State briefs


Kasich presidential effort gets website, offers tickets

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. John Kasich is ramping up for the launch of his 2016 presidential bid with a website offering free tickets to the July 21 event.

Kasich, a second-term Republican and former congressman, has decided to jump into the crowded GOP field after spending the year testing his scrappy political style and pragmatic policy positions around the country. He’s considered more moderate than some contenders, but remains largely unknown among voters.

Kasich ran once before, briefly seeking the 2000 nomination before George W. Bush emerged as the front runner. That bid followed Kasich’s successful effort to balance the federal budget as House budget chairman.

Doors open to his announcement at 9:30 a.m. It’s at Ohio State University’s student union. About 500 tickets have been claimed so far at www.JohnKasich.com.

Teen gets 25-to-life in sledgehammer slayings

AKRON — A judge in Akron has sentenced a 16-year-old boy to 25 years to life in adult prison as an accomplice in the sledgehammer slayings of a prominent attorney and his wife in April 2013.

Jamall Vaughn was 14 when he walked eight miles with 18-year-old Shawn Ford from Akron to the New Franklin home of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert, where he watched Ford beat the couple to death with a sledgehammer. The same judge gave Ford a death sentence Monday.

Vaughn pleaded guilty in February to aggravated murder and aggravated robbery charges. He was accused of inflicting superficial knife wounds on Jeffrey Schobert’s back after Ford attacked him.

Vaughn’s attorney on Tuesday called the case tragic. He said Vaughn had no history of violence and had fallen under Ford’s control.

Marijuana legalization backers deliver signatures in Ohio

COLUMBUS — A campaign to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use in Ohio began delivering hundreds of thousands of petition signatures in its effort to get the issue before voters.

Organizers for ResponsibleOhio said Tuesday they were submitting more than 695,000 signatures to Secretary of State Jon Husted. That’s more than the roughly 306,000 needed to qualify for November’s ballot. Husted’s office will review the signatures and make the determination.

The amendment would allow adults 21 and over to buy marijuana and establish a network of 10 authorized growing locations around the state.

State lawmakers were scrambling Tuesday to finalize a separate ballot issue that would block such use of the Constitution for private economic benefit. Husted believes the legislative measure could trump the legalization question if both pass.

Bill extending rape case prosecution heads to governor

COLUMBUS — A bill extending the time period for prosecuting rape and sexual battery to 25 years after the crime is headed to the desk of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik).

The bill also provides an additional five years for prosecution from the time a potential suspect is identified through DNA testing.

The legislation comes as the Attorney General’s Office continues to plow through a backlog of untested rape kits, with numerous cases of DNA matches in a criminal database.

The House passed the bill Tuesday after agreeing to minor changes by the Senate.

Opponents have told lawmakers they believe the bill is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of offenders — those whose cases involve DNA evidence, and those whose cases don’t.

Bill extending rape case prosecution heads to governor

COLUMBUS — A bill extending the time period for prosecuting rape and sexual battery to 25 years after the crime is headed to the desk of Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

The bill also provides an additional five years for prosecution from the time a potential suspect is identified through DNA testing.

The legislation comes as the Attorney General’s Office continues to plow through a backlog of untested rape kits, with numerous cases of DNA matches in a criminal database.

The House passed the bill Tuesday after agreeing to minor changes by the Senate.

Opponents have told lawmakers they believe the bill is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of offenders — those whose cases involve DNA evidence, and those whose cases don’t.