FILE – This undated photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Columbus, Ohio, shows Aaron Daniels. A reduced prison sentence is appropriate for Daniels who tried to help the Islamic State group, a defense attorney argued ahead of a June 7, 2018, sentencing, citing the defendant's youth, his remorse and his mental health struggles. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

FILE – This undated photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Columbus, Ohio, shows Aaron Daniels. A reduced prison sentence is appropriate for Daniels who tried to help the Islamic State group, a defense attorney argued ahead of a June 7, 2018, sentencing, citing the defendant's youth, his remorse and his mental health struggles. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Lawyer for Ohio terrorism suspect seeks reduced sentence


Associated Press

Sunday, June 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A reduced prison sentence is appropriate for an Ohio man who tried to help the Islamic State group, a defense attorney argued ahead of a June 7 sentencing, citing the defendant’s youth, his remorse and his mental health struggles.

At issue is the case of Aaron Daniels of Columbus, who pleaded guilty last July to a charge accusing him of attempting to travel to Libya to join the group.

Defense attorney George Chaney asked for a two-year sentence and five years of supervision afterward in a court filing last month.

Daniels, now 21, was doing well in high school until he began suffering from schizophrenia, and was affected by that illness when he was communicating online with extremists, Chaney said. Daniels initially looked for sponsorship to help him with his goal of becoming an Islamic scholar, but was then exploited by extremists trying to radicalize American youth, a May 11 court filing said.

Online recruitment of young people to join Islamic State has been an ongoing issue and concern for authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Those extremists “exploited his fragile mental state and corrupted his desire to serve Islam in a heroic way,” Chaney said. Daniels “is eternally sorry and ashamed that he participated in the planning of these acts, and cannot to this day believe that he let it get as far as it did.”

Authorities say Daniels wired $250 to an Islamic State operative in January 2016 to a Beirut intermediary for now-deceased Islamic State recruiter and attacks planner Abu Isa Al-Amriki, and told an undercover informant he was interested in traveling to commit violence overseas.

The complaint said at various times Daniels, who went by the aliases Harun Muhammad and Abu Yusuf, expressed interest in traveling to Afghanistan and Syria to wage war before settling on Libya.

Daniels also worked with a man who carried out a February 2016 machete attack at a Columbus restaurant owned by an Israeli. In that incident, Mohamed Barry injured four people before he fled and then was fatally shot by police when he lunged at them with the weapon.

The FBI said they couldn’t find evidence the attack was orchestrated terrorism. In the aftermath, Daniels relayed news of the attack to an undercover informant “in an approving fashion,” prosecutors said in a May 29 court filing.

In June 2016, Daniels told an undercover informant he wanted to go to Islamic State territory in Libya “so I could support the jihad there,” according to a criminal complaint against Daniels.

Daniels was arrested in Columbus as he prepared to fly to Libya via Houston and Trinidad.

Federal prosecutors acknowledge Daniels’ mental health problems, although they say there’s also evidence that Daniels is exaggerating his psychological problems. A sentence of at least 15 years and up to 17, with lifetime supervision, is the appropriate punishment, they say.

Daniels “had sufficient clarity of mind to lie to law enforcement officers in order to deflect attention from himself when necessary and deceive them about his true intentions,” prosecutors say.

Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at

DeWine-Husted Makes Key Staff Appointments Ahead of General Election

COLUMBUS– The DeWine-Husted campaign today (June 4) added to their team with the announcement of key staff appointments as the campaign moves forward toward victory in the General Election this November.

“In Mike DeWine and Jon Husted, our team is headed by two Ohio leaders with unmatched energy, experience and passion who will take Ohio to the next level,” said Dave Luketic, DeWine-Husted Campaign Manager. “Our campaign team has an impressive history of winning elections up and down the ballot, and each person has extensive experience specifically in Ohio politics. The best talent in the state is all lined up to win this election, not just for Mike DeWine and Jon Husted, but to lead the entire Republican ticket to victory this fall.”

The following team members officially assume their new posts today:

Brittany Warner will serve as the Director of Communications where she will oversee strategic planning for delivering the campaign’s message to voters through November. Warner most recently served as the Campaign Manager for Senator Frank LaRose’s campaign for Ohio Secretary of State. Warner previously served as the Communications Director for the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Communications Director for the Ohio Republican Party. Prior to those positions, she served as the Press Secretary for the Ohio House Republican Caucus and as Executive Director of the Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee (OHROC).

