Ohio News Briefs


Think tank: GOP health care plan could cost Ohio billions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A nonpartisan think tank says Ohio would lose billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding under the Republican plan to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

A new analysis by the Cleveland-based Center for Community Solutions concludes the plan could cost Ohio over $25 billion by 2025.

The GOP plan would change how the federal government helps states pay for the tax-funded health insurance program. The center’s analysis says the resulting payments wouldn’t be enough in Ohio to keep pace with health care costs.

The state expanded Medicaid in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, and it now serves over 3 million poor and disabled Ohioans.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Ohio’s proposed Medicaid budget for next year is projected at $28 billion, including federal funding.

Revised Ohio rules would allow more medical marijuana shops

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Revised rules for the Ohio medical marijuana program expected to debut next year won’t allow home delivery, home-growing or smoking of marijuana but would permit more dispensaries than originally outlined.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the updated rules released by the state pharmacy board allow for at least 60 marijuana dispensaries, rather than the 40 originally set. The changes also allow the shops to stay open for two more hours, with a permitted operating window of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

With the expanded access to those shops, the pharmacy board decided against allowing home delivery of marijuana.

The board accepted public comment on the proposed rules before sharing the revisions. Proposed rules for other parts of the program, including patients, physicians and marijuana processors, are still in review.

US Attorney for northern Ohio among those asked to resign

CLEVELAND (AP) — The top federal prosecutor for northern Ohio was among the 46 U.S. attorneys from across the country asked last week to immediately resign by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Carole Rendon was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last summer after Steven Dettelbach resigned to enter private practice.

Cleveland.com reported that Rendon knew she’d be leaving the post but had no warning Sessions would ask her to immediately resign.

Ohio’s two U.S. senators have recommended the appointment of Justin Herdman as the next U.S. attorney for northern Ohio.

Benjamin Glassman, the Columbus-based U.S. attorney for the southern half of the state, was appointed by federal judges and is expected to remain on the job until his replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

High school student, 17, running for mayor of Ohio city

LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — A teenager who hasn’t finished high school is hoping to become the next mayor of a small central Ohio city.

Clayton Lunsford, 17, told The Eagle-Gazette he’ll pursue online schooling during the first year in office if he’s elected as mayor of Lancaster.

His petition for candidacy in the mayoral race was confirmed by the Board of Elections on March 2, and no one else has submitted a petition. The deadline is Aug. 14.

Lunsford, a junior at Lancaster High School who will be 18 in August, said he’d also put off college if he wins office.

“If the people elect me, this would be my full focus,” he said.

Lunsford, who is running as an independent nominee, said the presidential election showed him that “some Americans are ready for change.”

Lunsford acknowledges he may not have the experience that some mayoral candidates have, but said he will work harder than anyone else.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could have a positive impact,” he said.

As mayor, he indicated he would seek to streamline the government and spending, fix the roads and bolster the city’s transparency. If he doesn’t win, he’s looking to finish high school and go to college.

The candidate who wins the Nov. 7 election will finish out the rest of Brian Kuhn’s term, which will be about two years.

Kuhn recently resigned.

Drop gives Ohio cheaper gas prices than neighboring states

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohioans are seeing lower gas prices than drivers in neighboring states as the week begins.

The state average for a gallon of regular fuel was about $2.14 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s down from about $2.23 a week ago and $1.93 at this time last year.

The national average was higher than the state average at $2.30 on Monday, down a penny from a week earlier. A year ago it was $1.93.

AAA has said gas prices are expected to increase this month as demand rises and refiners start switching from winter-blend

Cincinnati mayoral candidate: Revive city’s subway system

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Democratic mayoral candidate in Cincinnati has indicated he wants to restore the city’s abandoned subway system.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that former University of Cincinnati board Chairman Rob Richardson Jr. added “Revive Cincinnati’s subway system” to a list of transportation issues on his campaign website. Additional details weren’t available.

The newspaper reports that the idea is based on the fact that 75,000 jobs in the region aren’t accessible by public transportation, according to a 2015 study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.

Richardson’s campaign manager says the tunnel system’s current infrastructure provides a “launching pad for this kind of effort.”

Construction on the subway stopped in 1929 amid rising costs. City spokesman Rocky Merz says the city is no longer allowing tours due to the “deteriorating condition.”

Ohio police investigate string of 3 murder-suicides

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Police in three different Ohio communities have investigated murder-suicides over the past week.

Authorities in Mansfield say a 22-year-old woman was shot Wednesday in a car and as she tried to flee and her 7-week-old baby was taken.

Police say the 20-year-old male suspect shot himself as officers approached him after stopping his car early Thursday. The suspect had dropped the baby off with family members beforehand.

In Fairfield County, police say a 78-year-old man shot his 80-year-old wife and then killed himself. Their bodies were found Wednesday night after an out-of-state relative grew concerned the couple couldn’t be reached.

In Medina, police say a 43-year-old man fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend at her home before killing himself. Their bodies were found March 6.

Ohio village selling alcohol for first time in decades

POLAND, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio village is selling alcohol for the first time in decades after voters cast ballots to end the municipality’s dry status.

The change in Poland in northeast Ohio was pushed by convenience store owners Dori and Daniel Rai who moved to the area from Canada last year.

The Vindicator reports the store began selling beer and wine last month.

The owners said they were told it would be impossible to get a license approved for the dry town but they persevered.

The village in suburban Youngstown was the hometown of the late congressman James Traficant.