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Around Ohio-Aug. 1

Published: August 1, 2016 10:39 AM

$400,000 raised for park for Chardon shooting victims
Chardon — More than $400,000 in donations, grants and promises of services and equipment have been raised for a memorial park to honor the victims of a 2012 Northeast Ohio school shooting.
Supporters had hoped to raise $318,000 for the 17-acre Chardon Living Memorial Park, which will honor the three students killed and several others injured during a shooting at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012.
“It’s amazing how people are so generous,” said Dina Parmertor, whose son Danny was one of the students killed. “It’s touching.”
The memorial includes play and fitness equipment, a renovated half-mile trail through an adjacent wooded area, plaques and a 10-foot tall statue titled “Echoes of the Heart.” Two current facilities will become part of the park and a pavilion behind an adjacent elementary school will be renovated.
Some plaques will honor the students who were killed. Another will honor the survivors and one will honor first responders.
City Manager Randy Sharpe said the park is also for the entire community who lived through the ordeal, not just the slain.
City officials are reviewing plans and hope to start construction in mid-September.
— Associated Press

Insurer’s demise forces thousands to find new coverage
Columbys — Thousands of Ohioans have been pushed to find new health insurance this summer as their financially troubled carrier winds down operations, an inconvenience that could come with a higher price tag.
Ohio regulators took over Columbus-based Coordinated Health Mutual Inc. in late May after a judge granted the state’s request to do so. A financial review showed the company’s losses would prevent it from paying future claims. The insurance co-op sold policies under its InHealth Mutual brand.
Such insurance co-ops were created under President Barack Obama’s health care law to provide a nonprofit alternative to commercial insurers. But they struggled to build their businesses and more than a dozen have collapsed.
InHealth Mutual provided health insurance to nearly 22,000 Ohioans, who may now end up paying more for their coverage.
Most InHealth customers have switched insurers, according to state and federal regulators. But with their new plans, they likely will have to satisfy new deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums — even if they met their previous ones.
Customers still covered by InHealth may be eligible to switch insurers through the federal marketplace. They face an Aug. 29 deadline to make the change.
— Associated Press

40,000th arrest for fugative task force
Cleveland — The U.S. Marshals Service’s violent fugitive task force in northern Ohio says it has made its 40,000th arrest.
Cleveland.com reports the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force hit the milestone on July 26, 13 years after its creation.
The group consists of 300 deputy marshals and officers from more than 100 departments.
The task force caught James Daniel III, known as the “early morning’ rapist.” He is serving a 144-year prison sentence for a series of rapes in Cleveland. It also arrested Donnell Lindsey, who is charged with aggravated murder in the drive-by shooting death of a 3-year-old.
Marshals say the group has arrested thousands, including more than 1,000 fugitives wanted for homicide. It has also seized more than 1,500 firearms, 1,700 pounds of drugs and more than $3.6 million.
— Associated Press

Remains of seaman killed in Pearl
Harbor back home
Springfield — The U.S. Navy is flying the remains of a central Ohio man back to his home nearly 75 years after he was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
William “Billy” Welch of Springfield enlisted in the Navy at 17. He was among the 429 killed aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941.
Welch’s body wasn’t identified following the attack.
The U.S. Department of Defense began testing the remains of those buried in Hawaii for DNA this past year. The Springfield News-Sun reports one grave included a piece of jaw bone that matched Welch.
Family members are planning his funeral. Welch’s youngest sister, Ann Welch Ianni, says a military burial with full honors is planned for September.
— Associated Press

Ohio adds almost $30 million to
rainy day fund
Columbus — The state budget office says it has deposited $29.5 million in Ohio’s rainy-day fund, taking its total to more than $2 billion.
Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen said he authorized the addition on July 27 after the state ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a stronger than anticipated balance.
It’s the fifth deposit into the fund in six years. The fund now stands at $2.034 billion.
Keen attributed the fiscal year’s strong finish to spending that came in below projections.
A legislative change last year allowed the fund’s balance to reach 8.5 percent of the preceding fiscal year’s general revenues. Keen said the account now holds 6 percent, after the July 27th deposit.
— Associated Press

Four officials
ordered to pay for Ohio State tickets
Columbus — The Ohio Ethics Commission says four elected Columbus officials paid less than they should have to watch an Ohio State football game in a luxury suite with a lobbyist.
The Columbus Dispatch reports  the commission determined Mayor Andrew Ginther, Councilman Shannon Hardin, former Councilwoman Michelle Mills and Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Eileen Paley paid $250 to watch the Buckeyes at the 2014 Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.
The commission says the trip was worth nearly $700 and has ordered the city to pay the difference.
The suite belonged to food vendor Centerplate, awarded a contract at a Columbus-area convention center days earlier.
Ginther called the allegations “baseless.” The others didn’t immediately respond to messages.
Franklin County terminated its contract with Centerplate after an internal investigation uncovered collusion.
— Associated Press

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