Ohio prison inmates to build new state park cabins
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s prisons system and natural resources department have signed an agreement allowing inmates to build new versions of the state’s most popular park cabin.
Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says the program at Chillicothe Correctional Institution is part of efforts to provide inmates with real-world job skills.
The bare-bones cabins are little more than wooden tents, with no running water but including an air conditioning unit, refrigerator and a microwave.
James Zehringer, director of Ohio’s Natural Resources department, says the project involves building 62 cabins, including 40 replacements and 22 new ones.
The state is dubbing them Sherman cabins after Camp Sherman, an Ohio Army National Guard training site near the Chillicothe prison.
Gov. John Kasich announced the program Wednesday.
Ohio judges order that air conditioning keep flowing
MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — Uncomfortable working conditions have prompted judges in a northeast Ohio county to order that courthouse air conditioning remain on throughout the day after it was switched off on warm afternoons as a cost-saving measure.
The Medina Gazette reports that four Medina County judges issued the order Tuesday, with one judge noting that decades ago the historic courthouse would close on hot days before air conditioning.
County administrator Scott Miller said the county could save $23,000 by participating in an incentive program to reduce the load on the region’s power grid on peak cooling days. County commissioners said at a meeting Tuesday that the county could ill-afford to lose that money.
The newspaper reports that employees in other county buildings had similar complaints about uncomfortable working conditions.
State adds almost $30M to Ohio’s rainy day fund
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state budget office says it has deposited $29.5 million in Ohio’s rainy-day fund, taking its total to more than $2 billion.
Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen said he authorized the addition on Wednesday after the state ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a stronger than anticipated balance.
It’s the fifth deposit into the fund in six years. The fund now stands at $2.034 billion.
Keen attributed the fiscal year’s strong finish to spending that came in below projections.
A legislative change last year allowed the fund’s balance to reach 8.5 percent of the preceding fiscal year’s general revenues. Keen said the account now holds 6 percent, after Wednesday’s deposit.
Ohio’s education center for judges celebrates 40 years
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the state’s continuing education program for judges.
The Ohio Judicial College offered four courses serving about 475 judges when it began in 1976, compared to 222 courses serving more than 21,000 judges, magistrates, court personnel and members of the public.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said this week that quality education is the hallmark of the college. She says citizens benefit when judges undergo specific training or take time to educate themselves about changes in law.
Ohio’s judges must earn 40 hours of continuing legal education credit every two years, with 10 hours through the Judicial College.
The college also provides recently elected or appointed judges a two-week new judge orientation program.