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Fireworks users are lawbreakers, but thanks to the new Ohio budget, they don't have to be liars: Michael K. McIntyre's Tipoff
Independence Day is actually Independence Week as revelers rarely wait until July 4th to celebrate the nation's freedom with a bang, specifically one that comes at the end of a fuse. Those bombs bursting in air? They're fireworks, likely purchased legally ...

AIR to replace PARCC test for math, language arts in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Beginning in 2016, Ohio students will take standardized tests administered by American Institutes for Research (AIR), according to Richard Ross, State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Ohio Board of Education. The decision to ...

State Rep Comes Out With Proposal For Ohio Pastor Protection Act
In his first go at being primary sponsor for any bill, the freshman Republican from Urbana asked colleagues if they’d be interested in co-sponsoring the act in an email Tuesday. At least his constituents now know what type of issue blows his skirt up ...

Ohio Using Highway Messages to Fight Rise in Traffic Deaths
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Facing an uptick in traffic deaths so far this year, Ohio officials will start using existing digital message boards along highways in an effort to make drivers think more about their behavior. The State Highway Patrol and the ...

Ohio women sentenced to six years for contaminating son's IV
An Ohio mother pleaded guilty on Wednesday to child endangerment and was sentenced to six years in prison for injecting feces into her son's intravenous bag at a Cincinnati hospital, prosecutors said. Candida Fluty, 35, a West Virginia resident, was seen ...

Ohio man narrowly avoids death after following GPS onto railroad tracks
An Ohio man was just seconds from death after he followed his GPS directions onto railroad tracks and his car was smashed into by an oncoming train. The 24-year-old incredibly managed to flee his trapped vehicle just before the speeding locomotive struck ...

Roetzel Partner Ronald S. Kopp Takes on Role of President-Elect of Ohio State Bar Association
Today Roetzel partner Ronald S. Kopp assumes the role of president-elect of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), having won election at the OSBA’s Annual Convention on May 1, 2015. Kopp will take office as OSBA president on July 1, 2016. This Smart ...

Ohio State Football: Can Buckeyes Produce the Top QB, RB and DE in 2016 Draft?
"Being a first-round draft pick means nothing to me without my education."The amount of talent on the Ohio State football team is absolutely staggering. The Buckeyes, fresh off of winning the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship, are ...

Ohio Dumps Common Core Test, But Keeps Core
Ohio has become the latest state to abandon its multi-state, Common Core-aligned standardized test following widespread complaints about technical glitches and feared federal involvement. The move came Tuesday, when Gov. John Kasich signed a new budget ...

Zea, The Ohio Girl Who Stood Up To A Homophobic Preacher, Is Everyone's New Hero
Sometimes, the loudest voice is the one that doesn't say a word -- just ask this little girl. Zea, a 7-year-old first grader, stood firm in the face of hate over the weekend at a celebration of the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Israelis protest against deadly Palestinian attacks
JERUSALEM (AP) — Several hundred Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem Wednesday evening, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to act against a recent surge in deadly attacks carried out by Palestinians.

Confederate emblems 'treason,' says head of rights group
Rep. Jim Evans, D-Jackson, gestures while saying Confederate symbols need to be removed from public spaces, including the Mississippi state flag, at a news conference at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Evans said the images are offensive and reminders of the state's racist and repressive past and is divisive to a large segment of the population. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The national president of a civil-rights group says Confederate symbols represent "treason" and should be removed from public objects, including the Mississippi state flag.

No more credit talks with Greece till after vote: Dijsselbloem
The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers agreed on Wednesday that there could be no further discussion of credit for Greece until after Sunday's referendum, the chairman of the group, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said after a conference call. Noting that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had suggested amendments to terms for an earlier bailout that expired on Tuesday, Dijsselbloem said in an online video statement: "At this point in time we simply took note of those proposals. "There will be no further talks in the coming days, nor at Eurogroup level, nor between the Greek authorities and the institutions on proposals or financial arrangements.

Greek government aims for deal with creditors on Monday: Varoufakis
The Greek government aims to secure deal with creditors on Monday, a day after a referendum in which Greeks will vote on whether to accept or reject a bailout offer made by lenders last week, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Wednesday. In an interview with Greek state television, Varoufakis said that Athens was willing to accept "strict" conditions of a new bailout package, if in exchange the sustainability of Greece's debt were guaranteed. "The Greek bank situation will return to normal soon after a deal is reached," Varoufakis said.

