Ohio headlines

COLUMBUS

Appalachia school chiefs want share of wealth

Superintendents from Appalachian Ohio say the governor’s state budget doesn’t share enough of Ohio’s economic good fortune with their schools and children.

Members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools told state lawmakers and reporters Tuesday they are disappointed that the administration’s new school-funding formula leaves many of their districts worse off than before.

The superintendent of Federal Hocking schools in Athens County said it would be different if Ohio were “still headed down the road to economic ruin.” But he said Gov. John Kasich’s budget shows growth in income tax, sales tax and Ohio Lottery revenue.

A superintendent for two districts in Washington County said Kasich’s plan to use a drilling-tax increase for income-tax relief will take even more resources out of the struggling region.

CINCINNATI

Jerry Springer doesn’t expect to run in Ohio

Daytime television host and former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer doesn’t see himself getting back into elective politics.

Springer’s name has been bandied in recent years in Ohio as a possible Democratic candidate for Congress or governor. But he tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s only a year away from turning 70, and with each year, it becomes less likely. But he remains active politically speaking and raising money.

While on city council, Springer was caught in a scandal over paying for sex. He says the incident “probably gets better in terms of legend.” He calls it more of an embarrassment than comparable to a politician stealing from the city treasury.

Springer says he doesn’t find his free-wheeling tabloid TV show shocking, no more than what is in daily newspapers.

BELLEFONTAINE

Band director charged with sex crimes

A high school band director in western Ohio has been charged with sex crimes involving two female students.

A Logan County prosecutor says 34-year-old John Shook, of DeGraff, was indicted Tuesday on single counts of rape and attempted sexual battery, five counts of sexual battery and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

The chief assistant prosecutor says Shook is in jail awaiting a court appearance. Jail records don’t list an attorney for Shook.

The Bellefontaine Examiner reports the Riverside High School band director has been on paid leave since Feb. 4. The Riverside Local School District superintendent says the district in DeGraff will consult its attorney on Shook’s job status.

The newspaper reports dozens of students and parents showed their support for Shook at a school board meeting last month.

CANTON

Ohioan finds, returns box of $50K in gold, silver

Police say a northeast Ohio scrap metal collector who found a small box containing nearly $50,000 in gold and silver won’t face charges because he returned it all.

The Repository in Canton reports an employee of Hartville Coin & Jewelry put the box in a vehicle, but it fell out of the trunk as he drove away last week. Someone passing by scooped up the box, and police began using surveillance footage to track down the perpetrator.

Michael Swogger says a friend recognized Swogger’s picture on the news and told him police were looking for him in the theft case. The 36-year-old Canton man says when he realized what was happening, he contacted police to return the box of gold coins, Canadian silver dollars and scrap gold on Saturday.

AKRON

Derby Downs now not only for soap box races

The All-American Soap Box Derby is allowing its northeast Ohio facility to be used for more private and public outside events as it works to improve its once-bleak financial picture.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports use of the Akron facility had been limited to derby races because officials worried the asphalt track could be damaged. But the nonprofit has opened the track and its buildings to use by other organizations.

President Joe Mazur estimates events such as races, camps and corporate meetings at Derby Downs could generate $30,000 to $50,000 annually. This year’s events include a youth leadership group meeting, a fundraising foot race, and summer camps for youngsters to build derby race cars.

Mazur says such events could build publicity and shouldn’t damage the track.

LOGAN

Prosecutors limited in septic tank body case

Prosecutors won’t be allowed to make oral arguments in the appeal of an Ohio man convicted of murdering his estranged wife, who was found strangled in a septic tank.

An Ohio appeals court magistrate made the ruling after the prosecution missed a court deadline for filing a brief in the appeal of William Inman II. Inman was convicted of aggravated murder and other charges last year in Hocking County and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 25-year-old Summer Inman’s slaying.

He’s seeking a new trial. His father and mother also were convicted in the slaying.

The Logan Daily News reports Hocking County’s prosecutor attributed the missed deadline to an Ohio Attorney General’s Office scheduling issue. But she says she is confident the written argument will be sufficient.

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