Ohio News Briefs


Ohio court to hear big online school’s funding case Feb. 13

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in February over the state’s efforts to recoup $60 million from one of the nation’s largest online charter schools.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is challenging how officials tallied student logins to determine that the virtual school was overpaid for the 2015-16 school year.

The state says that ECOT didn’t sufficiently document student participation to justify its funding and could owe millions more from 2016-17.

The court has scheduled oral arguments in the case for Feb. 13.

The e-school has said it could be forced to close in early 2018, in the middle of the school year, if the court doesn’t intervene. ECOT said such a closure would affect almost 12,000 students and eliminate more than 800 jobs.

Police: Girl seriously hurt when dad crashes in street race

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say a 4-year-old girl riding in a vehicle driven by her father suffered life-threatening injuries when he crashed while racing another car on a Cincinnati street.

WCPO-TV reports the vehicles made contact while racing Monday afternoon, and the car carrying the girl veered and hit an oncoming vehicle before going over a guardrail. The second racing car hit a separate oncoming vehicle.

Cincinnati police Sgt. Mike Machenheimer says the child was hospitalized. He says some of the four drivers involved suffered injuries, but none of those was considered life-threatening.

The crash is under investigation. Police say the motorists suspected of racing could face charges including reckless driving.

Renovation forces move for peregrine falcons in Ohio capital

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The exterior renovation of the tallest building in Ohio’s capital city has naturalists hoping peregrine falcons will find a new, temporary roost.

A nest box atop the 41-story Rhodes Tower state office building in downtown Columbus has been moved around the corner to the Riffe (ryf) Center, another government office building.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is hopeful the birds will join other peregrine falcons at the Riffe Center but says there’s no guarantee.

Officials also pulled the video feed of the falcons’ nest box on the Rhodes Tower, a popular online attraction. The state hopes to reactivate the feed at the Riffe Center.

Authorities say they were concerned falcon parents might harass workers renovating the exterior of the Rhodes Tower in 2018.

Agreement allows bridge demolition after history documented

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Agreement on a historic preservation plan will allow the demolition of a former railroad bridge next to the Ohio Turnpike.

The state Department of Transportation says removal of the old Chessie railroad bridge in northwestern Ohio will likely begin during the second half of the year.

The Blade reports the bridge was once part of the Toledo Terminal rail line around Toledo and its suburbs, the only railroad beltway in the U.S. forming a complete loop.

The agreement among several groups including ODOT and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office requires that the bridge be documented and if possible reused after its dismantling.

A commemorative plaque and display about the bridge and railroad will be placed nearby and parts could be used along the nearby multi-use Chessie Circle Trail.

Elderly couple found dead at home; gun reported at the scene

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say a couple in their 80s were found dead in a southwest Ohio home on New Year’s Eve.

Investigators haven’t released details about what happened to the pair. The Dayton Daily News reports that a relative who found the unresponsive couple and called for help told dispatchers there was a handgun at the scene in West Carrollton, several miles southwest of Dayton.

Deputy Chief David Wessling didn’t confirm any details about a weapon Monday but told the newspaper that there was no immediate cause for concern for area residents.

Authorities say autopsies were planned Tuesday for the couple, identified as John and Alma Smelko, of West Carrollton. Both were 83.

Police: Baby boy delivered after pregnant woman fatally shot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police investigating the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman and a man say doctors successfully delivered the woman’s baby boy, who was then hospitalized in critical condition.

Columbus police say the Monday night shooting at a home a few miles west of downtown also critically wounded another person.

Sgt. Jeff Strayer tells WSYX-TV that the slain woman was about 35 weeks pregnant.

Police say it appears the shooting occurred during a robbery at the home shortly before midnight. Investigators haven’t shared names or further details about the people who were shot.

Police say they’re searching for a sport utility vehicle that was damaged by gunfire.

Police: Robbery suspect killed self as officers entered home

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say a suspect in an armed robbery killed himself as officers prepared to search the home where he was hiding.

Investigators believe 26-year-old Raymond Fowler III robbed a store in Lorain at gunpoint late Friday night. Police tracked him to a nearby home, surrounded it and obtained a search warrant.

Officers say they heard a single gunshot as they entered the home.

Fowler was found in the basement dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators say there was evidence near the body tying him to the robbery.

Fowler had been released from prison in February after serving a seven-year term for robbery and assault.

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