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Headlines for Monday, March 30, 2009



 
A Youngstown-area Democrat may be in line for lieutenant governor in 2010. That and more in today's headlines...
Ohio congressman Tim Ryan may be Ted Strickland's next running mate. The Washington Post says the Youngstown-area Democrat will announce later this week he's running for lieutenant governor in 2010. Strickland is looking for a running mate because current Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher is running for George Voinovich's Senate seat. If Ryan leaves Congress, Democrats would pick his replacement. Ohio Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro is an early favorite for that appointment. (www.washingtonpost.com) Akron schools are planning to cut 17 administrative jobs, and hoping to save $1.6 million. The action comes at the recommendation of SuperintendentDavid James, and follows the announcement that the urban district is closing five elementary and middle schools and an adult vocational center at the end of the year. Superintendent James says Akron schools are facing a $37 million deficit. He says the district can't count on the state's as-yet unformed school funding reform nor on the federal stimulus money. Governor Ted Strickland is answering his critics who say the Ohio Department of Education has been left out of deliberations on school funding. Republican legislators and education advocates have increasingly complained that they lack the information to scrutinize the governor's proposed overhaul of the way Ohio schools are paid for. Their calls for transparency gained traction last week when it came to light that a private consulting firm free from Ohio public records law is meeting frequently with upper level members of the governor's staff and key lawmakers. Democrat Strickland tells The Associated Press there's been no attempt at secrecy. He says a formal proposal is still in the works and isn't ready yet for scrutiny just yet. A suburban police chief is taking over for the Cuyahoga County sheriff in Cleveland, whose office was raided a day after he announced his retirement. Warrensville Heights Police Chief Frank Bova was appointed as interim sheriff by Common Pleas Presiding Judge Nancy McDonnell. Bova will serve about 40 days, until the county Democratic party picks a successor. Sheriff Gerald McFaul's resignation takes effect Wednesday. Students at Bowling Green State University have voted to approve a fee to help build a new campus arena. In an online vote, more than 26-hundred undergraduates cast ballots in favor of the $60-per-semester fee. The school said Saturday that about 28 percent of the eligible student population voted. Public universities must get an OK from the Ohio Board of Regents before they can raise fees, and a show of student support is a requirement for that approval. Lou Saban, the well-traveled coach whose NFL and college careers spanned five decades and dozens of jobs, has died. He was 87. Saban played football at Indiana University and was an all-league linebacker for the Cleveland Browns from 1946-49. In 1950, Saban accepted the first of his many head coaching positions -- at Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland. Triple-A says Ohio gas prices are up 9 cents this week to an average $2.05 a gallon for regular. That's still much less than a year ago, when the average was $3.22 per gallon. A convicted killer from Akron scheduled to die next month has asked that the Ohio Supreme Court delay his execution, alleging that a jailhouse informant committed perjury. Brett Hartmann says he needs time to gather evidence of the alleged perjury and test other evidence he says will prove his innocence. The motion also asks for the delay to give him time to demonstrate that Ohio's method of lethal injection is unconstitutional. Hartmann is scheduled to die April 7 for the fatal stabbing and mutilation of 46-year-old Wanda Snipes in Akron in 1997. He says he's innocent. State lawmakers canceled weekend negotiations about major sticking points regarding Ohio's two-year transportation budget. Ohio House spokesman Keary McCarthy says talks between the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate will resume today. Republicans want the Legislature to have a say before any construction begins on a passenger rail plan if it wins federal stimulus money. Democrats want approval to come from the state Controlling Board they control. Republicans are also upset about a Democratic plan to end roughly $50 million in payments to motor fuel sellers to collect the state's gasoline tax. Cleveland's very first permanent bridge, spanning the Cuyahoga River in the Flats district, is about to be replaced for the fourth time. The Cuyahoga County engineer's office says construction on a new Columbus Road lift bridge will begin in November 2011. The $49 million project will repair the towers of the existing bridge and give them new mechanical and electrical equipment for lifting a new bridge deck so boats can pass below. The work is expected to take a year, and the bridge's traffic of up to 6,000 vehicles a day will be detoured during that time.
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