Joshua Eck will serve as the campaign’s Press Secretary and spokesman for Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted in their capacities as candidates for Governor & Lt. Governor. He was most recently the Chief of Staff to Secretary Husted on the DeWine-Husted campaign and previously served as Press Secretary to the Secretary of State and Press Secretary to the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus. He also served in campaign rolls for the Republican Senate Campaign Committee (RSCC) and Husted for Ohio.

Michael Hall will serve as Policy Director where he will work closely with the candidates and the communications team to develop policy initiatives for the future DeWine-Husted Administration. Hall was most recently a Partner in the Public Affairs and Government Law Group at Ice Miller LLP. He previously served under Mike DeWine as both Attorney General of Ohio and United States Senator from Ohio.

Experimental drug restores some bladder function after spinal cord injury, study finds

Ohio State University

June 4, 2018

Mice given test compound show marked improvements

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An experimental drug that blocks abnormal neural communication after spinal cord injury could one day be the key to improving quality of life by improving bladder function, new research suggests.

Researchers at The Ohio State University tested the drug – which is currently available only for research – to gauge its potential to improve bladder function after spinal cord injury in mice and saw promising results.

The experimental drug (LM11A-31) appears to help by blocking the dual activity of pro-nerve growth factor (proNGF) and a receptor called p75. ProNGF is known to be secreted from the cell after nerve injury.

After a month-long treatment after spinal cord injury in mice, bladder volume decreased significantly to a level close to normal, said lead researcher Sung Ok Yoon, an associate professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State.

The study appears in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

In humans, spinal cord injuries sever the communication between the bladder and the brain, leading to the loss of the normal ability to urinate at will. This leads to bladder over-filling, which causes high pressure and bladder enlargement due to thickening of the muscular bladder walls. This can cause urine to return to the kidney, which can lead to kidney infection and disease, Yoon said.

People with spinal cord injury typically rely on a catheter to pass urine.

Eventually, Yoon said, a new circuit of nervous-system communication is formed within the spinal cord, and it allows urine to be expelled unexpectedly, causing incontinence.

“There are no approved medications to treat bladder dysfunction brought on by spinal cord injuries, something that is a major concern and diminishes quality of life for these patients,” Yoon said.

“This drug appears to help maintain near-normal bladder pressure and less unexpected expulsion of urine in mice.”

Because the experimental drug does not restore normal communication between the bladder and the brain, it is certainly not a cure, Yoon said. Based on the mouse study, however, patients are likely to experience reduced bladder volume, which would lower the risk of bladder infection and reflux to the kidney, and less incontinence.

“The structure as well as the integrity of the neural communication in the bladder is expected to improve as well, contributing to the overall health of the bladder,” she said.

Yoon and her collaborators also confirmed – through samples from two recent spinal-cord injury patients – the presence of proNGF in the urine within hours after injury. Urine from healthy people does not contain the growth factor. Yoon said that since the drug counteracts proNGF action, these findings could potentially be extended to further research into other types of bladder dysfunction besides spinal cord injury.

The research was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation.

The Ohio State research team included lead author and research associate Jae Cheon Ryu; undergraduate students Anastasia Soulas, Tirzah Weiss and Nisha Ganesha; and neurological surgeon H. Francis Farhadi of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.

Written by Misti Crane.

Pediatric Practices to Start New Interventions to Prevent Repeat Child Abuse

AG DeWine, OCHA, Ohio AAP announce third phase of Ohio children’s hospitals’ collaboration

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Today (June 4) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA) announced a new collaboration to further spread interventions and findings to reduce the occurrence of child abuse in infants six months and younger by enlisting pediatric practices.

Eight large pediatric practices across Ohio, representing more than 30,000 patients and families and recruited through a partnership with the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, will be joining children’s and community hospitals in implementing proven interventions to identify potential signs of abuse and prevent further abuse in Ohio’s youngest and most vulnerable children.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine funded the Timely Recognition of Abusive Injuries (TRAIN) Collaborative with a $1 million grant from settlement funds to OCHA in 2015. The purpose of TRAIN is to prevent repeat child abuse in the most vulnerable population, infants six months and younger.

The TRAIN Collaborative analyzed what the medical community refers to as “sentinel injuries.” Sentinel injuries are minor injuries known to the medical provider that should prompt concern that the child is being abused. Unfortunately, sentinel injuries are often missed by medical providers placing the infant at risk for further abuse. The TRAIN Collaborative identified the specific injuries that should be suspect and developed a specific process – or “bundle of care” that reduces repeat instances of child abuse. If a medical provider discovers a sentinel injury, they use the prescribed “bundle,” to assist in the identification of abuse and to ensure the infant receives appropriate follow-up care. The “bundle” includes a skeletal survey of the infant, psychosocial assessment of the caregivers and pediatric consultation.

