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Around Ohio-Aug. 8

Published: August 8, 2016 2:59 PM

New guidelines for eating fish from state waters
Columbus — Ohio has issued new guidelines for eating fish caught in lakes, rivers and streams.
The statewide study reflects some improvements in Ohio’s waters. For instance, advisories against eating common carp from the Big Darby Creek, North Branch Portage River and Mahoning River have been lifted and are now one-per-month advisories.
The state’s health and natural resources departments partner with the Ohio EPA to develop the consumption standards, which help Ohio anglers decide about eating their catch.
Nearly 900 fish tissue samples collected from 51 lakes and 26 streams in 2014 and 2015 form the basis for the new advisories.
Officials say unless otherwise noted in the new guidelines, a general advisory is in place that recommends limiting one meal each week of Ohio-caught fish.
— Associated Press

Life sentence of
Akron drug dealer reduced to 21 years
Akron — A cocaine trafficker who operated in Northeast Ohio in the 1990s has had his life sentence commuted by President Barack Obama and stands to be released in August 2017.
Ervin Worthy, 51, will be released 21 years after he was imprisoned.
Court records show the Akron native was convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm with an altered serial number and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports Worthy and accomplice, Duane “Nip” Guess, were arrested in 1995 as part of a crackdown on a drug trafficking ring that was sending cocaine from New York to Ohio. Guess received a 20-year prison term and was released in August 2012.
Worthy described himself as a mid- to low-level street dealer. He said his sentence was too harsh and has been trying to end his imprisonment since 1997.
— Associated Press

Charter school sponsors say new rules go too far
Columus — Some charter school sponsors are questioning Ohio’s new evaluation rules, including a requirement that sponsors could face penalties if a school fails to display a U.S. flag at least 5 feet in length during the day.
The Columbus Dispatch reports charters must display the state and national mottoes, show they don’t penalize workers for jury duty and show they’re compliant with outdoor pesticide rules.
The new sponsor evaluations were passed following criticism of lax state charter-school oversight and poor performance marks.
Some say the rules go too far by requiring proof they’re complying with some non-vital laws.
“By checking on everything, I think you make everything equally important,” said Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which sponsors 11 Ohio charter schools. “I don’t think that’s the case.”
Though the sponsors agree they should have to follow the law, some say the questionnaire was cumbersome.
Aldis said four people in his office spent nearly a month compiling the records, including whether they kept accurate hearing and vision test records.
— Associated Press

State high court
to mull minimum wage dispute
Cleveland — A union-backed group seeking to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Cleveland is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to put the issue on the November ballot.
City attorneys argue it’s too soon for the court to decide anything because Cleveland’s council hasn’t voted on legislation automatically created by the group when it submitted wage hike petitions in May. Council is expected to vote on the legislation Aug. 10.
Council leadership and Mayor Frank Jackson oppose raising the minimum wage in Cleveland alone, fearing it could cause businesses to close or move elsewhere. Cleveland attorneys also argue that City Charter timelines won’t allow for a November vote.
Attorneys for the group, Raise Up Cleveland, argue council must put it on November’s ballot after the group submitted additional signatures.
— Associated Press

Money seized from charity scam to go to veteran legal fund
Columbus — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says money seized during investigations of a multi-state Navy veterans charity fraud is part of a $50,000 grant being made to a veterans legal aid fund.
The Ohio Military Veterans Legal Assistance Project arranges legal services for low-income military veterans and active service members who can’t afford an attorney.
DeWine says that money his office received during the investigation will go to help veterans as donors intended.
John Donald Cody is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Ohio after his 2013 conviction on charges of racketeering, theft, money laundering and 12 counts of identity theft.
Cody, who had long identified himself as Bobby Thompson, was accused of looting the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa, Florida.
— Associated Press

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