Harsh winter delays school report cards
Hamilton — Ohio school officials say the late release of district report cards due to winter weather is inconvenient as teachers and administrators prepare for the new school year.
The Ohio Department of Education extended spring testing windows this year due to numerous weather-related school closings, which has caused delays in report card preparation.
Marianne Mottley of the state’s education department told the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News that the report cards, which are usually released in August, aren’t expected until mid-September this year.
School officials say districts use the report cards for assessment and to identify improvement areas as they start a new school year.
Until the report cards are released, school districts can access raw test scores, performance indexes and graduation rates through an online data center.
— Associated PresS

Mom killed by truck; baby found dead
Canton — Authorities say a baby was found dead in a Northeast Ohio apartment, and the child’s mother killed herself by running in front of a truck on an interstate highway.
Police in Canton say the child died under suspicious circumstances. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office says the child’s mother ran into the northbound lanes of Interstate 77 and was struck by a tractor-trailer at about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7.
The child is believed to have been about a year old.
No other details were released.
— Associated PresS

Lawmakers to have forum on algae
Toledo — A group of Ohio lawmakers is planning to meet just outside Toledo this coming week to talk about the algae problems on Lake Erie.
The legislators say the state of emergency brought on over the weekend by toxins in Toledo’s water supply shows there should be greater urgency in fighting the algae.
Both Republicans and Democrats who make up the Lake Erie Legislative Caucus are planning to attend a meeting about the algae on Aug. 15 at Maumee Bay State Park. That’s just outside Toledo.
State Sen. Randy Gardner and Rep. Chris Redfern are co-chairs of the Lake Erie caucus.
— Associated PresS

Parks dedicated to kidnapping victim
Cleveland — Two lots where abandoned homes once sat in Cleveland have been turned into urban parks dedicated to one of the women held captive in the neighborhood for a decade.
The parks are near the home of kidnap victim Gina DeJesus on the west side of Cleveland. Planners tell WOIO-TV 19 that turning the areas into parks will help DeJesus and her family heal from the emotional wounds caused by her long captivity.
Neighbors are happy because they say the abandoned homes attracted crime. All the resources to build the parks were donated. The dedication was Aug. 10.
DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight escaped from Ariel Castro’s home in May 2103. Castro pleaded guilty last August and committed suicide in prison.
— Associated PresS

Over 8,000 rape kits turned in for testing
Columbus — Attorney General Mike DeWine says Ohio’s crime lab has received 8,381 untested rape kits as it seeks DNA matches that could help solve reported sexual assaults.
DeWine’s office says Ohio officials have tested more than half of those rape kits. That has led to about 1,600 DNA matches in a criminal database. DeWine says that as DNA matches are found, the information is returned to local law enforcement to pursue charges.
The DNA testing has led to 170 indictments in Cuyahoga County alone.
The testing initiative was first announced in December 2011. It offered free DNA testing to law enforcement agencies with untested rape kits in which a crime was believed to have been committed. A total of 141 law enforcement agencies have submitted untested rape kits.
— Associated PresS

Strippers protest topless at church
Warsaw, Ohio — Exotic dancers from an Ohio strip club protested topless outside a church Aug. 10 and engaged in a few heated verbal exchanges with church members.
Dancers from Foxhole North, a club in New Castle in central Ohio, staged the protest outside New Beginnings Ministries in nearby Warsaw, a church the club owner says has protested his business for years, the Coshocton Tribune reported.
At one point, six bare-breasted women marched from a street corner to the edge of the church parking lot; two women remained topless for most of the demonstration, which involved about 30 people who sat across the street from the church or walked around holding signs, the newspaper reported.
In a telephone interview Aug. 10, club owner Thomas George told The Associated Press that four years ago, club dancers in bikinis protested and held signs outside the church, but that didn’t stop the church from picketing his business.
He said judges have repeatedly denied his requests for injunctions to keep church protesters away from his property.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Bill Dunfee, told the Tribune recently that church members will persist in opposing the club.
— Associated PresS