Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is ready to announce the recommendations of a committee formed to evaluate school safety in the wake of last year's school shootings in Connecticut and in Chardon in northeast Ohio.

The task force includes educators and police and fire officials ordered to review ways to improve school safety plans.

The plans are schools' responses to a variety of emergencies, from active shooters to fires, accidents, severe weather or medical emergencies.

A proposed constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and certain uses of hemp has cleared Ohio's ballot board.

The panel's approval Thursday sends the issue into its signature-gathering phase, with a 2014 vote most likely. The deadline for this fall's ballot is July 6.

Proponents of the Ohio Cannibus Rights Amendment must first collect roughly 385,000 signatures in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties to get the issue before voters. Three previous marijuana-related issues have been cleared by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine since 2011 but stalled.

The state of Ohio has received a $2.1 million federal grant to improve criminal background checks for those home health care workers who directly serve the disabled and elderly.

The money means more thorough reviews for more than 100,000 workers who provide direct care to patients in Medicaid- and Medicare-funded settings.

Gov. John Kasich's administration says Ohio also will provide $700,000 in state funds to bolster background checks.

School safety was the top topic for the state board of education, which hoped to learn about how to make buildings, staff and students more secure. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, one idea that’s been making the rounds isn't likely to move forward

“Twenty-two seconds from the time the shooter shot the first bullet till the time he exited the school building. Twenty-two seconds.”

Most violent crimes in Ohio are committed by people who have at least two felony convictions. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on a bill coming this week that seeks to cut down on gun-related crimes by locking up those people.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that his office is awarding $60,000 in grant funds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio (NAMI Ohio). 

According to the Attorney General’s office, the grant money will fund Crisis Intervention Team or (CIT) training. It’s a 40-hour course educating law enforcement officers about handling incidents involving people with mental illness. Law enforcement officers will receive education about mental health disorders, the local mental health system, and some practical techniques for de-escalating crises.

A new report says Ohio should reduce the number of times a child enters and exits the foster care system and give foster parents more input into court proceedings involving the children in their care.

The Ohio Foster Care Advisory Group also recommends improving the system governing court-appointed lawyers who look out for foster children's interests.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday some of the changes will involve action by the Ohio Supreme Court and others need new legislation.

An annual report that looks at Ohio's capital punishment system says 128 inmates sentenced to death over the past three decades have avoided their sentence through court action, commutations or dying of natural causes.

The report by Attorney General Mike DeWine says the state sentenced a total of 316 inmates to death from 1981, when Ohio's current death penalty law was enacted, through 2012.

Eighteen inmates have been spared by Ohio governors, 24 died in prison and eight were found ineligible for execution because they are mentally disabled.

Ohio's attorney general says he'll provide grant money for new regional sexual assault coordinators to oversee direct and comprehensive services for victims of sexual assault.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said Wednesday a recently completed survey found that 52 of Ohio's 88 counties do not offer such services. The attorney general says it is crucial that adequate services are available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

The five year, $1.5 million project focuses in its first year on expanding services to Crawford, Meigs, Perry and Wyandot counties.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers about a scam that exploits his office's work as a collection agency for state departments.

DeWine says the scam is not new but his office has noticed an increase in such reports over the past few months.

DeWine says scammers posing as Attorney General's employees or state Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents try to trick consumers over the phone into providing personal information or payments for bogus debts. Scammers often demand that people pay the debt immediately using prepaid money cards or face arrest.

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