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Ohio


Headline News for Friday, April 15, 2011
Governor hires consulting firms for Ohio casinos, Cleveland drops in population rankings, Akron police will not see pay raise
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • The firms in New Jersey and California will be paid $400 an hour
  • The city of Cleveland has dropped 12 spots on the list of the most populated cities. Cleveland now ranks 45th in the nation down from 33rd a decade ago
  • Akron police will not see raises in their next paychecks -- despite a court ruling this week
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Ohio’s two US Senators say they are relatively satisfied with the federal budget approved Thursday. Both Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown voted yes on the proposal.  Portman says it’s a good compromise even though he wanted to see more than $38 billion in cuts.  Brown says he’s pleased the budget keeps funding intact for Head Start and Race to the Top education program. Northeast Ohio Congress members voted along party lines – with Republicans  Bob Gibbs, Jim Renacci and Steve LaTourette voting yes while Democrats Marcia Fudge, Dennis Kucinich, Tim Ryan and Betty Sutton voting no.  

 

A deal has been struck in a two year battle over steep sewer rate increases for more than 60 Northeast Ohio communities Suburban Cleveland mayors, school districts, private companies - and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District agreed to mediation Thursday in the dispute that is set for trial this summer. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald says that $2 million has already been spent on legal fees… and he told the group as a whole that what’s being talked about in lawsuits, should never have gone behind closed doors. Fitzgerald will choose a mediator from a list generated by the different entities. Cities have argued residents can’t afford the proposed 13-percent annual increases.

 

 

  

Governor John Kasich has hired two consulting firms to look at the payment structure of Ohio’s four casinos. The firms in New Jersey and California will be paid $400 an hour. Kasich said this week he thinks Ohio taxpayers got a bad deal in the constitutional amendment that spells out how much casino operators are required to pay the state in licensing and taxes.

 

 

 

The Akron Canton airport will have a second air traffic controller on the midnight shift. The airport is one of 27 in the country getting the extra position after seven incidents of controllers falling asleep on the job elsewhere – the most recent this week at the Reno-Tahoe airport. The FAA targeted airports with only controller on the job. 

 

 


 

The city of Cleveland has dropped 12 spots on the list of the most populated cities. Cleveland now ranks 45th in the nation down from 33rd a decade ago. The U.S. Census Bureau is out with the list after announcing population figures last month. For the decade, Cleveland’s population dropped more than 80,000 to around 400,000.  Columbus is ranked 15th.

 

 

 

A federal study finds the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police misspent nearly 5-million dollars in federal homeland security grants. The federal Homeland Security audit questions expenses including sending 20 Ohio police officials to Turkey and more than $800,000 in bonuses paid to the executive director. The audit requires the money must be returned to the federal government, even though it has been spent.

 

 

 

Akron police will not see raises in their next paychecks -- despite a court ruling this week. The city had asked Summit County Common Pleas Judge Robert Brown to delay raises that were ordered by a state conciliator. But Brown said he could not issue a stay because he has not yet ruled on the overall merit of the city’s argument.  Patricia Ambrose Rubright is the interim labor relations director for Akron, and says that argument comes down to one thing:  the city can’t afford raises. Paul Hlynsky is president of the Akron Fraternal Order of Police chapter and says the city will have to either pay the conciliator’s award by April 22nd, or pay bonuses under the old contract. 

 

 

 

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman says he still isn’t sure about the specifics of a GOP plan that would replace Medicare with vouchers for private insurance. Portman, the former head of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bush, says he’s convinced the senior’s healthcare program is failing.

 

 

 

The most highly publicized plan to overhaul Medicare comes from Paul Ryan, the Republican Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Under Ryan’s proposal, Medicare recipients would receive a voucher to purchase private healthcare insurance, beginning in 2022. President Obama argues that seniors would end up paying more in the long run. Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown has also raised strong opposition to the proposal.

 

 

 

The Akron mayoral race has its first official Republican candidate. Attorney Jennifer Hensal has announced her bid for the September primary. Summit County’s GOP chairman tells the Beacon Journal other GOP candidates are likely to emerge before the primary filing deadline in June. Democrat Don Plusquellic is seeking his seventh term. So far he faces Akron councilman Mike Williams in the Democratic primary.

 

 

 

Competition starts in at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland today in the NCAA women's gymnastics championships. Kent State is among 12 teams competing for the title.

 

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