52,000 students take part in college credit program
Columbus — The state says more than 52,000 students participated during the first full year of a statewide program that allows Ohio middle- and high-schoolers to earn free college credit.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education announced inaugural College Credit Plus results Sept. 19.
The department says nearly 15 percent of Ohio high school juniors and seniors participated in the program. Ninety percent of participants got the passing grade necessary to earn college credit.
The department estimates families saved $110 million in future college tuition through the program. Students’ home districts pick up the tab for most of that cost.
Two-thirds of participants took courses at a community college. Another 22 percent attended a public university. The remaining 12 percent studied at an independent or private college. Most took core subjects.
— Associated Press

Ohio unemployment rate drops again
Columbus — The state says Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped again in August to 4.7 percent.
That’s down from 4.8 percent the previous month but up slightly from 4.6 percent in August 2015. The national unemployment rate for last month held steady at 4.9 percent.
The state Department of Job and Family Services said Sept. 16 that Ohio had 272,000 unemployed workers last month. That’s 6,000 less than in July but 9,000 more than a year earlier.
The sectors that reported job gains in Ohio compared with a year ago included educational and health services, government employment, leisure and hospitality, construction and goods-producing industries.
Losses were reported in mining and logging and information jobs.
— Associated Press

Man pleads guilty in 2 killings, sentenced to life in prison
Canton — A Northeast Ohio man charged in the shooting deaths of two women has pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping a potential death penalty for him.
The Repository in Canton reports a judge on Sept. 16 sentenced 59-year-old Leeroy Rogers Sr. to life in prison for aggravated murder and other charges. He’ll have the possibility of parole after 61 years.
Pausing at times as he spoke, Rogers admitted he killed the women at different times and dumped one body at a creek and the other at a park.
An assistant prosecutor says the victims’ relatives supported the plea deal to make sure Rogers spends the rest of his life behind bars.
Some of them provided statements in court. One offered Rogers forgiveness. Another suggested that would be impossible.
— Associated Press

Abortions in 2015 fewest since 1976
Columbus — The state says the number of abortions reported in Ohio declined again in 2015, which had the fewest recorded since the data-tracking started in 1976.
In an annual report posted Sept. 16, the state’s Department of Health says 20,976 pregnancies were terminated last year. That’s about a 1 percent decline in induced abortions compared to those reported in 2014.
The reports don’t speculate on reasons for the decline.
Since 2001, there’s been a steady decline in abortions in Ohio. And at least a half-dozen abortion clinics have closed or reduced services over the last several years.
About 94 percent, or nearly 20,000, of the state’s abortions last year were obtained by Ohio residents.
More than half of all induced abortions involved pregnancies of less than nine weeks.
— Associated Press

Auditor deems tiny village with no
mayor ‘unauditable’
Stout — Ohio’s state auditor says a tiny river town with no mayor, no clerk and no financial records is “unauditable.”
Auditor of State Dave Yost says no financial records were provided during its biennial audit of the Adams County village of Rome.
The village has 90 days to produce financial records or the attorney general could sue for the information. Officials haven’t determined who that legal action might be against.
Various village positions remain unfilled. Spots for mayor, clerk and village council were included on the ballot in last year’s election. Voters had no one to elect because no valid petitions were filed.
The 2010 census states 94 people live in Rome, located about 70 miles southeast of Cincinnati on the Ohio River.
— Associated Press