Ohio News Briefs

Expansion covers nearly 500,000 for mental health, addiction

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nearly 500,000 low-income Ohioans have received mental health and addiction services under the state’s Medicaid expansion since the program began in 2014.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the expansion has brought more than 950,000 people onto the rolls and more than half were treated for mental health and addiction issues. About 100,000 of the new beneficiaries were diagnosed with severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Officials say almost all of the newly enrolled clients with mental health or addiction issues had been uninsured prior to the expansion.

Greg Moody is director of Gov. John Kasich’s Office of Health Transformation. Moody says the expansion is part of a redesign of the state’s behavioral health system designed to sustain services.

Ohio gas prices up from last week; down from month ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s average gas price for a gallon of regular gas is up about 8 cents from a week ago, but 36 cents lower than the price a month ago.

The average price in Ohio heading into the workweek was $2.18 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That compares with around $2.10 at the same time last week. Ohio’s average gas price a month ago was $2.54.

Monday’s national average price was $2.21, compared with $2.23 a week ago and $2.34 at the same time last month.

This time last year, the state average was $2.66 and the national average was $2.76.

Drops in crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices have continued to contribute to lower prices at the pump

Woman pleads guilty in Ohio case of fatally beaten boy

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A woman faces up to three years in prison after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in the fatal beating of a 5-year-old boy at an Ohio motel.

Fifty-six-year-old Ramona Bostian changed her plea in a Hamilton courtroom Monday. Other charges, including endangering children, were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports that she’s scheduled for sentencing Aug. 22. A message seeking comment was left with her attorney.

Alexander Stephens died from his injuries April 29 after police found him and his injured 6-year-old brother at the Parkway Inn in Middletown.

Alexander’s mother, Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, and 29-year-old Rachel Bostian — Ramona Bostian’s daughter — are charged with murder, five counts of felony endangering children and two counts of kidnapping. Both have pleaded not guilty.