Ohio News Briefs


Ohio wants pot-growing expert to adhere to drug-free policy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials are looking for an expert in growing marijuana who must adhere to its drug-free workplace policy, as Ohio implements a new medical marijuana law.

Cleveland.com reports the new hire by the Ohio Department of Commerce would help write rules for medical marijuana cultivators.

The chosen contractor would be held to Ohio’s drug-free workplace policy, which currently doesn’t allow for medical marijuana use.

A commerce department spokesman couldn’t say Friday whether the contractor’s employees would have to clear a pre-employment drug test.

The contractor would research best practices and recommend how they would work with Ohio’s patient needs in the new Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The job was posted last week. The state is accepting applications through Wednesday. The department has budgeted $50,000 for the work.

Cheese stands alone: $26K Swiss breaks Ohio fair sale record

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s grand champion Swiss cheese has set another sales record? Holy cow.

The dairy dynamo cashed in at $26,000 during the Ohio State Fair’s Sale of Champions Sunday. That’s $1,000 more than the previous record set last year.

The champion market turkey also set a record at $16,000.

Overall, the Sale of Champions auction generated $269,500 for the year, the most going to a $45,000 champion steer. After winners’ earnings, $181,000 of the proceeds will go the fair’s Youth Reserve Program.

The 21-year-old program rewards junior fair exhibitors through contests, scholarships, skill-a-thons and through 4-H and Future Farmers of America clubs. It’s awarded more than $3 million to roughly 33,000 youth since its inception.

The champion cheese was produced by Guggisberg Cheese Co., representing the year’s seven dairy champions.

Motorists see Ohio gas prices up slightly to start workweek

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices around Ohio are up slightly as the new workweek begins.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.15 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s up 6 cents from a week ago, and a penny more than the average reported a month ago. The average price in Ohio a year ago was $2.45.

The national average price on Monday was $2.12, a penny less compared with last week’s average.

Analysts say a drop in crude oil prices has driven a nine-week decline in costs at the pump, but those prices have strengthened in the past week and retail price drops are likely to be smaller or cease.

Money seized from charity scam going to veterans legal fund

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says money seized during investigations of a multi-state Navy veterans charity fraud is part of a $50,000 grant being made to a veterans legal aid fund.

The Ohio Military Veterans Legal Assistance Project arranges legal services for low-income military veterans and active service members who can’t afford an attorney.

DeWine says that money his office received during the investigation will go to help veterans as donors intended.

John Donald Cody is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Ohio after his 2013 conviction on charges of racketeering, theft, money laundering and 12 counts of identity theft.

Cody, who had long identified himself as Bobby Thompson, was accused of looting the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa, Florida.

Ohio social worker less trusting a decade after boy’s death

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio social worker says he’s less trusting a decade after a 3-year-old special-needs child he was in charge of died when the boy’s foster parents bound him with duct tape and placed him in a tiny, hot closet for several days without food or water.

Liz and David Carroll Jr. left Marcus Fiesel in a closet while they went out of town for three days to attend a family reunion. Investigators say temperatures probably exceeded 100 degrees. The boy died from either dehydration or starvation, officials said. His body was never found.

Live-in girlfriend Amy Baker testified that she helped David Carroll burn the body and throw the rest of boy’s remains into the Ohio River.

Liz Carroll, 40, was sentenced to 54 years in prison. David Carroll, 39, accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Baker’s charges were dismissed.

The boy’s case worker, Joseph Beumer, spoke at an event Friday in Hamilton commemorating his death.

“Marcus’ death has changed my perspective on everyone,” Beumer said.

He said he asks more questions now, particularly of parents, and asks questions multiple times in different ways.

Butler County Children Services Director Bill Morrison said county workers now get a daily report about foster parents and other caregivers with all previous contact and criminal history.

“Knowledge is our most important tool,” he said. “Knowledge comes from information and relationships. We have more knowledge today than we did 10 years ago through the systems that have been developed and the relationships that we maintain with the adults in the child’s life.”

Cindy Carpenter, who was the county’s clerk of courts, helped develop a database that allows child services to be alerted when foster parents get into legal trouble. There are more follow-ups with foster parents, too.

“His memory serves as a constant reminder to remain ever vigilant by the hundreds of us who continue to work to improve Ohio’s child welfare system,” Carpenter said.

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