In 2016, children’s hospitals in Ohio determined that one in 10 Ohio children seen for child abuse has been seen previously with a sentinel injury and less than one in three receives the necessary physical examination and follow-up. They worked together to create and test the “bundle” within their own hospitals, and then spread the process to 19 community hospitals across the state. This third phase will teach eight pediatric practices about the “bundle” and help them implement it within their practice.

“We have some of the best minds in pediatric healthcare in the country right here in Ohio. I am proud that we could bring these minds together to identify a proven process to help children who are too young to understand their injuries or even to speak for themselves,” said DeWine. “Spreading this important process to more pediatricians throughout Ohio will mean more children are spared from further abuse – and that has been my goal with this program from day one.”

The learning here in Ohio has been spread beyond the state’s borders, as leaders from TRAIN have been asked to present their findings at national conferences, including the Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem conference.

“Attorney General DeWine has always been a strong advocate for Ohio’s children, and this initiative would not have been possible without his commitment and support. We are grateful to be able to take our learning into a third phase to spread this valuable process even further in our state and beyond,” said Nick Lashutka, President and CEO of OCHA.

More information about TRAIN is available at

Immigration cap, job rate, causing landscape worker shortage


Sunday, June 3

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Low unemployment rates, a cap on immigrant seasonal workers and applicants unable to pass drug tests are causing a severe shortage of employees as the summer landscaping season gets underway, Ohio companies say.

Getting seasonal workers “is a huge, huge issue this year,” Sandy Munley, executive director of the Ohio Landscape Association, told the Akron Beacon Journal for a story Sunday.

Part of the problem is the nation’s unemployment rate, which has fallen to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, reducing the number of people looking for jobs.

A far bigger issue is changes limiting the number of seasonal workers allowed into the country under the H-2B visa program, the paper reported.

A decades-old law caps the number of immigrant seasonal workers at 66,000 for the whole country. In the past, returning workers didn’t count against the cap. But there’s no exemption this year, creating a shortage of such workers, even as the government waived the limit to allow 15,000 more workers.

Demand this year outstripped supply by about three times, said Gray Delany, executive director of the Seasonal Employment Alliance in Leesburg, Virginia.

In Boston Heights in northeastern Ohio, Joe Chiera ended up hiring 15 people from Puerto Rico to fill jobs at his company, Impact Landscape & Maintenance.

“We are having major struggles finding people to work,” said Chiera, who brought the workers to Ohio on the company’s dime.

As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans face no travel restrictions and can work as long as they want. Multiple U.S. companies have turned to Puerto Rico this year to fill housekeeping, landscaping, and kitchen jobs.

Landscaping can be hard work, with employees outdoors under all weather conditions, company owners say. Pay starts at about $13 an hour — well above Ohio’s minimum wage of $8.30 — which works out to $520 for a 40-hour work week.

Employers say solving the problem is not as simple as just hiring U.S. citizens to do the work. In many cases locals are not as reliable as the H-2B workers, several landscaping employers said.

Jacob Grimm said his 25-person firm, Brothers Grimm Landscape & Design in Akron, received 146 job applications last year. Of those, 120 people did not come in for an interview, he told the Beacon Journal.

Of two dozen remaining applicants, half declined to take a drug test. Of four people who took jobs, only one remains this year, Grimm said.

Information from: Akron Beacon Journal,

Spread the Word: Kids Eat Free This Summer!

Ohio Ed Updates

June 4, 2018

This summer, the Ohio Department of Education is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program, providing children with free, healthy meals.

It’s easy to participate and no sign up is required. Simply call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479), visit or use the Department’s mobile app for meal times and locations (coming soon to the app). The Ohio Department of Education Mobile App is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, search Ohio Department of Education.

The Summer Food Service Program ensures children ages 18 and under continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer break from school, when they do not have access to school breakfasts or lunches. Children with disabilities and approved individualized education programs may participate through age 21.

“The need for healthy meals doesn’t stop when school breaks for the summer, and the Summer Food Service Program helps provide children with nourishment to make sure summer can be a time for continued learning and fun,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Instead of worrying about where their next meals will come from, our students can enjoy activities like reading, sports, playing outdoors and the growing that happens during the summer months.”

Many Ohio parents and caregivers continue to make difficult choices every day to provide for their families. In many cases, this leaves Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens, our children and youth, struggling with hunger daily.

