Secretary of State: Over 957,000 ask for absentee ballot
Columbus — The number of Ohioans who have asked for an absentee ballot ahead of the November presidential election is closing in on 1 million.
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says more than 957,000 absentee ballot applications were received as of Sept. 30. That’s 35,000 more than at this point in the 2012 election.
Almost 15,000 of the requests for an absentee ballot are from military and overseas voters.
Residents in the swing state can vote absentee by mail or in person without having to give a reason.
Military and overseas voters can already cast ballots for the Nov. 8 election. Early voting for other Ohioans begins on Oct. 12.
Completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 7.
— Associated Press

Summit County gets $3 million grant for lead removal
Akron — Summit County has received nearly $3 million in federal grant money to continue efforts to remove lead from contaminated homes.
The Akron Beacon Journal report officials say they hope to remove lead from 160 homes in Summit County using the new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant.
The county’s Lead Hazard Control Program aims to help low- to moderate-income residents who live in homes built before 1978.
The county used a 2013 grant to remove lead from 140 homes.
Lead poisoning can damage nearly every organ, particularly the kidneys, red blood cells and central nervous system.
It can also lead to learning disabilities, lower IQs and other health problems in children.
Lead exposure often comes from old paint.
— Associated Press

Privacy ordered for inmates’ group strip searches
Cleveland — A federal judge says Cleveland must stop conducting group strip searches of inmates unless it uses partitions that provide privacy.
The order issued last week by U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson also says guards at the Cleveland House of Correction can no longer conduct mandatory delousing of all inmates using an aerosol spray. That practice already was discontinued. Inmates suspected of having lice now go to a medical unit for treatment.
The order stems from a 2009 lawsuit against the city by Tynisa Williams after she was strip searched and sprayed for lice in front of two other women. Williams was jailed over an unpaid traffic ticket and was released the same day.
Pearson initially dismissed the lawsuit. The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned that decision in 2014.
— Associated Press

Inmate’s sentence extended for
anthrax hoax
Columbus — An Ohio inmate accused of sending a judge a suspicious letter and powder in an anthrax hoax and instructing a second inmate to do the same has pleaded guilty and had three years added to his sentence.
The Columbus Dispatch reports 33-year-old Sean Heisa was serving a 30-year prison term for a series of armed robberies when the letters were sent last year containing powder that he claimed was anthrax.
He had three years added to his sentence Oct. 3 after he pleaded guilty to charges including possession or use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, retaliation and inducing panic.
Heisa apologized for, in his words, “wasting the court’s time with these cases,” but he denied telling the other inmate to send the second letter.
— Associated Press

School board head resigns amid planned $15 milliion in budget cuts
Parma — The president of a school board in Northeast Ohio has resigned as the district grapples with cutting $15 million from its budget over the next two years.
Parma City School Board president Kathleen Petro announced her resignation Oct. 4 during a meeting on the proposed budget plan. She then left. Vice President Lynn Halloran took over as acting president.
The board is tasked with addressing issues that have arisen from a proposed restructuring of schools and programs. Under the plan, Valley Forge High School and Normandy High School would close. Those students would be sent to Parma Senior High School.
The plan also calls for teacher layoffs and program cuts.
The board voted to ask the state Department of Education for an extension on providing the plan until Nov. 1.
— Associated Press

Sailor killed in Pearl Harbor attack to be buried
Elyria — A sailor killed 75 years ago in the attack on Pearl Harbor is set to be buried with full military honors in Northeast Ohio.
Rudolph Piskuran, of Elyria, and 429 other sailors aboard the USS Oklahoma were killed on Dec. 7, 1941 when a torpedo struck the ship.
Piskuran’s remains were identified earlier this year through DNA testing. He will be buried late next week at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Elyria.
The Chronicle-Telegram reports Piskuran had been a 1940 graduate of Elyria High School. He played basketball and sang in the boys’ chorus and junior a capella chorus.
In a letter dated eight days before the attack, Piskuran told his parents he felt safe and happy. He said he was more concerned about volcanoes than the Japanese.
— Associated Press