EPA says Ohio oil leak at 20,000 gallons
Written by DAN SEWELL, Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 13:11

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal environmental officials estimate more than 20,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a pipeline into a nature preserve in southwest Ohio.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doubled initial estimates in its latest update. Meanwhile, Sunoco Logistics reports that its pipeline has been repaired and oil flow has resumed.

Sunoco shut off a stretch of the Mid-Valley Pipeline from northern Kentucky to Lima, Ohio, early March 18 after a leak was confirmed. A company spokesman says the cause of a 5-inch pipeline crack is still being investigated.

The oil leaked into an intermittent stream and acre-sized marshy area in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve just west of Cincinnati.

Officials say no problems have been found with air quality or local water wells, but some small wildlife has been affected.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sum raised by tax hike on Ohio drillers in dispute
Written by JULIE CARR SMYTH, AP Statehouse Correspondent   
Monday, 24 March 2014 10:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The administration of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is differing with legislative budget analysts on how much a proposed tax hike on big oil-and-gas drillers will generate.

The figure is pivotal as Kasich promotes a mid-term budget package ahead of fall elections. He wants the plan to deliver the combination of cuts and revenue increases needed to push Ohio's income-tax rate below 5 percent.

But fiscal experts disagree on how much would be raised by raising a severance tax rate on large-volume drillers to 2.75 percent.

Ohio's budget office places the amount raised from fiscal year 2015 through fiscal year 2017 at $874 million. The Legislative Service Commission projects an upper limit of $231 million for the same period.

The Ohio House continues to debate the issue this week.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Animal gas chamber publicly demolished in Ohio
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:28

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — About 30 people helped demolish a northern Ohio animal shelter's gas chamber that was used to kill hundreds of stray cats annually before it was phased out amid public pressure.

The gas chamber was demolished in a public event Saturday in the parking lot of the Medina County Animal Shelter The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/1gNYLbP) reported.

The society had invited people to take a sledge hammer to the gas chamber in exchange for a donation to the society.

Norma Houk, 84, of Seville, brought her own small sledgehammer and gave the chamber a couple whacks.

"I have asthma and know what it feels like to not be able to get enough air," she said tearfully. "I can imagine what the animals went through."

Car crashes into six-year-old Ohio girl's bedroom
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:55

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A 6-year-old central Ohio girl escaped serious injury when a car came crashing into her bedroom as she slept.

It happened just after midnight Monday in north Columbus when the car lost control and hit the house, shoving in the wall in and knocking the girl out of her bed.

Columbus police said the crash happened after the driver of the car fled officers. The driver, who likely will be charged with drunken driving, was taken to a hospital with a broken leg.

No names have been released.

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

Old buildings may have speeded spread of Ohio fire
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:27

GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The age of several buildings leveled by a fire in the downtown area of a northeastern Ohio village may have contributed to the fast spread of the fire, the village's fire chief said Sunday.

Chief Jeff Kaiser of Garrettsville's fire department said two firefighters suffered smoke inhalation, but weren't seriously injured in the blaze that swept through a historic downtown block on Saturday afternoon, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.

Police said the first call about the blaze came in shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, saying, "Main Street is on fire," the Akron Beacon Journal reported. More than 30 fire departments were dispatched to the town of about 2,200 residents.

A total of 13 businesses in four buildings were affected by the fire. Three of the four buildings were made of wood and were built in the 1800s, before modern fire codes, Kaiser said Sunday.

The Portage county fire investigation unit and state fire marshal's office are investigating to determine the cause of the blaze.

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