Ohio News Briefs


Credit card skimming a growing problem in Butler County

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Police in a southwest Ohio county where gas stations have been hit repeatedly by card-skimming devices are getting more training to combat the growing crime.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office has joined with the county auditor’s office in offering additional training so police can more easily identify illegal skimmer devices.

Police say nearly a dozen skimmers have been found at various gas stations throughout the county since November 2015. The small device stores sensitive cardholder data when motorists use their credit cards to pay at the pump.

A new training video, which cost $1,500 to produce, informs police on how to check for tampering at gas pumps.

County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser encourages officers to stop at gas stations as part of their routine patrols.

Lobbyist pushing interstate connecting Toledo, Columbus

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A transportation lobbyist says he hopes the Trump administration’s promise to invest billions on infrastructure could revive long dormant plans to build an interstate between Toledo and Columbus.

The Blade reports Tom Kovacik of the Transportation Advocacy Group of Northwest Ohio says a Toledo area government group has endorsed the idea of building what is known as the Interstate 73 project.

The project, however, lacks support from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning told the newspaper that the state’s major highway improvement plans are drawn up by a transportation advisory council and said if federal funds became available for I-73 construction, the money would be better spent helping Kentucky replace the obsolete Brent Spence Bridge that carries I-75 and I-71 over the Ohio River at Cincinnati.

Wittenberg University in Ohio names new president

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Wittenberg University in western Ohio has chosen an Oberlin College administrator as its new president.

The Board of Directors at Wittenberg announced Friday that Michael Frandsen has been selected to head the private liberal arts university of about 1,900 students in Springfield.

Frandsen is currently vice president for finance and administration at Oberlin College in northeast Ohio. He will begin his tenure at Wittenberg on July 1.

Laurie Joyner resigned as Wittenberg’s president in November 2015 shortly after announcing $6.5 million in cuts at the university.

Dick Helton has served as interim president at Wittenberg since January 2016.

Frandsen’s selection followed a six-month national search. He has been at Oberlin since July 2014 and previously served as interim president at Albion College in Michigan.

Ohio, feds join forces to create ex-offenders ID card

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state of Ohio and the federal government have joined together to create an ID card for inmates leaving federal prison as a first step to obtaining valid identification.

Ex-offenders issued the card can exchange it for an Ohio ID or driver’s license at a local motor vehicle office.

The U.S. Offender Release Card will include an individual’s photo, legal name, date of birth, social security number and an expiration date.

The U.S. Justice Department said last year that providing such ID is critical to helping offenders re-enter society.

The card was jointly developed by the U.S. Probation Office for the southern half of Ohio including Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.