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News in Brief – 4/3/13

School district says Jesus portrait coming down

JACKSON (AP) — A southern Ohio school district has agreed to take down a painting of Jesus amid a legal challenge claiming that it’s an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.

Jackson City Schools Superintendent Phil Howard said the decision to remove the portrait from a school hallway came because the district could end up paying significant legal fees and costs if it lost the lawsuit brought by two parents and a student.

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio spokesman Nick Worner told The Columbus Dispatch that the district voluntarily agreed to remove the Jesus portrait during a U.S. District Court hearing Tuesday in Columbus.

School officials say the portrait, which has hung in school hallways since 1947, is owned by a Christian-based student club and represents private speech.


Southern Ohio addiction treatment center opened

JACKSON (AP) — A state-funded addiction treatment center has opened in southern Ohio as part of ongoing efforts to battle the region’s prescription painkiller and heroin epidemic.

The Health Recovery Services Southern Ohio Treatment Center in Jackson will offer patients counseling and medication aimed at controlling addictions.

Funding for the center that opened Tuesday includes $500,000 from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia and $200,000 in federal substance abuse dollars provided by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

The center will also be funded through private insurance, Medicaid and payments from patients.

Fatal drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, with many of those deaths attributed to prescription painkillers and increasingly heroin.


Free gardening classes at BCPL in April, May, June

ASHLAND, Ky. — Local organic farmer Mary Ellen Dennison will teach free classes on herb gardening at Boyd County Public Library this spring.

Dennison, of Ironton, will explain the Basics of Herb Gardening in three monthly sessions, on the second Monday of each month at the Main Branch, 1740 Central Ave.

Participants can come to one, two or all three. No registration is needed.

All classes start at 6 p.m. The schedule is:

• April 8: Getting Started

• May 13: Harvesting & Maintaining

• June 10: Cooking with Herbs

For more information on this or other programs, visit www.thebookplace.org.