Ohio News Briefs


Champaign County part of national study to reduce child welfare workers turnover

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Officials say Ohio is joining a national research project to reduce turnover among caseworkers in the child welfare field.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says turnover at child welfare agencies is typically six times the average rate for all industries.

Eight Ohio counties will participate in the project led by the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development. The organization is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ohio is one of just a few states with a child welfare system supervised by the state but run by counties. ODJFS director Cynthia Dungey says that puts Ohio in a unique position to provide information about turnover and other staffing challenges.

The eight Ohio counties participating are Champaign, Clark, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne.

School district outlines training following racial incident

MASON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school district says it will utilize cultural sensitivity training following an incident in which a teacher told a black student he might be lynched if he didn’t get back to classwork.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports Mason Schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson said Tuesday during a school board meeting the district would speed up racial sensitivity training. Carson says employees will start the district’s expanded “Equity Action Steps” program next month.

The district in a northeast Cincinnati suburban city has outlined five objectives it will complete in the coming months. The overhaul includes a staff evaluation by an independent research firm, the study of a book on racial identity, and intense training.

The middle school teacher was reprimanded and put on leave while she underwent sensitivity training.

University of Akron to drop nearly all Friday classes

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The University of Akron will eliminate nearly all Friday classes starting this fall.

The school announced the new schedule on Wednesday. Officials say the move to four class days will open up opportunities for work experience, internships, research and other activities.

University president Matthew Wilson says the move will not cut down on total classroom time. Many classes currently taught in 50-minute sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will be switched to a two-day schedule with 75-minute classes. Alternatively, Friday classes could be moved to Thursday.

Officials have been considering the move since last fall. A survey of students found support for the idea.

2 teens killed, 1 critically injured in single-vehicle crash

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — Two teenagers have died and a third is in critical condition after a single-vehicle crash in central Ohio.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says a vehicle driven by 16-year-old Jacob Richardson went off a road in Delaware County on Wednesday. Investigators say the vehicle hit a guardrail, a utility pole and a tree before overturning on an embankment.

Richardson and a rear-seat passenger, 15-year-old Mykaela Fellure, were pronounced dead at the scene. A girl riding in the front passenger seat was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus with life-threatening injuries.

Grief counselors were sent to the teens’ school, Buckeye Valley High School, on Thursday.

Ex-Ohio water plant operator scheduled for trial in May

SEBRING, Ohio (AP) — An attorney for a former water plant operator accused of failing to notify residents of an Ohio village about lead in their drinking water says state regulators should take the blame.

But an attorney for the state says it was the plant operator who was responsible for telling the public.

Both sides were in court in the northeast village of Sebring this week for a hearing.

The Youngstown Vindicator reports former Sebring water plant operator James Bates is set for trial in May. He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of noncompliance with drinking water notification rules.

Bates came under scrutiny in January 2016 when Sebring schools closed and pregnant women and small children were warned not to drink tap water after high lead levels were detected months earlier.

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