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

February 26, 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 is on the desk and 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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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TOP STORIES:

DEATH PENALTY-OHIO

COLUMBUS _ Statements by Gov. Mike DeWine suggest Ohio could go years without another execution. The Republican governor has ordered the prisons system to come up with a new lethal drug protocol after a federal judge’s scathing critique of the first drug in Ohio’s method. DeWine said Ohio “certainly could have no executions” during that search and the court challenges that would follow any new system. By Andrew Welsh-Huggins. SENT: 620 words, photos.

SCHOOL TAKEOVERS-OHIO

COLUMBUS _ The state is arguing that lawmakers didn’t violate the Ohio Constitution or a procedural rule when they passed the divisive House Bill 70, which shifted control of poor-performing school districts. In a new filing with the Ohio Supreme Court, the state denied the Youngstown school board’s claims that the law unconstitutionally stripped school boards’ authority and broke the “Three Reading Rule” on repeated consideration of legislation. By Kantele Franko. SENT: 360 words.

GM PLANT CLOSINGS-LAWSUIT

YOUNGSTOWN _ The United Auto Workers has sued General Motors in federal court to stop the closing of plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland, claiming the company is forbidden from idling plants under its current contract. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Youngstown. The plants at which the UAW is trying to prevent closures are in Lordstown, Ohio; White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 280 words by 2:30 p.m.

EARNS-MACY’S

NEW YORK _ Macy’s announces a multiyear money saving restructuring program that the Cincinnati-based department store chain says will shrink its management structure and make the retailer more nimble in a fiercely competitive environment. The plan, unveiled Tuesday, would result in annual cost savings of $100 million and include the elimination of 100 vice president positions. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 610 words, photos.

BRIEFS:

_ HOSPITAL DEATHS-DOCTOR: Officials will scrutinize whether two Columbus-area hospitals meet all conditions for participating in Medicare following findings that a now-fired doctor ordered possibly fatal doses of powerful painkillers for dozens of patients.

_ OPIOID CRISIS-LAWSUITS: The federal judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits filed against manufacturers and distributors of opioid drugs is changing the lineup for the first “bellwether” trial in Cleveland.

_NURSING HOME-WORKERS CHARGED: The family of a patient who died is suing a care facility in Columbus where alleged neglect led to criminal charges against employees.

_ KLAN GROUP-RALLY: Civil rights activists are making plans to counter a May 25 rally in Dayton by a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group.

_ HEALTH DIRECTOR-OHIO: Gov. Mike DeWine has nominated a licensed physician with more than 30 years of experience in public health and preventive medicine to direct Ohio’s Department of Public Health.

_ XGR--ELECTION SECURITY-OHIO: Ohio’s new elections chief is ready to voice his support for a bill he says aims to better protect the battleground state’s election systems from cyberattacks.

_ BRAIN RESEARCH-KENT STATE: Kent State University has named a new director for its newly-created Brain Health Research Institute.

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SPORTS:

HKN--BLUE JACKETS-ALL IN

COLUMBUS _ The Columbus Blue Jackets have made it clear they don’t want to wait any longer to make a serious Stanley Cup run. In a series of moves before Monday’s trade deadline, the Blue Jackets dealt mostly draft picks and prospects for players who can contribute now, and also decided to hang on to a pair of pending free-agent superstars for a playoff run. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 600 words, photos.

BBA--INDIANS-RAMIREZ

GOODYEAR, Ariz. _ Free agent Hanley Ramirez has signed a minor league contract with the Indians, who hope he can give them some power. The 35-year-old passed his physical and reported to training camp on Tuesday. If added to the 40-man roster, he would get a $1 million salary while in the major leagues and the chance to earn performance bonuses. SENT: 400 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.