avert a collision in 2018 among three high-profile gubernatorial hopefuls: Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
For out-of-power Democrats, the challenge is even trickier: Finding any candidate with the political clout and statewide name recognition to win.
Ex-Attorney General Richard Cordray would be among the Democrats' top possibilities should Republicans in Washington succeed in firing him as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Talk-show host Jerry Springer also is considering a run. So are U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, and former state Rep. Connie Pillich.
Republican Gov. John Kasich cannot run for re-election because of term limits.
WEST LIBERTY, Ohio (AP) — A 16-year-old boy who was shot at his Ohio school a month ago says he's "feeling pretty good" and is glad to be attending classes and other school activities as life gets back to normal.
The Springfield News-Sun reports that Logan Cole discussed his recovery in an interview this week with radio station WBLL in Bellefontaine (behl-FOWN'-tihn). He says keeping a positive, forgiving attitude is part of his coping strategy.
He was hospitalized and required surgery after the Jan. 20 attack at a high school in West Liberty.
Authorities say 17-year-old Ely Serna fired a 12-gauge shotgun. He is charged in juvenile court with attempted murder, felonious assault and other offenses. He has denied the charges.
A judge ordered a competency evaluation of Serna at his attorney's request.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A police relations advisory board has approved a first-ever standard for Ohio law enforcement agencies for keeping racial and gender bias out of their interactions with the public.
The standard approved Friday requires agencies to adopt policies prohibiting bias in traffic stops and when officers interact with individuals who aren't in vehicles, such as questioning suspects in a crime.
The standard also requires agencies to collect the race and gender of drivers stopped by police.
This is the seventh standard approved by the board commissioned by Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) after a series of fatal police shootings in Ohio and nationally.
Other standards cover deadly force, body cameras and recruiting and hiring.
The state will publish an annual list of agencies meeting the standards.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AP) — The president of the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Ohio says it considered selling a century-old wooden propeller signed by one of the Wright brothers but decided against it, at least for now.
The Dayton Daily News reports the 8 ½ foot spruce propeller from 1915 is the only known airplane artifact with the signature of one of the aviation pioneer siblings, Orville Wright.
It's thought to have been on a Wright-built float plane. It was bought for $37,000 and donated to the hall near Dayton in 2004, but more recently was appraised for at least $275,000.
It's not on display because the five-figure expense to conserve it for public view didn't fit the hall's business plans, so officials considered selling it for display at an aviation-related museum or site.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The daughter of a Columbus police officer wounded in a 1972 shooting says she can't agree with a judge's decision to dismiss the case against the suspect.
Lori Cooper says no one should be able to shoot a police officer and not suffer the consequences.
Franklin County Judge Guy Reece on Thursday rejected a prosecutor's request that the case against shooting suspect Charles Hays be reopened.
Reece says that on balance the evidence shows Hays' right to a speedy trial was violated by authorities' failure to bring him back to Ohio in the years after the shooting.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said a decision hasn't been made whether to appeal.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Fiat Chrysler says it will temporarily lay off about 3,200 workers at its assembly complex in Ohio as it shifts Jeep Cherokee production to Illinois.
The automaker is making the move to give its Toledo plant space to build a new version of the Jeep Wrangler. It also plans to add a new pickup truck to the plant's production lineup.
Fiat Chrysler says the temporary layoffs will start in April and extend for at least six months.
The company is spending $1 billion to retool its Toledo factory and to move the Jeep Cherokee line to a plant in Belvidere, Illinois.
About 5,000 now work at the Toledo assembly complex. The company has pledged that employment levels will not be affected by the changes.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in central Ohio say officers fatally shot a man who confronted them with a knife and was suspected of earlier cutting a driver's neck and taking his car keys.
Columbus police say they went to a home in search of the suspect in the Tuesday night assault, and when he confronted them with a combat knife, a detective and officer repeatedly fired at him. He was hit multiple times and died at a hospital.
No officers were hurt.
Police said they would publicly identify the slain suspect after his family is notified.
Police say the man whose neck was cut suffered critical injuries and was being treated at a hospital. They say a woman who witnessed that attack and tried to intervene gave police the suspect's name.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman accused of livestreaming images of a man raping a 17-year-old girl has been sentenced to nine months in prison.
Nineteen-year-old Marina Lonina was sentenced Monday in Columbus after pleading guilty to one count of obstructing justice under a deal with prosecutors. She initially faced other charges, including rape and pandering sexual matter involving a minor.
