WCBE

Associated Press

The U.S. Olympic Committee says 17 athletes with Ohio hometowns are among the 530 members of the American team that will compete in London starting on July 27th. 

The Ohio Department of Commerce says a tentative settlement in a lawsuit over interest earned on unclaimed funds is worth up to 15 million dollars. The department collects money from dormant bank accounts, forgotten rent deposits and other sources and invests the money until the owners are found. A judge previously ruled the interest must be paid to residents who have collected their money. The department says people who have collected funds since August 3rd of 2000 are eligible for interest under the settlement. The deal must be approved by a court. 

Norfolk Southern Railorad says it has cleared the site of Wednesday's train derailment and explosion near the state fairgrounds and has restored full rail service in the area. The company says the three tank cars carrying ethanol that exploded have been removed,  and the second of two affected
main-line tracks reopened early this morning. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. A spokesperson has said the train was traveling below the recommended speed, and its operators noticed no problems with the track as they approached the site. 

Columbus-based Nationwide has become the first major insurance company to say it will not cover damage related to the natural gas drilling technique called fracking.  Spokesperson Nancy Smeltzer says the company's personal and commercial policies "were not designed to cover" risk from fracking. Smeltzer says says the risk applies to policies of commercial contractors and landowners who lease property to gas companies. Meanwhile a new U.S.

The Urbana man accused of stabbing, suffocating and dismembering his girlfriend has pleaded guilty to multiple charges. 26-year-old Matthew Puccio will be sentenced next month in the March death of 21-year-old Jessica Sacco. Her remains were found in the bathtub of their Urbana apartment a week after police believe she was killed. A Michigan couple and two other Urbana residents have pleaded not guilty in the case. Investigators say those suspects failed to intervene and helped Puccio dispose of the body parts in southern Ohio and Kentucky.
      

Fairfield County sheriff's deputies say the parents of a 4-year-old girl who was confined at night in a bed wrapped with steel mesh fencing are each being held on 500-thousand dollars bond. 34-year-old Russell Terry and 32-year-old Jamie Curnell were were arrested after deputies discovered the bed while responding to a domestic violence call Tuesday at their Pleasantville home. The parents told deputies they confined the girl at night to keep her from getting up. The child and an 8-month-old baby are with protective services. 

The U.S House Agriculture Committee has approved a five-year farm bill that gives growers new ways to protect themselves from adversity. It also cuts funding for the food stamp program. 

Norfolk Southern Railroad says the fire from a train derailment and explosion on Columbus' North side is now out. Crews are working to clear the train cars from the site of Wednesday morning's derailment and blast near the state fairgrounds. Authorities decided to allow the three tank cars carrying ethanol to burn before spraying a chemical foam to prevent the blaze from re-igniting. The National Transportation Safety Board says high speed and track conditions do not appear to be factors in the accident.

The Ohio Department of Youth Services has placed a juvenile prison guard on paid leave because of media attention over the homicide of the 2-year-old son of his one-time girlfriend. The agency says the questions involve the October beating death of Bri'Sean Gamble in Stark County. The boy's
grandmother, Phyllis Wheat, tells The Associated Press guard Alan Aeschlimann was living with the boy's mother at the time. The department says the attention is affecting daily operations at Indian River Juvenile Correctional facility in Massillon. 

The union representing prison employees is suing the state, seeking to overturn private prison contracts and get 270 laid-off employees back on the job. The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association claims  privatization violates state laws, including a prohibition against lending state credit to private companies A union spokesperson says the jobs were lost when the state leased the

The Labor Department says claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Ohio fell last week by nearly 16-hundred. Nationally, claims fell by 26-thousand to a seasonally-adjusted 350-thousand. That is the lowest level in four years. The department credits seasonal factors for the decline. Automakers traditionally close their plants for the first two weeks in July to prepare to build new models, but this year they are limiting the shutdowns in order to increase production. That resulted in fewer temporary layoffs than normal.

Former Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland says a tv ad by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes a moment from "a very heated" 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign. The 2012 Obama campaign co-chair is seen in the ad nodding in agreement behind 2008 candidate Hillary Clinton as she criticizes Obama for mailings she says distorted her record. The Romney ad claims Obama uses the same tactics against him.

A Hocking County judge has denied a motion seeking a new trial for a man convicted of killing his estranged wife last year. William Inman II was convicted last month and sentenced to life in prison in the death of 25-year-old Summer Inman. The judge rejected defense claims that a witness'
criminal background was not disclosed before he testified at trial. The judge says there is no indication the verdict would have been different if jurors had disregarded the testimony. 

A freight train derailment and explosion in Columbus near the Ohio State Fairgrounds forced authorities to evacuate a mile-wide area of the city to contain the blaze and determine what's burning.

Two Columbus men who allegedly robbed a western Pennsylvania jewelry store Monday were captured after hiding from police in a restaurant bathroom and a trash container. 

A Hocking County judge Monday heard arguments on whether to grant a new trial for a man convicted of killing his estranged wife last year. William Inman II was convicted last month in the death of 25-year-old Summer Inman. His attorneys say a witness' criminal background was not disclosed before he testified at trial. They say the new information tarnishes the credibility of the witness. Inman's mother Sandra pleaded guilty last month to murder and other charges, and was was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Sandra Inman's husband also is charged in the case. 

Montgomery County Health officials say E. coli sickened at least 10 people who ate at a picnic on July 3rd in Germantown, southwest of Dayton. Department spokesperson Bill Wharton says six of the ten were hospitalized. 200 to 300 people attended the customer appreciation picnic at a lawn care business. A physician who treated some of the patients says it's possible they ate from the same contaminated dish. Health officials are trying to track the source of the bacteria. 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is sending letters to nursing homes and assisted living facilities next week to help combat prescription drug thefts. The letters remind the facilities of their legal obligations to report suspected illegal activity, and lets them know of assistance available from
the state to prosecute. The initiative is one of several state efforts aimed at reducing prescription painkiller abuse, which has led to record numbers of accidental overdose deaths in Ohio. 

Columbus City Council last night approved spending 1-point-9 million dollars to install GPS tracking and monitoring systems in police cruisers and other city-owned vehicles in hopes of saving fuel and boosting employee efficiency. The systems would show supervisors when employees speed or visit unauthorized sites, help recover stolen vehicles and illustrate which equipment is underused. Columbus finance director Paul Rakosky says officials anticipate the benefit in fuel savings and efficiency would be larger than the costs. He says it will take months to get the tracking systems ready.

The Ohio Lottery Commission says video slot machines at Scioto Downs generated more than 11 million dollars in revenue during the facility's opening month. The state's share is 3.7 million dollars. Officials had estimated the machines would generate 3 million per month for the state. The money will help fund K-12 education programs. The remaining revenue goes to the track owner, West Virginia-based MTR Gaming Group. 

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