Toledo ups spending to treat water
Toledo — The cost of making sure drinking water is safe in Toledo will cost nearly $2 million more than the city expected.
City officials say they will spend about $4.7 million this year on chemicals to treat the water. That’s $1.7 million more than in normal years.
It has been almost four weeks since Ohio’s fourth-largest city issued a do-not-drink advisory after the city’s water supply was contaminated by toxins from algae on Lake Erie.
Toledo draws its water from the lake and for the last several years has been forced to spend millions of dollars to get rid of the toxins in the water.
Toledo officials say the two-day water warning in early August also cost the city more than $200,000 in overtime.
— Associated PresS

Justice pushes for annual pay raises
Columbus — The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court is promoting annual cost-of-living increases for judges as a way of keeping judges on the bench and making the profession attractive to new candidates.
Maureen O’Connor says choosing a career in public service shouldn’t mean being saddled with a stagnant salary, with judges now going without a raise since 2008.
O’Connor said Aug. 28 in her annual state of the judiciary speech that modest, annual cost-of-living increases that keep pace with inflation aren’t too much to ask.
O’Connor says that without competitive salaries sitting judges will move to private practice and potential judges won’t ever consider the job.
Ohio law determines elected officials’ pay, which can only be increased by lawmakers.
— Associated PresS

Pilot reported
problem before
crash that killed 4
Cleveland — A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the pilot of a small plane that crashed in Willoughby Hills Aug. 25 radioed the tower after takeoff that he was having problems climbing and would be returning to the airport.
The pilot and three passengers were killed. All were students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. They planned to take a short sightseeing flight after their first day of classes when the plane crashed near Cuyahoga County Regional Airport.
The plane is being stored in an airport hangar as the NTSB completes its on-scene investigation. A preliminary report should be ready within 10 days, the NTSB spokesman said.
A man who lives near the airport said he heard a plane engine sputtering before the crash.
— Associated PresS

Serial rapist gets 135 years in prison
Cleveland — A man who was linked to seven Cleveland-area rapes when authorities reopened hundreds of previously unsolved rape cases has been sentenced to up to 135 years in prison.
The sentence by a judge in Cuyahoga County on Aug. 27 means 69-year-old Robert Green likely will never get out of prison. He was indicted in five of the cases in November and two more in May. He pleaded guilty.
The Plain Dealer reports that the rapes occurred over nearly a decade. They were unsolved until Cleveland police began sending about 4,000 untested rape kits to a state lab for testing.
DNA found in the rape kits first linked five of the rape cases together. Green was initially linked through an address provided by a victim.
— Associated PresS

Driver resigns after hot-bus allegation
Lebanon— A southwest Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.
Lebanon Schools officials had placed driver Benjamin Spaulding on administrative leave after hearing reports of the Aug. 25 incident. They say the seven-year driver resigned just before a scheduled disciplinary hearing Aug. 27.
The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports that police are investigating complaints that Spaulding pulled the bus over because students were unruly. He allegedly ordered them to close windows, then left them inside for a yet-undetermined time before returning to finish his route. Temperatures outside hit 90 Aug. 25.
Police say they don’t know of any harm to any students.
— Associated PresS