3 in 4 Ohio seniors on track to graduate
COLUMBUS — Education officials say roughly three-fourths of Ohio’s high school seniors have met or are considered highly likely to meet higher test score requirements for graduation this school year.
Educators had warned last year that a third or more of that class could be at risk of not meeting the test score requirements to graduate on time. The state subsequently added flexibility in how students can earn a diploma this year, through career training or other specified alternatives.
The Ohio Department of Education says nearly 77 percent of seniors are “on track” to earn a diploma in the spring by meeting test score requirements. That’s not a projected graduation rate, and it doesn’t factor in the alternative pathways to a diploma for the class of 2018.
Whaley proposes surcharge on opioids
DAYTON — A Democratic candidate for governor in Ohio says she would force drug manufacturers to pay a nickel-per-dose surcharge on prescription opioids sold in the state in an effort to help solve the opioid problem.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is seeking her party’s nomination for the 2018 gubernatorial race. She says her proposal on prescription opioids announced Wednesday seeks to “clean up the mess” of the opioid crisis.
Whaley says the plan would raise more than $30 million a year for local emergency responders, substance abuse centers and psychiatric hospitals.
Whaley has previously said that taking on drug companies for their role in the opioid crisis would be her highest priority as governor.
Pension fund board votes to cut benefits
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s largest pension system has voted to cut benefits for retirees.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System voted Wednesday on the plan that would affect all of its more than 1 million members, current retirees and future ones.
The plan approved by the board would reduce cost-of-living adjustments to match the Consumer Price Index, subject to a 2.25 percent cap.
The benefit amount is now fixed at 3 percent for those who retired before January 2013.
The proposal requires General Assembly approval.
Board chairman Ken Thomas represents municipal employees. He says the proposed changes are balanced.
Board member Steve Toth represents retirees. He says the system is financially stable and the changes aren’t necessary. He says the plan means a pay cut for retirees.
Probation for ex-boxer in shooting case
CLEVELAND — A former professional boxer who once fought heavyweight Mike Tyson has received probation after a fatal shooting that happened when bus passengers in Cleveland challenged him to a fistfight and then followed him off the bus.
Sixty-three-year-old Abdul Rahman was sentenced Wednesday in Cleveland after pleading guilty last month to having a weapon as a convicted felon.
Authorities say Rahman shot 39-year-old bus passenger Andrew Easley in July after a dispute on a Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority bus.
A video obtained by WJW-TV shows the initial dispute and Rahman pulling out a gun and then being forced off the bus. Authorities say some passengers, including Easley, pursued Rahman, and Rahman shot him.
Rahman lost in a technical knockout to Tyson in 1985 while fighting under the name Ricardo Spain.
Police: No signs of trauma found on teen’s body
CHILLICOTHE — Authorities say the body of a 17-year-old high school senior has been found in a southern Ohio city.
The Chillicothe Gazette reports Chillicothe police say no signs of trauma were found on 17-year-old Jason Bartley’s body after it was found Wednesday morning lying between a fence and garage. He was found by a school homeless coordinator searching for a different student who had run away and was thought to be living in the neighborhood.
Grief counselors were made available Thursday for students at Chillicothe High School and at the middle school Bartley’s brother attends.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine how the teen died.
Sexual harassment training for state senators
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate president says all state senators will be required to receive sexual harassment training after one of their members resigned this week after allegations of inappropriate behavior.
Senate President Larry Obhof told reporters Wednesday that he strongly suggested to Findlay Republican Cliff Hite that he resign after learning of allegations Hite spoke inappropriately to a female state employee who worked in a nearby state office and asked for hugs. Hite submitted his letter of resignation to Obhof on Monday.
Obhof, a Medina Republican, said he learned about the allegations from Hite on Oct. 11, and told him that his options were to fight them or resign.
Senators and their staffs of both parties will be required to receive the sexual harassment training, which is still being arranged.
Police: Gun found on 3rd-grader
MIDDLETOWN — Police say a gun has been found on a third-grader who told authorities he’d been bullied at a southwest Ohio elementary school.
Middletown police say the gun was found Monday on a 9-year-old boy after a teacher noticed a bulge in his pocket. Police say the boy grabbed at the teacher’s arm when she reached for the gun.
The boy was taken to a juvenile justice center by police. It’s unclear if he’s been charged with a juvenile crime.
Middletown Police Lt. David Birk says the boyfriend of the child’s mother was arrested on a child endangering charge.
Rosa Parks Elementary School held a gun safety assembly Tuesday.