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Morning news headlines for October 2, 2012
Early voting begins today; Bobby Thompson's identity revealed, Some convicted Amish to remain free until sentencing
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Early voting starts today
  • Husted seeks dismissal of election officials’ suit against him
  • Obama to speak at Cleveland State
  • “Bobby Thompson” identity revealed
  • Judge allows some convicted Amish to remain free until sentencing
  • Accused Chardon shooter enters insanity plea
  • Consumer group pushing Ohio to start planning health care exchange
  • Investigators: NW Ohio mosque fire was intentional
  • Abortions down in Ohio
  • First Energy cuts back coal plant 
  • Early voting starts today
    Ohio Secretary of State John Husted says he’s confident the state is prepared for the start of early voting today. He says local boards have received more than 920,000 absentee ballot applications as of Friday. Ohioans are able to vote by mail or in person without having to give a reason. First lady Michelle Obama planned to visit Cincinnati to kick off early voting. Republican Mitt Romney's campaign also planned a get-out-the-vote bus tour in southwest Ohio and elsewhere. About 30 percent of Ohio's total vote — or roughly 1.7 million ballots — came in ahead of Election Day in 2008. 

    Husted seeks dismissal of election officials’ suit against him
    Ohio Secretary of State John Husted is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit involving two Democratic elections officials who claim they were unjustly fired by him. Husted fired the two members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections in late August, saying they violated his order setting uniform early voting hours in the state. Ex-board members Dennis Lieberman and Thomas Ritchie Sr. say Husted wrongfully terminated them after they voted to allow early voting on weekends. Husted on Monday asked a federal judge in Dayton to dismiss the case, saying the terminations is a matter for state law, not federal. The Democrats are seeking reinstatement, arguing the county needs their roughly 28 years of combined experience to ensure a smooth election.

    Obama to speak at Cleveland State
    President Barack Obama is continuing his Ohio college campus theme. The Obama campaign has announced he will be at Cleveland State University's Krenzler Field on Friday. Doors open at 11 a.m. and tickets are required, available at Northeast Ohio campaign offices. Last week, he campaigned at Kent State and Bowling Green State. Republican candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan campaigned across Ohio last week and so far have no appearances scheduled in the state this week. 

    “Bobby Thompson” identity revealed
    Federal authorities in Cleveland say a former fugitive suspected of running a $100 million cross-country scam collecting donations for Navy veterans is actually a Harvard-trained attorney. The U.S. Marshals said Monday that the man who identified himself as Bobby Thompson is really 65-year old John Donald Cody. He has been wanted on unrelated fraud charges since 1987. His true identity was uncovered through 1969 military fingerprints that didn't make it into the national crime system. He is jailed awaiting trial on charges of defrauding donors in 41 states of up to $100 million through a bogus Florida-based charity, including $2 million from Ohioans. He was arrested in Portland, Ore., in May and has pleaded not guilty.

    Judge allows some convicted Amish to remain free until sentencing
    A federal judge is allowing seven of nine Amish defendants convicted in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish to remain free before they are sentenced early next year. U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Polster says he's mindful that their immediate detention could leave a number of very young children without parents. But Polster also said in a ruling Monday that all defendants should be prepared to be taken into custody in late January if he imposes a prison sentence. The judge declined to allow two defendants, Lester Miller and Raymond Miller, to remain free and ordered them to report to U.S. marshals by Friday.

    Accused Chardon shooter enters insanity plea
    The teen accused in the Chardon High School shooting rampage has filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea. The defense filing Monday on behalf of 18-year-old suspect T.J. Lane had been expected and didn't elaborate on the insanity issue. Lane's attorneys have said he suffers from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies. Lane is being tried as an adult and faces life in prison without parole if convicted of the shootings this past February in the Chardon High School cafeteria. Three students were killed and others were injured.

    Consumer group pushing Ohio to start planning health care exchange
    A consumer coalition is urging the state to discuss its plans to inform Ohioans about a key part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law. States face a Nov. 16 deadline to submit plans to the federal government for running an exchange --- an online market in which individual consumers and others will shop for health insurance. Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage says Ohio should have people with roots in minority communities and elsewhere explain exchanges. Gov. John Kasich says he's leaning toward a federally-facilitated exchange but details have yet to be determined.|Open enrollment starts in one year with coverage kicking in Jan. 1, 2014.

    Investigators: NW Ohio mosque fire was intentional
    Investigators say a fire inside a mosque in Northwest Ohio was intentionally set. Little information was being released Monday about the fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. The blaze broke out Sunday and caused damage to a second floor of the building. The mosque is landmark along Interstate 75 near Toledo with its gold dome visible for miles. 

    Abortions down in Ohio
    The annual number of abortions reported in Ohio has dropped below 25,000, its lowest level since the data-tracking started in 1976. Reported abortions have decreased each year since 2000, when there were about 38-thousand  but the most recent year-to-year drop is the largest in that span. The yearly report released Monday by the Ohio Department of Health marks a decrease of more than 3-thousand compared with 2010.

    First Energy cuts back coal plant
    FirstEnergy cut usage of a power plant near East Liverpool. The W.H. Sammis plant will now be used only during peak demand. A FirstEnergy spokesman tells the Youngstown Vindicator the coal-fired plant meets all environmental standards, but it doesn’t make enough money compared to cheaper natural gas. The Akron-based utility is also looking at the possibility of converting one of its coal-fired plants in Pennsylvania so that it can burn both natural gas and coal.

     

     

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