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Enter lottery for State

of the State tickets

Ohioans wanting to see Gov. John Kasich's State of the State address to lawmakers later this month in Lima can add their names to a drawing for free tickets to attend.

Kasich's office announced the Internet lottery Feb. 11. Names can be submitted online at governor.ohio.gov/tickets through 6 p.m. Feb. 14, with a random drawing taking place Feb. 15. Participants must provide their address, phone number and email address, and up to two tickets will be awarded for each entry.

Rob Nichols, the governor's spokesman, said about 60 tickets will be distributed for the Feb. 19 event. The administration distributed tickets last year for Kasich's speech in Steubenville using a comparable online lottery.

Kasich is offering his speech at Lima's Veteran's Memorial Civic and Convention Center, which has a seating capacity of about 1,700. Security checkpoints for entry open just after 5 p.m., with the speech slated to start at 6:45.

-- CApital Bureau Chief Marc Kovac

Pope commended for reopened churches

Cleveland -- Pope Benedict XVI will be held high regard by members of Cleveland churches ordered reopened by the Vatican under his watch, a lay leader of a spared congregation said Feb. 11.

"The miracle of our reopening happened under his reign and we are very sorry to lose him and we will miss him," said Miklos Peller of the Hungarian-language St. Emeric Church in Cleveland.

While the reopening decision came from a Vatican agency and not directly from Benedict, "I'm sure the pope may have inspired the cardinals in the congregation to come up with the right answer," Peller said.

St. Emeric was one of 11 closed churches ordered reopened by the Vatican, which also overturned the merger of a 12th congregation. The pope's portrait hangs in a vestibule of St. Emeric.

In Cincinnati, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, who was appointed by Benedict, said the resignation reflected an unselfish attitude by the pope.

"In announcing his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI has acted humbly and unselfishly for the good of the church. That same spirit has characterized his entire life of service," Schnurr said in a statement.

-- Associated Press

Teen charged in

girlfriend's killing

Cleveleand -- A 16-year-old Cleveland girl has been shot to death, and police have arrested and charged her teenage boyfriend in the killing

The Plain Dealer reports that 16-year-old Jennifer Zacarias was fatally shot in the head, neck and torso in her backyard early Feb. 8. Her father found her soon after.

A 16-year-old boy, described as Jennifer's boyfriend by a family member, has been arrested and charged with aggravated murder.

He is being held in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

Police said there are no other suspects.

-- Associated Press

Prom canceled over water balloon fight

Cincinnati -- A southwest Ohio high school has canceled its prom to punish students for a prank.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the principal of Withrow High School in Cincinnati says students used social media last month to plan a massive water balloon fight at lunch.

Principal Sharon Johnson says staff found out and tried to prevent the prank. She made announcements the day of the planned prank, warning students the prom would be canceled if they had the water fight. School officials were concerned over safety.

But about 150 to 175 students went ahead with it. Johnson says there was water everywhere and some students were upset and slipping and falling.

Johnson says she had received only a few phone calls from upset parents.

-- Associated Press

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