State briefs

Gov. signs bill to ban pure caffeine

COLUMBUS (AP) — Pure powdered caffeine won’t be legally sold in Ohio under legislation signed by Gov. John Kasich.

The measure signed into law by Kasich Thursday also prohibits sales of powdered alcohol.

Passage of the bill follows a northeast Ohio teen’s overdose death from caffeine powder last year. Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner was just days from graduating high school when his brother found him unresponsive in the family’s home in LaGrange, southwest of Cleveland, on May 27, 2014.

The proposal would make it a misdemeanor offense to sell products consisting solely or primarily of caffeine that’s manufactured into a crystalline, liquid or powdered form.

Representatives inserted the ban on powdered alcohol into the bill. The powdery substance can be added to beverages to make alcoholic drinks.

Ex-homeless man: I’m running for president

COLUMBUS — A once-homeless Ohio man whose smooth radio voice made him an Internet sensation says he’s running for president as an independent.

Ted Williams was propelled into the spotlight in 2011 after he appeared in a video by The Columbus Dispatch panhandling on a highway ramp with a sign advertising his golden voice. The video’s millions of views led to national television appearances and earned Williams numerous voice-over jobs.

Williams announced his plans this week on Scott Spears’ “Now” radio program on WWGH-FM in Marion.

Williams says he hasn’t established a campaign staff and won’t elaborate on fundraising efforts. He says he plans to focus on fair housing, veterans’ issues, jobs and improving schools.

He says he’s recently been appearing at corporate events and public speaking engagements.

Senate approves rape case prosecution extension

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate has approved a bill that would extend the time period for prosecuting rape and sexual battery to 25 years after the crime.

The bill passed by the Senate Thursday 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 Ohio House approved a similar bill last month.

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.

House passes student meningitis immunization bill

COLUMBUS — Ohio students would have to be immunized against meningitis under a bill passed by the Legislature.

The House approved it Thursday, sending it to the governor.

If signed into law, it would require students to be immunized against meningococcal disease once they reach a certain age, which would be determined by the Ohio Department of Health. The requirement would start in the 2016-17 school year.

With few exceptions, the proposal would apply to students at public and nonpublic schools that are subject to state standards. Students could be exempt for medical or religious reasons.

The Senate already approved the proposal sponsored by Republican Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay. Hite has said his family learned how quickly meningitis can affect young people when his niece died hours after contracting the disease.