Ohio News Briefs

Ohio governor wants state to regulate manufactured homes

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich says too many people are dying in manufactured homes and he wants oversight of those homes transferred from an industry-controlled board to the state.

Statistics compiled by the State Fire Marshal’s office show people living in manufactured homes in Ohio are four times more likely to perish in a fire than those living in other types of dwellings. Manufactured homes include mobile homes and other types of houses built entirely in factories.

The Republican governor wants the Legislature to give the state direct oversight of manufactured homes.

The Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission currently provides most of the regulation. Kasich’s budget bill proposal includes a measure to put the commission under the Ohio Department of Commerce, which includes the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Supporters of largest Ohio online school rally at Statehouse

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Hundreds of supporters of Ohio’s largest online charter school rallied at the Statehouse to let state officials know they’re happy with the education it provides.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is in a legal dispute with the Ohio Department of Education over attendance-tracking practices used to determine state funding.

Ohio’s state auditor also ordered a statewide examination of cyber schools’ data collection practices after finding ECOT lacked adequate systems to track students’ learning time.

Founder Bill Lager told the cheering crowd Tuesday: “Quality education is measured in competency and mastery, not in hours and minutes.”

Parents and children who dominated the crowd brandished signs saying, “Support Education Choice” and “#WeAreECOT.”

The sign of a protester dressed in a bear costume read, “Be Afraid of (Education Secretary Betsy) Devos and ECOT.”

University OKs concealed weapons on campus, first in Ohio

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Trustees at a small university in Ohio have approved allowing faculty and staff with permits to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Cedarville University will become the first college in Ohio to allow concealed weapons on campus.

The Dayton Daily News reports reports the new policy announced will take effect in August.

A new Ohio law allows individual boards of trustees to decide whether to allow concealed weapons on campus.

Cedarville’s president says he doesn’t consider the move to be groundbreaking. He says school leaders looked at concealed weapons policies from colleges in Texas, Kansas and Virginia.

Cedarville is a private Christian university with about 3,300 students.

3 arrested after string of pharmacy robberies in Ohio

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have arrested three people following a string of robberies at pharmacies in southwestern and central Ohio.

Federal authorities say thieves over the past seven months have targeted 26 pharmacies in and around Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati and Middletown.

Investigators say suspects in all of the robberies and attempted robberies have used similar methods.

Federal court documents say two 18-year-old men and a 20-year-old man were arrested last week and charged with robbing a Rite Aid in Middletown on April 29.

Officers tracked the men after a pharmacist stuck a GPS tracking device inside a bag filled with prescription pills that the men demanded from a safe.

Authorities say there have been other arrests in some of the robberies.

Wife, children plead guilty to charges in man’s death

CLEVELAND (AP) — The wife and three children of a bedridden man who authorities say died from gross neglect have pleaded guilty to charges in a Cleveland courtroom.

Sixty-year-old Debora Brichacek pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Monday in the December 2015 death of Richard Brichacek, who suffered from a neurological disorder.

Wendi Brichacek, Debbi Brichacek and Brian Brichacek pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault on Monday. All four were originally charged with murder.

Prosecutors say 63-year-old Richard Brichacek had maggot-infested bedsores that exposed a bone in his leg. He weighed just 93 pounds when he died and was severely malnourished. The family’s home in the Cleveland suburb of Euclid was declared unfit for habitation.

Sentencing is set for June 7.

None of the Brichaceks’ attorneys were immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Ohioans dispose of over 16 tons of prescription drugs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State and local officials say Ohioans properly disposed of more than 16 tons of prescription drugs in the most recent National Drug Take Back Day.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration thanked Ohioans on Monday for properly disposing of 16.6 tons (15 metric tons) of unneeded, unwanted or expired prescription drugs during the national initiative on April 29.

Officials say unused prescription drugs in homes create a public health and safety concern because medications can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused and abused.

Those still in possession of unneeded prescription drugs can drop them off at one of several prescription drug drop box locations across the state. A list of locations of prescription drug drop boxes is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

Ohio schools could lose millions in Medicaid cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The health care bill repealing much of the Affordable Care Act passed by the U.S. House could cost Ohio millions in Medicaid funding.

The Medicaid School Program helps schools pay for special education services and provide wellness care to children in poverty.

The bill approved last week proposes $880 billion in Medicaid funding cuts. If it becomes law, Ohio schools could lose $8 million to $12 million a year in funding.

Schools still are required to provide services such as speech therapy under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, says the cuts could force Ohio schools to fire special education therapists or increase class sizes.

Brown says lawmakers should “work together to lower costs and make health care work better for everyone.”

6th Ohio company pleads guilty in scrap yard investigation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A crackdown on illegal scrap yard activities that found grave markers, beer kegs, copper wire and tons of shredded plastic has wrapped up with a sixth conviction of an Ohio company.

A to Z Recycling, based in Columbus, pleaded guilty to felony charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The company was ordered Monday to pay a $50,000 fine, a harsher penalty than any of other convicted scrap yards.

Investigators say a sting operation found the company wasn’t complying with laws meant to prevent the sale of stolen goods.

Charges against an employee were dismissed as part of the company’s deal. Another employee pleaded guilty last year and was fined $1,000.