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Regional roundup

February 15, 2012
The Herald-Star

Ohio Senate signs off on bio-energy bill

STEUBENVILLE - A bill allowing farmers to use anaerobic digesters as part of a nutrient management plan won unanimous approval from the Ohio Senate, Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, reported Tuesday.

House Bill 276 already passed out of the Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Ohio House of Representatives, he said.

Gentile had co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, while he was still serving in the state House.

"I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate joined me in supporting this bill that will help protect our environment while encouraging economic growth," said Gentile. "This bill will clarify bio-energy as an accepted on-farm practice secondary to livestock and crops and it will streamline the regulatory process."

The bill defines the production of bio-energy from anaerobic digesters as agriculture in nature if at least 50 percent of the feedstock that was used to produce the fuel was derived from land under common ownership. This advancement will allow farmers to use anaerobic digesters as a part of a nutrient management plan.

The bill is supported by the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Soybean Association, ODA, OEPA and ODNR.

Ohio town misses grant to rehab house

WORTHINGTON - A Columbus suburb has lost out on grant money it sought in an effort to take over a home where a "ghost-hunting" teen was shot in the head.

Worthington applied for $250,000 through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to buy, fix and resell what Rachel Barezinsky and her friends referred to as "the spooky house." She survived the August 2006 shooting at the house.

The owner was sent to prison. He has said he didn't mean to hurt anyone but considered Barezinsky, whose father grew up in Wintersville, and her friends trespassers for sneaking around outside.

City officials had said they wanted to fix the vacant home and called it a "marker of blight."

Worthington's economic-development manager tells The Columbus Dispatch the city has no more plans to deal with the property.

Portable meth lab abandoned along road

BLAIRSVILLE, Pa. - State police are trying to figure out who abandoned a portable methamphetamine lab in a picnic cooler along a busy western Pennsylvania highway.

Police say a trucker reported the cooler along U.S. Route 22 near Blairsville, and troopers have determined it was likely left there between 4:30 p.m. Monday and 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant, can be cooked using various volatile chemicals and the ingredients in some over-the-counter cold medicines.

From staff and wire reports

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