Ohio News Briefs

Ohio House representative returns 2 large improper donations

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A legislator and top contender to become Ohio House speaker in 2019 has returned two large and improper campaign donations from county Republican organizations

The Enquirer reports State Rep. Larry Householder, a Glenford Republican, returned $63,000 to the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County and $70,000 to the Summit County Republican Central Committee last week.

The donations exceeded the $12,700 annual limit state lawmakers can receive from county organizations outside their districts. Householder’s district includes Coshocton, Perry and Licking counties in central Ohio.

A spokeswoman says Householder thought county parties could decide whether someone is a candidate for statewide office, which Householder is not, when making contributions.

Campaign finance records show nearly all the $716,000 Householder raised through the end of June came from outside his district.

Scoutmaster killed, 5 scouts hurt in crash from blown tire

WARREN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio scoutmaster has been killed and his wife and five scouts injured when a rear tire on his SUV blew while leading a caravan headed to a camping trip in Ontario, Canada.

The state Highway Patrol says 60-year-old James Potjunas lost control of the SUV Saturday morning after the tire blew on State Route 11 in Trumbull County’s Gustavas Township. The patrol says the SUV slid off the road and overturned in the median.

Potjunas’ wife, Sandra, and the five scouts were taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries. All were wearing seatbelts.

Potjunas, of Vienna, started Warren-based Scout Troop 101 as a teenager 42 years ago. A Great Trail Council executive board member tells the Warren Chronicle-Tribune that Potjunas was the most dedicated scoutmaster he’d ever known.

State warns Ohioans of scam involving unclaimed funds

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials are warning Ohioans to beware of a scam involving unclaimed funds.

The unclaimed funds division of the Ohio Department of Commerce says a website claiming consumers must pay a fee to have their missing money returned is a scam. State officials say the www.neverclaimed.com website tells consumers they will receive their missing money after paying fees, ranging from $12.00 to $29.99.

The state news release says it doesn’t cost anything to retrieve unclaimed funds from the division.

Ohioans searching for unclaimed funds are encouraged to work directly with the division, either online or by calling the state office.

Some of the unclaimed funds the division can help consumers retrieve include funds from bank accounts, rent or utility deposits, uncashed checks and undelivered stock certificates.

VA Medical Center plans for future national history center

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Ohio is moving forward with a plan to renovate a warehouse for a future history center.

The Dayton Daily News reports the Dayton VA Medical Center will use the warehouse to store more items and create space for a future National VA History Center.

Dayton VA Chief Engineer Philip Kirk says renovations such as improved climate controls and loading docks are expected to be completed in 2018.

The VA estimates the history center will cost between $20 million and $25 million. If supported through private fundraising, the center would be built from a former national headquarters building and an old clubhouse.