Ballot board considering voting rights proposal
The Ohio Ballot Board is deciding whether a voting rights proposal contains more than one issue and should be divided. The panel must review the proposed "Ohio Voters Bill of Rights" before its supporters can collect the signatures needed to get the initiative before voters this fall. The proposed amendment seeks to get certain voter protections into the state Constitution. It would expand early voting times on weekends and make other changes to election rules. The effort is supported by a coalition of black lawmakers, clergy and civil rights leaders. Should the Ballot Board decide Thursday there is only one issue, petitioners must then gather more than 385,000 signatures to get it on the ballot. The board is chaired by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Calamity day bill passes Ohio House, Senate
A compromise to give schools four extra calamity days is headed to Gov. John Kasich's desk. Snow, ice and bone-chilling temperatures have led many districts across the state to exhaust the school year's five allowable calamity days. Kasich is expected to sign the bill later this week. It will go into effect immediately.
Court order would ban seclusion for mentally ill boys
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking a court order to force Ohio juvenile detention facilities to stop using seclusion to discipline boys with mental illness. A motion filed in federal court in Washington Wednesday seeks a temporary restraining order against punishing mentally ill boys by putting them in solitary confinement at four Ohio juvenile prisons.
Federal prosecutors wrote that Ohio violates the due process rights of the boys by depriving them of education, exercise and mental health care, and then doesn't adjust their treatment when they return to the general population. The motion says the court "must act immediately to protect these boys from mounting and irreparable harm."
The Ohio Department of Youth Services had immediate comment today on the action.
Trooper injured in Turnpike crash stable
The State Highway Patrol says a trooper injured while investigating a fatal pileup on the Ohio Turnpike that killed three people is in serious but stable condition. A series of crashes Wednesday involved at least 50 vehicles on the turnpike after a blast of winter weather struck.
The patrol says trooper Andrew Clouser from the Milan Patrol Post was being treated at a Toledo hospital. The 29-year-old trooper has been with the patrol just over a year. The patrol also says Clouser was injured responding to one of the first accidents when he was pinned between two vehicles. Pileups stretched across a 2-mile section in the eastbound lanes midway between Toledo and Cleveland. Another series of crashes about 10 miles to the east shut down westbound lanes near Sandusky.
Portage County child accidentally shot, killed
The Portage County Sheriff says an 11-year-old boy was fatally shot in the head by a teenager in what appears to be an unintentional shooting. Sheriff David Doak says deputies responded to reports of the shooting at a house in Franklin Township around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Doak says the boy was dead when deputies arrived and an older boy who allegedly fired the handgun is cooperating with investigators. Doak says the shooting appears unintentional. He says investigators will consult with the county prosecutor once all information is collected from the scene. He didn't release names or the relationship of the victim and the alleged shooter.
Cleveland Job Corps director indicted on tax charges
Federal authorities say the former director of the Cleveland Job Corps Center has been indicted on charges that he withheld more than $870,000 in federal taxes from employees but never paid the money to the Internal Revenue Service.
U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach says Clark Hayes of Richfield owned Applied Technology Systems Inc. in Cleveland. Authorities say the U.S. Department of Labor contracted with Hayes' company to operate the Cleveland and Jacksonville Job Corps centers. Authorities said in a statement Wednesday the 53-year-old Hayes was charged with three counts of willful failure to collect or pay taxes. Federal court records do not list an attorney for Hayes. A recording said Hayes' home phone number was not in service. Authorities say the alleged offenses took place in 2010 and 2011.
Ohio Jeopardy champion loses after twelve-day run
"Jeopardy" champ Arthur Chu, who won big money while taking heat for his renegade style, has been defeated. Chu came in third place with zero dollars on Wednesday's edition of the syndicated game show.
He had reigned for 12 days. His total winnings were $297,200.
The 30-year-old Ohioan caused an uproar among "Jeopardy" fans for his aggressive manner of play. He ditched the usual practice of polishing off each category's questions in turn. Instead, he took a hopscotch approach to his category choices, which tended to keep his opponents off-kilter. Chu's strategy fueled indignation from "Jeopardy" traditionalists who contended that he was unsportsmanlike. He was unseated by Diana Peloquin of Ann Arbor, Mich., who led for the day with $15,700.