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Noon news headlines, April 11, 2012
On-line gambling and Ohio racetracks; Sutton vs. Renacci; Dems duel over Ohio party chairman; Indians finish homestand

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Thistledown is considering a move south to the Akron Canton airport in Green, where residents and council members are protesting.
Courtesy of TIM RUDELL
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In The Region:
  • Rock buys into online gambling
  • And Green tries to figure our if horse racing and slots fit
  • Money race tightens in Renacci v. Sutton
  • Democrats decide Ohio party chairman tonight
  • Indians finish first home-stand this afternoon
  • (Click image for larger view.)

    Rock buys into online gambling
    Rock Gaming’s relationship with Caesar’s Entertainment is growing. The companies are opening Ohio’s first casino in Cleveland in about a month, and Rock has now bought a small share of Caesars Interactive, an online gambling subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment.

    The purchase of a piece of the on-line venture is part of a growing trend as many companies are betting that online gambling will become legal in the United States.

    And Green tries to figure our if horse racing and slots fit
    Meanwhile, the city of Green is starting to get questions about what moving Thistledown racetrack would do to the community. Thistledown is now in southern Cuyahoga County near another track – Northfield Park. Both are among the state horse tracks that will be installing video slot machines, and Thistledown is considering a move south to property at the Akron-Canton airport.

    Four Green Council members say they oppose the move, and residents showed up at council’s meeting this week to say it would be out of keeping with their community.

    Money race tightens in Renacci v. Sutton
    An Ohio congressional race is starting to be one of the big money draws in the country. According to Politico, Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton raised more than $455,000 in the last quarter, topping GOP Rep. Jim Renacci's $431,000. But Renacci still has more than $1.2 million in the bank, compared to Sutton’s $750,000.
    GOP lawmakers redrew Ohio’s congressional districts this year to heavily favor Republican candidates. The new lines put the two incumbents – Sutton and Renacci – in the same district.

    Democrats decide Ohio party chairman tonight
    Party insiders are lining up for tonight's vote on the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party
    State Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern faces a challenger in his re-election bid: Lorain County Chairman Anthony Giardini.

    Giardini says he’s met with 40 members of the 66-member state central committee and claims he has the backing of most of them, along with former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

    But 49 members of the central committee signed out a letter of support earlier this month for Redfern, who also has the backing of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and House Minority Leader Armond Budish.

    And now unions are slowly lining up behind the candidates.
    Trades, such as the plumbers and pipefitters union and the Food and Commercial Workers, are backing Giardini.But the Service Employees International Union has backed Redfern, and now the Ohio Association of Public School Employees has come out in support of Redfern. They’re joining the state’s largest public employee union, the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association.

    Indians finish first home-stand this afternoon 
    The Indians are finishing out the opening homestand of the season with a 12:05 game against the White Sox at Progressive Field. Justin Materson, who pitched beautifully in the first game of the season last Thursday – but came away with a no decision – starts. The White  Sox are starting lety John Danks.


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