Ohio News Briefs


Lawmakers want taxes on feminine products eliminated

CINCINNATI (AP) — Lawmakers in Ohio have proposed a law that would remove sales taxes from feminine hygiene products.

House Bill 61’s two sponsors, state Reps. Greta Johnson of Akron and Brigid Kelly of Oakley, are pushing for feminine hygiene products to be considered “medically necessary.” This status makes feminine products tax exempt under Ohio law.

Kelly estimates that the state would miss $4 million a year in tax revenue if the “pink tax” was nixed.

Advocates of the proposed legislation say it could save women up to $1,700 in their lifetime.

The bill has to be assigned to a committee before it is considered or killed.

Ohio board approves requirement for tracking of police bias

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A police relations advisory board has approved a first-ever standard for Ohio law enforcement agencies for keeping racial and gender bias out of their interactions with the public.

The standard approved Friday requires agencies to adopt policies prohibiting bias in traffic stops and when officers interact with individuals who aren’t in vehicles, such as questioning suspects in a crime.

The standard also requires agencies to collect the race and gender of drivers stopped by police.

This is the seventh standard approved by the board commissioned by Gov. John Kasich after a series of fatal police shootings in Ohio and nationally.

Other standards cover deadly force, body cameras and recruiting and hiring.

The state will publish an annual list of agencies meeting the standards.

Ohio inmate accused of mailing threats against Trump, judges

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio prisoner faces new charges over allegations that he threatened President Donald Trump and federal judges in letters mailed to the FBI and a public defender’s office.

Authorities say that 47-year-old Rodney Cydrus threatened to hurt a number of government officials and that some of the mail last month contained white powder that turned out to be harmless.

Prosecutors say the former Chillicothe man was indicted this week in federal court on multiple counts of mailing threatening communications.

Court records list no attorney for him in that case.

He has been imprisoned at the Lebanon Correctional Institution for convictions that include arson, aggravated robbery and theft.

Ohio University returning to normal after water main break

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio University is resuming normal operations after a large water main break temporarily closed its main campus in Athens.

The break Thursday morning left much of the southeastern Ohio city without water. The Columbus Dispatch reports repairs were made by Thursday evening.

Bottled water was distributed to students and other residents, and city officials issued a temporary boil order.

The university said the library, the student center and the recreation center were reopening Friday as operations returned to normal.

Cincinnati to build wall to stop slipping hillside

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati officials plan to build a wall they hope will stop a hillside from slipping further and potentially affecting underground sewer and water lines that service downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

Officials say the 1,200-foot wall will be built above Riverside Drive in the city’s East End. The wall’s estimated cost of between $5 million and $10 million will be paid for by sewer and water users.

Geological testing showed the hillside above the road was slipping rapidly. Residents complained last fall about damage to their property.

City engineers concluded in a memo last month the area was “moving at an accelerated rate and may have the potential to damage public infrastructure if not abated.”

Construction could start as early as Monday and is expected to take three months.