WYSO

Associated Press

General Electric and the University of Dayton have agreed to a leasing deal.

Dayton City leaders hope that a GE plant will help to attract other new high-tech businesses. Officials have estimated as many as 200 jobs could be created. City Commissioners are said to have unanimously approved the deal.

GE's new facility will be in an existing building on land that UD purchased from NCR. Officials said GE will not have to pay property tax for the first 15 years of their lease.

Construction is expected to begin in a month and to open in 2013

The Ohio Board of Education has named its interim superintendent as state superintendent, after two of the three finalists for the job stepped aside.

Stan Heffner, who was not one of the finalists, was appointed Tuesday. His selection means the board rejected remaining finalist Robert Schiller, a former state superintendent in Michigan and Illinois who works as a Florida education consultant.

Finalist Robert Sommers, Gov. John Kasich's education adviser, withdrew as a candidate in June. Reynoldsburg schools Superintendent Stephen Dackin withdrew on Sunday.

A meeting between RG Properties and Miami Township trustees has resulted in a deal to construct a $9 million retail building at Lyons Road and Ohio 741.

Last night, founder of RG Properties, Randy Gunlock, entered into an executive session with the township officials after they discussed passing a resolution for the construction.

Governor John Kasich today is expected to announce the line-up of Ohio's new semi-private job creation panel.

JobsOhio will be charged with the economic growth role formerly played by the Ohio Department of Development. Proceeds from state liquor sales are being used as start-up money.

Spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle says a portion of the two-hour meeting will be devoted to Kasich appointing the board's nine members. Then the panel will get to work.

Kasich's jobs creation advisor Mark Kvamme is among those who could be named.

While Ohio reports the nation's largest decline in new applications for unemployment benefits, the government says nationwide numbers are mostly unchanged.

That's seen as evidence that the struggling economy isn't generating many jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor says Ohio claims dropped by nearly 2,800 in the week ending June 18. No reason was given for the decline, which was larger than in any other state.

The department's national numbers are more recent and show benefit applications dropped by 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 428,000.

Ohio's budget director Tim Keen told a budget compromise committee Wednesday that tax revenues were up $1 billion over estimates for the fiscal year that ends this month and $421 million for the next two-year budget cycle. The current-year boost comes from stronger income tax filings, as the state looks to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.

State parks and other lands in Ohio will be opened to oil and gas drilling under a bill that has passed the state Senate on Wednesday.

The Senate voted 22-10 on the legislation that sets up a commission to oversee oil and gas leasing. It also requires state agencies to create property inventories that could yield potential drilling sites.

The House has passed the bill, but would have to agree to the Senate's changes before it could go to the governor's desk.

An Ohio State trustee says the university's governing board should be ready to address the school's ongoing football scandal next week.

Members of the 17-person board of trustees, which oversees most Ohio State actions, has consistently refused to comment on the NCAA investigation that led to coach Jim Tressel's forced resignation on May 30.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is requesting an investigation into whether banks overcharged four of Ohio's five pension funds and the state's injured worker insurance fund for foreign currency services.

In a letter Tuesday to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Mandel says banks may have manipulated exchange rates on foreign investments over the past dozen years, costing Ohio pensioners and businesses tens of millions of dollars.

Ohio's governor-elect has put more school calamity days on his agenda, after some lobbying that started at home.

Republican John Kasich says his 10-year-old daughter Reese brought up the issue, and he also has heard complaints from other children and parents about the cutback to three calamity days last year. Democratic Governor Ted Strickland reduced the "snow days" from five as a way to ensure more classroom time for Ohio's students.

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