Ohio News Briefs

Marijuana businesses prepare to apply for state licenses

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials are expecting a flood of applications for medical marijuana grower licenses.

The Dayton Daily News reports applications for large medical marijuana cultivator licenses are due by the end of the month. Ohio will issue as many as 12 licenses for large-scale cultivators. Small-scale cultivators competing for another twelve licenses must apply by June 16.

Applicants will be scored in several areas, including operation plans, security, quality assurance and finances. The state law says medical marijuana should be available by September 2018.

The state Department of Commerce, Ohio Pharmacy Board and State Medical Board will regulate Ohio’s medical marijuana industry.

Ohio legalized medical marijuana last year after Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a law authorizing doctors to recommend cannabis use for patients with 21 medical conditions.

Ohio hospice patient gets heavy metal tribute performance

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — A southern Ohio hospice patient with advanced multiple sclerosis has had a heavy metal wish fulfilled after a tribute band staged a personal performance for him at the facility where he lives.

The Chillicothe Gazette reports a band that pays tribute to Ozzy Osbourne played a three-song set for 51-year-old Tim Ott at a Chillicothe assisted living facility on Saturday.

Ott has been in hospice care since late 2015. Hospice staff got him to a Kiss tribute concert at one point, but he’s no longer able to attend live shows.

Hospice chaplain Billy Morris asked Ultimate Ozzy frontman Dale Grubb to visit Ott but instead got the entire band minus drums in deference to other patients.

Relatives say Ott grew up a heavy metal fan.

Ohio education campaign urges safer bicycling, walking

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two Ohio state agencies hope to reduce chronic health problems by getting more people to walk and bicycle safely.

The Ohio departments of Health and Transportation launched the Your Move campaign last week.

Officials hope that getting people out of their cars and increasing their levels of physical activity will help curb Ohio’s high rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. They also urge people to be safe when exercising.

Fatal and serious accidents in Ohio involving bicyclists and pedestrians hit their highest levels in a decade last year. Eighteen people were killed and 167 were seriously hurt in bicycle-related crashes while 142 pedestrians were killed and 569 seriously injured.

The campaign urges Ohioans to use crosswalks and bicycle with traffic.

Ohio State to consider change in same-sex partners benefits

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University is considering whether to require employees and their same-sex partners to be married for partners to receive benefits starting in 2019.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the proposed change would affect about 100 employees and their dependents currently enrolled in university benefit plans. Ohio State has more than 42,000 employees statewide.

The change is prompted by a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The university began offering benefits to same-sex partners in 2004, but has never offered them to unmarried opposite-sex partners. An Ohio State spokesman says the change will make the university’s benefit policy consistent.

A spokesman for the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Ohio says the change is not unexpected.

Ohio State trustees are expected to consider the change on Friday.

2 Ohio men charged for leaving overdose victim in field

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say two Ohio men who left a woman to die in a field after she overdosed on the powerful opioid fentanyl have been charged criminally.

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports 27-year-old Gregory Ralston, of Lorain, was indicted Friday in Lorain County on reckless homicide, corrupting another with drugs, tampering with evidence and drug trafficking charges. Twenty-four-year-old Anthony Barker, of Elyria, faces charges of reckless homicide and tampering with evidence.

Police say 29-year-old Naomi Caulfield overdosed at Barker’s home April 11 and that Barker, Ralston and a third man who hasn’t been indicted drove her to a field where they left her. A deputy county coroner says Caulfield was alive at that time. Her body was found the next day.

Court records don’t indicate if Ralston and Barker have attorneys.

Kent State to offer buyouts to faculty nearing retirement

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State University wants to hire more research faculty with savings from buyouts offered to existing faculty members ready to retire.

Officials say the school plans to use projected savings of nearly $19 million from the buyout to hire tenure track, research-focused faculty over the next eight years. The university’s board of trustees approved the buyout offer Wednesday.

Officials say full-time faculty members with 15 years of experience or already retirement eligible can apply for a buyout equal to one year’s salary paid out over five years. Anyone who takes the deal would have to retire by May 31, 2018.

University officials haven’t indicated how many faculty members they hope will accept the offer.