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PROSECUTOR PLEADS GUILTY

Ohio prosecutor who pleaded guilty resigns amid pressure

FREMONT, Ohio (AP) — A county prosecutor in Ohio who had been accused of sexually harassing female employees before pleading guilty to a lesser charge has resigned from office. Sandusky County Prosecutor Tim Braun sent in his resignation Friday. Ohio's governor and attorney general had been pressuring Braun to step down. He faced a hearing next week as part of their attempt to remove him from office. Braun pleaded guilty to negligent assault in early December as part of a plea deal that allowed him to keep his salary through next June but also barred him from working in his office.

STUDENT FOUND DEAD

OSU student dies after apparent fall at construction site

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities are investigating after an Ohio State University student was found dead Friday at a construction site on campus. A university spokesman said foul play is not suspected in the death of Corey Ray Bias, 20, of Johnstown. Bias was a third-year student majoring in political science. Bias was not breathing when Columbus fire crews were called to the site near Neil and West 11th avenues around 6:30 a.m., according to 911 calls obtained by The Columbus Dispatch. The caller said it appeared a man had been on some scaffolding and fallen five or six stories.

COYOTE BITES OFFICER

Coyote bites officer helping motorist in Ohio's largest city

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Ohio say police shot and killed a coyote after it bit a Columbus officer who had stopped to assist a stranded motorist. Columbus Sgt. James Fuqua says the coyote first tried to attack a state road worker Thursday evening and then bit the officer when he tried to intervene. The officer had stopped to help a motorist on an Interstate 70 exit ramp in Columbus. Fuqau says the officer punched the coyote and called for backup. Responding officers tried unsuccessfully to use a stun gun on the coyote before shooting it. The coyote is being tested for rabies.

STATE OF THE STATE-DEWINE

Ohio governor to deliver State of the State on March 31

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will deliver his annual State of the State address on March 31. It will be the second address by the Republican governor to the General Assembly since he took office last year. GOP House Speaker Larry Householder on Friday formally extended the invitation to DeWine to make the speech. Householder said lawmakers share DeWine's commitment to Ohio and the future. DeWine returned the speech to the Statehouse after former Gov. John Kasich held it in different Ohio cities each year. He used last year's address to campaign for an increase in the gas tax.

BC-OH-SCHOOL LUNCH DEBT-OHIO

Superintendent: Cafeteria worker wrong to take away lunch

WELLINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The superintendent of an Ohio school district says a cafeteria worker was wrong to remove a lunch tray from a middle school student after he'd sat down to eat over a $6 lunch debt. Wellington Exempted Village School District Superintendent Ed Weber said a video confirmed what happened to the eighth-grader Wednesday. Weber says he met with the boy Thursday and apologized, telling him “it's not the way we do things.” He says students are allowed to carry a $20 lunch charge. The worker was taken off the job and could face discipline once an investigation is completed.

FLU CLOSES SCHOOL

High number of flu cases closes entire Ohio school district

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school system says a high number of flu cases has resulted in canceling classes for the entire district. The Miami Trace Local district is in Fayette County in southwestern Ohio. The district said in a website posting without details that the number of influenza B cases had risen over the past several days. The district says it's canceling all weekend activities and will reopen Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and is asking people to stay away from school buildings. The district says students' wellness and safety are its top priority.

GRAIN HANDLING-DEATHS

Grain handling company fined $292K after 2 employees die

MAUMEE, Ohio (AP) — A federal agency has fined an Ohio-based grain handling company over alleged safety violations that led to the deaths of two employees last year. The Toledo Blade reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined The Andersons Inc. nearly $292,000 for grain handling, and walking and working surfaces violations in the July 19 accident. The company came under fire after two employees suffocated after being trapped inside a grain storage tank owned by the local agribusiness. The Andersons says in a statement that it will continue to cooperate with the agency and take the necessary steps to assure compliance with federal safety standards.

XGR-HEMP-OHIO

Farmers one step closer to hemp planting after rule approval

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A legislative committee has approved rules that put farmers one step closer to growing hemp in Ohio. The rules approved Thursday by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review were required by last year's hemp legalization bill, and should take final effect next month. Gongwer News Service reports that with the passage of the rules, the Ohio Department of Agriculture's goal remains to have farmers licensed and able to plant this spring. The federal government legalized hemp cultivation in 2018. Hemp contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana, another plant in the cannabis family.

OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR

Board reviews whether others failed to report accused doctor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The State Medical Board's executive director says it has fast-tracked investigations related to whether licensees failed to report concerns about Ohio State University team doctor Richard Strauss decades ago. Some of the late doctor's accusers allege that a student health director and other medical colleagues were among school employees who knew concerns about Strauss but failed to stop him. The medical board's executive director confirmed Thursday that related investigations have been opened and it hopes to wrap those up “very soon." She didn't name the medical professionals involved. Because of confidentiality restrictions, the board generally doesn't disclose such details unless they face disciplinary action.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA-OHIO

Ohio reaches first year of state medical marijuana sales

CLEVELAND (AP) — Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of sales of medical marijuana in Ohio. The state says about 78,000 people have received physician recommendations and have registered with the state to use cannabis. Some 55,000 people have made purchases. Earlier figures show 71% of those who've registered are 40 or older and 29% are over the age of 59. The first person who bought medical marijuana at a dispensary last January says cannabis has helped her but complained about the price. The state says prices have dropped appreciably for both flowers and other products in the last year.