In 2017, more than 4 million meals were served to Ohio children through the Summer Food Service Program with the help of approximately 1,500 feeding sites.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

About the Ohio Department of Education

The Ohio Department of Education oversees the state’s public education system, which includes public school districts, joint vocational school districts and charter schools. The Department also monitors educational service centers, other regional education providers, early learning and child care programs, and private schools. The Department’s tasks include administering the school funding system, collecting school fiscal and performance data, developing academic standards and model curricula, administering the state achievement tests, issuing district and school report cards, administering Ohio’s voucher programs, providing professional development, and licensing teachers, administrators, treasurers, superintendents and other education personnel. The Department is governed by the State Board of Education with administration of the Department the responsibility of the superintendent of public instruction.

University proposes second year of tuition guarantee

Ohio State University

June 4, 2018

Plans for new academic year join historic commitments to student aid

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a proposal to the Board of Trustees this week, costs for incoming Ohio freshmen will lock in for four years with a 1.4 percent inflation-based increase.

This incoming class joins the university in the second year of the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee. Last year’s freshman class was the inaugural group for the guarantee, which covers in-state tuition, fees, housing and dining. In addition, in-state tuition remains frozen at all campuses for continuing students who started prior to autumn 2017. Next year’s graduates will be the fourth class to complete degrees without experiencing a tuition increase.

Tuition proposals for 2018-19 will go before the Board of Trustees this week.

The Ohio State Tuition Guarantee program provides students and families with predictability about the cost of a four-year education — and is part of Ohio State’s continued strategic focus on access, affordability and excellence.

Tuition remains at or below the median for Big Ten public institutions. At the same time, the university has increased financial aid substantially, committing more than $100 million to support low- and moderate-income families since 2015. These commitments include:

The Buckeye Opportunity Program — Beginning this fall in Columbus, the initiative ensures that financial aid will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for thousands of low- and moderate-income Ohio students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. Last week, the university announced a customized expansion of the program to Ohio State’s five regional campuses.

President’s Affordability Grants — Ohio State will invest $25 million this year in affordability grants for in-state students. The popular program, now in its fourth year, supports more than 15,000 students annually at all Ohio State campuses.

Land Grant Opportunity Scholarships — Last year, the university expanded the scholarships to cover the total cost of attendance. This fall, the program will double in size, offering 176 scholarships each year.

Additionally this fall, Ohio State will provide an iPad Pro with learning and living technology tools to each new first-year student in Columbus and on the regional campuses. Part of the Digital Flagship collaboration with Apple, the initiative is designed to enhance classroom learning and the student experience throughout the university.

In-state tuition and fees in Columbus would total $10,726 per year through 2021-22 for incoming first-year students. Including the most common housing and dining plans, the total rate for the guarantee would be $23,160.

In-state tuition under the guarantee would be set at $7,644 for the Lima, Mansfield, Marion and Newark campuses and $7,608 at the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. Most regional campus students do not live on campus.

Rates included in the guarantee remain frozen for last year’s incoming class through 2020-21. For these students, in-state tuition and fees remain $10,592 in Columbus; $7,553 for the Lima, Mansfield, Marion and Newark campuses; and $7,517 in Wooster.

Additional tuition and fee proposals include:

The non-resident surcharge will be increased 4.8 percent for undergraduates. The total cost of non-resident tuition and fees in Columbus is among the most affordable in the Big Ten, placing below the median for Ohio State’s peer group.

Housing and dining rates will increase by 1.5 percent for students who are not part of the original Ohio State Tuition Guarantee cohort. The most popular plans on the Columbus campus will cost $12,434, compared with $12,252 for 2017-18 rates.

To cover the cost of third-party health coverage, student health insurance will increase 8.7 percent. Most U.S. students utilize private insurance instead of utilizing the coverage obtained through the university.

2018-19 TUITION SUMMARY — As the university implements the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee, rates will be tiered by when a student started and where they are from.

The Ohio State Tuition Guarantee applies to in-state tuition and mandatory fees as well as housing and dining rates, where offered. Most regional campus students do not live on campus, so the following charts show only the tuition and fee elements.

FILE – This undated photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio, shows Aaron Daniels. A reduced prison sentence is appropriate for Daniels who tried to help the Islamic State group, a defense attorney argued ahead of a June 7, 2018, sentencing, citing the defendant’s youth, his remorse and his mental health struggles. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File) – This undated photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio, shows Aaron Daniels. A reduced prison sentence is appropriate for Daniels who tried to help the Islamic State group, a defense attorney argued ahead of a June 7, 2018, sentencing, citing the defendant’s youth, his remorse and his mental health struggles. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)