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Morning news headlines for August 14, 2012
ACLU wants uniform early voting rules; Ohio ranks 13th for obese adults; Amish beard-cutting defendents want oath exemption
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • ACLU wants uniform early voting rules
  • Husted takes control of Lucas County election board
  • Summit County election board gets more cash
  • Ohio ranks 13th for obese adults
  • Amish beard-cutting defendents want oath exemption 
  • YSU shooting trial begins
  • Vermilion school district begins drug testing
  • Akron Art Museum retires
  • ACLU wants uniform early voting rules
    The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is asking the state's elections chief to establish uniform early voting hours in counties across the state. The letter to Secretary of State Jon Husted follows Husted casting a tie-breaking vote on the bipartisan elections board in Cuyahoga County last month that resulted in voting being trimmed on the last two Saturdays and Sundays of October. The county leans heavily Democratic; Husted is a Republican. Husted's spokesman had no immediate comment Monday. Husted previously has said he will consistently vote against expanding early in-person voting in similar cases of a tie.

    Husted takes control of Lucas County election board
    Ohio's election chief has taken over direct supervision of a northern Ohio county election's office over the board’s political squabbles. Secretary of State Jon Husted moved Monday to assert his most direct control of the Lucas County Board of Elections yet. He cited the board's inability to agree on a bipartisan organizational chart with the presidential election so close. Husted put the office under the supervision of two "special masters" he will appoint. The county office is overseen by four board members — two Republicans and two Democrats. The board has deadlocked in 2-2 votes on many issues involving the operation of the office. Husted had the board under administrative supervision in 2011, but lifted it in November.

    Summit County election board gets more cash
    After a nearly year-long dispute, Summit County Council is giving its county elections board more money. On Monday, council approved giving the election board an additional $1.5 million for the year. The board had threated legal action if it didn’t get more than the $4.7 million the county budgeted for this year --- arguing that it needs double that to operate a presidential election. The county had argued that boards of similar size operate with much less money.

    Amish beard-cutting defendents want oath exemption 
    Some of the 16 people charged in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio are asking not to be required to swear an oath if they testify in federal court. A slew of pretrial documents filed Monday included the request that Amish witnesses be allowed to affirm the truthfulness of their testimony because many Amish don't believe in swearing oaths. The defendants include members of an eastern Ohio breakaway Amish group. Prosecutors say the attacks were hate crimes. The defendants say they were internal church disciplinary matters. Defendants, led by Sam Mullet Sr., are seeking to delay the Aug. 27 trial.

    YSU shooting trial begins
    The first trial begins this week for one of several men accused of killing a Youngstown State University senior at a fraternity house party. It has been more than a year and a half since 25-year old Jamail Johnson was gunned down at an off- campus party. Jury selection begins this week for 23-year old Columbus Jones Jr. on murder charges.

    Vermilion school district begins drug testing
    A northern Ohio school district has passed a student drug testing policy. The Vermilion Local School Board approved a requirement that any student in grades eight through 12 submit to random drug testing if they want to participate in extra-curricular activities or apply for a parking permit. School leaders say the testing will be administered by a third party. Students who test positive will have to go to counseling. The school district will pay for the cost of the testing. 

    Ohio 13th for obese adults
    Nearly 30 percent of Ohio’s adults are obese, ranking the state 13th in the nation according to a national report. The new analysis by Washington DC-based Trust for America’s Health, found that 26 of the 30 heaviest states are in the Midwest and South. Mississippi ranked first with nearly 35 percent of adults obese, while Colorado is the leanest state in the country at 20 percent.

    Akron Art Museum retires
    The longtime director of the Akron Art Museum is retiring. Mitchell Kahan led the museum for 26 years and will become Director Emeritus on January 2nd. Kahan led the almost $45 million renovation and expansion of the museum completed about five years ago. 

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