RISING SALT PRICES
Higher salt prices pinch some Ohio local budgets
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Higher salt prices are expected to put a strain on the budgets of some local governments in Ohio as they try to replenish salt supplies for the coming winter.
State officials say salt prices for the Ohio Department of Transportation's summer stock-up are nearly double what the state paid in some counties last year and are climbing higher for winter refills.
Department spokesman Steve Faulkner says the state budget will be able to handle the prices. But The Columbus Dispatch ((http://bit.ly/1u2FlbW) reports that counties, cities and townships that didn't buy enough this summer might have to pull money from other parts of their budgets.
The executive director of the County Engineers Association of Ohio says higher costs will affect future road and bridge projects in some counties.
Ohio farmers get more money to combat lake's algae
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The federal government is coming up with more money to help farmers cut down on the fertilizers that are feeding algae in Lake Erie.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced Friday that an additional $1 million will go into a program that will give grants to farmers who plant winter crops.
Researchers say winter crops help to stop fertilizers from washing into streams and rivers that flow into Lake Erie.
The move comes four weeks after Toledo's water supply was contaminated by toxins from algae on the lake.
Federal lawmakers this month announced that Ohio farmers would be able to apply for some of the $2 million available for cover crops. Farmers in 20 Ohio counties within the Lake Erie watershed are eligible for the grants.
Kasich detractors' options dwindle headed into fall
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) Libertarian and tea party foes are sidelined. Now his Democratic rival's campaign has disintegrated.
That's raising questions about what non-Kasich supporters will do on Election Day. They could skip over his race against embattled Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald, throw their support behind the longshot third-party ticket - or just stay home.
FitzGerald has seen an exodus of top campaign aides and is diverting significant campaign resources to Democrats' overall get-out-the-vote efforts after a series of political missteps, including revelations he lacked a permanent driver's license for a decade.
University of Cincinnati political scientist David Niven says FitzGerald's troubles will depress Democratic turnout.
As for conservatives who oppose Kasich and supported unsuccessful challenges, a tea party leader says they'll probably vote but skip the governor's race.
Ohio community colleges to get workforce funding
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A total $16 million will be allocated among six community colleges in Ohio to help strengthen workforce development education and training.
The grants announced recently by the Ohio Board of Regents are to be used to build and renovate facilities and purchase equipment to help students gain the education and skills needed for careers in regional industries.
The money was allocated through the state's capital construction budget.
State officials say 18 proposals were submitted for funding and were evaluated to determine which had the most impact for students and for Ohio's economy.
The grants range from $471,000 to $5 million. Schools include Lorain County Community College, Rhodes State Community College and North Central State College. Lakeland Community College, Stark State College and Clark State College also are getting grants.
NATIONAL GUARD-TRAINING POSTPONED
Ohio Army Guard postpones drills to save money
CINCINNATI (AP) - The Ohio Army National Guard is postponing most of its planned training in early September because of federal budget issues.
Ohio Guard leader Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst made the announcement Friday evening in videos posted on the Guard's website and on social media. She says drills are being rescheduled to the end of the month for now in hopes of congressional action on funding.
She says guards across the country are facing cutbacks because of a federal budget shortfall. The Army National Guards of Hawaii and Guam also said Friday they are postponing upcoming drills.
There was no immediate response Saturday to messages left seeking comment from the Ohio National Guard and the Pentagon.
Ashenhurst says the training being rescheduled could be canceled outright if funding doesn't become available.
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