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Morning news headlines for October 22, 2012
Chardon shooting trial pushed back to January; Ohio newspapers split presidential endorsements; Gas prices down

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
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  • Chardon shooting trial delayed
  • New trial for Douglas Prade starts today
  • AP: Presidential race may come down to swing counties
  • Plain Dealer, Dispatch split endorsements
  • Biden campaigning in Lorain, Canton
  • 2/3 of school levies ask for more money
  • Votes cast by people who die before election will count
  • Ohio auditor clears Akron newsletters with issue positions
  • Gas prices down
  • Chardon shooting trial delayed
    The trial of accused Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane has been pushed back to mid-January. It was scheduled for November 26. But Lane’s attorneys say they need more time to examine him. Lane pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity last month. Three students were killed in the shootings and three others were injured. He faces life in prison if convicted.

    New trial for Douglas Prade starts today
    Arguments are set to begin today in the case of a former Ohio police captain who says new DNA evidence proves he didn't kill his ex-wife in 1997. Douglas Prade has spent the last 14 years in prison. He was convicted of his ex-wife's killing despite a lack of witnesses, fingerprints or a murder weapon. A jury found Prade guilty largely because of a bite mark found on Margo Prade's body. One forensic dentist testified was a match to Prade's teeth. Prade's attorney argues that new DNA test results around the bite mark prove Prade has been innocent all along. She is seeking Prade's exoneration and release, or a new trial.

    AP: Presidential race may come down to swing counties
    The White House race may come down to an even narrower slice of the electorate than simply the nine most competitive states. An Associated Press analysis suggests that the race probably will be decided by what happens in the 106 counties that Republican George W. Bush won in 2004 and that voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008. Six of the counties are in the Buckeye state - Hamilton, Sandusky, Wood, Ottawa, Lake, and Tuscarawas.  Analysts believe voters in these 6 counties could swing Ohio and the election. In Virginia, it may come down to voters who live amid the affluent subdivisions and Civil War battlegrounds of Loudoun County. Florida likely will go to the winner in Tampa’s Hillsborough County. $127 million dollars have been spent by the two campaigns in just three TV markets, Cincinnati, Tampa, and northern Virginia. That’s almost one-fifth of the total spent nationwide this year.

    Plain Dealer, Dispatch split endorsements
    Two of Ohio's biggest newspapers have split on their endorsements in the presidential race. The Columbus Dispatch backs Republican Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, The Cleveland Plain Dealer supports a second term for Democratic President Barack Obama. The Akron Beacon Journal echoes that endorsement.

    Biden campaigning in Lorain, Canton
    Vice President Joe Biden is spending the next two days campaigning in Ohio. Biden will open up his trip today with a visit to a community center in Canton before going on to a rally in Lorain. Biden will spend the early part of Tuesday in Toledo before joining up with President Barack Obama at a post-debate rally in Dayton.

    2/3 of school levies ask for more money
    Two-thirds of school levies on the ballot next month are asking voters to approve additional local dollars for education, the highest percentage of new tax issues in a general election in at least 10 years. Most of those levies will likely fail based on the history of school issues' success with voters. Levies in Akron and Cleveland are among 194 school levies up for a vote next month, including 123 requests for extra funding. The remaining issues are asking voters to renew or continue existing taxes.

    Votes cast by people who die before election will count
    Ohio's elections chief has determined that an absentee ballot cast by a voter who then dies before the election will still be tallied. The confirmation by Secretary of State Jon Husted lends clarity to a situation in which some county boards of election differ on how those ballots should be treated. A Husted spokesman says Ohio law is silent on the question meaning election officials should count such ballots.

    Ohio auditor clears Akron newsletters with issue positions
    The state auditor has backed Akron City Council's publication of newsletters that advocated for and against local and statewide election issues. The Republican members of the Summit County elections board had claimed that council violated the law by using taxpayer dollars to pay for newsletters that took a position on ballot issues. Secretary of State Jon Husted had sided with the board's Democratic members against referring the question to prosecutors, but ordered the board to put the question to the auditor. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Auditor Dave Yost found state law barring public money from being used to advocate for a ballot issue does not apply to a chartered city like Akron.

    Gas prices down
    Ohio motorists are once again seeing lower gas prices compared with last week. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the state was $3.37 in today's AAA survey. That's 25 cents lower than a week ago. 

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