Disabled veterans
to get tax break
Columbus — Gov. John Kasich has signed into law legislation that will provide disabled veterans with an increased break on their property taxes.
House Bill 85 passed the Ohio House and Senate on unanimous votes just before lawmakers left the Statehouse for their summer recess, and the governor signed it behind closed doors last week.
HB 85 increases the homestead exemption total to $50,000 from $25,000 for military men and women with a “service-connected total and permanent disability” certified by the federal government.
There are no income eligibility requirements under the legislation, allowing an expanded exemption for any permanently disabled veteran who qualifies.
The homestead exemption was created more than four decades ago to reduce tax bills for seniors and is open to homeowners age 65 and older and to those who are “totally and permanently disabled” and their spouses.
— Marc Kovac

Thistledown racino not going to move
North Randall — A Northeast Ohio racino will remain at its suburban location east of Cleveland rather than moving to a state-approved optional site in the Akron-Canton area.
Owner Rock Ohio Caesars had considered moving Thistledown Racino from the Cleveland area, which has a casino, too. But company officials determined the current location straddling the city of North Randall and the village of Warrensville Heights remains the best site.
Caesars’ officials say a determining factor in the decision was the desire of the village, the city and Cuyahoga County to make needed upgrades and improvements and further develop the area.
The 89-year-old racetrack expanded to include video lottery terminals and reopened as a racino in spring 2013.
Thistledown says it will invest at least $60 million to update and add guest amenities.
— Associated Press

Fatal motorcycle crashes drop in Ohio
Columbus  — Motorcycle fatalities in Ohio have dropped by 21 percent since 2010, according to state statistics.
Statistics show 133 motorcycle fatalities last year; 163 in 2012; 166 in 2011; and 168 in 2010. So far this year there have been 28.
The total number of motorcycle crashes in the state declined by 16 percent during that time.
Numbers analyzed by The Columbus Dispatch show that motorcyclists were at fault in fatal crashes from 59 percent to 74 percent of the time from 2010 to 2013. During the same period, bikers were at fault in 57 to 58 percent of crashes resulting in injuries.
Last year, 43 of the 133 motorcyclists who died in crashes in Ohio were not wearing helmets. In 2012, it was 41 of 163 fatalities.
— Associated Press

Deputies make
record drug bust
Newbury Township — Sheriff’s detectives in rural Northeast Ohio have made the county’s biggest drug seizure ever as part of an investigation that could have ties to Mexican drug cartels.
Investigators in Geauga County raided a home in a secluded neighborhood in Newbury Township last week and seized 6 pounds of crystal meth, 2.2 pounds of black tar heroin, 100 pounds of marijuana and $128,000 in cash.
A sheriff’s department official says deputies arrested four people and that a number of loaded firearms were found during the raid. The official says it’s possible the ring had ties to Mexican drug cartels.
The official says it appears that some of the home’s occupants made regular trips back and forth to California.
— Associated Press

Lake Erie mayflies slow to emerge
Toledo — Northern Ohio residents in some areas along Lake Erie say mayflies have been slower to show up this year.
The superintendent of the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island says the pesky but harmless winged insects haven’t been out in full force like past years.
But others along the lake say they’ve seen thick swarms of the bugs that rise out of the water each June.
Workers in the city of Port Clinton shut off street lights earlier this week so that the bright lights wouldn’t attract the mayflies.
The manager of a restaurant in Avon says the lack of mayflies so far means diners have been able to eat outside on the patio.
— Associated Press