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Billboard used in donor search

SANDUSKY — The mother of twin teenagers who need kidney transplants is hoping a billboard put up near an Ohio waterpark will help them find donors. Beth Meadows, of Huron,she is hoping the billboard on U.S. Route 250 in Sandusky leads to a “miracle” for her family. It features a picture of her 14-year-old sons, Cameron and Jacob, and a website leading to a University Hospitals screening questionnaire for potential donors. The boys were born with underdeveloped kidneys and received transplants as toddlers, but Meadows says those kidneys are failing again. The teens are on dialysis for eight hours a day as they wait for potential transplant matches.

Hospital’s replacement opens

GROVE CITY — An Ohio health system is opening a new hospital in suburban Columbus as it deals with a scandal involving a doctor accused of ordering excessive painkiller doses for dozens of patients who died. The 210-bed Mount Carmel Grove City hospital opens Sunday. Mount Carmel Health System is moving inpatient services and hundreds of employees to the $361 million facility from Mount Carmel West, the flagship hospital it’s closing in the lower-income Franklinton neighborhood. That plan was underway long before West became the focus of allegations about now-fired doctor William Husel (HYOO’-suhl), who’s under investigation. In response to lawsuits, he denies negligently or intentionally causing deaths. Meanwhile, nearby residents worry how West’s closure will affect local development and access to medical care. Mount Carmel still plans a new emergency department there.

Funds to improve drinking water

COLUMBUS — The U.S.EPA has awarded $724,500 to Ohio to protect public drinking water systems. The federal agency said in a release this week that it awarded the money to the Ohio EPA to carry out its public water supply supervision program. Federal officials say the funding will help protect more than 4,400 public water systems in Ohio serving nearly a total of 11 million people daily. The U.S. EPA said the funding is the second installment of a $1.2 million award to Ohio in 2019. The money will allow Ohio EPA to conduct regular sanitary surveys of public water systems and provide technical assistance to system managers and operators. It also will be used for enforcement and to ensure systems keep consumers informed of water quality

1 dead, passenger hurt in crash

MOUNT VERNON — An Ohio man has been killed and a passenger seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on County Road 5 in Knox County’s Morris Township around 10:30 p.m. Friday. Thomas Swihart, 19, of Mount Vernon, lost control of the Lincoln LS he was driving and ran off the road, striking a barn, a parked vehicle and a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Swihart’s 17-year-old passenger, who was not identified, sustained life-threatening injuries. The car broke apart and both Swihart and the passenger were ejected. Both were wearing seatbelts.

Distracted driving targeted

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine says a newly formed council will develop a plan to change the distracted driving culture in Ohio. The Republican governor this week announced creation of the Distracted Driving Advisory Council. The council’s formation follows a report by the Ohio Distracted Driving Task Force recommending changes in state policy and state law to help reduce crashes. It also recommends enhanced distracted driving education for young drivers. Data show nearly 80,000 distracted driving crashes in Ohio between 2013 and 2018.

Agency clears its own backlog

COLUMBUS — The lieutenant governor says an Ohio agency that was designed to cut through bureaucracy but ironically found itself backlogged has caught up on its work. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted took office in January and oversees the Common Sense Initiative, which was created in 2011 to review business regulations and help make Ohio business-friendly. Husted tells Cleveland.com the backlog of more than 1,200 proposed rules is down to just 14 that require more review or public comment. He says those lingering proposals are more complicated and involve topics such as continuing-education requirements for cosmetic therapists and power companies’ requests to protect the privacy of business information they file with state regulators. Husted says moving forward, initiative staff will clear routine proposed rules within 10 days after a required public-comment period.

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