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Morning news headlines October 3, 2012
Early voting rallies, lines; suspect arrested in mosque arson; federal appeals court upholds abortion pill ruling in Ohio
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Early voting rallies, lines
  • Suspect arrested in mosque arson
  • Federal appeals court upholds abortion pill ruling in Ohio
  • JobsOhio head steps down
  • Columbus casino set to open
  • $1 million in grants for drug offender treatment
  • Oversight of medical services in Ohio prisons to end
  • Early voting rallies, lines
    Eager Ohioans across the battleground state have voted early for president, U.S. Senate and other races. Some voters camped overnight at polling places to mark Tuesday's start of early voting. As many as 200 people lined up at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections when the doors opened at 8am. However, elections officials in Franklin County said roughly 9,500 fewer people voted in person or requested an absentee ballot on Tuesday compared with opening day in 2008.

    First Lady rallies voters in Cincinnati
    First lady Michelle Obama has told thousands of supporters in downtown Cincinnati that the November presidential election will be even closer than the one four years ago and that every single vote counts. At the event Tuesday, Mrs. Obama reminded the crowd that her husband won Ohio four years ago with just 262,000 votes. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's team says it will have knocked on one million doors in Ohio by the end of the week and it has made three million phone calls since May - more than in any other swing state.

    Suspect arrested in mosque arson
    Authorities are confirming an arrest in a fire inside a landmark mosque outside Toledo that investigators say was intentionally set.  52-year old Randy Linn of Indiana is believed to be the suspect in a surveillance camera outside the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. The fire caused damage to an upstairs prayer room of the mosque that sits along Interstate 75. Its gold dome can be seen for miles.

    Federal appeals court upholds abortion pill ruling in Ohio
    A federal appeals panel has upheld a lower court's ruling that an Ohio law limiting the distribution of an abortion pill does not violate a woman's right to choose. The Tuesday opinion from the 6th U.S. District Court of Appeals panel stems from a law signed in 2004 by then-Gov. Bob Taft. The legislation banned the use of RU-486 to induce abortion unless prescribed by a doctor in compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Three Planned Parenthoods and some private practitioners sued over the law, arguing that it infringed on a woman's right to choose and is constitutionally vague.

    JobsOhio head steps down
    The California venture capitalist hired by Ohio Gov. John Kasich for one dollar to help jump start Ohio's job-creation efforts is leaving the job and returning to the private sector. Mark Kvamme will resign as president and interim chief investment officer of JobsOhio on Nov. 1. The governor removed Kvamme from his first job as state development director after a lawsuit alleged his out-of-state residency made him ineligible for the job. Kvamme was named Kasich's director of job creation, then was moved to JobsOhio. 

    Columbus casino set to open
    The casino set to open Monday in Ohio's capital is testing its operations with an invitation-only demonstration day. The $400 million Hollywood Casino Columbus says proceeds from today’s games will go to five local nonprofit organizations. Mayor Michael Coleman and actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be on hand for the special gambling night. It is the third and largest of four voter-approved casinos in Ohio. Casinos in Cleveland and Toledo opened several months ago, and one in Cincinnati debuts next spring.

    $1 million in grants for drug offender treatment
    Federal grants topping nearly $1 million will help The Greater Cleveland Drug Court expand its services, particularly in suburban communities. The Plain Dealer reports the money will be used to pay for assessment and treatment for minor drug offenders who either don’t have public health insurance for treatment or  or whose insurance won’t cover it. The court estimates the money will help around 200 people charged with drug offenses in neighboring municipalities such as East Cleveland, Euclid, South Euclid, Rocky River and Shaker Heights.

    Oversight of medical services in Ohio prisons to end
    A federal judge has ended her oversight of the Ohio prisons medical system after concluding the level of service and care has greatly improved. U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Beckwith says she agrees with a July report that failed to find remaining violations of inmates' constitutional rights. Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice and Policy Center, a prisoners' rights group, had argued that oversight should continue because prison staffing levels are unable to meet the needs of inmates and are leading to inadequate medical care, including inadequate access to medication and care for cancer. Beckwith had overseen prison medical care since a 2005 settlement of the policy center's lawsuit.
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