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

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