Interstates closed near Ohio-Michigan state line
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 21 April 2014 10:47

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Toledo have shut down two interstate highways near the Ohio-Michigan state line after finding a suspicious item along the roadway.

Police say Interstate 75 is closed in both directions just south of the state line. Traffic is also being stopped on nearby Interstate 280.

A spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Transportation says workers cleaning up litter along I-75 found some sort of suspicious device.

Police are diverting traffic. It's not clear how long I-75 and I-280 will be closed.

Both are heavily traveled routes connecting northern Ohio with southeastern Michigan and Detroit.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Facing eviction, 89-year-old Ohio smoker plans to move
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 21 April 2014 09:53

MILFORD, Ohio (AP) — An 89-year-old southwest Ohio woman is preparing to move out of her home of the last 10 years because it has gone smoke-free.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/PmRgCA ) reports that Beulah "Billie" Toombs faces eviction after her apartment building's management deemed her noncompliant. A smoker for seven decades or so, she thinks she should be allowed to do what she wants in her own home.

More than a year ago, the management of the apartments for low-income seniors announced a smoke-free policy. Residents were allowed one year of smoking with some conditions.

When the smoke-free policy kicked in this year, neighbors reported Toombs' smoking. A regular apartment inspection this month found cigarette butts and ashtrays in her unit. So Toombs is looking for a new home.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ohio communities rally to fight back against heroin
Written by DAN SEWELL, Associated Press   
Monday, 21 April 2014 06:33

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Rachel Snelbaker fought the lonely battle against her daughter's heroin abuse for years, trying to get her into treatment and trying to track her down when she went missing to use drugs.

It ended suddenly and sadly when the 21-year-old died after a heroin overdose four months ago.

"Nobody wants to think that it's going to be their child," Snelbaker said. "That day, everything changed in my life forever."

Now, working alongside others whose lives have been torn apart by heroin, she's fighting back against the scourge.

Multiple efforts are underway in southwest Ohio's Butler County, where Snelbaker lives and where this year's heroin-related deaths are already running at a pace far ahead of last year's alarming 55 dead.

Ohio Historical Society updating name
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 21 April 2014 06:39

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The 129-year-old Ohio Historical Society is being rebranded as the Ohio History Connection, after many state residents said they saw the organization as "inaccessible and antiquated."

The switch will happen on May 24, following public-opinion polls that showed "a disconnect between the quality of services we're providing and the image," says executive director Burt Logan.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1luzJHx ) reports that Logan — who was brought in five years ago to take charge of the financially struggling nonprofit organization — and the board of directors are taking on the task of changing the society's admittedly stodgy image.

The society said in a statement that research showed it "is seen as exclusive and not having an image across the state that people find welcoming."

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

Ohio legislator wants stronger timber theft law
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 21 April 2014 06:32

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio lawmaker is pushing legislation to boost prosecution of timber theft in a move that has the state forestry association worried about overregulation.

The proposal by state Rep. Ross McGregor, a Springfield Republican, would require a written agreement between landowners and the timber harvester that specifically shows which trees should be cut down.

McGregor's bill also requires a written record of timber harvested from the landowner, helps identify errors made during the harvesting process, sets rules for property owner cost recovery and creates a stronger method of valuing timber, The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/PbiNXw).

McGregor says the current law is too weak.

"Right now, it's a very loose standard and very difficult for prosecutors to go after, even though clearly theft has occurred," he told the newspaper. He says illegal timber harvesters are likely selling it to timber mills.

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