Ohio firms attract $5 billion in private capital
A report by a Washington-based investment think tank shows that Ohio is an attractive bet for private capital. The Private Equity Growth Capital Council says Private-equity firms last year alone invested $5 billion in 67 Ohio-based companies. Ohio ranks 11th in private investment - Texas, New York, California, North Carolina top the list.
Report: EPA failed to tell residents about lead issue
Pollution from urban industries is hurting residents long after they’ve closed, according to a report by USA Today. The report says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency knew about high levels of lead near an old Cleveland smelting plant but failed to warn nearby residents. The former Tyroler Metals site is one of many former smelting sites across the country where the EPA failed to inform residents that they lived in an area with high lead levels in the soil. Some children that live in the affected areas have dangerous levels of the poisonous chemical in their bodies. The contamination could cause issues such as decreases in academic achievement, decreased IQ, and delayed puberty. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown says he wrote letters to the US and Ohio EPAs urging them to take action.
Salad recall expanded to Giant Eagle
This weekend’s recall of bagged lettuce is expanding. California-based River Ranch Fresh Foods has expanded its voluntary recall of bagged salad due to potential contamination with Listeria. The recall now includes The Farmers Market brand sold at Giant Eagle and other stores. There have been no reported cases of illness.
Interstate 277 reopens
A stretch of Interstate 277 East in Akron between I-76 and I-77 has reopened after being closed for a month while crews repaved it. The entire I-277 project won’t be done until next year.
Clean air hearing set for today
A hearing set for today could move Northeast Ohio closer to being in line with federal clean air-requirements. The Beacon Journal reports the State of Ohio is requesting that the federal EPA recognize that the region’s air is compliant with fine particulate standards passed in 2006. The region still doesn’t pass the annual limit for soot, but data shows that the air does meet the 24-hour standard. An air planner from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency says that standard could be met later this year. Fine particulates, or soot, can cause health problems including heart attacks and chronic bronchitis.
Problem gamblers can ban themselves from Ohio casino
Ohio's first casino opened a week ago in downtown Cleveland and has drawn big crowds. Now Ohio's casino commission has set up a way to help problem gamblers from giving into temptation and going into the state's casinos. Compulsive gamblers or anyone else can ask the commission to ban themselves from any of the four casinos opening in the state. The new state program makes it a crime for those on the list to enter. People can ask to be banned for a year, five years or life. So far, one northeast Ohio man is on the list and 10 others are awaiting approval. The casino commission thinks between 5,000 and 10,000 people will participate as Ohio's second casino is set to open. The Hollywood Casino in Toledo will open in just over a week.
Husted working to erase dead voters
Ohio's secretary of state is taking another step toward erasing dead voters off the state's voting rolls. Secretary of State Jon Husted says the goal is to prevent fraud. He says a new partnership will give the state access to out-of-state death records and allow election officials to share the information with the election boards in all 88 counties. Ohio will get records that may include information about Ohio residents who die away in other states. The state up until now has only had access to records of those who have died in Ohio.
New strategy in school funding fight
The political fire still burns in Ohio to push more public money into classrooms, even after other states have backed off the idea amid evidence it does little to improve kids' grades. Ohio's latest strategy is to mandate that district spending be winnowed into two categories by August 2013: classroom and non-classroom. School officials are deciding how to categorize counselors, nurses, computers, buses and other expenses in advance of reporting to parents what percentage of the budget is spent on the classroom. The approach is part of Republican Gov. John Kasich's plan to reduce overhead and direct funds to classroom instruction. But other states that have gone the extra step and mandated a certain percentage be spent on the classroom have found it unworkable or ineffective.
Dropout rate climbed fast in last decade
Ohio's dropout rate increased this past decade at a higher rate than all other states except Illinois. In 2009 Ohio's dropout rate jumped from 3.1 percent to 4.2 percent - slightly higher than the national average. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in his State of the State speech this year that high dropout numbers in Ohio's big city schools are a real problem. He wants to combat those statistics by holding students back if they can't pass reading tests by the end of third grade.
Gas prices up ahead of Memorial Day
Gasoline prices in Ohio are up slightly. The average price for regular is about $3.66 a gallon. That's up 3 cents from a week ago but 15 cents cheaper than at this time last year.
Indians fall to Miami
The Indians lost to the Miami Marlins 5-3 in interleague play Sunday at Progressive Field. Derek Lowe had a solid outing, only giving up 2 runs in six innings. But the Tribe only scored seven runs in the entire weekend series. On the day after Indians closer Chris Perez called out Cleveland fans for not showing up to the ballpark, over 23,000 people came out to watch the game. The Tribe has today off before the Detroit Tigers come to town for a critical three-game set.
Kogo, Akor winners at Cleveland Marathon
A record 20,008 runners entered Sunday’s Cleveland Marathon. Kenyan Abraham Kogo won the race, running the 26.2 miles in 2:19:59. It was his first marathon win. Mary Akor of California won the women’s marathon in 2:39:49. But perhaps the biggest winner of the day was Akron’s Nolan T. James, Jr. He proposed to his girlfriend, Allison Ramsey, at the finish line after the couple ran the half marathon.