Ohio gets lots

of attention in

presidential race

Cincinnati -- Ohioans are again getting plenty of attention in the presidential race's final weeks.

Republican Donald Trump campaigned here Oct. 13, while President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton followed Hillary Clinton's return to the state earlier in the week with two Ohio scheduled campaign stops each.

The state's role this year shapes up to be potential spoiler for Trump's chances of reaching 270 electoral votes.

While Clinton appears to have paths to the total needed for election without Ohio, the state's 18 votes are considered crucial for Trump.

History says so, too: No Republican has won the White House without Ohio.

Polls indicate Ohio, where early voting began Oct. 12, is one of only a handful of states that are tossups with less than a month to go.

-- Associated Press

Charges dropped

for ex-NFL player in golf course fracas

Bedford -- An Ohio judge has dismissed assault and menacing charges against former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Reggie Rucker, who police had said grabbed a man's throat and threatened to shoot him in a dispute over golf course etiquette.

Cleveland.com reports the Bedford judge dismissed the misdemeanor charges on Oct. 18 after Rucker completed community service and apologized to the victim.

Police say Rucker confronted the victim at the suburban Cleveland golf course in April because he felt the man's radio was too loud.

Rucker was sentenced to 21 months in prison in August in an unrelated case for stealing from two charities. His attorney has blamed that crime on a gambling addiction brought on by football-related brain injuries.

Rucker spent seven of his 11 seasons in the NFL with the Browns.

-- Associated Press

New high school graduation rules come under fire

Hamilton -- School administrators in southwest Ohio say the state's new graduation requirements will hurt many high school juniors' chances of earning a diploma.

Hamilton City Schools Superintendent Tony Orr tells The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News the new rules have juniors headed toward an academic "cliff."

State education officials abandoned the previously required Ohio Graduation Tests in favor of new testing.

The new system involves seven tests -- two English, two math, two social studies and one science -- that are graded on a 1-to-5 point scale. Students must earn a total of 18 points to graduate.

Orr predicts as many as 40 percent of the state's high school seniors will not be eligible to graduate during the 2017-2018 school year because of the new standard.

-- Associated Press

Same-sex marriage plaintiff honored

Cincinnati -- The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the state is being honored with an award recognizing people and organizations striving to live up to the ideals of the Underground Railroad movement to better their community.

Jim Obergefell will receive the Everyday Freedom Hero award. A lawsuit by Obergefell and his dying partner John Arthur sought legal recognition of their marriage.

The lawsuit lead to the 2015 Supreme Court decision on lawsuits challenging same-sex bans in four states.

Obergefell has continued as an activist for gay rights and other causes.

The Cincinnati center's president, Clarence G. Newsome, praises Obergefell as "a champion of civil rights."

The award presentation is Oct. 22.

-- Associated Press