House signs

Purple Martin

Capital of Ohio bill

Columbus -- The Ohio House has signed off on legislation designating an area in Summit County as the "Purple Martin Capital of Ohio."

House Bill 404 passed on vote of 89-0 and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

The bill spotlights what enthusiasts call "America's Most Wanted Bird." Flocks migrate to the Portage Lakes area near Akron each spring to nest, helping to control insects in the process.

"Today, with the purple martins there, they do not need to use the sprays to eliminate the mosquitoes and the beetles," said Rep. Marilyn Slaby (R-Copley), a primary co-sponsor of the legislation. " They are essential as part of the pest control in this area."

Seventeen other states have comparable purple martin capital designations, Slaby said.

-- Marc Kovac, Capital Bureau

Ohio among top states for seized meth labs

Cleveland -- A new report ranks Ohio among the top states for seized methamphetamine labs last year.

Ohio ranked fourth in the country in 2013 as authorities uncovered 1,010 labs, chemicals and glassware used in the drug's cooking process. Indiana topped the national ranking last year, followed by Tennessee and Missouri.

The report was done by the Missouri Highway Patrol, based on numbers from the National Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System, a database run by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Plain Dealer reported the results April 2. Ohio moved up from seventh in the rankings in 2012.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation tracks meth lab seizures by federal fiscal year. The state's police officers report voluntarily, so there are likely more than the statistics reflect.

-- Associated Press