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Library plans $110

million in renovations

Cleveland -- The Cuyahoga County Public Library is in the midst of replacing and renovating 18 of its 28 branches as part of a $110 million project to make the atmosphere at its branches similar to bookstores, with residents finding it easier to browse, enjoy coffee and exchange ideas.

The Plain Dealer reports library officials want the new and renovated branches to become community gathering places. One completed branch in Warrensville Heights offers a recording studio, a homework center, a cafe and an expanded children's area.

Library officials say the changes won't mean any new taxes. The library system serving 47 communities sold $75 million in bonds to finance most of the project. Another $25 million came from the library's capital funds and $10 million will come from private donors.

-- Associated Press

Statehouse display pays tribute to Marines

Columbus -- A display that now can be seen at the Ohio Statehouse pays tribute to a Marine reserve unit based in Columbus that that lost 22 Marines and a Navy Corpsman in Iraq back in 2005.

The exhibit on the Lima Company includes boots and dog tags of the fallen Marines and paintings by a Columbus artist.

Fifteen of the 23 who died were from Ohio.

The exhibit in Columbus will be on display until March 17.

The Lima Company Memorial has traveled across the country and has been displayed at nearly 70 sites nationwide.

-- Associated Press

Human skull found in woods

Youngstown -- Authorities are continuing to investigate a human skull found in a wooded area of Northeast Ohio.

The Youngstown Vindicator reports that a homeowner in Youngstown called police after his dog discovered the skull in the woods on Feb. 16.

Youngstown police said other bones were found, but it was not immediately known if they are human. The Mahoning County coroner's office also is investigating.

Police say it is likely the skull will yield DNA that could be compared to missing persons.

-- Associated Press

Police await results of untested rape kits

Cleveland -- Police agencies across Ohio have sent more than 2,300 untested rape kits to a state crime lab for testing that could potentially help solve hundreds of sexual assault cases, some dating back decades.

Attorney General Mike DeWine encouraged Ohio's nearly 800 law enforcement agencies to clear their testable sexual assault evidence off shelves in December 2011 following media reports that many kits remained in storage.

An analysis of data from the Ohio attorney general's office indicates police departments statewide could face about 850 potential cases resulting from DNA matches when all currently submitted kits are tested, The Plain Dealer reported Feb. 17.

Officials say some reasons older kits were not tested include costs, protocols limiting what was tested and a lack of understanding about the value of DNA evidence.

Nearly half of the kits submitted came from the Cleveland police department, which could have about 390 potential cases when all the currently submitted data is tested. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said he plans to add up to two more detectives to the unit handling those cases and get assistance from the FBI, if needed.

-- Associated Press

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