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Headline News for Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Bombing suspect found in Northeast Ohio; Kasich signs snow-day bill; Diebold decides to keep headquarters in Ohio

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Rabbi identifies Santa Monica bombing suspect in Cleveland Heights
  • Gov. John Kasich signs bill to increase annual snow days for Ohio schools
  • Diebold announces world headquarters to be built in Akron/Canton area
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Headline News 04/13/11...


A bombing suspect captured in Northeast Ohio likely will be extradited back to California where he faces felony charges for the explosion that damaged a Santa Monica synagogue and a nearby house.  Ron Hirsch will appear in federal court in Cleveland this afternoon. Hirsch was arrested Monday after a Cleveland Heights rabbi recognized him from news reports about the explosion and called police. Hirsch had been asking for money and a place to stay in the Cleveland Heights Jewish community.


Northeast Ohio is holding onto one of its old-line corporate headquarters – thanks to $100-million in government help. WKSU’s Tim Rudell has more on a plan announced Tuesday to keep Diebold in the Akron-Canton area. 


Gov. John Kasich plans to sign a bill today to give Ohio schools a two-day increase in their annual snow days. The legislation would apply to the current school year. School districts previously had five days but lost two under former Gov. Ted Strickland. The Senate voted last week to remove its revisions, including a requirement that school districts provide bussing to charter schools during make-up days.


Republicans control all of Ohio’s elected statewide offices, all but one seat on the Ohio Supreme Court and both chambers of the Ohio legislature. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles takes a look at what they’ve done in the Ohio House in particular during their first 100 days. 


A proposed state constitutional amendment could raise the age limit for Ohio judges.  The Ohio House passed the measure Tuesday that would allow judges to run for election through age 75, up from the current limit of 70. If the bill clears the Senate, it would go on the November statewide ballot. The Ohio Supreme Court says nearly 40 percent of judges in Ohio are age 60 or older.


A state Senate committee has passed a bill that would allow Ohioans to carry concealed weapons into bars and restaurants as long as they don’t drink. The full Senate could vote today on the measure. Opponents argue the bill could lead to more violence, and they questioned how bars and restaurants would be able to enforce the drinking ban.  The legislation is similar to a measure that failed in the General Assembly last year.


Minority business owners in Northeast Ohio will gain a new resource this summer. The Minority Business Center in Cleveland will provide services including assessments of business plans to how to get small business capital.  It’s partnering with six non-profit organizations. Andrew Jackson, executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, says there has not been a center of this kind in Ohio since 2006, but Cleveland shows promise for success. The Center is scheduled to open June 1 at the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s new offices on Huron Road. Denver and Cleveland join 25 other cities with minority business programs funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Akron’s mayor is the focus of a new documentary about the rise in mayoral recall elections around the country. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has produced the documentary featuring Don Plusquellic, who was the target of an unsuccessful recall election in 2009. Conference of Mayors Director Tom Cochran says there were 57 mayors who faced recall attempts last year, more than twice as many as 2009. He says they are costly and usually spurred by a few wealthy foes.


The Ohio House speaker says he won't move a bill right now that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy if a physician determines the fetus would be able to survive outside the womb. The Senate has passed similar legislation. Speaker William Batchelder said the measure's referral back to committee Tuesday would allow legal experts the chance to review it.


Democrats are criticizing Ohio Republican Josh Mandel for entering the race for U.S. Senate just three months after taking office as state treasurer.   The party distributed a video Tuesday in which then-candidate Mandel pledged during last year's campaign to spend at least four years as treasurer if elected. Mandel is considering a running against Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2012.


A man trying to steal copper died after he was electrocuted Tuesday. Firefighters say the man was trying to steal copper piping from an electrical cabinet at the mostly-vacant Rolling Acres Mall near Akron. Power was out for dozens in the area. 


A progressive think-tank says there’s a surprising tidbit hiding in the thousands of pages of Gov. Kasich’s budget – a section that elevates a Kasich appointee to a position that may be more powerful than even the governor himself. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports. 


Akron is getting a $300,000 grant to help it figure out what toxic substances may have seeped into land that has been home to Bridgestone’s Technical Center for 100 years. The grant will help identify any contaminants in the soil, groundwater or building materials left in the 32 acres and to help determine the cost of a cleanup if necessary.  The state’s Brownfield Coordinator Amy Alduino says this is the first step to help shape re-development plans for the Southeast Akron site. The city paid $5 million for the old technical center, and is leasing the building back to Bridgestone.  Bridgestone is building a $100-million technical center about a mile south of the old one that will employ 600 people.


Goodyear lost money, but did well. That’s how the tire-making giant’s CEO sees the company’s performance in 2010. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s 2011 annual meeting Tuesday in Akron.  


Three Northeast Ohio charter schools are losing state funding because they’ve been unable to sort out their financial recordkeeping.  The charter schools in Cleveland and Lorain - Arts Academy, Arts Academy West and Marcus Garvey Academy  were declared unauditable last November.  The State Auditor’s office says the trio has failed to straighten out its records within the required 90 days. The Plain Dealer reports it’s the first time the law on unauditable charter schools has been used since it took effect in 2007.


Ohio's top elections official says it appears that thousands of voters considered "active" are anything but. Secretary of State Jon Husted says a report has found nearly 18,500 dead people on the state's voter rolls. Records of registered voters were cross-checked with a list of deceased Ohioans maintained by the state Health Department. The secretary is asking county elections boards to purge those who are deceased from the statewide voter database.


The 8-game winning streak is over. The Angels blanked the Indians 2-0 last night.  The Indians however, remain in first place in the American League Central with an 8-3 record.

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