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State board to vote on $22 million for new raffle machines
Other morning headlines: Highway patrol issues about 250 texting-while-driving tickets; DeWine released from hospital

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • State board set to approve new raffle machines for veteran's groups, lodges
  • Highway patrol issues about 250 texting-while-driving tickets
  • DeWine released from hospital
  • Power restored to 50,000 in Lake County
  • Two men in court today on manslaughter charges for allegedly selling deadly heroin mix
  • Gas prices level out 
  • Wadsworth to replace Civil War statue after decades
  • State board to vote on $22 million for new raffle machines for veteran's groups, lodges
    A state legislative panel is set to consider authorizing $22.5 million in spending to build and operate new electronic raffle machines for veterans' posts and fraternal organizations. The state Controlling Board votes on the Ohio Lottery Commission request today. A lottery spokeswoman says nearly 200 posts and lodges have committed to take about half of the 1,200 machines. That represents about $19,000 per machine over two years. The request supports $10 million for state education funding and $7 million for the posts and lodges annually. Lottery pursued the new devices after Attorney General Mike DeWine declared earlier raffle machines illegal. DeWine ordered those devices shut down, but that order was on hold pending court action.

    Highway patrol issues about 250 texting-while-driving tickets
    The State Highway Patrol says more than 270 citations have been given to drivers for texting or using a cellphone behind the wheel in violation of Ohio law since the statewide texting ban took effect about a year ago. Texting while driving is a secondary offense for those 18 and older. That means an officer has to stop a driver for another offense first, such as speeding. Younger drivers are prohibited from texting or using cellphones or other hand-held devices and it's a primary offense. The patrol says that 43 of the 273 tickets issued over the past year were given to drivers under the age of 18. A 2013 state survey of young Ohioans found that nearly half of teens had texted or emailed while driving.

    DeWine released from hospital
    State Attorney General Mike DeWine is expected to resume his normal schedule this week after spending Friday night in a Cincinnati hospital. The Republican sudden fell ill at a "First Friday" luncheon with business and public policy leaders. Officials have not detailed what his ailment might have been.

    Power restored to 50,000 in Lake County
    About 50,000 lost power in Lake County over the weekend, the second time in two weeks. The outages were first reported around 6:30 a.m. Saturday and were attributed to a failed insulator. FirstEnergy says everyone was back online later in the day. More than 42,000 Lake County homes lost power March 1 after a transformer exploded in Fairport Harbor.  

    Two men in court today on manslaughter charges for allegedly selling deadly heroin mix
    Two men accused of selling a lethal mix of heroin and the painkiller fentanyl will appear in court this afternoon on charges including involuntary manslaughter. Ralph and Rafael Rivera Torres II, of Cleveland are accused of causing the death of 35-year-old Christopher Vance, who died Tuesday. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office sent out warnings after the death was linked to a batch of heroin laced with fentanyl, which can be up to 80 times more potent. The county prosecutor said he will take the case to a Grand Jury for indictments soon.

    Gas prices level out
    After weeks of increases, Ohio gas prices have flattened out. The cost for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio is averaging $3.58 in today's survey from auto club AAA and its partners. That's about a penny lower than last Monday. Today's price is 35 cents higher than a month ago, but is 2 cents lower than last year at this time. Analysts say prices are up because of seasonal maintenance at refineries, and crude oil prices rising as Russia's advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against one of the world's major energy producers.

    Wadsworth to replace Civil War statue after decades
    A Medina County city that has been without its iconic Civil War statue for more than seven decades is getting a duplicate in time for the community's bicentennial celebration this year. The new statue for Wadsworth depicts a boy with a leaking boot taking water to Civil War soldiers. Wadsworth's original statue was installed in the late 1800s, but taken down at the beginning of World War II for scrap metal for the war effort. 
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