Goodyear christens new airship
Akron — Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has christened its new airship, launching the next generation of its well-known blimps.
The company says “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts christened “Wingfoot One” Aug. 23 at its hangar just southeast of Akron.
Roberts also took a spin on the ceremonial first flight. She has ties to both Goodyear and Akron. She says the company recruited her great-grandfather to work for the company in 1918.
Goodyear has used the “Wingfoot” symbol for a century.
The high-tech, helium-filled craft has a semi-rigid internal structure different from earlier models that raises questions about whether it’s truly a blimp, though Goodyear still refers to it as such. Its silver balloon-like body has Goodyear’s yellow logo on a blue background.
— Associated PresS

Peach crop wiped out by harsh winter
Toledo — Ohio-grown peaches are in short supply around the state.
This year’s harsh winter devastated Ohio’s peach crop.
The president of the Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association says the peach crop is a disaster this year. Bill Dodd says all but a few fruit farms along the Ohio River were wiped.
Many of the Ohio farm markets are now relying on growers in South Carolina and Georgia to replenish their peach supply.
Ohio isn’t a big peach producing state. Most of those grown in the state are sold directly to consumers.
What makes them tough to grow in the Midwest is that the trees have short lifespans and don’t do well in sub-zero temperatures.
— Associated PresS

Favorite cafeteria cookie removed
Elyria — New federal nutritional guidelines for school cafeterias has meant the end of a favorite — and locally famous — treat in one Northeast Ohio school district.
The federal government’s edict to provide healthier foods and cut fats and cholesterol put an end of the sale of the traditional Elyria pink cookie — a buttery sweet treat with pink icing.
The pink cookie has been a favorite for four decades. The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports the treat gained a cult following through the years and was once named the “Best Cafeteria Cookie” by Cleveland magazine.
Food services director Scott Teaman said the recipe could have been changed to better meet nutritional standards, but it just wouldn’t be the same.
The district will still bake the cookies for special orders.
— Associated PresS

Cardiologist indicted for medical fraud
Cleveland — A federal court indictment alleges a Northeast Ohio cardiologist performed unnecessary procedures as part of an alleged scheme to overbill Medicaid and private health insurance companies by $7.2 million.
Dr. Harold Persaud, 55, of Westlake, is accused of performing unnecessary tests, heart catheterizations and stent insertions. He also is accused of referring patients for coronary bypass surgeries they didn’t need.
An indictment says Persaud engaged in the scheme between February 2006 and June 2012.
He faces 16 counts, including one count of health care fraud and 14 counts of making false statements. A news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland says Persaud’s overbilling resulted in $1.5 million in illegal payments.
Persaud’s attorney says he denies the charges and has given patients quality care.
— Associated PresS

Diocese discourages
ALS ice challenge
Cincinnati — A Roman Catholic diocese in southwest Ohio is discouraging students and staff at its schools from taking on the ice-bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association.
In a letter sent to its schools Aug, 19, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s superintendent of Catholic schools says the ALS Association funds research involving embryonic stem cells “in direct conflict with Catholic teaching.”
The superintendent told the schools that students and staff can still do the ice-bucket challenge, but that any funds raised should be given to other organizations that combat Lou Gehrig’s Disease without embryonic stem cell research.
The ALS Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The association has raised $41.8 million in donations since videos of the ice-bucket stunt began appearing on the Internet July 29.
— Associated PresS