Ohio senator demands answers in IRS targeting
CINCINNATI (AP) - Ohio's Republican U.S. senator is demanding to know if any disciplinary action has been taken against IRS employees at the agency's Cincinnati office for targeting conservative groups.
Sen. Rob Portman spoke on the Senate floor in Washington on Thursday, condemning the IRS and saying that the first step in repairing the public's trust in the agency will begin with getting to the bottom of what happened.
Portman is calling on IRS Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel to identify by name and title every employee in the Cincinnati office who targeted conservative groups and explain if and how they've been punished.
Portman also wants to know whether other employees are under review and who is directly responsible for evaluating their involvement.
Workers at the Cincinnati office have declined requests for comment.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE DATA
State OKs plans of Ohio schools to fix data errors
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio schools that reportedly had errors in certain enrollment data have gotten state approval of plans to fix the issues.
The state auditor had flagged the errors in a February report. He was looking into a practice whereby schools attempted to improve performance ratings by altering attendance data.
The 49 schools and districts were said to have sporadic exceptions to enrollment reporting requirements in their 2010-11 school year enrollment data. Those errors included a lack of documentation, missing student files and incorrect information submitted to the state.
Ohio's Department of Education on Friday said officials have approved corrective action plans for the schools.
The plans were to describe the enrollment errors, the reasons for the incorrect records, and any steps the school would take to ensure accuracy in the future.
Federal cuts will dent Ohio health initiatives
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio officials are warning that federal budget cuts are going to put a dent in public health programs.
The Ohio Department of Health said Thursday that cuts totaling nearly $8.5 million so far will affect programs including newborn hearing screenings, food assistance programs and abstinence education.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state health department will absorb much of the costs, but local health departments will have to figure out how to cover some losses.
The state health department director, Dr. Theodore Wymyslo, said he wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for more information about other cuts. Officials say the lack of details coming out of Washington has made it more difficult to plan for the reductions.
Parents, ACLU oppose creationism curriculum in OH
SPRINGBORO, Ohio (AP) - Some parents and a civil rights group oppose policies to insert creationism and other religious issues into a western Ohio school district's classrooms.
The Dayton Daily News reports the Springboro School Board took comments on the proposed policy changes at a meeting Thursday night attended by parents, students and teachers.
The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter Thursday to the board urging members to abandon the plan to list to add creationism and evolution as discussion issues appropriate for students.
The board president says people should be allowed to talk about the issues in the classroom. The policy also would include issues such as sex education, legalization of drugs, gun rights and climate change as appropriate for classroom discussion.
A decision will be made at a future meeting.
18 indicted in alleged southern Ohio heroin ring
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A federal grand jury has indicted 18 people in an alleged 2-year conspiracy to distribute heroin in southern Ohio.
The panel charged eight people from the Dayton area, nine from Portsmouth and one from Lancaster with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin. It's punishable by at least 10 years in prison.
The Dayton Daily News reports that the 29-count indictment alleges that the defendants distributed heroin out of 7 spots in the Ohio River town of Portsmouth, about 90 miles south of Columbus - including two motels.
Student who fell from UD dorm committed suicide
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A two-month investigation has determined that a University of Dayton freshman who fell from a six-story dormitory window last month committed suicide.
Parents of 18-year-old Larry Cook had previously disputed that he had killed himself. But The Dayton Daily News reports that a probe concluded that Cook was under severe stress and had marijuana in his system when he jumped from the dorm window April 2.
Dayton police declined to discuss the details of the investigation until they could brief university officials and the teen's parents.
Later in April, a 19-year-old freshman survived a fall from the sixth floor of another university dorm. His family suspects illegal drugs were involved.
Insurance lawyer killed in Ohio building fall
LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a central Ohio insurance lawyer was killed when he fell through the roof of a storm-damaged building he was inspecting.
The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office said 44-year-old Michael Anthony Sway died on Thursday when the roof of the building near Lancaster gave way and he fell about 22 feet to the floor below.
The sheriff's office said Sway, who lived in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, was on the roof with another lawyer inspecting the pole barn in Greenfield Township.
Sway was inspecting the building as part of his work on a disputed insurance claim. He was dead at the scene.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation are investigating the accident.
Ohio House wants to ban lottery sales on Internet
CLEVELAND (AP) - Ohio House members want to make sure the Ohio Lottery doesn't start selling tickets on the Internet.
A provision in the state budget proposed by the Ohio House would prohibit the lottery from following the lead of other states and selling tickets directly to players via computers and hand-held devices.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that online sales are seen as a way for the lottery to attract younger customers and compete with more glamorous casinos. Critics see it as an expansion of gambling and worry that minors could buy tickets using their parents' credit or debit cards.
Retailers who use the lottery as a draw and receive commissions also are concerned.
The House has passed the budget bill and it's gone to the Senate for consideration.
Balloon release honors Ohio's 690 missing children
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State Attorney General Mike DeWine says Ohio has 690 cases of missing children on record.
DeWine joined children at Columbus Preparatory Academy on Friday to release 690 balloons representing the missing ahead of National Missing Children's Day on Saturday.
He says the high-profile case of 3 women found in a Cleveland home about a decade after they went missing serves as a reminder that the public shouldn't lose hope. 2 of the women were teenagers when they disappeared.
DeWine's annual report on the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse says the state had more than 19,000 reports of missing children last year, and about 60% of those were runaways. Most were recovered safely.
DeWine urged families to teach children to properly use 911.
Ohio man gets 8 years after 12th DUI
CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northeast Ohio say a 70-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of his 12th drunken-driving charge.
A judge in Summit County sentenced Edward South of Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) Falls on Thursday. The most recent conviction happened after South crashed into a pole on Dec. 26 and walked away from the scene. Police tracked him to a family member's home and apprehended him there.
He was convicted in May of 2 felonies for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, along with a specification and an enhanced penalty for having five prior offenses in the past 20 years.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports South has racked up a dozen drunken-driving convictions in the past 25 years.
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