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Ohio unemployment rate drops to 6.1 percent

Columbus -- 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 said Friday 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.

-- Associated Press

Memorial for 11

serial-killing victims needs $250K

Cleveland -- Construction of a memorial at the Cleveland site where the remains of 11 women were found in a serial killer's home has been delayed because its funding is short by $250,000.

WOIO-TV reports that construction at Anthony Sowell's former property won't start as planned on Mother's Day.

Public and private funding would be used for the memorial at the site where Sowell's house once stood. The Mount Pleasant Ministerial Alliance has been working to create a memorial garden.

Sowell was found guilty in 2011 and sentenced to death. Many of his victims were drug addicts who were never reported missing.

Cost estimates for the project had initially ranged from $175,000 to $480,000. Proposed designs included a playground, stone walkways and a reflective pool.

-- Associated Press

Faced with

eviction, smoker plans to move

Milford, Ohio -- An 89-year-old southwest Ohio woman is preparing to move out of her home of the last 10 years because it has gone smoke-free.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Beulah "Billie" Toombs faces eviction after being deemed non-compliant by her apartment building's management. A smoker for seven decades or so, she thinks she should be allowed to do what she wants in her own home.

But more than a year ago, the management of the apartments for low-income seniors announced a smoke-free policy. Residents already there were allowed one year of smoking with some conditions. When the smoke-free policy kicked in this year, neighbors reported Toombs' smoking, and a regular apartment inspection this month found cigarette butts and ashtrays in her unit.

So Toombs is looking for a new home.

-- Associated Press

Toledo mom

convicted in infant son's death

Toledo -- A Toledo woman has been convicted of killing her 6-month-old son, who died two days after his skull was broken.

Jurors on April 18 found 26-year-old Amanda Bacon guilty of murder and child endangering. She was cleared of an aggravated murder charge.

Bacon testified during the trial that her roommate was the one who injured the baby. She also said that her roommate had forced her to prostitute herself.

But her roommate testified that he saw Bacon throw her son Avery to the floor in December 2012.

Prosecutors say she bashed the baby's head, fracturing his skull so severely that he died two days later at the University of Michigan hospital.

-- Associated Press

New roller coaster debuts at Kings

Island

Mason, Ohio -- 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" made its debut April 18 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.

-- Associated Press

Ohio teacher fired over alleged Obama comment

Cincinnati -- An Ohio teacher has been fired after allegedly telling a student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black commander-in-chief.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 to fire science teacher Gil Voigt on April 17.

Voigt has said that the student misquoted him. Voigt says what he actually told the teen was he doesn't think the nation can afford another president like Barack Obama, "whether he's black or white."

A state referee investigating Voigt found that explanation was "not credible."

The referee also cited other incidents over the years in which he says Voigt made other racial or insulting remarks.

Voigt had been on unpaid leave since December.

-- Associated Press

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