Ohio News Briefs

Judge blocks Ohio from stripping Planned Parenthood funding

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge says Ohio must continue providing certain funding to Planned Parenthood while he weighs a challenge to a state law aimed at keeping public money from going to the organization.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett granted a temporary restraining order Monday blocking the state from enforcing that part of the law.

The law targets money that Planned Parenthood gets through Ohio’s health department. That money is mostly federal and supports initiatives that provide HIV tests, cancer screenings and other education and prevention services.

The state’s law would bar such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions.

Planned Parenthood says Ohio’s law violates their constitutional rights by denying them the funds “in retaliation for” providing abortions.

The law was slated to take effect Monday.

Ohio trooper saves 4-month-old baby from fiery crash

GRANVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper pulled a trapped 4-month-old boy from a car that crashed and caught fire in central Ohio.

A dash cam video shows Trooper Sean Eitel following a motorist driving erratically in Granville, about 34 miles northeast of Columbus.

The video shows the car swerve and hit a curb and pole before overturning and bursting into flames May 17. Authorities say Eitel extinguished the fire and pulled out the unharmed baby, who was hanging upside down in his car seat.

The Newark mother wasn’t seriously injured.

Court records show 35-year-old Brandy Wilson has pleaded not guilty to charges including child endangering and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

A Newark phone listing couldn’t be found for her, and court records don’t list an attorney.

Ohio auditor’s report shows better charter school attendance

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new state audit shows that attendance at Ohio’s charter schools apparently has improved.

Auditor Dave Yost’s office says a surprise head count audit of 30 charter schools last November found that all but one had attendance rates greater than 73 percent. That number didn’t include community schools focused on dropout prevention.

A similar count in 2014 showed more than half of the schools reported enrollment numbers higher than the actual head counts.

The recent audit also checked on 10 traditional schools where attendance averaged 91 percent.

Auditors found that attendance rates for 14 dropout-prevention community schools were at or below 50 percent.

Yost says the audit shows that “we need to continue to strengthen our system of accountability.”

Ohio officials teaming up at forum on opioid addiction

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio congressman will team up with state officials next month to host a forum looking at opioid addiction in the state.

The meeting is set for June 27 at the University of Findlay.

Republican Congressman Bob Latta and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine are taking part.

DeWine says these types of forums are important because communities need to play a big role in the fight against opiate addiction and abuse.

The directors of Ohio’s health department and addiction services department also are expected to take part.

Ohio gas prices continue to increase heading toward holiday

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices around Ohio have continued to increase heading toward the Memorial Day weekend.

The average price per gallon was $2.38 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. The average in Ohio this time last week was $2.22. It was $2.18 a month ago.

Ohio’s price to start the week was 10 cents above the national average price in Monday’s survey.

The national average this time last year was $2.74. Ohioans were paying an average of about $2.73 at the same time in 2015.

Gas prices have been rising partly due to more expensive crude oil costs brought about by wildfires in Canada and supply disruptions in other oil-producing countries.

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