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Senate committee makes recommendations on standardized tests

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 07:25 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Requiring students to take standardized tests that are shorter and given once a year instead of twice is among the recommendations of an Ohio Senate advisory committee charged with studying the issue.

The committee, appointed last month, also recommended that the testing window be close to the end of the school year to provide more time for classroom instruction and less disruption.

Testimony finished in Cleveland police shooting trial

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 04:00 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — The defense has rested and testimony is complete in the trial of a Cleveland police officer charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed citizens after a high-speed chase.

The judge who'll be deciding voluntary manslaughter charges against 31-year-old Michael Brelo (BREE'-lo) said Thursday that closing arguments would begin next Tuesday. The judge said his written verdict likely won't be finished next week.

Brelo has been on trial for four weeks. He faces a maximum 22 years in prison if convicted.

Ohio cities could create areas for open-alcohol containers

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 03:10 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's governor has signed a bill to let some cities create outdoor refreshment areas where revelers could walk outside with open containers of alcohol.

Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office says he signed the proposal Thursday. An emergency clause in the legislation allows it to take effect immediately.

The measure will allow cities of a certain size to create areas exempted from the state's open-container law. That law generally prohibits a person from carrying an open container of beer or liquor in public.

Ohio sees record high heroin overdose deaths

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 01:51 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state Department of Health says once again a record number of Ohioans died from heroin-related overdoses in 2013 as it released the newest available figures for a problem that's been called an epidemic and a public health crisis.

The state said Thursday that 983 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2013, up from 697 deaths in 2012.

The heroin increase also drove the overall number of fatal drug overdoses to 2,110 deaths in 2013, up from 1,914 the previous year.

Cleveland's out-of-town athletes' taxation unconstitutional

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 01:21 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has found unconstitutional the method that Cleveland uses for taxing professional athletes who work for short periods of time in the city.

The court said the city unfairly imposed a 2 percent income tax on ex-Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer based on games played in the city as a percentage of total games played.

The court said Hillenmeyer is due a partial refund under the method most cities use where athletes are taxed based on games played as a percentage of the season.

Ohio budget director takes issue with House spending plan

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 01:07 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's budget director is taking issue with changes the Republican-led House made to tax policies, education funding and other areas of the governor's state budget proposal.

Budget director Tim Keen told reporters Thursday that the two-year, $71.5 billion budget passed by the House relies on revenue and Medicaid estimates that he calls optimistic. He says he's concerned with the plan's amount of spending and its transfer of money from a fund designed for unplanned Medicaid expenses.

Ohio court denies police captain's appeal on murder trial

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 12:25 PM

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former Akron police captain who had argued a judge's previous ruling entitled him to a new trial in the 1987 slaying of his ex-wife.

The case of 69-year-old Douglas Prade now returns a county judge in Akron who will decide whether Prade gets a new trial in the slaying of Dr. Margo Prade, based on DNA evidence.

Suspect sought in fatal daytime shooting in Cincinnati

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 12:14 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati police are searching for a suspect in the fatal daytime shooting of a man on a city sidewalk.

Police say in a news release that an arrest warrant charging aggravated murder was issued Thursday for 28-year-old Darnell Higgins in the shooting of 30-year-old Gregory Douglas. Court records don't list an attorney for Higgins.

Police say Douglas was shot around 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood just north of downtown. He died a short time later at a hospital.

Ohio pays $9.6M for 2 new aircraft for state leaders' travel

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 07:54 AM

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The governor and other state leaders have two new aircraft for traveling around Ohio on official business.

The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1DEl9Qe ) reports the state spent $9.6 million and traded in two used planes to get the new aircraft this month. It bought a new, nine-passenger Beechcraft King Air 350i for $5.4 million and a six-passenger King Air 250 for $4.2 million.

Columbus police helicopter makes emergency landing

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 07:17 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio's capital say a police helicopter flying in the middle of the night made an emergency landing in a store parking lot.

WCMH-TV reports the pilot of the Columbus police helicopter landed it near a shopping plaza on the city's west side as a precaution after a warning light appeared.

After the unplanned landing around midnight, WBNS-TV says the helicopter returned to the police heliport early Thursday morning.

No injuries were reported.

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