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Morning news headlines for November 21, 2012
Ohio Graduation Test to be replaced; Cleveland’s public transit agency will beef up service next year; Democratic state lawmakers keep their leaders

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Ohio Graduation Test to be replaced
  • Bridge bomb plot defendents sentenced
  • Cleveland’s public transit agency will beef up service next year
  • Democratic state lawmakers keep their leaders 
  • Kasich staffers cleared of accusations
  • Former Ohio A.G. law license suspended
  • Cuyahoga election's chief to leave post
  • Ohio Graduation Test to be replaced
    State education leaders have agreed to replace the Ohio Graduation Test with a nationally standardized college readiness test, such as the ACT, and 10 subject-area exams. The college readiness test could be offered free to all Ohio sophomores as soon as next year under the timeline announced Tuesday. That test and the 10 subject-area exams that replace the OGT would be required by the 2014-15 school year. Test scores would be factored into a modified accountability system the state is developing.

    Bridge bomb plot defendents sentenced
    The so-called ringleader of a plot to blow up a bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park last spring has been sentenced to 11 ½ years in prison. Judge David Dowd sentenced 26-year old Douglas Wright in the federal courthouse in Akron Tuesday. He also sentenced one of Wright’s co-defendants, 20-year old Brandon Baxter of Lakewood, to nearly 10 years. Thirty-five-year old Anthony Hanye of Cleveland also pleaded guilty. He’ll be sentenced today. And, 23 year old Joshua Stafford of Cleveland is undergoing psychiatric examinations. The group planted remote-controlled explosives at the base of the Route 82 bridge. The bomb turned out to be fake, supplied by a paid-FBI informant.

    Cleveland’s public transit agency will beef up service next year
    Cleveland’s public transit agency says it will add more frequent stops and restore some rail line services.The Greater Cleveland RTA says it will expand its bus and rail service by 5 percent next year. That includes less wait times for trains and restoring weekday service on the Waterfront Line, once the Flats East Bank development opens next spring. 

    Democratic state lawmakers keep their leaders 
    Democratic state lawmakers are sticking with the same leaders when the newly elected Ohio General Assembly begins meeting next year. State Sen. Eric Kearney of Cincinnati will remain the minority leader in the Senate, while state Rep. Armond Budish of Beachwood will lead the House Democratic caucus. Re-joining Kearney on the Senate leadership team are Sens. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, Nina Turner of Cleveland and Edna Brown of Toledo. Republicans, who hold majorities in both chambers, have yet to select their leadership teams. Senate Republicans planned to vote on a new president next week since current Senate President Tom Niehaus is term-limited.

    Kasich staffers cleared of accusations
    Members of the Ohio governor's staff have been cleared of accusations involving a takeover of the state GOP this past spring. Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer said three regional liaisons working for Gov. John Kasich did not use state time when they circulated, delivered or filed candidacy and nominating forms for individuals seeking seats on the Ohio Republican State Central Committee. Kasich allies gained a committee majority in March, and ousted then-Chairman Kevin DeWine in April. Meyer says in a report issued Tuesday that the three used leaves, lunch hours or comp time for the committee work.

    Former Ohio A.G. law license suspended
    The law license of Ohio’s former attorney general has been suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court for six months. The court’s unanimous decision cited Marc Dann’s "knowing and reckless behavior," which ended in convictions on misdemeanor charges of soliciting improper compensation and filing false financial disclosure statements. Dann had failed to disclose that a campaign contributor had put up more than $20,000 to lease a private jet for Dann, had made improper payments from his campaign funds to aides and had failed to disclose expense reimbursement checks.

    Cuyahoga election's chief to leave post
    The director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is leaving to become chief of staff for the new county prosecutor, Tim McGinty. Jane Platten is largely credited with turning around the elections board when she took over in 2004. It had been plagued with big delays and other snafus that drew national ridicule.  McGinty took over as acting prosecutor when Bill Mason resigned in October and was easily elected to the post on Nov. 6.

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