Germany appoints senior judge to inspect list of NSA targets
A National Security Agency (NSA) data gathering facility is seen in Bluffdale, south of Salt Lake CityGermany on Wednesday named a former senior judge as special investigator to inspect a list of targets that German intelligence tracked on behalf of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), causing a political uproar. Critics have accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's staff of giving the German BND foreign intelligence agency the green light to help the NSA spy on European firms and officials, triggering a scandal that has dented Merkel's popularity. Espionage is an especially sensitive issue in Germany because of abuses in the Nazi and Communist eras.

China and France say tie-up in emerging economies 'win-win'
China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang delivers a speech at the OECD in Paris on July 1, 2015China and France's plan to team up on projects in Africa and Asia is a win-win deal that will "serve the interests of all", Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said Wednesday. In recent years, China has muscled out Western nations from emerging economies, especially in Africa, but appears to be changing tack with the deal which was signed Tuesday and branded as "historic" by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

ECB keeps Greece on tight funding leash ahead of referendum
Euro zone central bank chiefs kept their existing cap on a funding lifeline to Greece in place on Wednesday, the ECB said, a move that keeps pressure on Greece as its lenders run out of cash. The Governing Council of decision makers has pared back support to a bare minimum ahead of a bailout referendum that could decide Greece's future in the euro, but decided against cutting it further, for fear that it would further destabilize the banks. As the central bankers gathered in Frankfurt, a defiant Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks to reject an international bailout deal, wrecking any prospect of repairing relations with Europe before the Sunday vote.

Exclusive: U.S., Venezuela launch quiet diplomacy to ease acrimony
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks to supporters during a rally against imperialism, in CaracasBy Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Venezuela have embarked on their most extensive dialogue in years in an attempt to improve their acrimonious relations, according to a senior U.S. administration official. The quiet diplomacy, the extent of which has not been previously reported, is a sign that U.S. detente with Communist Cuba may be helping to reshape another troubled Latin American relationship. The effort by Latin America's most ardently anti-Washington government and major U.S. oil supplier to improve relations comes as President Nicolas Maduro struggles with a decaying state-led economy that has been left more isolated by close ally Cuba's warming U.S. ties.

More than 100 dead as militants, Egyptian army clash in North Sinai
Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai as seen from the border of southern Gaza Strip with EgyptBy Yusri Mohamed and Ahmed Hassan ISMAILIA, Egypt/CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's army said on Wednesday more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed in simultaneous attacks on military checkpoints in North Sinai, in the most sustained fighting of its kind in years in the restive province. Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate, Sinai Province, had claimed responsibility, saying it attacked more than 15 security sites and carried out three suicide bombings. The militants' assault, a significant escalation in violence in the peninsula that lies between Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal, was the second high-profile attack in Egypt this week.

U.S., Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years
DeLaurentis talks to Medina in HavanaBy Daniel Trotta and Lesley Wroughton HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Cuba formally agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations on July 20, setting up a trip to Havana by John Kerry, who would become the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the country in 70 years. Sealed by an exchange of letters between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, the deal fulfills a pledge the former Cold War enemies made six months ago.

US stocks gain as Greece appears to be willing to negotiate
FILE - This July 15, 2013, file photo, shows a sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Hopes that a deal between Greece and its creditors could be cobbled together in time to avoid a messy Greek exit from the euro sent stock markets across Europe sharply higher on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved higher Wednesday on hopes that a deal between Greece and its creditors could be put together to prevent the country from exiting the euro. In deal news, Chubb Corp. surged after agreeing to be acquired by rival insurance company Ace Ltd. Investors also got some encouraging news on hiring and manufacturing a day before the government's monthly jobs report.

US customs officials recover idol looted from Indian temple
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. customs officials have recovered a bronze religious statue from the 11th or 12th century that they say was looted from a temple in India.

Ex-state senator pleads guilty to racketeering in California
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An ex-California state senator pleaded guilty Wednesday to a racketeering charge in an organized crime and public corruption case centered in San Francisco's Chinatown.

The Latest: Serena wins, reaches 3rd round at Wimbledon
Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Timea Babos of Hungary, during their singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday July 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON (AP) — The Latest from Wimbledon (all times local):

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