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BC-OH--Ohio News Digest 2 pm, OH

March 20, 2019

Good afternoon. Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Ohio. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Columbus bureau at 614-885-2727 or APColumbus@ap.org. Lisa Cornwell is on the desk. Interim AP Ohio news editor Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached at 800-762-4841 or 614-885-2727 or awelsh@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

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UPCOMING THURSDAY:

REDRAWING AMERICA-OHIO

COLUMBUS _ A political map-making process controlled by Ohio Republicans proved nearly impenetrable to Democrats’ efforts in 2018, an Associated Press analysis has found, delivering results statistically skewed toward the GOP even in the face of an upswing in Democratic votes. By Julie Carr Smyth. UPCOMING: 550 words by 8 a.m. EDT. AP Photo planned.

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TOP STORIES:

DEATH PENALTY-OHIO

COLUMBUS _ Ohio’s attorney general has chastised a federal magistrate judge over remarks he made about pausing executions in the state. At issue is a written comment by Magistrate Judge Michael Merz calling execution delays ordered by Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine “excellent public policy.” Republican Attorney General Dave Yost says Merz’ remarks were improper. Yost said in a Monday court filing that judges aren’t supposed to use their courts as “a bully pulpit” to influence state policy. By Andrew Welsh-Huggins. SENT: 500 words, photo.

TRUMP-OHIO

WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Ohio marks his first trip to the state since the midterm election campaign last year, when the state was a rare bright spot for Republicans in the upper Midwest. Trump is set to visit Ohio on Wednesday for a speech at the Lima Army Tank plant and then for a fundraiser in Canton. Trump is expected to make similar trips throughout the year as he seeks to boost enthusiasm to counter an energized Democratic base. By Zeke Miller. SENT: 900 words. UPCOMING: Developing, with updates from Trump tour of Lima plant scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. followed by speech at plant set for 2:50. EDT, then roundtable with supporters in Canton at 6 p.m. With AP Photos, AP video.

FORD-FACTORY INVESTMENT

DETROIT _ Ford Motor Co. is repackaging a previously announced $900 million manufacturing investment in the Detroit area, boosting the number of jobs added from 850 to 900. The announcement for the plant in suburban Flat Rock, Michigan, comes after a string of venomous tweets by President Donald Trump condemning crosstown rival General Motors for shutting down its small-car factory in Lordstown, Ohio. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 540 words, photos.

VICE SQUAD INVESTIGATED

COLUMBUS _ The prosecutor for Ohio’s capital city has dismissed 18 cases charging women with prostitution-related offenses that were brought by an officer now under federal indictment. The office of Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said Wednesday that the 18 cases involve pending charges from arrests by former police vice officer Andrew Mitchell. Klein’s office is also reviewing convictions of cases involving Mitchell dating back through his three-decade career as an officer. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 3 p.m.

BRIEFS:

_ GAS TAX-OHIO: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is continuing his push-back against lawmakers’ attempts to shrink his proposed gas tax, saying the current House version “doesn’t cut it.”

_ XGR--SCHOOL TAKEOVERS-OHIO: Some lawmakers propose reversing a law that shifted operational control of poor-performing Ohio school districts to state-appointed panels and unelected CEOs instead of locally elected boards.

_ LOLLIPOP LAWSUIT: A federal judge is siding with the Bryan, Ohio-based makers of Dum-Dums lollipops in its lawsuit against a rival candy maker.

_ OHIO DEMOCRATS-PELOSI: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will headline an Ohio Democratic Party fundraising dinner in Columbus.

_ CANDIDACY-WRONG FORMS: Ohio’s secretary of state says a Strongsville man can run for city council even though he filed the wrong paperwork with the county board of elections.

_ NEXSTAR-TV STATIONS: Nexstar is selling 19 television stations for $1.32 billion as part of its buyout deal with Tribune Media, with eight of those stations being sold to Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co.

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SPORTS:

BBA--INDIANS-PREVIEW

CLEVELAND _ Once again, the Cleveland Indians are predicted to win the AL Central. That’s no longer good enough. The Indians have their sights set on their first World Series title since 1948, but to get it they’ll have to replenish some power lost during the offseason and get by league powers Houston, New York and Boston. By Tom Withers. SENT: 890 words, photos.

BBN--REDS-CASTILLO

GOODYEAR, Ariz. _ Luis Castillo has been picked to start on opening day for the Cincinnati Reds. Rookie manager David Bell made the announcement Tuesday, saying Castillo will get the ball March 28 at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Castillo was 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA in 31 starts for the last-place Reds a year ago. By Gary Schatz. SENT: 260 words, photos.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to APColumbus@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.