Michigan official: Liquid manure from farm fouls water
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:37

MONTEREY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — An official says liquid manure leaked from an open-air lagoon at a western Michigan dairy farm, getting into a creek and spreading at least five miles.

TV station WXMI and The Grand Rapids Press report the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality began investigating the spill Friday after getting calls.

DEQ analyst Bruce Washburn says a stormwater system failure at Schaendorf dairy farm in Monterey Township resulted in the leak into the county drain system.

Washburn says a valve failed, causing the leak. It's not known how much spilled or how long the lagoon was leaking.

Washburn says farm staff stopped the flow Saturday morning. Manure has seeped into Bear Creek and reached the village of Hopkins.

Farm owner John Schaendorf tells WXMI crews are working to collect the manure.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ohio exploring new options for scarce road salt
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:32

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A shortage of road salt has some Ohio communities scrambling and the state's transportation department is looking for ways to help.

The state didn't get any takers from salt suppliers over the past week when the Ohio Department of Transportation offered to order 150,000 tons of salt for counties, cities and townships.

No salt companies bid in the 10-day window that ended Friday. The lack of bids is a sign that the companies are stretched thin, said department spokesman Steve Faulkner.

The plan was to stockpile salt at seven locations around the state for communities that were running low and then have them replace the salt when their own supplies were replenished.

Now the transportation department said it will explore other options.

Two in car killed after it crashes into Ohio house
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:28

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says a driver, passenger were killed in northeast Ohio after their car went through a stop sign and then hit a house.

The crash happened Saturday afternoon in Medina County.

The patrol says the car ran through a stop sign, went off the side of the road and then hit a mailbox and a house.

Investigators say on one inside the house was injured.

The patrol identified the victims as 58-year-old Doris Williams of West Salem and 53-year-old Rosemarie Kinney of West Salem.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Style, stances of Ohio's GOP governor evolving
Written by JULIE CARR SMYTH, AP Statehouse Correspondent   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:31

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich seemed at first to relish the idea he'd be a one-term governor, having presumably alienated partisans, lobbyists, unions and voters as he made what he deemed painful but necessary changes to government operations.

More recently, the 61-year-old Republican appears to have changed his tune. Kasich has taken on a more conciliatory, moderate approach that observers say could be intended to position him for re-election in his perennially purple state or for a repeat run for president. Critics charge that Kasich's new rhetoric doesn't always match reality.

The governor acknowledges he has had to learn to think before he speaks, but he insists he bases his political decisions on sound policy, not on party platforms or polls. Kasich carefully skirts questions about whether a run for higher office is in his future.

There's little argument Kasich barreled through his first year in office in 2011 with bravado. He scrapped old programs for new, privatized agencies, forced out his predecessor's political appointees and famously warned Statehouse lobbyists that those who didn't board the Kasich bus would wind up under it.

Group seeks more scrutiny for Ohio mine plan
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 February 2014 07:13

CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) — A citizens group is requesting extra scrutiny of a company's plans for an underground coal mine in eastern Ohio because of the January chemical spill that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

The mine south of Carrollton is planned by Rosebud Mining Co., whose owner, J. Clifford Forrest, also owns Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the spill. Freedom Industries has filed for bankruptcy, temporarily shielding it from dozens of lawsuits, many by businesses that lost money while shuttered during a water-use ban.

The Carroll Concerned Citizens group in eastern Ohio has asked the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to put a hold on new coal mining permit requests by Rosebud, according to The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter (http://bit.ly/MSchnx). The letter to the department from the group's attorney, Richard Salhi, requested extra scrutiny on Rosebud's application and raised concerns about whether the lawsuits and other issues involving Forrest's business might affect the Ohio project.

"The big question today in Carroll County is: Can a company facing such enormous liabilities be counted upon not to cut corners on the protections for Carroll County's irreplaceable groundwater sources?" Salhi wrote.

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