Associated Press

The Ohio Parole Board says no mercy should be shown toward a condemned inmate set to die next month for killing a woman who was stabbed more than 100 times, then had her hands cut off.

The eight-member board voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that Governor John Kasich deny clemency to 37-year-old Brett Hartman, whose execution is scheduled for August 16th.

Regional banking company Fifth Third Bancorp says its second-quarter earnings more than doubled as credit trends continued to improve.

The Cincinnati-based company reports net income of $328 million for April, May and June. That compares with earnings of $130 million in the same period a year ago. Some analysts expect earnings-per-share of 28 cents.

Fifth Third says it saw growth in mortgage banking, credit card and corporate banking revenue. They operate more than 1,300 banking centers in 12 states.

At least one state lawmaker isn't ready to toast plans for a new bar serving alcohol in the Ohio Statehouse.

Republican Rep. Rex Damschroder says the decision by the board overseeing the state Capitol building "sends a very negative message." The lawmaker from Fremont in northwest Ohio tells the board in a letter that he's not aware of any other U.S. statehouse with a fully operational bar.

Ohio Statehouse managers said recently that the full-service bar would open next month within an existing cafe.

Ohio home sales jumped about 10 percent in June compared to May, even as the nation's housing market continued its worst showing since the housing bust.

The Ohio Association of Realtors said Wednesday that just over 10,000 new and existing single-family homes and condos were sold in the state last month.

President Meg Hudson says the association is optimistic that the Ohio market is poised to stabilize following a tumultuous past few years.

June's average home sale price in Ohio was over 142 thousand dollars which is a 7.5 percent increase over the May average.

A state appeals court has revived a defamation lawsuit against Ohio University brought by a former professor blamed in a plagiarism investigation.

A university report said Bhavin Mehta and other mechanical engineering professors failed to be alert to student copying or ignored plagiarism.

Despite passing a budget without tax increases and cutting a lucrative deal with casino operators, Gov. John Kasich's approval ratings haven't moved much.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found 50 percent of registered voters disapprove of the governor, virtually unchanged from May. Perhaps having less to do with the Governor - Almost a third said they are "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the state.

The struggling U.S. Postal Service says it may combine some of its larger mail sorting centers in Ohio.

The Vindicator newspaper reports the post office will study a possible transfer of its Youngstown mail processing and distribution to facilities in Akron or Cleveland.

The postal service says the consolidation would be a response to a drop in mail volume, due to the economy, and the use of email.

This week's stifling heat across Ohio is about to get hotter.

Highs in the low to mid-90s are in Wednesday's forecast throughout the state, with even more sizzling temperatures to come.

The National Weather Service looks for Cincinnati and Columbus to reach 99 degrees on Thursday, while Toledo could soar to 105.

Counties in the Midwest and South that have a high number of autoworkers have seen a jump in economic stress levels, according to an Associated Press monthly analysis.

But Midwestern states also have seen the largest decreases in economic stress since the recession ended. That's primarily because of growth in manufacturing. Ohio has added 76 hundred factory jobs in the past year.

The AP's Stress index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score signifies more economic stress.

The state is setting up a monitoring system at the polluted Grand Lake St. Marys that officials say will help battle the algae that's fouling the water. Four water monitoring stations have been set up at the lake between Dayton and Toledo.

It's the state's largest inland lake and it has been plagued by algae in recent years, prompting warnings against swimming and boating last summer.

In June, the state began spraying the lake with about 3 million gallons of alum in hopes the chemical can neutralize phosphorous in the water that feeds the blue-green algae.

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