Ohio News Briefs

Study: Little change in Ohio school districts’ funding gap

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new study done for officials from public schools says the funding gap between Ohio’s poorest and wealthiest districts hasn’t narrowed much in the 20 years since the state’s school funding formula was revised after a lawsuit.

In what’s known as the DeRolph case, Ohio’s Supreme Court declared the state school system favoring rich districts over poor was unconstitutional.

The new study by Ohio Education Policy Institute consultant Howard Fleeter finds that state and local revenue received by the wealthiest school districts has since increased nearly 26 percent, while funding for the poorest districts rose only a little bit more, just over 29 percent. Most growth happened in the decade after the formula was revised.

The study was commissioned by associations for Ohio school boards, administrators and school business officials.

DeWine unveils body armor grants, FOP critical of delay

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the state’s injured worker fund is setting aside a portion of its safety grant funding to help local police agencies pay for bulletproof vests.

The Republican gubernatorial nominee advanced the plan Tuesday. It follows an Associated Press report in June on a union grievance stating more than 50 Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents are wearing expired bulletproof vests despite pleas to management to get the vests replaced.

DeWine says the grant program with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will make up to $40,000 available to a local law enforcement agency with a 25 percent local match.

The Fraternal Order of Police says it is grateful for the added financial help but “dismayed” that DeWine is politicizing a police safety issue.

ASPCA says more than 600 birds removed from home

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says more than 600 birds were removed from a house in central Ohio after reports of animal neglect and a complaint from the public about living conditions.

The ASPCA says the birds were living in extremely overcrowded conditions in a home in a Columbus neighborhood. ASPCA and Columbus Humane officials say birds removed from the home Tuesday under a search warrant include parakeets, cockatiels, finches, macaws and cockatoos.

Some birds had medical issues, including missing feathers and plucking mutilation.

The organizations say they are focusing on assessing the birds’ welfare and ensuring they receive appropriate care.

They say the birds have been relocated to a temporary shelter until a court determines custody.

The home’s owner wasn’t immediately identified.

Cleveland police reform will likely extend beyond 5 years

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to complete scheduled reforms of the city’s police department is expected to exceed the five-year period both sides anticipated.

Cleveland.com reports a semi-annual report released Wednesday by the independent monitoring team overseeing the agreement called a consent decree says “significant” work remains in completing reform measures a federal judge approved in June 2015.

The city and the Justice Department reached an agreement on reforms in late 2014 after a Justice Department investigation found Cleveland police officers had engaged in a pattern or practice of using excessive force and violating people’s civil rights.

The report says use-of-force incidents from January through May of 2018 dropped to 63 compared with 103 during the same period last year. New use-of-force policies took effect in January.

Motorcyclist dies after crashing into tractor-trailer

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati police say a motorcyclist was killed when her bike struck a tractor-trailer making an improper U-turn.

Authorities say 21-year-old Jordan Alexander was heading east on Columbia Parkway in Cincinnati Tuesday afternoon when she struck a tractor-trailer making a U-turn from the center lane.

Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor-trailer wasn’t injured.

Lt. Steve Saunders says police will file charges against the driver of the truck.