This Hour: Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

This Hour: Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment

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Ohio to mail voters absentee ballot application

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's elections chief says applications for absentee ballots will be mailed Friday to all registered voters in the state.

Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) says more than 6 million registered voters should receive the applications within a few days. Another round of applications will be sent in early October to those who register or update their information after Aug. 1.

Husted's office estimates this year's mailings will cost $1 million, which will be paid for with federal funding from the Help America Vote Act.

Voters who return the application will receive their absentee ballot around Oct. 7, when early voting begins.

During the last presidential election, 6.9 million residents received applications from the state. About 1.3 million Ohioans voted by mail, while more than 600,000 voted early in person.


Family encouraged by meeting on Wal-Mart shooting

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) - The attorney for the parents of a man fatally shot by police at an Ohio Wal-Mart say they were encouraged by their meeting with a federal prosecutor about the investigation.

John Crawford III was shot Aug. 5 in Beavercreek. Officers said he didn't respond to orders to drop an air rifle. His family says the shooting wasn't justified. Attorney Michael Wright and Crawford's parents met Thursday with U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart to ask federal authorities to handle the investigation.

Wright says Stewart assured them the Justice Department is monitoring and assisting Ohio's investigation and will independently determine the merits of any potential federal prosecution. But Wright says the family still hopes federal authorities will take over the state's investigation.

A spokesman confirmed federal authorities are closely monitoring the situation.


Rangers find body in river at Ohio park

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say two park rangers searching for a missing Ohio woman at Cuyahoga Valley National Park have found a body in the river.

The body was found around 6 p.m. Thursday north of Highland Road Bridge in Brecksville. The rangers were conducting their daily search for 30-year-old Hillary Sharma of Eastlake.

Sharma was last seen Aug. 19. Her car was found around midnight Aug. 21 in the parking lot at the park's main visitor center.

Identification of the body and the cause of death will be determined by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.


Feds want Ohio ex-deputy treasurer sentenced

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a former Ohio deputy treasurer facing 15 years in prison for bribery and conspiracy in the U.S. and who fled to Pakistan should be sentenced in absentia.

The government says Amer Ahmad (ah-MEER' ah-MED') had a forged Mexican passport, a fraudulent Pakistani birth certificate, a false Pakistani visa and $175,000 when he was arrested in Pakistan in April.

Prosecutors said in a court filing Thursday that Ahmad fled to Pakistan, where he's being held on Pakistani immigration violations, to avoid U.S. prison time.

The 39-year-old Ahmad worked for two Ohio treasurers, Democrats Richard Cordray and Kevin Boyce, and later as comptroller under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Ahmad pleaded guilty last year to federal charges in an alleged kickback scheme at the Ohio state treasurer's office.


Ohio justice pushes annual pay raises for judges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court is promoting annual cost-of-living increases for judges as a way of keeping judges on the bench and making the profession attractive to new candidates.

Maureen O'Connor says choosing a career in public service shouldn't mean being saddled with a stagnant salary, with judges now going without a raise since 2008.

O'Connor said Thursday in her annual state of the judiciary speech that modest, annual cost-of-living increases that keep pace with inflation aren't too much to ask.

O'Connor says that without competitive salaries sitting judges will move to private practice and potential judges won't ever consider the job.

Ohio law determines elected officials' pay, which can only be increased by lawmakers.


Resolution to oppose nuke waste near Lake Huron

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - A member of Congress from Michigan says he'll sponsor a resolution opposing a Canadian power company's plan to bury waste from nuclear plants less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Democratic Rep. Dale Kildee announced his plan Thursday during a boat trip on Saginaw Bay. His district includes a section of the lake's shoreline.

The nonbinding resolution will urge President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to take up the matter with the Canadian government.

Ontario Power Generation wants to entomb radioactive waste from in rock chambers 2,230 feet below the earth's surface near Kincardine, Ontario.

The company says the facility would be safe and wouldn't leak. Opponents say there's no way to guarantee that for the thousands of years that the waste would remain radioactive.


Toledo zoo welcomes 100-year-old tortoise

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The newest resident of the Toledo Zoo is a 100-year-old dome-shelled Galapagos tortoise that weighs in at 440 pounds.

The tortoise, named Emerson, arrived at the zoo Wednesday night from the San Diego Zoo. He was escorted by Toledo Zoo personnel on his flight to Detroit before being driven to Toledo and uncrated inside a heated shed.

Handlers welcomed him with carrot and sweet potato treats and a neck rub.

The (Toledo) Blade reports Emerson is the zoo's first Galapagos tortoise since 1983 when his predecessor, Galopy, was sent to San Diego at the recommendation of the Galapagos Tortoise Species Survival Plan.

Galopy was also a wild-born tortoise and was the much-beloved face of the Toledo Zoo for 32 years.


Ohio prisons worker receives national award

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A national prisons organization has given an inaugural managing award to a long-time Ohio corrections official.

Andrew Albright, chief of Ohio's Bureau of Policy and Operational Compliance, is the first recipient of the national accreditation manager of the year award.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on Thursday announced the honor, given to Albright last week by the American Correctional Association.

The 41-year-old Albright was honored for his work over several years ensuring Ohio's entire correctional system complied with hundreds of standards and overseeing successful reaccreditation audits.

Albright, a prisons employee for 14 years, has also led the agency's efforts to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.


Manziel appears as aerobics instructor in TV ad

CLEVELAND (AP) - Wearing spandex leggings, a headband and working out a class of exercising women as if he were Richard Simmons. No, we've ever seen Johnny Football like this.

He's Johnny JamBoogie.

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel channels his inner aerobics instructor in a new TV commercial for Snickers, one of the products he endorses. In the 30-second spot set to debut Thursday night, Manziel is teaching the class when a Cleveland player tells him he's not acting like himself.

Once he bites into the candy bar, he's back to being Manziel, wearing his No. 2 jersey.

Manziel said it was a "thrill" to star in the commercial and hopes "people have as much fun watching the ad as we did filming it."

Although the 21-year-old is Cleveland's backup, he's already one of the league's most popular players.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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