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Noon news headlines for Nov. 26, 2012
Bomb plotter appeals, Renewable energy rally promotes mandate, Cleveland councilman charged with DUI  

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Bomb plotter appeals
  • Renewable energy rally promotes mandate
  • Cleveland councilman charged with DUI
  • Bomb plotter appeals 
    One of the four men who pleaded guilty in a failed plot to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio has appealed his nearly 10-year sentence.

    The attorney for 21-year-old Brandon Baxter of Lakewood filed the appeal today with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

    The other two defendants sentenced last week in Akron also plan to appeal. Their attorneys say the men deserve leniency because they were entrapped by an FBI informant who provided a dud bomb device.

    A fourth defendant is considering withdrawing his guilty plea if he doesn't get the lenient sentence offered in return for his cooperation.

    A fifth defendant is undergoing a psychiatric exam.

    Prosecutors described the defendants as self-proclaimed anarchists who acted out of anger against corporate America and the government.

    Renewable energy rally promotes mandate
    Energy efficiency advocates are holding a rally in Columbus today. They want to keep pressure on legislators to maintain requirements for utilities to cut the amount of electricity that customers consume and increase their use of alternative energy sources. 

    In 2008, Ohio enacted a law that requires electric utilities reduce their energy use by 22 percent by 2025.

    But, if Ohio’s largest power company—First Energy Corp—has its way, the state will freeze or even lower that standard. The power giant says the programs they’ve implemented to incentive customers to reduce electricity use are getting too expensive.

    Doug Colafella,a spokesman for First Energy, says, “As these programs become more aggressive, as the goals become more difficult to achieve, the costs for these programs are undoubtedly going to increase.”

    Now, energy efficiency advocates are pushing back, urging legislators to keep the standards high. Midwest Energy Alliance, a group of private utilities, manufacturers and environmentalists, will use today’s rally to draw the public’s attention to the benefits of energy efficiency.

    Deputy Director Stacey Paradis says the group wants to ensure that lawmakers’ discussions about the state’s energy standards don’t fly under the public’s radar.

    She says, “The one thing that happens a lot in lame duck legislatures after the election is there’s a lot of opportunity to rush through legislation and there’s not an opportunity to get strong public hearings on it. Things are attached to other bills and things like that.”

    Paradis says high energy efficiency standards mean manufacturers have to make more products that keep energy costs low, and that creates jobs. Many utilities argue that it is switching to green energy that increases customer costs and raises the price of production.

    So far, no legislation has been formally proposed to amend the energy standards. 

    - Reported by Michelle Kanu, WCPN 

    Cleveland councilman pleads not guilty in DUI 
    A Cleveland city councilman charged on Sunday with driving under the influence and speeding pleaded not guilty in court this morning.

    Councilman Eugene Miller was arrested about 1 a.m. Sunday. 

    Court documents show Miller's blood alcohol content was under the legal limit.

    Miller will be back in court on Dec. 18 for another hearing.

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