Authorities alleged that she used the social media app Periscope to livestream the assault last February.
Defense attorney Sam Shamansky tells The Columbus Dispatch that Lonina admitted to failing to report the rape or turn over her evidence afterward.
The 29-year-old rape suspect, Raymond Gates, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
The victim alleged that Lonina set up the rape. Shamansky calls that allegation "unmitigated nonsense."
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of defrauding nearly 500 victims in what authorities describe as a $70 million Ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty in Ohio to federal charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud
Authorities say 55-year-old William Apostelos, formerly of Springboro in western Ohio, also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Dayton to a charge of theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan.
Prosecutors say the scheme began in 2009 and continued at least five years.
Authorities say Apostelos operated and oversaw multiple purported investment and asset management companies in the Dayton area, receiving $70 million in investment funds. Court documents say Apostelos paid for personal luxuries with the money instead of making investments.
No sentencing date has been set for Apostelos, who pleaded guilty Friday.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's government agencies will spend the next year looking closely at hotspots that are contributing to Lake Erie's algae blooms and developing a monitoring network.
The work is part of the state's strategy finalized this past week to attack the algae that has become an increasing threat to drinking water.
Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario along with Ohio signed a deal in 2015 to make a 40 percent reduction over the next decade in the phosphorus runoff feeding the algae.
Ohio's plan calls for using the next year to identify priority watersheds and develop reduction targets for those areas that are the source of large amounts of phosphorus.
The state also will try to find ways to cut phosphorus discharges at 30 wastewater treatment plants in northwestern Ohio.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Human remains have been found in a wooded area near a golf course in central Ohio.
Perry Township police said Monday that the remains were discovered by two women who were walking a dog on Sunday morning in a wooded area near the Brookside Golf Course and Country Club in suburban Columbus. Township police Chief John Petrozzi says a human skull and a leg bone were found at the site.
Petrozzi says officers were notified around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. He says it appears that the remains had been there for some time. Forensic anthropologists will be needed to determine how long.
Petrozzi says it also is not clear how the person died.
The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting police in their investigation.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court is again considering a challenge by the state's only condemned female killer of her death sentence.
The high court has twice sent the case of Donna Roberts back to Trumbull County court in northeastern Ohio for resentencing.
The 72-year-old Roberts was sentenced to death for a third time in 2014. The Supreme Court planned to hear her new appeal Tuesday.
In the past, the court said that a prosecutor improperly helped prepare a sentencing motion in Roberts' case and that a judge hadn't fully considered factors that could argue against a death sentence.
Roberts was accused of planning her ex-husband's murder with a boyfriend in hopes of collecting insurance money.
The boyfriend, Nathaniel Jackson, also was sentenced to death in the 2001 slaying.
LORAIN, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northern Ohio say a woman's admission that she set a fire at her apartment building has spurred them to investigate whether evidence connects other home fires to her or her mother, who has a previous arson conviction.
Police in Elyria (eh-LEER'-ee-uh) say 32-year-old Trista Mussell said she set the Jan. 2 fire with a lighter and some paper because she was upset about her apartment being dirty and having cockroaches.
She was jailed on an aggravated arson charge. Her attorney, JD Tomlinson, told The Chronicle-Telegram that Mussell was waiting for a grand jury to consider the case.
Lorain Fire Marshal Matt Homolya says investigators believe they can link four more fires to Mussell and three to her mother since her mother's arson conviction in 2000.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Attorneys for a death row inmate sentenced to die for fatally stabbing a 67-year-old man are asking the Ohio Parole Board for mercy for their client.
Raymond Tibbetts is scheduled for execution in April. He was convicted of killing Fred Hicks at Hicks' Cincinnati home in 1997.
The parole board meets Tuesday to hear arguments for and against clemency for Tibbetts.
Records show that Tibbetts first killed his wife, 42-year-old Judith Crawford, by beating her with a bat and stabbing her during an argument over Tibbetts' crack cocaine habit. Tibbetts then killed Hicks, who had hired Crawford as a caretaker and allowed the couple to stay with him.
Tibbetts was sentenced to death for the killing of Hicks and life imprisonment without parole for Crawford's death.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state is urging Ohio law enforcement agencies to adopt new statewide standards governing the use of deadly force, body cameras, hiring and other policies ahead of a March deadline.
An advisory board commissioned by Gov. John Kasich created the standards after a series of fatal police shootings, including the 2014 death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
The state Department of Public Safety says more than 300 agencies employing just over half of all Ohio police officers have received certification or applied to participate to date.
