Ohio News

ECOT: We didn’t fund attack ad

COLUMBUS (AP) — One of the nation’s largest online charter schools says a television ad attacking Ohio’s effort to have the school repay $60 million wasn’t funded with public money and is no longer being broadcast.

State Auditor Dave Yost had warned the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow that it’s not allowed to fund such advertising with taxpayer dollars intended for education.

A response from ECOT’s superintendent says the ad stopped airing Thursday. He said it wasn’t funded by the school, contradicting an ECOT spokesman’s earlier explanation reported in The Columbus Dispatch.

ECOT is locked in a multi-pronged legal battle over how Ohio officials tallied student log-ins to determine funding. The state says the e-school didn’t have documentation to justify $60 million. ECOT alleges officials unfairly changed criteria to adjust funding.

Taylor to run for governor

COLUMBUS (AP) — Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is expected to formalize her run for Ohio governor during remarks at the City Club of Cleveland on Friday.

The 51-year-old Taylor has served by GOP Gov. John Kasich’s side since 2011. He has already pledged he’ll endorse her when she joins the crowded Republican field. Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, of Wadsworth, are already running.

Taylor, of Green, is a former two-term state representative and state auditor. She stepped down as the state’s insurance director in March in anticipation of her gubernatorial run.

Last month, Taylor made public that her two sons have struggled with opioid addiction, adding her family to the thousands affected by the national prescription painkiller and heroin crisis.

Duke Energy bills cleanup to customers

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court says an energy company is allowed to pass on the $55 million cost of cleaning up two polluted sites to its customers in the form of an added charge on their monthly bills.

Duke Energy has been adding $1.67 to bills in Ohio for about three years to help pay for the cleanup of two long-closed facilities in Cincinnati. A spokeswoman says the charge will likely continue for two more years.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that cleanup costs can be treated like other business expenses.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy inherited the plants from another company. They were closed in 1928 and 1963, but cleanup had been a low priority because there was little public access to the sites.

Prison for Ponzi scheme mastermind

DAYTON (AP) — A man accused of defrauding nearly 500 people in a $70 million Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $32 million in restitution.

Federal authorities say 55-year-old William Apostelos, formerly of Springboro, Ohio, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Dayton. He pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan.

Authorities say the scheme began in 2009. They say Apostelos operated purported investment and asset management companies in the Dayton area, receiving $70 million in investment funds from people in 37 states. Court documents say Apostelos paid for personal luxuries with the money instead of making investments.

He said in court that he was “embarrassed and ashamed.”

Crews find teen’s body in creek

BEDFORD (AP) — Authorities say the body of a 15-year-old boy has been recovered from a northeast Ohio creek where he went missing while swimming over the weekend.

Bedford Fire Chief David Nagy said the boy’s body was found Monday morning in Tinker’s Creek in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Bedford Reservation. The boy’s name wasn’t immediately released.

Authorities said the teen was swimming with a group Saturday evening when he got caught in the current.

A search team scoured the area but called off the search due to darkness. Crews searched several hours Sunday before calling off the search again because of the dangerous currents.

Nagy says the search team found the boy a few hours after returning to the site Monday.