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The Columbus Dispatch: Latest news, information, and blogs
Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago

House finance panel’s chief, Rep. Ryan Smith seeks focus on poverty

2 hours 30 min ago
Rep. Ryan Smith does not talk about education, taxes and Medicaid in the same tone as a number of his fellow House Republicans. It’s no coincidence that the new chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee comes from a district that doesn’t look like those represented by many of his GOP colleagues.

Hospital aid policies can’t rule out medical bills

2 hours 30 min ago
Michelle Brown says she regrets not securing better health coverage before becoming a mother at age 18. She was a full-time restaurant worker making minimum wage when she became pregnant. She had no health benefits. So she signed up for a financial lifeline through the state’s Hospital Care Assurance Program, or HCAP.

Job training for poor gets priority

2 hours 30 min ago
The number of poor Ohioans receiving a welfare check or food stamps has dropped to a record low while enrollment in tax-funded Medicaid has soared. Overall, about 1 in 4 Ohioans receive some type of public assistance, a rate that Gov. John Kasich’s administration hopes to reduce with a renewed focus on education and workforce development.

Capitol Insider: Counting kids takes time, Yost says

2 hours 32 min ago
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said he was left “speechless” by the discrepancies in attendance his investigators found during surprise visits to 30 charter schools. Half of the schools had significantly lower attendance than they had reported to the state. Investigators found no students at one school.

John Switzer commentary: Timber rattlesnakes typically don’t strike

2 hours 32 min ago
A retired state wildlife biologist has been studying an interesting behavior among Ohio’s timber rattlesnakes. The trait is something you might want to think about this spring if you are traipsing around in woods where those snakes live. Dennis Case, who is retired from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, has found that when timber rattlers come out of their winter dens — usually in April — they bury themselves in the leaf clutter on the ground for about two weeks without moving, or they hide in the branches of a fallen tree limb or in a tangle of greenbrier.

Cuyahoga County tries alternatives for juvenile offenders

2 hours 40 min ago
CLEVELAND (AP) — A new program created by prosecutors and court officials in northeastern Ohio will try to give juveniles in Cleveland a better chance of entering diversion programs instead of being charged with crimes.

Teen murder suspect recaptured after woman is taken hostage, police say

2 hours 43 min ago
A teenage murder suspect who escaped from custody at a western Ohio hospital kidnapped a 70-year-old woman and forced her to give him a ride before he was recaptured, authorities said yesterday.

Dublin resident calls off coyote hunt

2 hours 48 min ago
A Dublin woman called off the hunt for coyotes that had been planned for early Sunday morning on property off of Brand Road, apparently because of the uproar it had caused.

Clark State will fly drone for farmers

3 hours 1 min ago
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center plans to begin flying a small drone over designated farm fields this year in collaboration with a western Ohio college. The Federal Aviation Administration recently authorized the center to fly an unmanned aircraft system over fields owned by the city of Springfield and leased to farmers.

Risk of painkiller abuse now a required subject in Ohio schools

3 hours 3 min ago
DAYTON (AP) — A new law requires Ohio schools to teach children about the dangers of prescription painkillers, a leading gateway drug to heroin abuse. The Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team must recommend lessons to the state Education Department by July 1 under a bill signed into law last month by Gov. John Kasich.

Affluent districts pay less in school taxes by this count

3 hours 15 min ago
If New Albany-Plain school district residents paid an average amount of their income to fund local education, in relation to all Ohio districts, the district not only could stop worrying about budget cuts, it could more than double spending.

Central Ohio to get 3 to 5 inches of snow starting Sunday morning

3 hours 20 min ago
A storm moving across the Midwest is expected to deliver up to 5 inches of snow to central Ohio by Monday morning. The National Weather Service issued an advisory yesterday saying we could see between 3 and 5 inches between 10 a.m. today and 7 a.m. Monday; the heaviest snow is likely this afternoon into Monday.

Child-care bills rival mortgage

3 hours 36 min ago
Two-year-old Evie Vargo is a sweet, even-tempered toddler, and her parents would love to have another just like her. But Joe and Janna Vargo feel less certain about the wisdom of duplicating their daughter’s annual child-care bill, which already costs more than a year of public-college tuition.

Health care Q&A: Are there natural therapies for reflux?

3 hours 40 min ago
Q: Are there any natural treatments for reflux? I had a bad reaction to the medication my doctor prescribed, and Pepcid does not work. My doctor told me to avoid caffeine and alcohol, but I don't want to give up my coffee.

Who says it's time to retire? Millions of people continue to work well past 65

3 hours 40 min ago
At 76, Sue Miller-Gillman has heard the question that’s inevitably asked of any working person of a certain age: When are you going to retire? The Columbus woman said she simply isn’t ready. She loves her job as a communication liaison at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, arranging for family members to meet with a doctor to discuss a loved one’s prognosis after surgery. At such stressful times, she said, families appreciate a smiling face. “It makes it feel like you have a purpose and your life is still important,” Miller-Gillman said. “It sure keeps the cobwebs out of my head. I don’t want dementia.” Far more Americans such as Miller-Gillman are working well into what has traditionally been considered their retirement years, whether for personal fulfillment or, in many cases, to ensure financial security.

Police investigate fatal East Side shooting

4 hours 19 sec ago
Columbus police are investigating a possible shooting that left a young man dead early this morning on the East Side. Police were called about shots fired near the intersection of James Road and Astor Avenue at 1:08 a.m. today. When they arrived, police found a young man who had been shot several times in the front yard of 968 S. James Rd.

Dublin woman calls off planned coyote hunt after uproar

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 10:19pm
A Dublin woman called off the hunt for coyotes that had been planned for early Sunday on property off of Brand Road, apparently because of the uproar it had caused. Dublin City Councilman Greg Peterson said Kelly Rish contacted him on Saturday and said she had called off the two hunters she hired to cull coyotes from 11 acres of Washington Township land next to her Brandon subdivision. The hunt was to begin at 3 a.m. Sunday.

Young NHL fans display own skills by snagging All-Stars’ autographs

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 10:08pm
A throng of fans jammed the sidewalk outside the OhioHealth Ice Haus to greet All Stars arriving for the Skills Competition -- and get their autographs.

Man killed when pinned by tractor on farm

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 8:21pm
A Licking County man was killed this morning when he was pinned by a tractor on a farm outside of Johnstown.

Clyde school superintendent denies blocking drug    case

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 7:02pm
CLYDE, Ohio (AP) — A northwestern Ohio school superintendent has been accused of blocking a drug investigation at a middle school.