Former IRS chief: Can't say how targeting happened
WASHINGTON (AP) - The former chief of the Internal Revenue Service is telling Congress he doesn't know why his agency targeted tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax exempt status.
Douglas Shulman tells the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday he didn't know all the facts about the situation while he was still serving.
Shulman served from March 2008 until November 2012, when the targeting was underway.
Shulman says he didn't know all the facts until he read a report on the episode by a Treasury inspector general, which was released last week. Shulman says he was dismayed and saddened by the conclusions of that report.
ATTORNEY GENERAL SCANDAL
Ohio ex-AG applies for law license reinstatement
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has applied to have his law license reinstated now that he's served a six-month suspension related to ethics violations.
Dann resigned as Ohio's chief law enforcer in 2008 amid a sexual harassment scandal and later pleaded guilty to ethics violations involving campaign and transition funds.
The Ohio Supreme Court ordered a half-year suspension of his law license in November. The suspension, which ended Monday, was half the 1-year term that was at one time recommended for Dann.
The court gave him credit for fulfilling his community service obligations, paying his fines and submitting character references from judges.
But justices said Dann's former position set him apart from other lawyers, his conduct displayed poor judgment and his reasons for the conduct were ultimately unsatisfactory.
MISSING WOMEN FOUND-DOGS
Ohio kidnapping suspect's 3 dogs go to foster care
CLEVELAND (AP) - Three dogs seized from a Cleveland man charged with holding three women captive over a decade have found a foster home.
Chief Cleveland animal control officer John Baird says the pets were ready for pickup Tuesday by a rescue group that will care for them.
They'll be in foster care until the women - Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight - decide whether they want to take the pets into their homes.
Baird says the women will get whatever time they need to decide. He says the women may have bonded one-on-one with the dogs in captivity, and as such, the pets would be important as the women acclimate to freedom.
A defense attorney says the kidnapping and rape suspect, Ariel Castro, will plead not guilty. He's in custody.
INTERNET CAFE REGULATIONS
Ohio Internet cafe crackdown advancing
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State lawmakers in Ohio are moving fast on proposals cracking down on storefront sweepstakes parlors whose legality has been questioned.
Committee votes were scheduled Tuesday on a pair of bills, one effectively banning the so-called Internet cafes and another extending an existing moratorium on setting up any new venues. Floor votes on both could come as soon as Wednesday.
The bills follow raids on the establishments in Cleveland and Youngstown joined by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. DeWine has pointed to a recent court ruling that declares the establishments illegal. Backers say if they weren't legal then legislators wouldn't need to make the changes to Ohio law they have planned.
Ohio rep to step down as House Democratic leader
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Democratic leader in the Ohio House says he's stepping down from his role before his term ends next year.
Rep. Armond Budish (BYOO'-dish) of Beachwood has led House Democrats for five years. His resignation as minority leader is effective Tuesday night and comes as he considers a run for Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County executive.
Budish told The Plain Dealer in Cleveland that he's been looking at the county seat for months.
Democrats also are losing their assistant minority leader. Rep. Matt Szollosi (SUH'-lah-zee) of Toledo is resigning his seat this month to become executive director of the Affiliated Construction Trades of Ohio.
The House Democrats' leadership team also includes Tracy Maxwell Heard of Columbus and Debbie Phillips of Albany.
The caucus planned to pick a new leadership team Tuesday night.
Ohio teen faces charges after officer hit
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) - Prosecutors say a teen who allegedly hit a police officer during a pursuit last weekend has been indicted by a central Ohio grand jury on charges including felonious assault on a peace officer.
Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher said Tuesday that 18-year-old Joshua Baldridge also faces charges of vehicular assault, fleeing and eluding and breaking and entering.
Thatcher said Baldridge allegedly broke into two Mount Vernon businesses, then led officers on a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph. He allegedly hit 23-year-old Danville police officer Chad Lishness, who was attempting to put down spike strips to stop the car. The officer is in fair condition.
Baldridge was eventually taken into custody after crashing into another car.
The teen was in jail Tuesday, with no attorney information available.
