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This Hour: Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment

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Ohio driver resigns after hot-bus allegation

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.

Lebanon (LEB'-uh-nuhn) Schools officials had placed driver Benjamin Spaulding on administrative leave after hearing complaints about what happened Monday afternoon. They say the seven-year driver resigned just before a scheduled disciplinary hearing Wednesday.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports that police are investigating complaints that Spaulding pulled the bus over Monday because students were unruly. He allegedly ordered them to close windows, then left them inside for a yet-undetermined time before returning to finish his route. The temperature was about 90 degrees Monday afternoon.

Police say they don't know of any harm to any students.

Spaulding's listed phone number wasn't in service Thursday.


Feds want Ohio ex-deputy treasurer sentenced

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a former Ohio deputy treasurer facing 15 years in prison for bribery and conspiracy in the U.S. and who fled to Pakistan should be sentenced in absentia.

The government says Amer Ahmad (ah-MEER' ah-MED') had a forged Mexican passport, a fraudulent Pakistani birth certificate, a false Pakistani visa and $175,000 when he was arrested in Pakistan in April.

Prosecutors said in a court filing Thursday that Ahmad fled to Pakistan, where he's being held on Pakistani immigration violations, to avoid U.S. prison time.

The 39-year-old Ahmad worked for two Ohio treasurers, Democrats Richard Cordray and Kevin Boyce, and later as comptroller under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Ahmad pleaded guilty last year to federal charges in an alleged kickback scheme at the Ohio state treasurer's office.


Dayton officer can't be sued for discrimination

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a Dayton police officer can't be sued individually as part of a sex discrimination case.

At issue in the court's divided ruling were complaints of age- and sex-discrimination by a female police officer against the department and her supervisor.

The court's 4-3 decision Thursday said the portion of Ohio law governing employment discrimination places liability on a government entity but not its individual employees.

Justice Judith French, writing for the majority, says the court's decision relates only to law dealing with discrimination by a government entity and says individual employees can still be sued under different circumstances.

Justice Paul Pfeiffer in a dissent said the supervisor was liable because he was acting in the department's interest.


Ohio serial rapist gets 135 years in prison

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man who was linked to seven Cleveland-area rapes when authorities reopened hundreds of previously unsolved rape cases has been sentenced to up to 135 years in prison.

The sentence by a judge in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County on Wednesday means 69-year-old Robert Green likely will never get out of prison. He was indicted in five of the cases in November and two more in May. He pleaded guilty.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that the rapes occurred over nearly a decade. They were unsolved until Cleveland police began sending about 4,000 untested rape kits to a state lab for testing.

DNA found in the rape kits first linked five of the rape cases together. Green was initially linked through an address provided by a victim.


Teen pleads guilty in step mother's stabbing death

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio teen has pleaded guilty to killing her foster mother as part of a conspiracy with her romantically involved foster father.

Nineteen-year-old Sabrina Zunich (ZOO'-nik) pleaded guilty to aggravated murder on Thursday in Lake County, and likely will be sentenced to life in prison later.

Zunich testified against Kevin Knoefel (kuh-NOF'-uhl) earlier this year as part of a plea agreement. Knoefel was found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder for convincing Zunich to kill Lisa Knoefel, and sexual battery for having had sex with the teen.

Zunich's attorney is seeking the possibility of parole after 20 years. He says his client is remorseful and that she would never have killed Lisa Knoefel had it not been for the influence of her foster father.


Teen cleared in Ohio crash that killed friend

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) - A juvenile court magistrate has cleared a teenager in a 2012 northeast Ohio crash that left her passenger dead.

Prosecutors claimed Laniqua Lusane was speeding and lost control of the car before the crash in Lorain County that killed 16-year-old Alexandra Clifford. She was charged with vehicular homicide and negligent assault.

The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram reports that in a ruling Wednesday, Lorain County Juvenile Court Magistrate Steve List wrote that prosecutors failed to prove Lusane was responsible.

An attorney for Lusane, who was 17 at the time, argued that she wasn't responsible because Clifford, who was riding in the front passenger seat, had grabbed the wheel when the car veered onto the rumble strips on the side of the road, and that caused the crash.

Prosecutors declined to comment.


Ohio justice pushes annual pay raises for judges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court is promoting annual cost-of-living increases for judges as a way of keeping judges on the bench and making the profession attractive to new candidates.

Maureen O'Connor says choosing a career in public service shouldn't mean being saddled with a stagnant salary, with judges now going without a raise since 2008.

O'Connor said Thursday in her annual state of the judiciary speech that modest, annual cost-of-living increases that keep pace with inflation aren't too much to ask.

