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Morning news headlines for October 15, 2012
Senate candidates debate today; Downtown Cleveland hotel closing in favor of apartments; Critics question lack of Coingate report

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Brown, Mandel set for City Club debate
  • Another week, another set of Ohio campaign stops
  • Downtown Cleveland hotel giving way to apartments
  • State releases economic impact of movie, TV, and commercial shoots
  • Critics blast lack of Coingate report
  • Grand Lake St. Mary’s algae prevention project isn’t working
  • Browns snap 11-game losing streak
  • Brown, Mandel set for City Club debate
    The first of three debates in the race for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat is today. Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown will face off against Republican challenger Josh Mandel in Cleveland in what already has been a combative campaign. Brown says Mandel has been more concerned about running for a higher office than doing his job as state treasurer. Mandel counters that Brown is a career politician who is too liberal for the state. Both campaigns and outside groups have spent millions flooding the air waves with campaign ads that have taken on a nasty tone leading up to the November election.

    Another week, another set of Ohio campaign stops
    Republican GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and first lady Michelle Obama will be reaching out to voters in campaign appearances around Ohio. Ryan is set to hold a rally at an airport in Cincinnati at noon today. The first lady will make stops later Monday in Cleveland and north of Columbus in the town of Delaware. Ryan and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned in various parts of Ohio on Saturday. President Barack Obama meanwhile will return to Ohio on Wednesday for a rally in Athens. Mr. Obama is turning to some big names to help him turn out the vote in battleground Ohio. Former President Bill Clinton will speak and rock star Bruce Springsteen will perform Thursday at a rally in Parma. Four years ago, Springsteen appeared with Mr. Obama at a downtown Cleveland rally the weekend before Election Day. The event drew 80,000.  

    Downtown Cleveland hotel giving way to apartments
    Downtown Cleveland is gaining 232 apartments but at the cost of a hotel and its 100 jobs. The developer K&D Group of Willoughby plans to close the Embassy Suites hotel in December and convert the space to apartments like the rest of its high-rise building. The hotel slid into foreclosure in November. K&D bought out the mortgage and landed financing for a $3 million apartment makeover. K&D CEO Doug Price tells The Plain Dealer the hotel was not profitable despite a two-thirds occupancy rate. Downtown Cleveland apartments are thriving, with an occupancy rate approaching 97 percent.

    State releases economic impact of movie, TV, and commercial shoots
    The state says movies, TV shows and commercials shot in Ohio since 2010 have contributed more than $205 million to Ohio's economy and employed more than 19,000 Ohioans with the help of tax credits. The Ohio Film Office says it provided more than $52 million in credits to the 44 productions. The credits are aimed at boosting Ohio in the competition among states to lure shoots. Films to be shot in northeast Ohio include "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" in Cleveland and "Underdogs" in Canton.

    Critics blast lack of Coingate report
    Critics are asking why Ohio's government watchdog hasn't yet released an investigative report on the investment scandal that engulfed Ohio in 2005. With the presidential election only weeks away, the nonprofit government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio is asking Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer to explain how the delay isn't politically motivated. Meyer was facing a threatened lawsuit by Common Cause when he pledged in February to complete the report left unissued by his predecessor who oversaw the investigation. The threatened legal action raised the possibility that the scandal dubbed "Coingate" could re-emerge as a campaign issue in the presidential battleground state. Meyer's spokesman says a time table hadn't been set for completing the report.

    Grand Lake St. Mary’s algae prevention project isn’t working
    A two-year, $8.5 million project to stop toxic algae in Ohio's largest inland lake isn't working. The 13,000-acre Grand Lake St. Mary’s in western Ohio was sprayed with aluminum sulfate in April that was supposed to keep the blue-green algae from feeding on phosphorous in the water. A similar treatment was applied last year. The Columbus Dispatch reports that this year's treatment was spoiled by high winds that helped stir phosphorus-rich mud from the lake bottom. A report due in December is expected to raise questions about whether the state will fund a third treatment.

    Browns snap 11-game losing streak
    Browns fans finally have something to celebrate. The Browns beat the Bengals 34-24 on Sunday, avoiding a franchise record 12th straight loss and handing coach Pat Shurmur his first AFC North victory.  The win also gives incoming owner Jimmy Haslam something to boast about. His purchase of the team for nearly $1 billion is up for a vote Tuesday in Chicago.



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