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Ohio primary date remains
up in air as parties ﬁght
COLUMBUS (AP) —Ohio House Speaker WilliamBatchelder said Tuesday law-makers are not likely to reacha deal by today’s deadline tokeep the state’s presidentialprimary in March.House Republicans, mean-
while, are working on a pro
-posal to hold the state’s twoseparate primary electionson one date, possibly in lateApril. They are in the early
stages of crafting the plan,
said Mike Dittoe, a spokes-
man for Batchelder.
The primaries were sepa-
rated to give lawmakers more
time to compromise on new
congressional district boundar
ies after a GOP-drawn map waschallenged by Democrats.
Ohio’s state, local andU.S. Senate primaries remainin March, but the presiden-tial and U.S. House primariesare scheduled to take place
in June. However, a second
primary election day wouldcost taxpayers an additional$15 million.
“That’s a big con
cern with myself, SpeakerBatchelder and a lot of peo
-ple,” Republican Rep. Matt
Huffman told The ColumbusDispatch. “We’re working onsolving that problem indepen
dently of the map.”
Batchelder told reportersTuesday that a deal on a new
congressional map was unlike
ly this week. today is the filingdeadline for congressional and
presidential candidates and thelast day a deal can be reachedto hold all the primaries inMarch.Dittoe said Republicanshad not yet discussed consoli-
dating the primary with House
Democrats.House Democratic caucusspokeswoman Sarah Bender
said Democrats support hav
ing a single primary, but have
not been approached with spe-
cifics on any deal. She said anApril 24 primary was part of
a proposed compromise, but
talks have since stalled.Earlier Tuesday, a groupof 38 members of countyboards of election sent a letterto Batchelder urging him to
consolidate the primary. Theycalled a second primary an“undue burden.”
Dems: US Chamberaltered SenatorBrown’s photo in ads
By JULIE CARR SMYTHAssociated Press
COLUMBUS — Ohio
Democrats are accusing aleading national business fed
eration of altering a photo of
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and
misrepresenting one of hisvotes in TV attack ads airing
statewide.Brown, the state’s senior
senator, has been targetedby several national groupsheading into his re-election
bid next year. Democrats say
the latest round of ads, paidfor by the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, altered a phototaken by The Associated Press
from color to black-and-white
in a way that makes Brown
look unshaven and haggard.
The party has dubbed the
issue “Picturegate” and isseeking to link it to whatthey say has been a pattern of
deception by Brown’s likelyRepublican opponent, stateTreasurer Josh Mandel.
“The countless false andmisleading claims made by
Josh Mandel and his spe-
cial-interest friends have
repeatedly been debunkedby numerous non-partisan
organizations, and appar
-ently not just content with
distorting his record they’venow taken to distorting
his picture,” said JustinBarasky, a party spokes-
man. “Instead of repeatedefforts to mislead the public,
(they) should explain why
he refuses to stand up forOhio’s middle class against
bad trade deals and China’s
unfair currency manipula
-tion which hurts our econo-my and costs jobs.”
A message was left seek
ing comment from Mandel’scampaign spokesman.
Chamber spokesman J.P.
Fielder says the organization
didn’t doctor the photo. A
message seeking commentwas left with RevolutionAgency, the Washington,D.C.-based political strategyfirm that produced it.“By the reaction of theBrown campaign and his
Democrat allies, it’s prettyclear what they don’t want
to discuss. They’re runningaway from his record inWashington,” Fielder said.
Brown has only rarely sup-ported the chamber’s eco-
nomic in his voting record,
he said.He said Democrats are
lobbing their attacks to dis
tract from the message of thead, titled “Stop Hiding.” TheTV spot says Brown “sup
ports raising energy taxes” in
policy positions that are kill-
ing Ohio jobs.
Brown has called the adcynical, and its contents “out-
Meghan Dubyak said the adreferences his vote to endsubsidies for oil companies,
which was not the same as
raising taxes on energy. Thecompanies — BP, Chevron,
ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobiland Royal Dutch Shell —made a combined $101 billion
in profits during the first ninemonths of 2011, she said.
Fielder said there is more
to Brown’s record on energytaxes than the subsidy vote.He also opposed a budgetresolution that would haveprevented the Senate frompassing any legislation thatwould increase energy taxeson individuals earning less
The photo of a wind-blown Brown squinting in
the sun was taken on July 7,2006. It pictured Brown —
then an Ohio congressmanrunning for Senate — out
-side AK Steel in Middletown,
Ohio, alongside two picket
ing union workers.
“AP licensed the photo,
but did not give permission to
alter it,” AP spokesman Paul
Colford said.Brown was amongDemocratic senators in fivestates targeted by CrossroadsGPS, a Republican super PACwith ties to former George W.
Bush political director Karl
Rove, in a $1.6 million adcampaign in July. The 60Plus Association, a conserva
tive rival to the AARP, aired
$750,000 in ads last month
targeting Brown’s positions
Ohio slips to36th national
COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio
has fallen to 36th in an annualhealth ranking of the states.
The United HealthFoundation says Ohio slipped
three places from its No. 33spot in 2010 as smoking andthe percentage of children inpoverty increased.
The study says the state’s
challenges include high levelsof air pollution and relativelylow spending on public healthprograms. Ohio’s strengths
are said to include widespread
immunizations, a low rate of
deaths on the job and a moder-
ate level of students complet
ing high school.Vermont topped the list asthe healthiest state for the thirdstraight year.
