State briefs

Governor lowers flags in honor of Dallas officers

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) is ordering flags at public buildings and grounds in the state to be lowered in honor of the slain police officers and other victims in Dallas.

The attack on the officers began Thursday at a downtown Dallas protest over the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

Kasich’s order on Friday follows a similar federal proclamation by Barack Obama.

The Republican governor’s order directs the flags in Ohio to be flown at half-mast until Tuesday.

Statehouse display Ohio’s 8 presidents

COLUMBUS — Rare vintage political ribbons, posters, sheet music and textiles are among items featured in an Ohio Statehouse exhibit that’s marking the 2016 presidential election with a tribute to Ohio’s eight presidents.

The Statehouse Museum Education Center is partnering with the American Political Items Collectors for the display that runs through Sept. 30.

Campaign buttons, street banners, matchbooks, ferrotypes, autographs, postcards and other ephemera are included along with books, medals, tokens, pennants and photography.

Ohio is a political bellwether state that traditionally helps decide presidential contests. It also was home to eight presidents: William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding.

Spending mounts in Senate race

COLUMBUS — The money keeps rolling in — and getting spent — in high amounts in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race.

Combined spending so far for TV, radio and online ads of various kinds for and against Republican Sen. Rob Portman and former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland starting late last year is up to at least $45 million, and much more is expected.

Portman’s campaign is devoting $15 million to TV and online advertising from June through Election Day, dwarfing the cash Strickland’s campaign has had available due to lagging fundraising.

Outside groups are spending millions more on direct and indirect attack ads.

Senate Majority PAC, affiliated with outgoing Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid, has committed to spending about $10 million through fall on anti-Portman ads in support of Strickland.

Other outside groups — including those representing pro-abortion rights advocates, environmentalists and labor unions — have spent at least another $7 million against Portman since last year for what’s known as issue advocacy. The ads might question a Portman position such as opposing confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court justice, allowing groups to avoid restrictions on direct campaigning yet adding to the cacophony filling Ohio’s airwaves.

Freedom Partners Action Fund and Americans for Prosperity, groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, have gone after Strickland to the tune of $8.3 million, with other groups also piling on.

Court: Ohio lawyers donated 76,000 hours

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court says attorneys around the state donated more than 76,000 hours of legal services last year.

The state’s high court and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation said Thursday that more than 4,300 attorneys voluntarily reported pro-bono services for 2015. That’s more than double the number of attorneys who reported such work last year.

Since 2007, the court has asked attorneys to report their pro-bono activities to learn about the services being donated in the state.

The legal services are provided to Ohioans who can’t afford an attorney. Last year’s pro-bono work has an estimated value of $10.3 million.

The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court has promoted the importance of providing donated legal services.

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