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Morning news headlines for November 26, 2012
Many Ohioans facing loss of unemployment benefits; Deer gun season under way; Income tax bill sparking controversy among some local governments

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Many Ohioans could lose jobless benefits soon
  • Local income tax standardization bill sparking controversy
  • Deer gun season starts today
  • NASA looking to share technology with private sector
  • U of Toledo trying to make algae-based fuel profitable
  • Ohio offering bait cars to law enforcement officials
  • Gas prices higher after holiday weekend
  • Many Ohioans could lose jobless benefits soon
    About 55,000 Ohioans among the long-term unemployed are expected to lose jobless benefits soon because of the end of federally funded aid initiated several years ago. Workers who used up six months of state payments could get 73 more weeks of aid under a federal benefits program extended several times. Some advocates want Congress to extend it again. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants an extension included if Congress makes a deal to avoid the automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff." The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says nearly 134,000 workers get unemployment benefits. More than one-third of them receive federal benefits set to end Dec. 29.

    Local income tax standardization bill sparking controversy
    A legislative proposal aimed at simplifying local income-tax collections around Ohio isn't sitting well with some officials who believe it would add to financial strains faced by cities and villages. Two Republican Representatives have introduced a bill that would provide standardized business-tax regulations while allowing municipalities to continue setting their own tax rates. But Columbus tax administrator Melinda Frank says it could hurt city revenue. The Columbus Dispatch reports the nearly 600 municipalities in Ohio use more than 300 forms to collect local income taxes, making it more complicated and costly for some business owners. It's the only state where each entity can set its own rules and definition of income.

    Deer gun season starts today
    Ohio's deer gun season is expected to draw nearly a half million hunters this year. The hunting week will begins today and runs through Dec. 2. The season also will include an extra weekend of hunting Dec. 15th. Deer can be hunted with a muzzleloader, handgun or shotgun from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset during the season. The Division of Wildlife says hunting has an $850 million economic impact each year in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.

    NASA looking to share technology with private sector
    Ohio's big NASA complex is looking for ways to share space technology with private industry. The NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland plans a three-day technology showcase opening Wednesday at the Cleveland Public Auditorium. The space agency will show off NASA technologies that may be put to use in the aerospace, energy, automotive, manufacturing and health-care industries. NASA officials will be on hand to meet with business leaders to discuss transferring NASA technologies to private industry.

    U of Toledo trying to make algae-based fuel profitable
    Researchers from one university in Ohio are trying to figure out how to make it profitable to turn algae into fuel. The group from the University of Toledo says they're at least three years away from the idea becoming viable. There's already a known process to turn algae into fuel, so the researchers are trying to make it more efficient. The researchers from Toledo say using algae instead of crops for biofuels means less space is needed. And wastewater or sea water could be used to grow the algae.

    Ohio offering bait cars to law enforcement officials
    Ohio is offering cars for law enforcement officials to use as bait to foil car break-ins during the busy holiday shopping season.  The state attorney general's Bureau of Criminal Investigation is allowing all law enforcement agencies in Ohio free use of the "bait cars." The cars are outfitted with multiple cameras that activate when motion is detected near the vehicle. The equipment sends a live feed of crimes in progress to authorities. Grove City police recently arrested two suspects who were allegedly trying to break into a bait car in an area where several break-ins had been reported. A release from the attorney general's office also urges Ohioans to not leave anything valuable in cars that would attract the attention of thieves trolling parking lots and neighborhoods.

    Gas prices higher after holiday weekend
    Ohio drivers heading back to work after the long holiday weekend are seeing higher gas prices. The average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.52 in today’s survey. That's 7 cents higher than a week ago and is the third week in a row that prices at the pump are up.



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