State briefs

Audit: Dead people got food stamps

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio Auditor Dave Yost testified before Congress just days after reporting questionable costs in the state’s food stamp program.

The Republican appeared Wednesday before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.

A $48,000 audit Yost released last week found $31,000 in questionable costs, including benefits used by dead people and duplicate payments.

The findings represented a small fraction of the total cost of Ohio’s $2.5 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The audit found 36 cases in which recipients received $24,000 in benefits a year after they died.

Nearly $29 million was spent outside Ohio, possibly indicating those recipients don’t live in Ohio or may be selling cards and benefits. Spending the federal benefits out of state is not prohibited.

Yost says the findings indicate fraud isn’t widespread.

Cops eye possible fentanyl after 17 overdoses in 1 day

AKRON — Police in one Ohio city who dealt with 17 suspected heroin overdoses in one day say they believe the drugs involved in at least some cases were laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

Akron police say 17 adults overdosed on Tuesday. They ranged in age from 19 to 58. In one case, a 44-year-old man died. Another case involved a woman and her two daughters.

Officials say they saw signs that the drugs involved were less responsive to the overdose antidote naloxone, sometimes referred to by its trade name, Narcan.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan calls the recent increase in overdoses a “public health crisis.”

Police say the city had 55 heroin overdose deaths in the first half of the year.

Grandparents of school shooter say gun wasn’t theirs

HAMILTON — The grandparents of a boy who opened fire in an Ohio school cafeteria and injured several classmates say a lawsuit wrongly names them as the gun’s owners.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News ( ) reports the boy’s grandfather denies the allegation after three students and their families sued 15-year-old James Austin Hancock and his family last month.

Hancock and his great-grandmother told investigators that the gun was hers. She said she discovered it missing after the shooting.

A lawyer who filed the lawsuit says the plaintiffs will refile it if they stand corrected about who owned the weapon.

The lawsuit blames relatives for allowing Hancock to obtain the firearm.

Hancock’s attorney from his criminal case has said that he’s confident Hancock’s relatives won’t be found to have done anything for which they can be held responsible.

Man restoring plane flown in D-Day invasion

FREMONT — A former state lawmaker who runs a small airport in northwestern Ohio is setting out to restore a plane that flew during the D-Day invasion.

Rex Damschroder says he hopes to have the DC-3 ready for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.

And he plans to fly the plane to France for the celebration.

Damschroder operates the Fremont Airport and has been flying for more than 50 years.

He tells the Sandusky Register that the plane transported paratroopers into war.

There’s still a patched bullet hole below a window where soldiers once sat.

He says the plane has a colorful history and that after the war it became an airliner hauling passengers. Later, it was part of a parachute show at Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati.

Authorities say drinking parents let teen drive

SANDUSKY — Ohio troopers say parents who had been drinking let their 15-year-old son drive some 125 miles on a family trip to the Cedar Point amusement park, but their ride ended before they got there when he was stopped for speeding.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says a trooper stopped their Dodge Caravan going 83 mph in a 70 mph zone Saturday morning near Vermilion, Ohio. The driver told the trooper he didn’t have a driver’s license or permit. The trooper reported that the father in the front seat had been drinking as had the mother, sitting in the rear with their 12-year-old daughter. He said they were obviously impaired.

The father was in jail Sunday on a child endangerment charge. No attorney information was available. Children’s services has been notified.

Ohio seeks approval to charge new Medicaid fees

COLUMBUS — State officials are seeking federal approval to charge a new monthly cost to Ohioans with Medicaid health coverage.

House Republicans inserted plans for the so-called Healthy Ohio Program into the state budget last year. The proposal would require certain adults in Medicaid to pay into a health-savings account to help cover their medical expenses.

The proposal has drawn mostly criticism from health care advocates, Democrats and others who say it puts people’s health care access at risk. Backers say opponents are overlooking the proposal’s efforts to get Medicaid beneficiaries to take healthier steps.

Ohio must first get permission from federal regulators to implement the plan. State officials submitted their request Friday.

The federal government has no formal deadline to respond.

If successful, the new charges would be imposed in 2018.

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