Quinnipiac poll: Ohio voters favor Hillary Clinton in 2016
A Quinnipiac University poll says Ohioans would choose former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president over six prospective 2016 GOP candidates, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Fifty-five percent of the roughly 1,400 registered voters the university surveyed said Clinton would make a good president. None of the Republicans the poll examined got a positive score on that question. Along with Kasich, other prospective GOP candidates the group surveyed in the state were Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio, ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The poll shows President Obama’s approval rate is 40% in the Buckeye State, a six percent increase since the last survey in November.
Schools to get four additional snow days
The Ohio House has approved a plan to let schools take up to four additional days off this year because of the winter season's extreme weather. A compromise requires teachers to report on two of those days for professional development. The measure approved Wednesday heads next to the Senate. Snow and frigid temperatures has led many districts across Ohio to exhaust their five allowable calamity days. Some have cancelled classes for 10 or more days. Opponents said schools aren't doing enough to make up the lost days on the weekends or through longer school days.
E-cig ban clears legislature
Ohio lawmakers have approved a bill that aims to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of those under age 18. The measure would prohibit minors from obtaining, possessing and using the products. The House approved Senate changes Wednesday, sending the bill to Gov. John Kasich. He's expected to sign it. Groups such as the Ohio State Medical Association have questioned the legislation because it defines the items as "alternative nicotine products" rather than tobacco-derived products. The organization said the new category could exempt the products from taxation laws that govern tobacco.
Bill to provide heroin overdose antidote passes Senate
The Ohio Senate has approved a bill to provide a drug overdose antidote to friends or family members of addicts without the risk of prosecution. The measure would allow licensed prescribers to provide the drug naloxone. People administering the drug would be immune from prosecution as long as they call 911 immediately before or after giving the antidote and obtained it through proper channels. The legislation is aimed at reducing the state's record-high number of fatal overdoses from heroin and painkillers, now the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes. The bill goes back to the House to consider changes made in the Senate.
Senate passes bill to allow judges to order mental illness treatment
Ohio lawmakers have approved a bill that could lead to more people with severe mental illness receiving court-ordered outpatient treatment. The legislation clarifies that outpatient treatment is an option that judges can consider for patients along with hospitalization. The proposal approved by the Senate on Wednesday also sets out more behaviors a patient must exhibit to receive court-ordered treatment, such as being unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision. Supporters say increasing such options makes it less likely that severely mentally ill people will end up hurting themselves or others. Opponents say the proposal could increase the cost of mental illness treatment and strain the current system. The measure goes now to the House.
Kasich: First graders should start thinking about careers
Ohio's governor wants schoolchildren to start thinking early, as soon as first grade, about what they want to do for careers. Gov. John Kasich says he'll go into more detail in his State of the State address next week, but he also wants to offer vocational education starting in seventh grade. And students will be able to use online resources in first grade to learn about being farmers, nurses and other careers. The Republican says Ohio is ahead of the curve in trying to meet employers' needs. He spoke Wednesday at a manufacturing jobs forum organized by The Atlantic magazine, at Siemens' manufacturing facility in the Cincinnati suburb of Norwood. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Youngstown area Democrat, was among other political, business and education leaders taking part.
Signet Jewlers aims to buy rival Zale
A jewelry retailer with more than 2,500 employees in Akron is buying its rival. Signet Jewlers, which owns Kay and Jared jewelry store chains, says it’s buying Zale Corp. of Texas for about $1.4 billion. Signet’s U.S. division Sterling Jewelers is headquartered in Akron. Signet says it anticipates no personnel cuts in Akron or Texas. The deal must be approved by shareholders and is subject to regulatory and other approvals.
Congressman Ryan wants Tressel for YSU president
A Northeast Ohio congressman has penned a letter to Youngstown State University, urging the school to consider Jim Tressel for president. Congressman Tim Ryan of Niles and a group of business and community leaders sent to letter to the board of trustees saying Tressel, the former Ohio State football coach who now is a vice president at the University of Akron, “will bring all of the skill and experience needed to lead Youngstown State University forward.” YSU President Randy Dunn has resigned after seven months to take the top job at Southern Illinois University in August.
Defense outlines case in Ashland slavery trial
A defense attorney says two people accused of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in Ashland for two years were trying to help a homeless acquaintance, not take advantage of her financially. Prosecutors and defense lawyers began outlining their arguments Wednesday in federal court in Youngstown at the trial of 27-year-old Jordie Callahan and 32-year-old Jessica Hunt. They have pleaded not guilty. Authorities say the victim was forced to do housework in Ashland while she and her child were threatened with a python or pit bulls. The defendants are accused of using her public assistance money.