The City of Canton is planning to hire a consultant to look into leasing city-owned property for gas and oil drilling. The city law director says the mayor may hire a consultant for up to 15-thousand dollars without city council approval, but cannot lease mineral rights without council approval. Consultants will be hired to research deeds and compile information on city properties, including how close they are to underground water sources. Opponents of the plan say they are concerned about water contamination and health problems from the drilling technique called fracking.
The Ohio State Fair closed its run on Sunday with a record-setting Sale of Champions livestock auction. The auction brought in nearly 250-thousand dollars. Some of the money will go to the Junior Fair participants, with the rest going toward scholarships and youth programs. The weekend's activities included warnings to fairgoers to wash their hands after visiting livestock exhibit areas. Two pigs were sent home Thursday because the tested positive for a strain of the swine flu virus.
A woman severely injured when she went to the aid of a horse owner in danger of being trampled is challenging the state's definition of being a spectator at an equine event as she seeks damages for her injuries. Roshel Smith says her presence at the horse barn where the accident happened is not covered by the state law meant to limit lawsuits against the horse industry. Defendant Donald Landfair argues Smith voluntarily went to the horse barn and watched activities involving horses, just the type of situation the law covers. A lower court has sided with Smith.
As we enter the final week of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and athletes from the United States have won a total of 60 medals. That's just behind China, at 61. The two countries have stayed in lock-step with one another all through the London Games. Here's a quick rundown of other news out there:
The Central Ohio Transit Authority says it will offer late-night bus service to the Columbus Casino starting four days after the casino is scheduled to open in October. The buses will run from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. COTA also plans to extend two existing bus lines to the casino during the day.
State Schools Superintendent Stan Heffner will officially resign this Friday amid ethical questions about his work for an educational testing contractor. Heffner's two-sentence resignation letter was released Saturday by the state Education Department. No reason for his departure was given in the letter that came days after Inspector General Randall Meyer found Heffner was on the payroll of a Texas-based testing firm when he lobbied Ohio lawmakers last year on a bill that benefited the company. Deputy Superintendent Michael Sawyers will become acting superintendent.
Maureen O'Brien told her daughter Emily Macri: dream big.
She could pick any college she wanted and they would figure out a way to pay for it.
Macri chose the University of Vermont, which costs more than $49,000 in tuition and fees per year for out-of-state residents.
O'Brien and her daughter co-signed a private student loan from Sallie Mae for $24,000 and a $30,000 Parent PLUS loan, a federal loan program for parents. And that was just for Macri's first two years of college.
We are covering other news today, including news out of Syria, where there have been some high-level defections. The prime minister of Syria fled to neighboring Jordan just two months after he was appointed. He says he has joined the opposition. Syrian rebels say that three other cabinet members also defected. These are the highest level departures from the government of Bashar al-Assad since the uprising began well over a year ago.