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Ohio State pays its president more than 250 other universities
Other morning headlines: Tressel says student retention his top focus; Arrests made in homeless camp arsons in Cleveland
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The latest WKSU news headlines:
The Associated Press has issued a correction about the changes a new bill on physician assistants will make. 

In a May 18 story, The Associated Press, relying on information from the office of the bill's sponsor, reported erroneously that the measure would give physician assistants the authority to write prescriptions. Current state law allows most physician assistants to write prescriptions, and the proposal would update the process.

A corrected version of the story is below:

 

A proposal that passed the Ohio House would change laws governing the licensing of physician assistants and update their authority to write prescriptions.

Currently, physician assistants need at least a master's degree or prior prescriptive authority while practicing in the military, to write prescriptions. They also need a prescriber number issued by the state Medical Board. Their first 500 hours of prescribing must be under a physician's on-site supervision.

The proposal incorporates these requirements into one license.

The House passed the legislation Wednesday. It would allow a physician to supervise up to three physician assistants, rather than two, at one time.

State Rep. Anne Gonzales, the bill's sponsor, says it will help physician assistants better use their full capabilities of training.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.


Ohio State pays its president more than 250 other universities

Departed Ohio State president Gordon Gee topped the list of public college presidents making more than $1 million. The Chronicle of Higher Education says Gee's $6.1 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year was among nine college leaders earning more than $1 million in total compensation, up from four the previous year. His successor, Michael Drake, who begins July 1st, will earn a base salary of $800,000 a year and is eligible for an annual performance bonus of $200,000 a year. 

Cleveland State President Ronald Berkman is ranked 36th in the survey, with a total compensation of nearly 670,000-thousand; Kent State President Lester Lefton ranked 46th with compensation of $635,000 and Akron President Luis Proenza ranked 73rd with compensation of nearly $530,000. 

 

Oil and gas drilling spills more frequent in Ohio
Spills tied to the oil and gas drilling industry are becoming more frequent in Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch reports there were at least 40 crude-oil spills, blowouts and leaks related to oil and gas drilling last year in Ohio — the most since at least 2009, according Ohio EPA data. The newspaper looked into the numbers following a spill in Morgan County this month that forced the evacuation of nearby residents and reached a neighboring creek. The state called the incident rare. All spills must be reported to the Ohio EPA but the Dispatch reports the agency does not regularly analyze that data to spot trends. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is drafting new rules for well-pad construction and spill-containment structures for fracking-related wells. Not all of the spills occurred at shale wells.

Ohio's court-appointed guardian system flawed, Dispatch says
The court-appointed guardian system created to help Ohio's elderly and mentally disabled residents and children has failed many it serves, according to a Columbus Dispatch report. The newspaper’s investigation finds that Probate judges in Ohio's 88 counties direct the system without detailed state guidelines and often amid overloaded court dockets. And it shows that even judges overseeing it believe the process is broken. A committee designated by the Ohio Supreme Court to devise new rules has proposed changes that the court is scheduled to decide on after June 25.

Ohio bill revises rules for physician assistants
A proposal that now goes to the Ohio Senate would change laws governing the licensing of physician assistants. Currently in Ohio, physician assistants who prescribe must have both a certificate to practice and a certificate to prescribe. The new legislation would create one "license to practice" that includes the authority to exercise physician-delegated prescriptive authority unless the license is granted to an individual who does not hold a master’s or higher degree. Their first 500 hours of prescribing would have to be under a physician's supervision. The House passed the legislation last week. It would allow a physician to supervise up to three physician assistants, rather than two, at one time.

Arrests made in homeless camp arsons in Cleveland
Arson investigators have arrested three men in connection with a rash of spring fires they say targeted homeless camps in Cleveland. The string of blazes started in March and mostly at camps along the Cuyahoga River's west bank. Officials say the latest fire was at a camp last Wednesday and was one of several recent fires reported. The Plain Dealer reports that investigators have ruled the fires were set intentionally and the suspects’ names have not been released.

Wright-Patterson base to open its pools to the public
Ohio's largest military base says it will open its public swimming pools to the public for the first time to generate revenue. Residents of the communities around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton will get to take advantage of the two pools that had previously been reserved for military personnel and families. The Dayton Daily News reports that it's the first step in what could lead to more base partnerships, including the golf course, summer camps and other programs.

Hemlock trees recovering from infestation in Hocking
State officials say they are winning the fight to get rid of a hemlock-killing bug at least in one southern Ohio state park. The Ohio Division of Forestry says almost 700 hemlock trees in Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County were treated last year with a pesticide. The Columbus Dispatch reports that forestry experts didn't find any of the insects when checking the trees this spring. The insect that has threatened millions of trees in the Midwest was first reported in the eastern United States in 1951.

Memorial Day weekend travel expected to rise
The auto club AAA says about 1.34 million Ohioans will travel at least 50 miles from home over the long Memorial Day weekend. That would be the most since before the recession. AAA says the travel volume — which would be about 0.6 percent higher than the Memorial Day weekend a year ago in the state — is due to an improved economy and more people wanting to get out of town after the long, cold winter. About 90 percent of Ohioans traveling — or about 1.2 million — are expected to drive to their destinations. Gas prices aren't expected to be a factor because they're in line with last year. Today’s average is $3.72, up only about a penny from a week ago.

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