Agencies must apply to adopt the standards as minimum policies soon or be listed as noncompliant on a list to be published in March.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The Akron Zoo is introducing a new exhibit this summer that showcases some of the planet's more peculiar species such as the naked mole rat and Venus flytraps.
Zoo officials announced Tuesday that the new Curious Creatures exhibit will open June 3 in the Komodo Kingdom Education Center, which previously housed the popular Journey to the Reef display.
The zoo's new inhabitants also include red-eyed tree frogs, walking batfish and electric eels as well as several carnivorous plants and more.
Doug Piekarz, the zoo's president and CEO, says Curious Creatures allows the preserve to engage guests in their exploration of biodiversity like never before.
The exhibit features more than 20 animal and plant displays, an interactive learning lab and a strength tester where guests can virtually challenge the mantis shrimp.
ABERDEEN, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at an Ohio coal-fired power station has injured six people.
Operator Dayton Power & Light and Adams County Sheriff Kimmie Rogers say none of the injuries at the J.M. Stuart Generating Station power plant near Aberdeen is considered life-threatening.
A dispatcher with the sheriff's office says the explosion was reported Tuesday afternoon at the station, about 60 miles east of Cincinnati.
Dayton Power & Light says the plant was evacuated and preliminary reports accounted for all employees and contractors.
It's unclear if any of those injured had to be hospitalized.
The cause of the explosion is unknown.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Four people who prosecutors say were involved in a string of fires in northwestern Ohio have now been sentenced.
Three of the four will spend time in prison for the fires in rural parts of Wood County south of Toledo.
Investigators connected the group to five fires set last March. One of the suspects sentenced this past week received three years in prison while another was sentenced to probation.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson says one received leniency after cooperating with the investigation.
He says he isn't sure what role each played in the arsons that destroyed barns, at least two houses and other structures.
No one was hurt in the fires, but they did result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison says one of its freshmen was among the six people aboard a small plane that disappeared over Lake Erie near Cleveland last week.
The university says 19-year-old Megan Casey, of Powell, Ohio, had been attending a Cleveland Cavaliers game with her father, Brian, and four neighbors. The university says the six were returning to Columbus when the plane vanished late Thursday shortly after takeoff.
So far there has been no sign of the plane or its occupants, though there have been multiple reports of debris washing ashore near the airport where the plane took off. Police say they have confirmed that a bag recovered Sunday was from the aircraft.
The university says Megan Casey was in a sorority and was pursuing a career in nursing.
LOGAN, Ohio (AP) — Backers are fundraising to build an observatory and astronomy park named for the late space hero John Glenn at a state park in his native Ohio.
Members of the nonprofit Friends of Hocking Hills State Park say they've secured half of the $1.6 million budget for the proposed project at the park about 45 miles southeast of Columbus. They say the lack of light pollution in the area allows clear views of the night sky.
The head of the nonprofit group's board says in a statement that the park could offer research and education opportunities, help spark visitors' interest in science and astronomy and honor Glenn's legacy.
Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit Earth and later became a U.S. senator. He died Dec. 8, at age 95.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high-schooler is being credited with saving herself and her three younger brothers from a house fire.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that 16-year-old Abbi Swank's parents were delivering newspapers at around 4 a.m. Thursday when fire engulfed the north side house where she and her siblings were sleeping.
The Whetstone High School junior awoke to the sounds of her 11-year-old brother, Tyler, screaming. She smelled smoke, wrapped herself in a blanket and ran.
Abbi made sure Tyler and her 9-year-old brother, Bo, got outside. She was unable to rouse her 13-year-old brother, Kyle, so she dragged him out. Abbi then called her parents and 911.
Columbus fire officials said her actions probably saved all four children.
Two of the family's four dogs died in the blaze.
MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A court has dismissed an appeal by a former Ohio National Guardsman sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing three adopted daughters.
An attorney for the 43-year-old Marysville man argued evidence didn't support the conviction, the man had ineffective legal counsel and the child witnesses recanted their accounts at some point.
The man denied abusing the girls. His wife testified she never saw signs of such abuse. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison for intimidation and obstructing justice.
The appeals court ruling issued last month dismissed the man's appeal because the case wasn't fully resolved at the county level, as the jury deadlocked on one charge that hadn't yet been retried or dismissed.
The Associated Press isn't naming the couple to protect the children's identities.