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Morning news headlines for November 15, 2012
Busy day at the Statehouse; RTA could install cameras in all buses; GM recalling Cruzes

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • House committee recommends Planned Parenthood defunding bill
  • New law proposed to close synthetic drug loopholes
  • Puppy mill bill clears House
  • All RTA buses could have cameras by the end of 2013
  • Horseshoe saw 2.6 million visitors in first six months
  • GM recalling Lordstown-built Cruzes with faulty airbags
  • Number of Ohio fungal meningitis cases climbs to 16
  • House committee recommends Planned Parenthood defunding bill
    An Ohio House committee has recommended a bill that would re-prioritize funding for family planning services so that Planned Parenthood would be last on the list. The organization estimates that could cost it more than a million dollars for birth control services it provides to low-income Ohio women. But backers of this plan say it’s about giving women more choices. Even if the plan ends up getting full approval in the Ohio House, it would still have to pass the Ohio Senate …and the two-year legislative session ends when the year ends.

    New law proposed to close synthetic drug loopholes
    A proposed Ohio law seeks to end what a prosecutor calls a "cat-and-mouse" game involving chemists changing synthetic drugs' molecular content to keep them legal. At issue are the sale and abuse of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and herbal incense, which can cause users to behave in bizarre and dangerous ways. A legislative proposal would ban the practice of adding extra compounds to these drugs to skirt the law.

    Puppy mill bill clears House
    A bill that would crack down on high-volume dog breeding operations, dubbed puppy mills, has cleared the Ohio House. The bill now goes back to the Senate to sign off on House changes. Dog breeders who sell 60 or more dogs per year would be subject to new state licensing and annual inspections performed by local veterinarians. If the state gets a complaint about a breeder, it can send in its own inspectors. 

    All RTA buses could have cameras by the end of 2013
    Officials at Cleveland’s public transit agency say they will work to increase safety for bus drivers following several recent incidents of assaults. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and bus driver union members met for more than two hours with a Cleveland city council committee on Wednesday to address the problem. General Manager Joe Calabrese said all buses could have cameras by the end of 2013, at a cost of about $1 million.  The Plain Dealer reports several council members told agency officials they have become lackadaisical in their efforts to keep drivers safe and to crack down on unruly passengers. There have been three assaults in as many months --- including a video of a driver upper cutting an angry female passenger that went viral. RTA, the union and the city are also pushing for state laws that will stiffen the penalties for people who assault transit workers.

    Horseshoe saw 2.6 million visitors in first six months
    Operators say the first of Ohio's four new casinos has had more than 2.6 million visitors during its first six months of operation. The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland opened in May at the old Higbee department store with the promise of a tax windfall and jobs for about 1,600 employees. The downtown casino also plans to add two dozen more table games.

    GM recalling Lordstown-built Cruzes with faulty airbags
    General Motors is recalling about 2,600 Chevy Cruze models built in Lordstown. GM says the vehicles have faulty driver-side airbags.  The problem was discovered in June when 15 consecutive cars set of airbag failure notices. The company said it thought it had caught all of the affected vehicles before they left the plant but a few had been built before the defect was discovered. Letters will be going out to owners.

    Number of Ohio fungal meningitis cases climbs to 16
    Ohio now has 16 fungal meningitis cases linked to a larger outbreak and recalled steroid injections because the state is counting a 55-year-old Kentucky woman who received an injection in Ohio. Officials say dozens of Ohio facilities received the pharmacy's products. Four clinics in Ohio got the potentially contaminated steroids.



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