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Morning Headlines: After Record Year, Ohio Gun Permits Drop; Democrats Unveil Redistricting Plan

Ohio gun laws

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, March 2:

  • Ohio gun permits decreased in 2017 after record year;
  • Bipartisan bill protecting victims of dating violence clears statehouse;
  • Democrats propose plan to make redistricting more transparent;
  • Nine Ohioans accused of distributing fentanyl, carfentanyl;
  • Jackson Middle School student planned to shoot others, changed his mind;
  • Kasich lays out gun policy positions;
  • Stark State College takes over Akron nursing school;

Ohio gun permits decreased in 2017 after record year
Ohio's top prosecutor says more than 131,000 residents were issued licenses last year to carry concealed weapons. Attorney General Mike DeWine says there were about 77,000 new permits issued and 54,000 renewals. The Dayton Daily Newsreports the total amount of permits issued in 2017 was down 34 percent compared to the record number of 158,000 in 2016. Last year's numbers were also below the five-year average. Permit holders can bring their weapons to bars and restaurants, day care centers and college campuses where guns are allowed.

Bipartisan bill protecting victims of dating violence clears statehouse
A bipartisan bill allowing victims of dating violence to seek protective orders against alleged perpetrators is on its way to  Gov. John Kasich. The bill updates current law that only recognizes violence between spouses, family members, those living together or family members for the purpose of seeking protective orders. Ohio and Georgia remain the only states that don't cover victims of dating violence under domestic violence laws. The proposal gives victims of dating violence access to domestic violence shelters and requires the Ohio Attorney General's Office to include information about the issue in its victim's bill of rights pamphlet.

Democrats propose plan to make redistricting more transparent
Two Democrats seeking statewide office in Ohio are pitching a plan they say would guarantee Ohio's redistricting process for congressional districts is more transparent to the public. Attorney General candidate Steve Dettelbach and Secretary of State candidate Kathleen Clyde planned to release their "Keep It Open, Keep It Honest" proposal today. It would require release of regular public reports and draft maps closer to real time, rather than at the end. Legislation that Clyde, a state representative, is developing will mandate regular public briefings, make all related records public and prohibit participants in the process from structuring their interactions to intentionally skirt Ohio open meetings laws.

Nine Ohioans accused of distributing fentanyl, carfentanyl
A group of nine Northeast Ohioans is accused of distributing hundreds of grams of deadly synthetic opiates from China. Investigators say the group distributed more than 400 grams of fentanyl and nearly 10 grams of carfentanil over the last two years. The defendants also created several front business to launder the drug money, including a fake remodeling business. Charges in the 17-count federal indictment include conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. Initial court appearances have not been scheduled.

Jackson Middle School student planned to shoot others, changed his mind
A Stark County seventh-grader who shot and killed himself inside a Jackson Middle School restroom last week was planning to shoot others at the school before changing his mind at the last second. Police on Thursday said Keith Simons, 13, came out of the bathroom holding a semi-automatic rifle just before classes began and then abruptly went back inside and shot himself in the head. Investigators found messages on his cellphone that showed the teen had been planning an attack for at least a week. Police said Simons rode a bus to school and concealed the gun under his clothes. He also had a backpack with extra ammunition, bottle rockets and batteries.

Kasich lays out gun policy positions
Gov. John Kasich on Thursday advocated a "red flag" law for Ohio, a ban on armor-piercing ammunition and other gun policy positions he says represent political consensus in a bellwether state that could fly nationally. The Republican governor proposed six changes he wants to see Ohio make related to guns and background checks. They include forcing stricter compliance deadlines and penalties around entering data into the national background check system; prohibiting those under domestic violence protection orders from buying or possessing firearms; and clarifying Ohio's prohibition on so-called "strawman" third-party gun purchases. Kasich's recommendations emerged from a politically diverse advisory panel the governor assembled after Las Vegas saw the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in October.

Stark State College takes over Akron nursing school
Stark State College is taking over the Akron School of Practical Nursing. The Beacon Journal reports the nursing school’s future was uncertain as Akron Public Schools focused on K-12 students and had maintenance issues with the West Akron building. The school will become part of Stark State’s STNA and licensed practical nurse programs. Stark State will handle all new registrations beginning July 1.

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