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Headline News for 11/04/11
No deal on new congressional districts; Zanesville exotic animal farm's "horrific" conditions; Dover chemical spill injures 3 workers

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
News Headlines 11/04/11

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Republicans in the Ohio House were blocked Thursday from voting on a revised map of congressional districts.
The move came after shouting erupted in the House as legislators met to consider the new district lines.  About a dozen Republicans walked off the floor, with some Democrats accusing the GOP of being afraid to debate the issue.   Republicans introduced the revised map, saying they hoped to get Democratic support.  Democrats have been gathering signatures to challenge an initial map drafted in September.   

New details released this week by the Columbus Zoo describe conditions at the Ohio farm where 56 exotic animals were freed as "horrific."
Minutes from an Oct. 24 meeting of an Ohio task force charged with updating regulations for exotic animal ownership were released Wednesday. The report describes primates kept in birdcages, Bengal tigers kept in 8 feet wide gages, inadequate for their species.  A grizzly bear now at the zoo was found in a large birdcage in a drained backyard pool, "aggressively chewing on the cage."  
Terry Thompson set free 56 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and monkeys Oct. 18 before committing suicide.  Law enforcement shot and killed 48 of the animals and a monkey was killed by the other animals. Six others -- a grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys -- are still in quarantine at the Columbus Zoo.  The report also revealed that the deadly escape cost the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office about $8,500.

Three workers at a chemical plant in Dover were hospitalized after a chemical leak Thursday evening.  A spokesman for Dover Chemical released a statement late Thursday, that "a chlorinated paraffin solution leaked from a broken line.”   A nearby stretch of I-77 was closed for nearly 40 minutes. There was a voluntary evacuation for residents in a 2-mile radius.  Dover Fire and the HAZMAT teams reported the leak was controlled had everything back to normal shortly after 8 p.m.  

A wandering elk thought to be a fugitive from a Pennsylvania game farm has met its end in northeast Ohio.  The large bull elk turned up Wednesday at a man's farm in Geauga County. The animal was killed after Ohio wildlife officials told the man that taking the elk was legal.  Elk are not native to Ohio. Meat from the elk will be tested for diseases that could threaten wildlife.  The Ohio Division of Wildlife believes the animal escaped from a Pennsylvania game farm more than a month ago and then wandered through several northeast Ohio counties.

A judge has granted the request of three AIDS patients to block changes to Ohio rules governing assistance that pays for HIV and AIDS medications.  The ruling Thursday in Franklin County Common Pleas court blocks the Ohio Department of Health from implementing the rules until the lawsuit is resolved. The rules were set to take effect on Friday.  The group argues the new rules will "arbitrarily deny funding for potentially life-saving medications" to Ohioans with HIV or AIDS-related symptoms, and were not properly adopted. 

A county-owned hospital in Cleveland is moving to cut more than 100 jobs as part of a previously announced plan to eliminate 450 positions.  MetroHealth System says its budget is under pressure from rising poverty in Cuyahoga County which has contributed to increasing numbers of uninsured patients.  The Plain Dealer reports workers have been notified that 104 jobs will be cut by next week.  The president of a union representing about 1,800 of the nearly 6,400 hospital employees says her members are on edge.  MetroHealth Executive Mark Moran says he doesn't expect any further layoffs over the next year. The hospital says it expects attrition and consolidation to result in the elimination of more than 80 positions during the next six months.

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