The state of Ohio is turning 209 years old, and is celebrating with a Statehouse exhibit that examines the debate over statehood between two founding fathers.
Ohio's birthday today marks the day when it became the country's 17th state on March 1, 1803.
Statehood came a year after President Thomas Jefferson approved a law allowing residents to form a constitutional convention and start the process toward becoming a state.
A report says local Ohio governments pay out millions of dollars each year to retiring employees for accrued sick leave and vacation time that was never taken.
Elected officials say the payouts are troubling but likely can't be eliminated, while public employees say they've earned the money and saved taxpayers by not taking time off work.
The Middletown Journal reports local governments paid out more than $5 million to departing employees, including $1.7 million in Butler County and more than $1 million in Warren County.
The state says it's disappointed by results of bidding for a closed juvenile detention center, as the high bid of $284,000 is millions less than the facility's reported value of $11.5 million.
County records show the 36 acres around the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Franklin Furnace are worth more than $800,000 alone.
The Columbus Dispatch reports Thursday that the high bid came from MGNR Properties of North Ridgeville.
The state also received a second bid of just $118,000 from National Scrap Corp. of South Bloomfield.
An interview with Benjamin Whitmer about "Satan is Real - the Ballad of the Louvin Brothers" (Igniter Books) by Charlie Louvin with Benjamin Whitmer.
An Ohio congressman says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will speak at a Saturday evening dinner that also features fellow GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
Republican Rep. Bob Latta says some 750 people are expected at the sold-out March 3 Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner for his 5th House District. It's at Bowling Green State University's student union.
Latta's office said all GOP candidates have been invited, while Santorum had accepted earlier.
Anti-tax-hikes activist Grover Norquist is also scheduled to speak.
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