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Noon headlines, Sept. 24, 2012: Ohio voting, foreclosures and water sales
Romney and Obama in Ohio; absentee ballot requests, foreclosure settlement packets mailed; drillers to buy Muskingum lake water; Case gets big donations
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
The Muskingum Watershed board has OK'd the parameters for selling water from Clendening and Piemont lakes to drillers.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
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In The Region:
  • Presidential candidates hit the Buckeye state a week before voting begins
  • Absentee ballot requests top 700,000 
  • Ohio borrowers who lost homes can apply for settlement money
  • Muskingum Watershed plans to sell lake water to drillers
  • Big donors line up behind Case's medical school building
  • Presidential candidates hit the Buckeye state a week before voting begins
    Both presidential candidates are canvassing the Buckeye state this week, just one week before early voting begins here. And both will be in Northeast Ohio.

    Gov. Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, are tag teaming on a bus tour. Ryan begins today in Lima, then goes to Cincinnati tomorrow. Romney will pick up from there and head to Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo.

    President Obama will be at a rally at Kent State on Wednesday night, preceded by a similar event at Bowling Green. The visits come as a new poll shows the president leading by about 5 percentage points in Ohio, still within the margin of error.

    Absentee ballot requests top 700,000 
    Even as court cases continue over early in-person voting, nearly three-quarters of a million Ohio voters have asked for absentee ballots by mail.

    Secretary of State Jon Husted estimated that 723,000 absentee ballot applications were received by county boards of elections as of Saturday. 

    Ohio has allowed “no-fault” absentee voting since the mid-2000s. Before that, voters had to state a reason they couldn’t go to the polls on Election Day.

    But this is the first year that Ohio has mailed absentee ballot applications to all voters in the state. Husted agreed to that after opponents of a state law that curtailed early voting gathered enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot. Much of the law was later repealed.

    Still in dispute is a part of another law that bars anyone but military and overseas voters from voting in person the weekend before the election.  A federal judge has said that is unconstitutional because it values some voters over others. The state is appealing.

    Early in-person voting begins Tuesday.

    Borrowers who lost homes can apply for settlement money
    Nearly 65,000 Ohio borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure are getting applications for money under the $25 billion National Mortgage Foreclosure settlement.

    The borrowers lost their homes from 2008 through last year. Those who qualify will get payments under a settlement with five big mortgage services, including Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

    Nationally, the banks have agreed to earmark $1.5 billion for 1.75 million borrowers. Each of those who qualify will get at least $840. The applications are being sent out by Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine, and claims must be filed by next Jan. 18th.

    Muskingum Watershed plans to sell lake water to drillers
    The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is planning to sell water from two lakes to oil and gas drillers to try to lighten up on tanker truck traffic on rural roads throughout the region.

    The sales would be from Clendening and Piedmont lakes. They would be part of the annual “drawdown” period at the lakes when the watershed releases billions of gallons of water downstream.

    The watershed board authorized the sales Friday, and says they will include caps on the amount of water sold. It says the roads have been taking a pounding as companies begin drilling into shale to release oil and gas. The drilling technique requires billions of gallons of water.

    Big donors line up behind Case's medical school building
    Two Cleveland foundations are committing $20 million to help Case Western Reserve University build a new medical education and research building. The grants are the largest in the history of the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and Cleveland Foundation. 

    Case estimates the total cost of the new five-story building will be about $50 million. It will put the building on 14 acres on the universities west campus, where Mt. Sinai Medical Center once stood. 

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