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Noon headlines, July 17, 2012: Ohio heat and politics
Presidential stumping and Senate spending; heat advisory; cell phone ban considered
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
The Brown-Mandel race is already setting fund-raising records.
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In The Region:
  • More trouble with the heat
  • No identity yet of explosion victim
  • Presidential candidates, surrogates zoom through Ohio, again
  • Record spending already in Ohio Senate race
  • Local community considers banning cell use while driving
  • More trouble with the heat
    A heat advisory remains in effect until 9 tonight, with the temperatures and humidity combining to make it feel like it’s as hot as 104 degrees. Anyone who expects to be outside for long periods should take extra precautions, including drinking lots of water, staying in the shade and wearing light, loose fitting clothing.

    Meanwhile, there’s little relief expected for the drought conditions that have extended over most of Ohio all summer.  The only high probability of rain in the next week is Wednesday, though temperatures are expected to drop a bit come Thursday.

    No identity yet of explosion victim
    Tuscarawas County is still not revealing the identity of the 19-year-old man who was killed when an oil-and-gas storage tank exploded Monday morning. According to the New Philadelphia Times Reporter, the county coroner says no ID will be released until he gets to review dental records.

    Investigators still aren’t sure what triggered the explosion about midway between Canton and New Philadelphia Monday morning.

    Presidential candidates, surrogates zoom through Ohio, again
    Once again, the two major-party presidential candidates are criss-crossing Ohio this week.

    President Obama was in Cincinnati yesterday; Vice President Joe Biden’s “Made in Ohio Manufacturing Tour” will include a speech to union members in Columbus Thursday. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is attending private fundraisers tomorrow in Canton and Toledo, and holding a town-hall meeting in Bowling Green.

    The candidates and their surrogates are focusing almost entirely on economic issues including the unemployment rate and outsourcing jobs overseas.

    Record spending already in Ohio Senate race
    Meanwhile, campaigns and super PACS are pouring money into political ads in Ohio, and not just for the presidential contest. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and his Republican challenger, Josh Mandel, have raised more than $25 million for their battle – a record.  And the total does not include spending by the super Pacs, which are not officially affiliated with the campaigns.  That spending is believed to have topped $12 million, about a quarter of that spent by the Chamber of Commerce PAC that’s targeting Brown.

    In addition, another Republican-affiliated PAC is putting big money into 14 critical House races nationally – including two in Ohio. The American Action Network is spending a  million dollars for TV ads in the Cleveland market, where Republican freshman Jim Renacci running against Democrat Betty Sutton.

    Ohio’s Republican Legislature redrew the congressional districts this year, putting Renacci and Sutton in the same district, which includes parts of Stark, Summit and Medina counties.

    Local community considers banning cell use while driving
    Rocky River is considering a ban on all hands-on cell phone use while people are driving.
    City Council debated the proposal last night. The ban would include calls as well as text messages.

    A state ban on texting – and more severe restrictions on drivers under age 18 – takes effect at the end of August. But police officers  can only charge someone if they’ve already stopped them for another offense. And the state law leaves it up to local communities if they want more severe restrictions. 

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