O'Connor says that without competitive salaries sitting judges will move to private practice and potential judges won't ever consider the job.

Ohio law determines elected officials' pay, which can only be increased by lawmakers.


Ohio officer cleared in shooting of teen

CINCINNATI (AP) - A prosecutor says a suburban Cincinnati police officer was justified when he fired his gun and wounded a 16-year-old alleged armed robber last spring.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said in a letter that the Colerain Township officer didn't break any laws when he fired his gun and hit the 16-year-old gun-wielding suspect in the hand on March 28. The teen recovered and was jailed.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the shooting occurred as officers were trying to arrest suspects in two armed robberies in the township.

The officer, who wasn't named by the township, went back to work after 72 hours. The shooting was investigated by the Cincinnati police homicide unit and county prosecutors.


Bait dumping offers invaders path to Great lakes

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A scientific paper released Thursday says the bait fish trade represents a serious threat for spreading invasive species in the Great Lakes area.

Researchers say they tested water samples from tanks containing small fish for sale as bait at more than 500 shops around the eight-state region.

Twenty-seven of the samples tested positive for DNA of invasive fish. Three of the positive hits along Lake Erie in Ohio were for Asian carp, which authorities are trying to keep out of the Great Lakes.

Andrew Mahon of Central Michigan University says the findings suggest that at least some invaders are being spread by anglers who dump unused bait into the water.

Notre Dame scientist Chris Jerde says more consistent bait fish regulation among the states is needed.


Toledo zoo welcomes 100-year-old tortoise

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The newest resident of the Toledo Zoo is a 100-year-old dome-shelled Galapagos tortoise that weighs in at 440 pounds.

The tortoise, named Emerson, arrived at the zoo Wednesday night from the San Diego Zoo. He was escorted by Toledo Zoo personnel on his flight to Detroit before being driven to Toledo and uncrated inside a heated shed.

Handlers welcomed him with carrot and sweet potato treats and a neck rub.

The (Toledo) Blade reports Emerson is the zoo's first Galapagos tortoise since 1983 when his predecessor, Galopy, was sent to San Diego at the recommendation of the Galapagos Tortoise Species Survival Plan.

Galopy was also a wild-born tortoise and was the much-beloved face of the Toledo Zoo for 32 years.


Frontier adds flights from Cincinnati-area airport

CINCINNATI (AP) - Low-fare carrier Frontier Airlines is doubling its service from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Frontier will begin daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth on Oct. 26, with multi-day service also coming to Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Phoenix.

The five new destinations give Frontier 10 from the airport in northern Kentucky. Frontier began flying out of the airport in 2013, bringing a budget alternative to an airport long known for high fares.

The new service will operate on 138-seat A319 aircraft. Frontier kicked off the new offerings Thursday with limited, temporary fares as low as $14.99 one way.

Frontier earlier announced plans to begin service from northern Kentucky starting Sept. 8 to Washington D.C.

Low-fare rival Allegiant Air has also been expanding service from the airport.


AP source: Gordon wants to play in CFL but can't

CLEVELAND (AP) - Josh Gordon can't run a deep pass route into Canada and play.

The Cleveland Browns' suspended star wide receiver wanted to play in the Canadian Football League during his indefinite suspension, but CFL rules prohibit him from doing so.

Gordon, whose season-long suspension by the NFL was upheld on Wednesday, asked the Browns for permission to play for the Calgary Stampeders, a person familiar with the Pro Bowler's situation told The Associated Press on Thursday. However, a CFL rule that has been in place since 2006 bars any suspended NFL players under contract from playing.

CFL spokesman Jamie Dykstra said the only way Gordon could play in the league is if he was released by the Browns and became a free agent. Former Indianapolis wide receiver LaVon Brazill, serving a four-game NFL drug suspension, signed last week with Toronto after being cut by the Colts.

The CFL's board of governors adopted the rule eight years ago after suspended running back Ricky Williams played one season for Toronto.


Manziel appears as aerobics instructor in TV ad

CLEVELAND (AP) - Wearing spandex leggings, a headband and working out a class of exercising women as if he were Richard Simmons. No, we've ever seen Johnny Football like this.

He's Johnny JamBoogie.

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel channels his inner aerobics instructor in a new TV commercial for Snickers, one of the products he endorses. In the 30-second spot set to debut Thursday night, Manziel is teaching the class when a Cleveland player tells him he's not acting like himself.

Once he bites into the candy bar, he's back to being Manziel, wearing his No. 2 jersey.

Manziel said it was a "thrill" to star in the commercial and hopes "people have as much fun watching the ad as we did filming it."

Although the 21-year-old is Cleveland's backup, he's already one of the league's most popular players.

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