Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will be in Dayton and Springfield today for a pair of campaign events for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio will be at a Romney rally in Lancaster today. And President Obama is scheduled to visit Ohio later this week. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.
A coalition pushing changes to the way Ohio draws legislative and congressional districts expects to have more than enough petition signatures to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for the November ballot. Voters First Ohio says it has collected more than 700-thousand signatures. Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled the group's previous submission was more than 130-thousand shy of the roughly 385-thousand signatures needed. The proposal aims to take away map-drawing powers from elected officials and put them in the hands of a 12-person citizen commission.
Kings Island amusement park is removing a wooden roller coaster plagued by problems since opening 12 years ago. Kings Island will begin dismantling the coaster this summer to make room for future expansion. A park statement does not say what will replace it. The ride was billed as the world's tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster when it opened. The track rose to a 218-foot peak with trains reaching speeds of 78 mph. It closed for nearly a year for reconstruction after more than two dozen people were injured in a 2006 accident.
There's no word yet on when East State Street will reopen, after falling bricks and other debris forced its closure. Columbus firefighters say East State between Sixth Street and Grant Avenue was shut down yesterday after the roof of the former Salesian Boys and Girls Club collapsed. The cause has yet to be determined. No injuries are reported.
Columbus Police say one man was killed and three others wounded in a suspected drug-related robbery Sunday in South Linden. Police say 25-year-old Albert Thompson III was shot and killed at a home in the 1-thousand block of East 17th Avenue. 21-year-old Juanricus Kibby, 25-year-old Miquel William and 28-year-old Keith Paxton are being treated at local hospitals. No arrests have been made.
Funeral services are scheduled today for an Ohio solider killed in Afghanistan. The Pentagon says U.S. Army Private First Class Jeffrey Rice of Troy was killed earlier this month while performing combat engineering duties. And funeral arrangements are pending for a South Lebanon native killed in Afghanistan over the weekend. The Pentagon says U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Bobby Estle was killed during combat operations.
During the past fiscal year, Ohio nursing homes were cited nearly twice as often as in the previous year for putting patients at serious risk of harm. The increase in "immediate jeopardy" citations coincides with cuts in Medicaid payments. But state officials say it's too soon to say whether the payments are affecting the quality of care. The increase is the largest since the 2007-08 fiscal year.
Huron County sheriff's deputies have charged a Norwalk man with severely beating his girlfriend's nine-month-old son. Sheriff Dane Howard says 20-year-old Christoffer Mills is charged with felonious assault.
Hot, dry weather in the Midwest has created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are reporting higher rates of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, as compared with past years. The Ohio Department of Health reports a 460-percent increase in mosquitoes carrying the virus. Mosquito samples testing positive rose from 38 last year to 213 this year, the highest number since 2002. No human cases have been reported in Ohio, but Illinois and Oklahoma report earlier-than-usual cases of human infection.
Delta Airlines says it will close Cincinnati-based regional carrier Comair at the end of August as it switches more routes to larger jets. Delta plans to reduce its number of regional jets from 350 to 125 within two years. The company says operating regional carriers has become more expensive and customers are demanding more room. No routes will be cut from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Comair represents 1 percent of Delta's operations.
Attorneys for convicted former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora are seeking a life sentence for their client. They say the U.S. Pretrial Services and Probation Office wants the life sentence. Federal prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 22 years on public corruption and racketeering charges. The former County Democratic Party chair will be sentenced on Monday. He was arrested as part of an FBI probe of corruption in county government.
Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner says he's discussing a possible investment in the team by businessman Jimmy Haslam, founder of the Pilot corporation, a chain of convenience stores and travel centers. Haslam is also a minority owner of the Browns' archrival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lerner says he was approached by Haslam, and have agreed to keep details of the negotiations private. Meanwhile crews have completed the rennovation of Cleveland Browns Stadium. Crews have completed weeks worth of concrete restoration, seat replacement, and installation of new food stands.
Blended Learning is a relatively new idea that was placed into a recently approved legislative package of education changes. The Governor wants to see it in more school districts. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.
Six of eleven Northeast Ohio churches ordered reopened by the Vatican are now accepting worshippers. Father Joseph Workman's Saint James church is among those who successfully appealed Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon's order to closed the churches. Lennon cited declining membership and finances, as well as a shortage of priests.
Personnel files obtained by The Associated Press show two Ohio Parole Board members removed by the state prisons director without warning earlier this year both had good reviews. Board member and former Columbus police officer Cathy Collins-Taylor was praised for her hard work, responsiveness and reliability two months before she was removed. Board member Jose Torres was deemed enthusiastic and respectful and was thanked for his dedication to the prisons department. Director Gary Mohr says he made the changes to improve the system and find the right people for the right positions.
A Columbus man is the first person to be convicted in West Virginia on federal charges of distributing bath salts. 35-year-old Steven Kohl also pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise. The charge stems from Kohl's role in bringing the synthetic drugs to West Virginia in September 2011. A sentencing date is pending.
Columbus police officials have determined two officers involved in a pair of shootings last year acted within division policy. A departmental review finds Officer Anthony Sebastiano acted within policy when he shot and wounded 17-year-old Dewayne Smith during an attempted robbery in March of last year. A review also finds officer David Freetage acted within policy when he fired on 24-year-old Direhyl Banks, who police say shot at Freetage and a second officer. No one was injured. The officers were investigating a string of burglaries on the south side.