APNewsBreak: Ohio prison vendor hit for damages
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state has hit a private food vendor that holds the contract for feeding Ohio prison inmates with $142,100 in damages for failing to meet contractual requirements.
The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services failed to meet staffing requirements several times at three prisons this year.
The state's Friday letter to Aramark obtained by The Associated Press also says Aramark has failed to staff 414 positions required by its contract.
The letter by DRC's associate legal counsel Stephanie Warner says Aramark's actions required prison staff to perform food service tasks at several meals.
Messages were left for Aramark seeking comment.
Aramark's $110 million Ohio deal to feed some 50,000 inmates began in September and runs through June 30, 2015, with two opportunities to extend.
Ohio unemployment rate drops to 6.1 percent
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state says Ohio's unemployment rate dropped in March to the lowest level in six years.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says this morning the seasonally adjusted rate in March was 6.1 percent, which was down from 6.5 percent in February. It's the state's lowest jobless rate since April 2008.
The state's rate has dipped below the national rate, which was 6.7 percent in both February and March.
The state says Ohio's nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 600 over the month, from 5,282,300 in February to 5,282,900 in March.
The number of unemployed workers in Ohio in March was 353,000, down 24,000 from 377,000 in February. The state says the number of unemployed has decreased by 68,000 in the past 12 months from 421,000.
FISHING BOAT SEARCH
Search to resume for 2 missing in Lake Erie
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities are preparing to resume the search for two missing men in western Lake Erie following the discovery of the bodies of a woman and a teenage girl.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has identified the victims as 33-year-old Amy Santus of Perrysburg near Toledo and 16-year-old Paige Widmer of Leesville, South Carolina.
Deputy John Knecht (kuh-NEKT') says a marine patrol was expected to resume its search around 8 o'clock Friday morning for the two men who were with Santus and Widmer.
Searchers on Thursday found a partially submerged boat on a reef near the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant east of Toledo and later spotted the two bodies. Both of the victims were wearing life jackets.
Ohio to unveil latest monthly report on jobs data
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State officials are ready to release Ohio's latest monthly employment data.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services was scheduled to release the March figures on Friday.
Last month's announcement brought good news. For February, the state's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent, the lowest rate in nearly six years. That was down from 6.9 percent in January.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in February was 377,000, down 18,000 from 395,000 in January.
Police investigate slaying of 89-year-old woman
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Columbus police say an 89-year-old woman was fatally stabbed during an attempted robbery.
The body of Anna Eblen was found Thursday evening after neighbors called police when they saw her back door open.
WCMH-TV reports Oblen was found inside the home on the city's east side with multiple knife wounds and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police tell the station a person of interest was interviewed at police headquarters and released.
MOTHER'S BODY FOUND
Report: missing boy may have been killed with mom
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A published report says police believe a missing Ohio boy may have been killed along with his mother last month.
The body of 25-year-old Nichelle McKnight was discovered last week near the Stillwater River in the Dayton suburb of Harrison Township.
She went missing in March with her four-year-old son, Zaden.
The Dayton Daily News reports that a police affidavit suggests both were killed in the basement of a Dayton home.
The paper says the house is the residence of a 29-year-old woman who has been charged with receiving stolen property, theft and misuse of a credit card in connection with McKnight's disappearance.
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl (BEEL) has previously said the search continues for the boy, but he is presumed dead.
Texan, 98, a Doolittle Raider, to mark anniversary
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A 98-year-old retired Air Force pilot who's among just four surviving Doolittle Raiders will mark the anniversary of the war-changing flights at a ceremony in Texas.
Officials with Joint Base San Antonio say retired Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole is expected to be on hand Friday afternoon for a commemorative toast.
Cole lives in Comfort, Texas, about 40 miles northwest of San Antonio. He was among 80 men who risked their lives on the April 18, 1942, World War II bombing mission on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Cole was then-Lt. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle's co-pilot.
Doolittle's archives are at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Cleveland Zoo hopes to enhance animals' habitats
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Zoo hopes to enhance the habitats of some of its most popular animals including bears and tigers over the next decade.
Chris Kuhar, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo executive director, says a new exhibit for grizzly bears would give them more space and the chance to live in one place most of the day instead of rotating between night quarters and the exhibit.
Kuhar says more bears could be in the zoo's future since cubs are often orphaned in the wild.
The Plain Dealer reports Kuhar also proposed to Metroparks commissioners on Thursday to give the zoo's tigers more space by reworking their home instead of rebuilding it.
Kuhar also says new space for western lowland gorillas, considered keystone animals at the zoo, should be a priority.
NEW ROLLER COASTER
New roller coaster debuts at Kings Island in Ohio
MASON, Ohio (AP) - Kings Island theme park in southwest Ohio is unveiling a new inverted roller coaster more than 4,000 feet long with speeds up to 68 miles per hour.
The "Banshee" is making its debut Friday at the park north of Cincinnati.
Kings Island says the steel roller coaster named for a wailing mythological messenger from the underworld includes a 167-foot lift hill and a 150-foot curved first drop. Riders also will experience a zero-gravity roll.
Three trains containing eight cars each will be able to carry 1,650 riders per hour.
Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. The Sandusky-based company owns and runs 10 other amusement parks, three outdoor water parks, an indoor water park, and five hotels.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.