Ohio News Briefs

Wright State to keep state money, despite dropping debate

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Wright State University says it has no plans to repay the $220,000 in state money it received to upgrade security for the first presidential debate, which it pulled out of last month due to increasing security costs.

An Ohio Department of Higher Education spokesman tells The Cincinnati Enquirer the Dayton university doesn’t have to return the money because it was allocated and spent during the previous fiscal year.

Lawmakers in December gave the university money to help with the costs. But the university has said it couldn’t persuade donors to contribute enough money to cover the increasing costs and the school couldn’t cover them itself.

The university spent the state money on cyber security software.

Hofstra University in New York will now host the Sept. 26 debate.

Yost seeks funding changes for Ohio online charter schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State Auditor Dave Yost is calling for changes in how Ohio pays its online charter schools.

Yost, a Republican, says how much a student learns should be part of the funding structure. He made the pitch Thursday at a charter school summit he’s hosting in Columbus. The two-day event provides training opportunities, tips for record-keeping and best enrollment practices.

The summit comes as state lawmakers have strengthened reporting, accountability and transparency requirements for charter schools. Those changes followed a scandal at the state’s charter-school oversight office, persistent performance lags and attendance irregularities.

Yost says the Legislature should review the funding of online charter schools when they return to session this fall.

He says changes are needed because it’s difficult to measure whether students are adequately participating in virtual instruction.

Ohio mom sentenced to 5 years in toddler’s heroin death

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio mother has been sentenced to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the heroin-related death of her 14-month-old daughter.

Erica Maria Barley was charged after her daughter, Annabella Sagstetter, died last year from ingesting fentanyl-laced heroin at what authorities say was a drug house in Columbus.

Defense attorney Mark Collins says the 33-year-old Barley was in the “dark grasps” of her addiction when she took the child into a drug house to buy drugs.

Collins says Barley understands she must take responsibility and pay her debts to society. Barley faced up to 11 years in prison.

Fentanyl-laced heroin is partly responsible for record numbers of overdose deaths in Ohio.

3rd person dies after shooting in southwest Ohio home

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say another person has died after a shooting that earlier left two dead in southwest Ohio and a suspect in custody.

The Dayton Daily News reports the third person to die after the shooting at a Dayton home on Wednesday afternoon was 25-year-old Michael D. Cox. Cox was hospitalized in critical condition and died around midnight.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office identified the other victims as 74-year-old Jasper Taylor and 53-year-old Tammy Cox. The relationship between the victims wasn’t immediately clear.

Someone who lives near the home says he heard several gunshots and then saw a man walk outside and speed away in a pickup truck. Police stopped the truck and took the man into custody after a five-minute pursuit.

A police lieutenant says the shooting doesn’t appear to be random.

Instructor, daughter charged in Ohio gun shop fatal shooting

AMELIA, Ohio (AP) — A firearms instructor and his daughter have been charged in the accidental shooting of a southwest Ohio gun shop owner during a concealed carry class in June.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports 47-year-old Mark Montgomery, of Amelia, was indicted Wednesday on a felony reckless homicide charge in Clermont County. Katie Dunham, of Mariemont, was indicted on a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge.

Montgomery was teaching a lesson on misfire malfunctions using plastic bullets. A student’s handgun fired a live round that went through a wall and struck 64-year-old James Baker in the neck while he sat in an adjacent room. Authorities say Dunham was helping her father teach the class.

Montgomery declined to comment Wednesday. His attorney called the shooting a “horrific accident.”

Court records don’t list an attorney for Dunham.

Beloved polar bear hand-reared in Ohio to move to Oregon zoo

POWELL, Ohio (AP) — A female polar bear born at a central Ohio zoo and hand-reared by staff will move to the Oregon Zoo this fall.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says nine-month-old Nora will join a female bear named Tasul (TAWS’-uhl) in Oregon.

Officials say the move was approved so the Columbus zoo can provide a good environment for more cubs to be born if other bears become pregnant. They say would-be mother bears need quiet, which wouldn’t be possible with Nora’s habitat-sharing schedule.

Zoo staff raised the cub after her mother started leaving her unattended. She’s grown to 150 pounds and developed a big group of fans.

Nora’s last day on view in Columbus is Sept. 5. Zoo officials say she’ll be in quarantine before her Oregon debut, which hasn’t been scheduled.

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