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Noon headlines: Oct. 31, 2012: Ohio's poll, Sandy aftermath, sentencing
Ohio polls and politics, Hurricane Sandy cleanup continues, absentee voter mistakes

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:
  • Ohio leans toward Obama
  • Restoration from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy
  • Mistakes may hurt some absentee voters
  • Presidential campaigns plan to hit Ohio again
  • School treasurer sentenced
  • Investigation looks at day care centers 
  • Problem gambling
  • Ohio leans toward Obama
    Ohio voters continue to lean toward President Obama over Mitt Romney by about 5 percentage points, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Still, 4 percent of the voters say they have not yet made up their minds. And among those who have decided, a small share – about 4 percent – say they could change their minds by Tuesday.

    The poll says the economy continues to be the most important issue for Ohio voters, followed by healthcare and Medicare. And 40 percent of the likely voters say it is getting better, and 30 percent saying it is unchanged.

    Meanwhile, Sen. Sherrod Brown’s lead over challenger Josh Mandel is holding at 9 points in Ohio’s  Senate race. And the Dispatch took the unusual step today of endorsing a Democrat – Brown – for federal office.

    Restoration from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy
    Cleveland’s airports are back to normal. Route 2 is fully reopened along Lake Erie and most schools have resumed classes. Still, signs of the superstorm linger, including some traffic signals still not functioning downtown, and trees and limbs that have downed power lines. About 125,000 people remain without power in Cuyahoga County and another 21,000 in Lake County. Another rough 11,000 are out throughout the Northeast Ohio region.

    Mistakes may hurt some absentee voters
    A glitch in the transfer of change-of-address records is being blamed for some of Ohio voters' absentee ballot requests being rejected by mistake.

    The Plain Dealer says the problem is a delay in transferring some updated address records from the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles to Secretary of State Jon Husted's office.

    Husted just this week sent about 33,000 updated registration records to local elections officials. Because of the delay, an unknown number of absentee ballot applications had been rejected because county elections officials didn't have current addresses.

    Officials in Cuyahoga County — which includes Cleveland — said 71 such applications were rejected. Those voters will be sent new absentee ballots. Numbers weren't available for other counties.

    Presidential campaigns plan to hit Ohio again
    The presidential campaign is expected to return to Ohio in a big way Friday. President Obama, who cancelled two visits this week to Northeast Ohio, plans to be in Springfield on Friday. And Mitt Romney and his wife Ann are kicking off a four-day, swing-state tour in southwest Ohio Friday.

    School treasurer sentenced
    A former treasurer to more than a dozen charter schools has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling nearly half a million dollars in federal education funds from four schools. Carl Shye Jr., of New Albany, must also repay the funds he stole.

    Investigation looks at day care centers 
    The Dayton Daily News is reporting that Ohio has opened dozens of fraud investigations of taxpayer-subsidized day care centers following an overhaul designed to detect abuse. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has 64 open investigations in 21 counties.

    Columbus looks at gambling
    Columbus City Council held a hearing this week on the growth of gambling addition in the region. An official at a Columbus treatment center said 40 percent of the people seeking help for problem gambling frequent unregulated gaming parlors, often called Internet cafes. Columbus has just opened its downtown casino.


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