Ohio panel to review gov's tax, education changes
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio legislative panel is scheduled to delve into an election-year policy plan from Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) that includes cutting Ohio's income tax through increases in drilling and tobacco taxes.
The Republican governor released details of his proposal on Tuesday. Testimony on the measure is set to begin this afternoon in the GOP-led Ohio House.
The bill's prospects amid campaign season are uncertain.
Kasich, who faces re-election this fall, proposes cutting income taxes by 8.5 percent over the next three years, taking the top tax rate to 4.88 percent by 2016. Commercial activity, cigarette and drilling taxes would rise to pay for the reduction.
He also proposes streamlining Ohio's workforce development and poverty programs, tying all public-college funding to graduation rates and expanding vocational and dropout education offerings.
Ohioans bracing for snow, falling temperatures
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - After being teased with a day of spring-like temperatures, Ohioans are staring at another nasty blast of winter.
A winter storm warning is in effect Wednesday for much of northern Ohio, where 4 to 8 inches of snow are expected. In central Ohio, it'll be a mix of rain, sleet and snow, while southern Ohio will see lots of rain.
Snow emergencies were declared in some northwest Ohio counties this morning as heavy snow closed many schools and the University of Toledo.
Snow accumulation in central Ohio should be 1 to 3 inches as temperatures drop sharply throughout the day, settling into the 20s.
The storm comes on the heels of a pleasant day Tuesday that saw temperatures in the 60s in many areas of the state.
WINTER WEATHER-OHIO SCHOOLS
Votes expected on Ohio 'snow day' bill
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Lawmakers are expected to approve an Ohio legislative compromise that would give school districts four extra calamity days because of this winter's extreme weather.
Floor votes in the House and Senate are expected Wednesday on the measure, which gives districts the extra days if they've exhausted their five allotted calamity days. They could use the additional days only after holding school on four other scheduled days off, such as on holidays or during vacations.
The measure also allows districts to continue to make up missed days through 30-minute increments tacked onto regularly scheduled school days. They also have the option of using work-at-home "blizzard bags" and online lessons.
Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) backed adding extra snow days and is expected to sign the bill.
OHIO CORRUPTION PROBE
Appeals court to hear Ohio corruption case
CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday involving an ex-Ohio county commissioner appealing his conviction in a wide-ranging public corruption case.
Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora is asking the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to overturn his March 2012 convictions on 32 bribery-related offenses, drop four of the charges and grant him a new trial on the remaining 28 charges.
Dimora, a former Democratic Party chairman in Cleveland, is serving a 28-year sentence in a West Virginia prison.
His trial capped an investigation that led to more than 50 convictions involving county officials, employees and contractors who prosecutors say traded bribes for government jobs and contracts.
Dimora argues that the items he received were gifts, not bribes, and that he never tried to hide them.
Ohio man, mistress charged in slaying of wife
MARION, Ohio (AP) - Police say a 37-year-old central Ohio man killed his wife and, with the help of his 19-year-old mistress, wrapped up the body and hid it in the basement.
Police in Marion, north of Columbus, on Tuesday charged David Shockey with killing 41-year-old Shelly Shockey, his wife of less than four years. They say his 19-year-old girlfriend, Danielle Crokie, is charged with tampering with evidence.
Marion Police Chief Bill Collins said an officer who went to the house Monday looking for Shelly Shockey got suspicious while talking to her husband. Detectives later found the body buried under boxes and blankets in the basement of the Shockeys' home. Collins said she apparently was stabbed.
David Shockey is being charged with aggravated murder. Attorney information for him and Crokie wasn't available.
BABY SITTER-CHILD PORN
Ohio baby sitter admits producing child porn
CINCINNATI (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a 30-year-old Cincinnati man is facing 32 years in prison after pleading guilty to producing sexually explicit photographs of a child he was baby-sitting and sharing them on the Internet.
Caleb Zachary Story pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to one count of production of child pornography. Under the terms of the plea agreement, he will be sentenced to 32 years behind bars and be under court supervision for the rest of his life.
Court documents said authorities investigating a case in Georgia found a sexually explicit image of a child and traced it to an address in Cincinnati. Further investigation determined that the photo was taken at the home where Storey worked as a child-care provider.
Ohio bill targets theft crimes against military
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's attorney general and two state lawmakers are pushing for harsher penalties against scammers who commit identity fraud and other theft crimes against active-duty service members and their spouses.
The bill from Republican state Reps. Mike Dovilla and Terry Blair amends the current identity fraud and theft laws to increase penalties for those types of crimes against military families.
DeWine said in a statement Tuesday that identity fraud against the military is increasing in Ohio. It was up almost 20 percent last year. And DeWine says the proposed legislation would give Ohio one of the toughest laws in the country with respect to punishing identity fraud aimed at active-duty service members.
The proposed legislation also would allow identity fraud victims to pursue civil lawsuits against offenders.
Ohio man gets 8 years for 7th DUI
LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - A southwest Ohio man who racked up his seventh drunken-driving conviction in the past 14 years has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
A judge in Lebanon, north of Cincinnati, gave the maximum sentence allowable to 48-year-old Ralph Pottorf Jr. on Monday.
Prosecutors say Pottorf, who has a lengthy criminal history, was driving in Warren County on Dec. 21 when he crashed into a fence alongside the road. The property owner heard the crash and reported that he saw Pottorf flee the scene. He was apprehended nearby.
The charge came less than a year after Pottorf was released from prison on his last felony drunken-driving conviction from 2011.
Jail records did not include attorney information for Pottorf.
Wheelchair-bound woman rescued from Ohio fire
MENTOR, Ohio (AP) - Good Samaritans stopped at a house fire in northeast Ohio in time to carry a wheelchair-bound woman to safety.
It happened Tuesday afternoon in Mentor, east of Cleveland.
David Roach tells The (Willoughby) News-Herald that he and another employee of the county engineer's office were driving by when they saw smoke and flames coming out of the home.
Roach used his two-way radio to alert authorities, as a person across the street yelled that somebody was still in the burning house.
Roach forced the door open and within minutes he and others were hoisting a wheelchair-bound resident out of the house. Roach said the woman and another resident were apparently in shock and not making their way out.
Nobody was hurt. The fire apparently started in the attic.
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