Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner has reached a deal to sell the team to Tennessee truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam for more than 1-billion dollars. The price nearly double what Lerner's late father Al paid for the team in 1998. Cleveland Plain Dealer sports columnist Terry Pluto says that is due to a number of factors. A majority of NFL owners still must approve the sale. The Browns have had two winning seasons and one playoff appearance in 13 seasons of Lerner family ownership.
Experts interviewed by The Associated Press say Ohio Governor John Kasich's claim that a single energy company could recover 1 trillion dollars worth of oil and gas from the state's shale formation is an exorbitant overestimate. At current oil prices, that figure represents more than four times the worth of all U.S. production last year. Arthur Berman, a Texas-based petroleum geologist and independent energy consultant, say Kasich is "probably wrong by a couple of zeroes." Kasich traces the trillion-dollar figure to a conversation with an energy company CEO.
Licking County sheriff's deputies say a 71-year-old Pickerington man died Thursday when his car collided with a utility truck in Etna Township. Lawrence Balanti was killed. His wife and granddaughter were treated for minor injuries, as was the truck driver, 36-year-old Sherman Muncy of Pataskala. Deputies say Balanti pulled into the path of Muncy's truck.
Police searched a Central Ohio home Thursday for clues in the death of a pregnant woman found in a car parked along a Delaware County road on Wednesday. Authorities did not say if they found anything linked to the case of 23-year-old Deanna Ballman of Pataskala, who was last seen on Tuesday. The Colorado Army National Guard says Ballman was a supply specialist with the 220th Military Police unit and was transferring to a unit in Ohio.
The outbreak of swine flu among several dozen people who attended the Butler County Fair last week has been linked to a similar outbreak in Indiana. Health officials say up to 41 people, nearly all of them children, have become sick with symptoms similar to those of a swine flu strain. The southwest Ohio cases are linked to the Butler County Fair, which ended last weekend.
Ohio's leading education official has issued a public apology after a state watchdog found that he lobbied for a Texas-based standardized testing firm last year while on the company's payroll. Superintendent Stan Heffner said he had shown bad judgment and would accept whatever punishment the Ohio Board of Education deems necessary.
The US Agriculture Department has classified an additional 218 counties and a dozen states as disaster areas due to the nation's drought. That brings this year's total to nearly 1600 counties in Ohio and 31 other states. More than 90% of them because of the drought. A national monitor map by the University of Nebraska shows Ohio is in a moderate drought. Ohio State University agricultural economist Matt Roberts tells statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen recent rainfall cannot reverse much of the damaged crop yields.
State health officials are confirming Ohio's second human case of West Nile virus this year. A 48-year-old Cuayhoga County man is hospitalized with inflammation of the brain. The first case was confirmed last week in Clermont County involving an 85-year-old man who remains hospitalized. The state says more than 445 mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus so far this year, an increase from nearly sixty at this point last year. Ohio has recorded human cases of the virus each year since 2002. There were 21 cases last year.
Adam Scott returns to golf today as the defending champion at the Bridgestone Invitational at the historic Firestone Country Club in Akron. It's his first tournament since losing a four-shot lead with four holes to play at the British Open. Scott says after playing in the Bridgestone, he will focus on the final major next week at the PGA Championship in South Carolina.
An independent group supporting President Obama's re-election is preparing a 30 million dollar advertising blitz in Ohio and five other battleground states for the fall. Priorities USA Action has reserved television ad time in September and October. It was founded last year by two former Obama White House staffers in response to the proliferation of Republican-leaning independent groups that arose after the U.S. Supreme Court eased restrictions on campaign spending in its Citizens United ruling. The group has raised 21 million dollars since its inception.
The World's Longest Yard Sale will attract bargain hunters across parts of Ohio and five other states along 690 miles of road this weekend. The event begins today and runs through Sunday along U.S. route 127. This marks the 25th year of the yard sale, begun as a way to get travelers to get off the interstate highways to see the local sights and spend some cash in the rural areas.
Former Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is is accusing Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney of being secretive and says he should release more tax returns. Speaking with reporters during President Obama's visit to Mansfield Wednesday, Strickland questioned whether Romney was hiding something from the American people. Republican Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder has also suggested Romney would do well to release the forms.
President Obama says Republican challenger Mitt Romney's economic plan would give tax cuts to the richest Americans at the expense of popular tax breaks for most everyone else. On a campaign trip in Mansfield today, the president said Romney's tax proposal would force many people to give up popular tax deductions that allow them to buy a house, afford health care and send their kids to college. He pointed to a new report that concluded Romney's economic plan would shift the tax burden from wealthy taxpayers to low- and middle-class taxpayers.
Ohio homeowners could be eligible for a rebate for installing a safe room to protect themselves during a tornado or extreme winds. State officials say it will help in the construction of 150 safe rooms.