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8-year-old boy shot in head dies in central Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Police in central Ohio say an 8-year-old boy has died days after being shot in the head, and they expect to file updated charges against the suspect.

A report from Columbus police says the child, identified as Jamarion Cox, died Monday. Officers say he was struck four days earlier while riding in a vehicle with three adults and a younger boy. Police haven't disclosed the circumstances of the shooting.

They identified the suspect as 23-year-old Robert Broom of Columbus. Police initially reported Broom was arrested on an assault charge, but the updated report on Tuesday indicated a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

That report says investigators expect to charge Broom with murder.

It's not clear if Broom has an attorney, and court records for the warrant listed none.


Authorities investigate child rape suspect's death

URBANA, Ohio (AP) - Authorities are investigating the death of a central Ohio child rape suspect who died several days after being hospitalized following a jail assault.

A report by the Champaign County Sheriff's Office says inmate David Piersol was the victim of an assault on April 5 at Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg.

The 39-year-old Piersol died early Friday morning at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

Records show Piersol was indicted in February in Union County on charges of rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition alleging assaults on a child last October.

Court records show Piersol was on life support after the assault.

Messages were left for lawyers listed as Piersol's attorneys.


Ohio school board debates sexual orientation rule

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A proposal to protect Ohio school teachers from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation is dividing the state school board.

Backers of the proposed policy change told the Ohio Board of Education on Tuesday that the move would encourage the hiring and retention of the brightest teachers and set an example of inclusion for gay, lesbian and transgendered youth.

Board member C. Todd Jones questioned whether adding such nondiscrimination language would impose a policy on parochial and Christian schools that violates the tenets of their faith.

Equality Ohio executive director Elyzabeth Holford says Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) already signed an executive order applied to state workers that opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation. She said this would be an extension of that sentiment.

No vote is scheduled.


Almost 32,000 Ohioans have voted in May 6 primary

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Almost 32,000 Ohioans have cast ballots so far in the state's primary election next month.

Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) says 31,709 residents have already voted absentee and 109,415 ballots have been requested since early voting began for most on April 1. Absentee voting for military and overseas voters started March 22.

The election includes same-party candidate contests, a statewide ballot issue and about 600 local issues.

The deadline to request an early ballot is noon on May 3.

Voted ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by May 5 and received by May 16. Election boards also will accept them until polls close May 6. They can't be returned at polling places.


Ohio governor airs 1st TV ad in his 2014 campaign

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) has gone up early with the first television ad of his 2014 re-election campaign.

The Republican governor released the commercial Tuesday, weeks before the May primary.

The biographical spot emphasizes Kasich's blue-collar roots in a Pennsylvania steel town as the son of a mail carrier father and immigrant mother. It also touches on his time at Ohio State University and his work to balance the federal budget as U.S. House budget chairman in the 1990s.

Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who is Kasich's presumptive Democratic rival, says Kasich rushed out the ad because he knows he's vulnerable.

FitzGerald says Ohioans remember Kasich's support for a law limiting the collective bargaining powers of teachers, police and other public workers. Voters overturned the law in 2011.


Ohio EPA says no sediment dumping in Lake Erie

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio environmental officials have approved the dredging of Cleveland Harbor and the Cuyahoga (KY-uh-HOH'-guh) River - but the sediment can't be dumped in Lake Erie.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said it will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge up to 225,000 cubic yards of material and deposit it in designated confined disposal facilities.

The Ohio EPA and Corps of Engineers had been locked in a disagreement over whether the sediment was clean enough to be dumped in lake Erie.

The agency did not approve the in-lake placement because of concerns about the potential of increased polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, accumulating in fish. The state EPA said also that the proposal was contrary to federal guidelines.


Columbus road crews fix 87,000 potholes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The city of Columbus says its road crews have fixed nearly 87,000 potholes since the beginning of the year - about half of them in the past month.

The city said Monday that 43,063 potholes were filled during an intensive month-long effort that began March 17 - thousands more than in previous springs.

Employees worked 24 hours a day as weather permitted during the last two weeks in March fixing streets that had become pock-marked during an unusually snowy and cold winter. Two weeks of 12-hour days followed that.

The work this past month followed an effort that saw 43,733 potholes fixed on city streets between Jan. 1 and March 16.

Columbus crews are responsible for 6,387 lane miles of roadway, the most of any city in Ohio.


Congress is giving states the transportation blues

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - The U.S. transportation secretary says indecision by Congress about how to pay for programs is again threatening to set back or shut down road and transit projects across the country. That could result in widespread layoffs of construction workers and delay needed repairs and improvements.

Secretary Anthony Foxx kicked off an eight-state bus trip in Ohio this week to whip up public support to keep federal transportation aid flowing to states. Congress will have to act fast. The Highway Trust Fund - source of much of the aid - is forecast to essentially run dry sometime before the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30 - possibly as early as July.

If that happens, the federal government will have to slow down or even halt payments to states.

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