Ohio News Briefs

Ohio sues e-school founder, leaders in bid to recoup funding

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general is suing the founder and leaders of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, aiming to recoup millions of dollars in public funding that flowed to the massive, now-defunct online school.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday names ECOT founder William Lager and his two companies that provided management and curriculum services.

Attorneys representing the companies in ECOT matters didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The lawsuit also names five ECOT officials, including the superintendent and treasurer.

It targets Lager’s profits from his companies’ ECOT contracts. It also goes after money paid under alleged improper contracts, as well as funding received by ECOT that wasn’t justified by tallies of student participation.

The school of 11,000-plus students closed in January after the state started recouping nearly $80 million in disputed funding.

Free amusement park admission for Ohio teachers this weekend

MASON, Ohio (AP) — An amusement park in Ohio is offering free admission to teachers for the last weekend in August to celebrate the beginning of the school year.

Kings Island says teachers will receive free admission with valid school identification or teaching licenses from Aug. 24-26. WKRC-TV reports the Cincinnati-area amusement park in Mason says educators who qualify include teachers, faculty and school staffers.

Kings Island also says educators can purchase a special admission ticket for family and friends for about $30 a ticket.

City: Metal thieves rip manhole covers, grates from ground

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati city officials says thieves are ripping manhole covers and storm water grates out of the ground to sell for scrap metal.

Greater Cincinnati Waterworks and Metropolitan Sewer District officials say scrap metal is valuable right now, and that scrappers are using industrial vehicles like backhoes to rip the metal out of the ground. Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District spokeswoman Deb Leonard says officials believe the scrappers are hiding in plain sight — posing as construction crews while they take the metal from the ground.

City engineer Eric Saylor says grates are being stolen with “surprising frequency” given that they are both very heavy and only worth a few dollars.

The thefts are being investigated, but city agencies and contractors are being warned to safeguard job sites.

Police: Dayton man killed in western Ohio crash

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have identified a 26-year-old Dayton man as the person who died in a single-vehicle crash in western Ohio.

Beavercreek police say Joseph Younger was thrown from his vehicle after he swerved off the road, drove into trees and hit a ditch, causing the vehicle to roll over. Younger was pronounced dead at the scene in the Dayton suburb.

Authorities say they responded to a 911 call around 10:15 p.m. Monday.

Police and the Greene County Coroner’s Office are investigating to try to determine what caused the crash.

Prosecutor’s death penalty stance offends Vatican official

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Vatican official has encouraged an Ohio prosecutor to go to confession after defying the Catholic Church’s new policy that the death penalty is never acceptable.

Paul Mueller, a vice director at the Vatican Observatory, wrote a letter weeks ago to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters saying he was scandalized that Deters would use his office to “oppose and confuse the teachings of the Church.”

Deters, a Catholic, has been pursuing the death penalty in the resentencing case of a convicted serial killer.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis changed the Catholic Church’s teaching on the death penalty. The policy previously said the Catholic Church would consider capital punishment if it was the only way to defend human lives.

A message seeking comment was left Tuesday with Deters’ office.

5 faith leaders arrested in immigration protest at prison

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Five clergy members protesting the detention of immigrants at a prison in Ohio have been arrested on trespassing charges.

Organizers of the protest say the five wanted to give communion to detainees who have been denied spiritual services.

About 40 people took part in the protest Monday at the prison in Youngstown. Police say the arrests came after the protesters refused to leave despite attempts to reach a resolution.

A prison spokesman tells The Plain Dealer that the detainees have access to an onsite chaplain and weekly religious services.

Among those being held at the prison are dozens of workers arrested during an immigration investigation at an Ohio meat-processing plant in June.