Governor John Kasich has signed an executive order he says will help farmers affected financially by Ohio's recent drought conditions.
The order signed Wednesday instructs state agencies to help farmers seeking federal assistance on loans. That includes emergency low-interest loans for crop losses, relief payments for non-insurable losses and temporary deferral payments on federal loans.
The order also gives farmers permission to cut hay for livestock from land set aside for conservation.
Ohio officials say more than 200,000 residents around the state are still without power days after two weekend thunderstorms left many in the dark.
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency released new figures Wednesday afternoon that add several thousand customers from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives to the tally. The bulk of the outages still belong to customers of American Electric Power.
Dayton Power & Light is reporting just a handful of outages in the listening area now and plan to have it all back online by this evening.
Ohio's answer to Punxsutawney Phil is predicting a shorter winter - not that there's been much winter to speak of.
WMRN radio reports that Ohio groundhog Buckeye Chuck failed to see his shadow at dawn on Thursday under overcast skies in the central Ohio city of Marion. According to legend, no shadow means spring will arrive early.
Winter has barely made an appearance in Ohio. Temperatures have been warmer than normal and most spots have seen much less snow than usual.
Forecasters say Ohio is in for a snowy and icy start to the weekend.
Most of the state is under a winter weather advisory beginning Friday afternoon and continuing into late morning on Saturday. Up to 6 inches of snow is expected in northern Ohio, while the southern half of the state is likely to receive snow and freezing rain.