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Franklin County Judge Places a Hold on Battle Over Tobacco Money

A judge has frozen the fight between the state's top elected officials and a tobacco prevention foundation over how best to use money originally designated to prevent smoking.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David Fais on Thursday blocked Gov. Ted Strickland and legislative leaders from taking $230 million from the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation for a plan to jump-start the economy. Fais also blocked the foundation from transferring $190 million to a Washington-based anti-smoking nonprofit to shelter it from state control.

Fais ordered another hearing for April 24. The two sides argued in court earlier Thursday over whether state leaders overstepped their authority when they went after the foundation's money. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)