$100M Navy charity scammer to be sentenced in Ohio
Written by THOMAS J. SHEERAN, Associated Press   
Monday, 16 December 2013 07:18

CLEVELAND (AP) — A determined fundraiser who rubbed elbows with powerful politicians while masterminding a $100 million, cross-country Navy veterans charity fraud could face the rest of his life in prison.

The defendant, who identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson but who authorities say is Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

The Ohio attorney general's office, which handled his trial, asked the judge in a filing last week to sentence him to 41 years in prison. In addition, the prosecution recommended a $6.3 million fine.

The defense has asked for a new trial.

The fraud occurred in 41 states, according to trial testimony, and Ohio took the lead, indicting Thompson in 2010. He disappeared for nearly two years and was arrested last year in Portland, Ore.

Neighbor of Ohio girl found dead in trash arrested
Written by AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press   
Sunday, 15 December 2013 19:49

A neighbor was arrested Sunday in the killing of a 9-year-old Ohio girl whose body was found in a trash bin near her home after authorities and residents conducted a frantic search for the missing child.

Jerrod Metsker, 24, was arrested at his home on a murder charge about 12 hours after deputies found the body of Reann Murphy near her home at a mobile park in Smithville, about 30 miles southwest of Akron, Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said at a news conference.

It was not immediately clear whether Metsker had an attorney. His first court appearance is scheduled Monday morning.

Metsker was arrested at his home after he ignored knocks on his front door and deputies obtained a key from a family member, Hutchinson said.

Ohio readies first $88M in school innovation grants
Written by JULIE CARR SMYTH, AP Statehouse Correspondent   
Sunday, 15 December 2013 07:54

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — If approved next week, Ohio's first round of education innovation grants will go to foster careers in manufacturing and the drilling industry and early college and specialty programs tailored to Appalachia, Amish Country and the Great Lakes.

A vote scheduled Monday would clear the way for the first $88 million of Republican Gov. John Kasich's new Straight A Fund to be spent.

About a quarter of Straight A grant requests before the Ohio Controlling Board tie in some way to fostering Ohio's growing oil and gas drilling industry — an economic driver that Kasich wants to see continue to flourish and create jobs.

Kasich launched the $250 million fund in September, including it in the $62 billion, two-year state operating budget. The grant program was pitched as a way to reward creative ideas that significantly boost student achievement, reduce spending or target an impressive share of resources into the classroom. Its critics have said it gave the governor control over a chunk of money that should have been evenly divided among Ohio's cash-strapped school districts.

U.S. authorities say Ohio doctor has left country
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 15 December 2013 07:55

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal authorities say a southwest Ohio spine doctor accused of performing unnecessary surgeries has left the country.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/18s7Nht ) that federal authorities are trying to decide what to do about court proceedings scheduled for next year. Defendant Abubakar Atiq Durrani pleaded not guilty in August to charges of health care fraud and making false statements in medical matters.

Authorities say many patients wound up with worse pain after the doctor operated on them. He also faces civil lawsuits.

He had been ordered by a federal judge to stay in the Cincinnati region. The court rejected a request to let him visit his ill father in Pakistan.

Federal authorities say a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Miama U helps Miami tribe preserve its history
Written by LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press   
Sunday, 15 December 2013 07:53

CINCINNATI (AP) — A southwestern Ohio university is working to preserve 19th century land grant documents recently recovered by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma that mark the tribe's transition from collectively-held land to individual ownership as it tried — and mostly failed — to avoid government relocation.

Miami University's preservation work on the eight land grants — one signed in 1823 by President James Monroe and seven signed in 1843 by President John Tyler — stems from a long collaborative relationship between the tribe and university. That relationship led to the creation several years ago of the university's Myaamia Center, which helps the tribe with research needs.

Tribe member George Ironstrack, the center's assistant director, says the grants found in storage at a Catholic diocese in Indiana are historically important because they show tribe members trying to secure a land base for their families. He says the grants were promised in treaties that increasingly required the tribe to give up large amounts of land sought by the government and others.

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