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Noon headlines, July 19, 2012
Priest's sentencing moved; Brown, Mandel to debate; Cleveland schools to ask for levy

  • Priest's sentencing moved
  • Brown, Mandel to debate
  • Cleveland schools to ask for levy
  • Priest's sentencing moved
    A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to tax fraud must wait to be resentenced before learning if he can reclaim $3.5 million in restitution.

    Federal Judge James Gwin in Akron has moved sentencing from today to August 24 for 70-year-old Rev. Samuel Ciccolini.

    The judge had ordered him to pay nearly $3.5 million in 2010, but an appeals court said the judge had no authority to order the restitution. Ciccolini's lawyer filed a motion asking for the money plus interest. But the Clerk of Courts says the money has not been invested and there was no interest generated.

    The judge says he won't decide on returning the money until re-sentencing.

    Prosecutors also asked for a new sentence. The Akron Beacon Journal says the government wants a sentence of up to two years.

    Ciccolini is accused of depositing more than $1 million in Akron banks in 2003 by making 139 transactions, which were small enough not to be reported to federal authorities.He also admitted to embezzeling from, but then re-paying, the Interval Brotherhood Home Foundation, which declined to press charges.

    Brown, Mandel to debate
    Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh Mandel are likely to debate three times before the November election. 

    The Plain Dealer reports that Brown told the City Club of Cleveland today that either Oct. 1 or 8 is fine.

    But a Mandel spokesman cited a different date, with two other debates scheduled in Columbus and possibly Zanesville. Brown's campaign said there has been no agreement on either of those two cities.

    Cleveland schools to ask for levy
    The city of Cleveland is getting ready to sell a major school tax increase to voters.  The school board is asking voters to approve a new levy in November that will mean an extra $77 million for the district. That would pay for a sweeping reform plan that includes remaking failing schools and lengthening school days.

    Mayor Frank Jackson, who heads the district, says “the truth” will be the campaign theme for selling the levy and the truth is that the district has been making progress.

    “But it’s only been incremental and the benefit of that progress has not been for all of the children. This plan, along with the legislative reform, the financial support that we’re asking for in the levy and the full implementation next year will allow us to provide the greatest progress in terms of education their children and get(ting) it done now.”

    The proposed increase would cost the average homeowner an extra $300 a year.

    About 20 dollars of that would go to charter schools that partner with the district.  School CEO Eric Gordon says if the levy fails, the district would probably face a $50 million shortfall next year.  He says that would mean hundreds more layoffs and other cuts.
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