Ohio News Briefs

Ohio listed as top state in monitoring prescription drugs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The American Medical Association has listed Ohio as the top state when it comes to monitoring prescription drugs.

The AMA says in a recent fact sheet that Ohio processed more than 24 million queries from doctors and other health professionals through the Board of Pharmacy’s Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System.

The state created the system to track the dispensing of controlled substances and monitor suspected abuse. OARRS has been a key tool in battling the state’s deadly addictions epidemic.

Ohio’s system allows pharmacists to check prescribing histories in Ohio and border states that have similar systems, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia.

In 2015, Gov. John Kasich ordered the system integrated directly into electronic medical records and pharmacy dispensing systems, allowing instant access for prescribers and pharmacists.

Ohio drivers see lower gas prices at end of holiday weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The end of the long weekend for Memorial Day has brought lower gas prices for drivers around Ohio.

The state average for a gallon of regular fuel was about $2.29 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s down from about $2.36 a week ago and $2.49 at this time last year.

The national average was $2.37 per gallon on Monday. That’s a penny higher than last week and a nickel more than the average from this time last year.

AAA had projected that over 34 million people nationwide would take a road trip of some sort for the holiday weekend and that summer travel will increase fuel demand.

Statehouse adds portraits of 7 former Ohio House speakers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Portraits of seven former Ohio House speakers have been unveiled at the Statehouse.

A trio of artists painted the portraits at the request of current Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who noted that portraits of Senate presidents already were displayed.

New portraits unveiled last week show some of the House speakers dating to 1967. The Columbus Dispatch reports the portraits show Armond Budish, Larry Householder, Vernal G. Riffe Jr., A.G. Lancione, Charles Kurfess, Jon Husted and William Batchelder.

Husted, who’s now secretary of state, observed from his portrait that he’s in better shape than he was as speaker from 2005 to 2009.

Batchelder, who was speaker from 2011 to 2015, calls his portrait “fantastic.”

Ohio’s first female speaker, Jo Ann Davidson, already had a Statehouse portrait.

Tax breaks would offer millions in tax credits to filmmakers

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio legislative proposal could double down on tax breaks for filmmakers as other states back away from such incentives.

The Dayton Daily News reports the nearly $64 billion, two-year state operating budget being debated in the Ohio Senate calls for a $40 million package of tax breaks and subsidies for making movies in Ohio.

A 2016 study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center estimates the film industry created a $54 million economic impact in Cincinnati over a two-year period. The study also highlights the nearly 9,000 jobs created since 2014.

University of Tennessee professor Matthew Murray says film tax credits are only good for short term economic effects and don’t build deep supply chains.

Several states have ended their film incentive programs since 2009.

Rock Hall of Fame Museum debuts new features

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum is unveiling big improvements for fans.

Cleveland.com reports the museum is debuting renovations that were part of its “Museum 2.0” plan Memorial Day Weekend. The improvements include an outdoor beer garden, food trucks and the new All Access Cafe.

Visitors can now participate in trivia contests and watch demonstrations as well.

The museum’s new Power of Rock Experience Connor Theater is scheduled to open July 1. Over 50 concerts and events are scheduled for this summer.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Greg Harris says the organization combed through visitor data and organized focus groups to better understand patrons.

The museum is slated to host the 2018 Induction Ceremony.