Toddler drowns in eastern Ohio river
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 2-year-old boy drowned in a river in eastern Ohio after wandering away from his family's cabin.
The autistic boy and his family are from Akron and were staying in a cabin near the Muskingum River when Andrew "Drew" Howell went missing Saturday. The family later found him in the river.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the toddler was pronounced dead later at a hospital in Zanesville.
Laurie Cramer, director of the Autism Society of Greater Akron, was asked to talk to the media on behalf of the grieving family. She said Drew wandered away from the cabin and must have headed straight to the river, about 100 yards away. His mother said she turned her attention away for no more than 30 seconds.
NEW SPEED LIMIT
Ohio reveals where new 70 mph speed limit applies
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Department of Transportation has revealed which sections of rural interstate highway will have a higher speed limit of 70 mph instead of 65 mph starting July 1.
The department said Tuesday that the limit will increase on more than 570 miles of interstate highway. The increase applies to parts of Interstates 70, 71, 75, 76, 77 and 90 but doesn't include sections of those roads in major metropolitan areas and a few smaller cities along the way.
More than 300 signs will be made to alert drivers about the new limits.
A 70-mph limit already is in effect for the Ohio Turnpike stretching across the northern part of the state.
Ohio project examines premature births
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The March of Dimes is spending $10 million in Ohio for collaborative research into the problem of babies being born prematurely.
The project will draw on the expertise of world-class hospitals in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati to try to explain why babies come too soon and to find ways to use that information to predict and prevent prematurity.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that participating universities and hospitals will turn to a diverse group of researchers, including evolutionary biologists, mathematicians, sociologists, psychologists and biomedical engineers.
One in nine children born in the U.S. arrives before 37 weeks of gestation. In Ohio, it's one in eight, or more than 15,000 babies every year. Care for these children can cost millions of dollars, and surviving babies can have serious health problems.
SOFTBALL COMMISSIONER-SEX CHARGES
OH youth sports chief gets prison for sex charges
EASTLAKE, Ohio (AP) - A former youth softball league commissioner in northeast Ohio has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for possessing child pornography and inappropriately touching a 17-year-old girl.
The (Willoughby) News-Herald reports that 46-year-old Scott Schinke was sentenced Monday. He's the former commissioner of the Eastlake Youth Softball League east of Cleveland.
Schinke said in court he was "ashamed" of what he did and asked for probation, but Judge Vincent Culotta called it "a failed attempt at remorse."
Schinke previously pleaded guilty to a felony count of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor, and a misdemeanor count of sexual imposition. Prosecutors said he inappropriately touched a 17-year-old concession stand volunteer in 2010.
A search of his computer turned up 456 images of suspected child pornography.
City urges patience during Cleveland filming
CLEVELAND (AP) - City officials in Cleveland are asking residents for patience while the filming of a big-budget movie ties up traffic near downtown for the next several weeks.
The production of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" will close portions of city streets through much of June. City officials are urging residents to be aware of the closures and have patience with Cleveland's latest star turn.
Police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia tells The Plain Dealer that the road closures are a fluid situation, so her advice is to "be patient and leave early."
Perhaps the most notable closure is that of the West Shoreway from Lake Avenue to East Ninth Street, from May 30 to June 15.
The city has a web site - www.clevelandmovietraffic.com - that will provide updates on road closings.
Falcon chick 'Zoom' banded atop Ohio high-rise
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio wildlife officials have examined and banded the first peregrine falcon chick in three years to be hatched atop the Rhodes Tower in downtown Columbus - and it's a girl.
The 3-week-old hatchling named Zoom squawked loudly through her public debut Tuesday as a handful of schoolchildren, parents and wildlife enthusiasts looked on. Thousands more watched the event online.
9-year-old Paxton Schwandt, a 4th grader at Scioto Darby Elementary School in Hilliard, picked the winning name and got to help with the banding.
Zoom is the offspring of a nesting pair of peregrines whose last two years' eggs were infertile, prompting the runner-up name of Miracle.
Ohio has 26 nesting pairs of falcons. The species has moved off the endangered list through such conservation efforts.
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