For the 10th year in a row,Mississippi ranked as the leasthealthy state.
Ohio player wins
$250K in MegaMillions game
CLEVELAND (AP) —Someone who bought a ticketin Ohio has won a quarter of
a million dollars in the latest
Mega Millions drawing.Meanwhile, the top prizein the multistate lottery gamerolls over to an estimated $100million for the next drawing, onFriday. No ticket nationwide
had all the numbers needed to
take the $87 million jackpot upfor grabs on Tuesday.
The Ohio Lottery says a
ticket sold at Ayersville CarryOut in Defiance in northwestOhio matched five numbers
on Tuesday, without the
Mega Ball. That’s good for a$250,000 prize.The winning numbers were:seven, 21, 29, 35 and 49. TheMega Ball was 39, and theMegaplier was four.
Wet fall brings
CLEVELAND (AP) —
Experts are already concerned
about big spring flooding inOhio after a sopping-wet fall
that has added to this year’s
rainfall records.The National WeatherService says the ground is super-
saturated the way it normally
is in the spring from melting
winter snow. The weather ser-
vice’s Sarah Jamison tells The(Cleveland) Plain Dealer theworst flooding may be yet to
Coshocton County leads
2011 deer-gun harvest
COLUMBUS — Ohio hunt-
ers took 90,282 white-taileddeer during the state’s popu
lar, week-long deer-gun season,which ran November 28 throughDecember 4, according to theOhio Department of NaturalResources (ODNR), Divisionof Wildlife. In 2010, hunterschecked a total of 105,034 deerduring the same time period.“Hunters clearly took advan
tage of the weather as the weekprogressed. They trimmed thedeficit from last season from39% on opening day, to 14%by the close of the season onSunday, “said Mike Tonkovich,ODNR, Division of Wildlife
deer project leader. “While
other factors may have been at
work, it is clear that extreme
weather – good or bad – onkey harvest days can have asignificant impact on the bot
Counties reporting the high
est numbers of deer brought to
Ohio check stations last week
included Coshocton-3,690,Muskingum-3,223,Tuscarawas-3,180,Guernsey-2,982, Harrison-2,772,Licking-2,678, Knox-2,480,
Belmont-2,431, Carroll-2,252, and
Hunters must still report
their deer harvest, but theyare no longer required to take
their deer to a check station
for physical inspection. Instead,hunters have three options to
complete the new automated
· On the Internet at wildohio.com.
· By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). Thisoption is only available to thosewho are required to have a deer
permit to hunt deer.
· At all license agents. A listof these agents can be foundat wildohio.com or by calling1-800-WILDLIFE.
All three check-in methods
are being used during the deer-gun season, with 41 percent of hunters using the phone meth
od. Hunters checking in via the
Internet are second at 36 per-
cent followed by those travelingto a license agent’s location (23percent) to check in their game.Hunters still have one week
end of deer-gun hunting, Dec.17-18, and nine weeks of archeryhunting in Ohio. Archery sea
-son remains open until February
5, 2012. The statewide muzzle
loader deer-hunting season will
be held Jan. 7-10.
Donations of extra veni
son are encouraged and willbe accepted through the entiredeer season, ending on Feb.5 to organizations assistingOhioans in need. The divisionof Wildlife is collaborating withFarmers and Hunters Feedingthe Hungry to help pay the pro
cessing cost as long as the deerare taken to a participating pro
cessor. Counties being servedby this program can be foundonline at www.fhfh.org.
Ohio eyed possible home for 6 animals
COLUMBUS (AP) — State
and federal regulators have
inspected a potential new home
for six creatures kept at theColumbus zoo since their sui
cidal owner released dozens of
exotic animals that were sub-sequently killed by authorities,
according to public records
obtained by The AssociatedPress.Three leopards, two pri-
mates and a grizzly bear thatsurvived the October hunt nearZanesville are being cared forat the zoo under a state-issued
quarantine order. It’s unclear
where they’ll end up if the orderis lifted and they’re returned to
the owner’s widow.
“We kind of know that’scoming, but right now we’rekind of just focused on mak
ing sure that the animals arehealthy,” said Erica Pitchford,an Ohio Department of Agriculture spokeswoman.Terry Thompson freed bears,lions, endangered Bengal tigersand other animals on Oct. 18before killing himself. Emailssent by state officials showthey initially believed Marian
Thompson planned to take the
surviving animals to Stump
Hill Farm near Massillon in
northeast Ohio, which cares forand exhibits native and exoticanimals ranging from tigers to
coyotes to parrots.
In anticipation of that move,regulators visited the 8-acrefarm on Oct. 24 and asked itto address several problems,including needed repairs on
animal enclosures and perches
and gaps below gates in theperimeter fencing, accordingto inspection records from theU.S. Department of Agriculture,which enforces the federalAnimal Welfare Act.
Cyndi Huntsman, who oper-
ates Stump Hill with her family,
said she knew the Thompsons
for years, had cared for someof their animals at her farmand had helped rebuild cages
and clean up the Thompson
property three years ago. Shesaid she had offered to take thesurviving animals in October,
but Marian Thompson decidedshe’d rather take them back to
Zanesville instead.Huntsman said her farm hasmade repairs and changes toaddress regulators’ concernsand she’s open to taking theanimals if Thompson changes