CHEERLEADER LIBEL LAWSUIT
Internet giants weigh in on Ohio defamation suit
CINCINNATI (AP) - From Twitter and Facebook to Amazon and Google, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge's decision in a defamation lawsuit by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader convicted of having sex with her former high school student.
The Internet giants recently filed briefs in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
The briefs are part of a lawsuit involving ex-Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones against an Arizona-based website thedirty.com.
A jury found in July that posts on the site about Jones were substantially false and awarded her $338,000.
The companies say that if upheld, the northern Kentucky judge's ruling in favor of the former cheerleader has the potential to "significantly chill online speech" and undermine a 1996 federal law that provides broad immunity to websites.
AIRPORT BOARD SPENDING
Ohio-Ky. airport board spent $102K on food, booze
CINCINNATI (AP) - A newspaper analysis has found that the governing board of an airport serving Ohio and Kentucky spent more than $102,000 over five years on food and alcohol served after meetings, an average of $1,750 a month in taxpayer dollars.
The Cincinnati Enquirer report published Sunday comes amid questions over the structure of the Kenton County Airport Board, which oversees the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Regional Airport.
Airport documents obtained by the newspaper showed the after-meeting spreads included carved strip steaks, crown roast of pork and Chilean sea bass, as well as top-shelf bourbon, scotch and vodka.
The newspaper could not identify any other public agency board in the area that routinely serves alcohol.
Airport board chairman Jim Huff pledged through a spokesman to end the post-meeting appetizers as soon as possible.
TRAFFIC CAMERAS LAWSUIT
Traffic camera suit may impact cities across Ohio
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's Supreme Court will take up a challenge to how a northern Ohio city fines drivers caught on camera.
A state appeals court earlier this year ruled that Toledo had wrongly taken away jurisdiction with its administrative review process for drivers who run red lights or speed.
The attorney who brought the lawsuit says the city is denying drivers their day in court.
The Blade newspaper in Toledo reports that the decision may impact other cities around Ohio that have the red-light and speed cameras.
Attorneys for the city of Toledo say in court filings that the appeals court decision took away cities' rights spelled out in the Ohio Constitution that allow them to create review processes for noncriminal issues.
State reminds Ohioans to check cable TV rates
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state's Department of Commerce says the end of the year is a good time for Ohioans to closely examine their cable television bills for any upcoming rate increases.
Commerce officials say many cable companies raise rates at the beginning of a year. Ohio law requires cable providers to give consumers written notice of any rate increase 30 days in advance. Those notifications could appear on November or December bills.
Commerce Director Andre (ahn-DRAY') Porter says some providers also may offer holiday or promotional pricing to attract new subscribers.
Department officials say Ohioans should not hesitate to contact their current cable companies to see if they can match or better another company's offer.
Ohioans with questions or concerns regarding their cable service can contact the department's consumer hotline at 1-800-686-7826.
Scientists test ideas in bird botulism outbreaks
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Scientists are stepping up efforts to learn where and how many Great Lakes water birds are getting fatal food poisoning.
The U.S. Geological Survey says around 100,000 may have died since 2000 from Type E botulism. Their bodies have littered beaches. Loons and other deep-diving birds appear especially vulnerable.
Researchers in Florida are using stuffed bird carcasses in a lab tank to develop a model that could trace their movements and pinpoint where they were poisoned.
It's part of a broader effort to determine what, if anything, can be done to stop the die-offs.
Experts believe the toxin is produced when algae dies, floats to the bottom and rots, sucking up oxygen from the water.
The toxin moves up the food chain until birds eat contaminated fish and become paralyzed.
AIR FORCE MUSEUM-EXPANSION
Air Force museum in Ohio to get new wing
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A new wing planned for the National Museum of the United States Air Force in southwest Ohio will allow visitors to walk into a full-size replica of a space shuttle.
Museum officials say construction on the addition is set to begin in late spring 2014 and be completed by the end of summer in 2015.
The wing will include a gallery showcasing a space shuttle exhibit that features NASA's first crew compartment trainer. The trainer is a replica of a space shuttle crew station used primarily for crew training and engineering evaluations.
There also will be educational areas for programs based in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Private contributions are paying for the project.
Officials say the Dayton-area museum draws more than a million visitors a year.
Ohio awards money for boating safety education
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has awarded more than $300,000 to support 22 community boating safety education programs across the state next year
Individual grants ranging from $2,562 to $30,000 are funded by Ohio's recreational boaters through the state's Waterways Safety Fund. That fund is comprised of a share of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees and U.S. Coast Guard funding.
The department's Division of Watercraft oversees boating safety education.
Ohio law requires people born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to be able to show proof they have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course in order to operate powered watercraft greater than 10 horsepower.
Many recipient programs also focus on boating skills development and basic water safety.
BIKE RIDE THANK YOU
Ohio man goes on 1,100-mile ride to thank Fla. doc
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) - After a Florida doctor saved his knee, Brent Hayes of southwestern Ohio came up with a unique way to thank him.
He took an 1,100-mile bike ride.
Beginning Nov. 20 in West Palm Beach, Fla., Hayes finished the journey on Thanksgiving in Ohio as a way to pay tribute to his doctor's work.
The Athens Messenger reports that Dr. Dror Paley of West Palm Beach performed two surgeries on Hayes to correct a leg deformity caused by bone cancer early in life. The deformity led to severe knee pain that started interfering with Hayes' active lifestyle.
Although warned that the surgery was dangerous and that he could lose his leg, Hayes went forward with it.
Paley straightened Hayes' leg, lengthened it by about 2½ inches and saved his knee.
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