Unemployment falls below 7 percent
Ohio’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in October. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services released the numbers just minutes ago. Ohio's unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in September, after three consecutive months of holding steady at 7.2 percent. The state's rate has been at its lowest level since 2008, and has remained below the national rate.
Frank Russo begins prison term this weekend
Cuyahoga County’s former auditor will begin serving his prison sentence this weekend. Frank Russo has been ordered to report to a federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania more than two years after he pleaded guilty to public corruption charges involving more than a million dollars in bribes and kickbacks. He was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison but was left free while he helped federal prosecutors build cases against dozens of others involved in the massive public corruption scandal.
Jackson basketball coach accused of videotaping nude boys
A Stark County high school basketball coach is being held on two-million dollars bond --- accused of videotaping nude boys in the locker room. 46-year old Scott Studer was arraigned Thursday, a day after he resigned as Jackson High School’s freshman coach. Authorities searched Studer’s home and found nude images on a DVD, a laptop computer and a flash drive.
Husted ordered to write new provisional ballot directive
Ohio's elections chief says a federal judge's demand to come up with a new order regarding provisional ballots is even worse than a previous court demand. The judge this week slammed Husted for breaking the law by issuing an order the weekend before the November 6th election that said voters are responsible for filling out the ID section when they cast a provisional ballot, not pollworkers. The judge ordered Husted to draw up a new directive by noon today to send to the 88 county boards of election. Husted has asked the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the decision. The state will begin counting its roughly 200,000 provisional ballots tomorrow.
Judge says sentence Route 82 Bridge suspects as terrorists
A federal judge says three men who pleaded guilty in an unsuccessful plot to bomb the Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park should be sentenced as terrorists. Judge David Dowd’s ruling means the trio could spend as many as 30 years in prison. Connor Stevens of Berea, Brandon Baxter of Lakewood and Douglas Wright of Indianapolis will be sentenced on Tuesday.
Ohio to get $3 million from Avandia lawsuit
Ohio is expected to get $3 million from a $90 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline over allegations it unlawfully promoted its diabetes drug, Avandia. Ohio was one of 38 states who signed off on the settlement. They accused GlaxoSmithKline of misrepresenting to physicians the cardiovascular risks and safety profile of Avandia. A court in Lucas County still must sign off on the deal. Besides the money, Glaxo is promising not to make any other false, misleading, or deceptive claims about any diabetes drug of to misuse statistics on its clinical trials.
Judge rejects obese death row inmate’s request for clemency
A federal judge has rejected an appeal by an obese death row inmate that is unrelated to the inmate's attempt to stop his execution because of his weight. Condemned killer Ronald Post wants more time to pursue arguments that claims he made a full confession to several people have been falsely exaggerated. Cleveland federal judge Lesley Wells ruled Thursday that Post can't bring up the argument again since it's been decided previously. But the judge sent the question to a federal appeals court in Cincinnati for a final determination according to federal law governing this type of appeal. Post was sentenced to die for shooting an Elyria hotel clerk in 1983. A separate appeal argues that at 400 pounds, Post is too obese to be put to death humanely.
Couple charged in radio tower copper theft
A northeast Ohio couple faces federal charges for allegedly stealing copper wire from a radio tower. Thomas Carbone of North Royalton and Katie Stanton of Cleveland allegedly broke into property owned by Radio One in North Royalton in mid-August and took copper material from four towers. The indictment says emergency repairs cost nearly $11,000, and permanent repairs will run $125,000.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools mulling return of iPad program
A Cleveland-area school district is considering whether to resume a program that allowed students to take home school-issued tablet computers but was curbed after some students were targeted by thieves. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights district gave its middle school students 1,300 iPads when the school year started. It stopped allowing them to take the computers home after just a few weeks because thieves stole dozens computers from students headed to and from school. Parents at a meeting on the issue Thursday had mixed opinions.