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Morning news headlines for December 5, 2012
Congressman Ryan gets public intoxication charge dropped; Cleveland schools outlines 4-year plan; Columbus schools to pay for state audit
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Congressman Ryan gets public intoxication charge dropped
  • Police gunfire victims shot dozens of times
  • Cleveland schools outlines 4-year plan
  • Columbus schools to pay for state audit
  • Concussion legislation clears Senate
  • Mom indicted in toddler's death
  • Bill to curb asbestos lawsuits moves ahead
  • Rep. Kaptur not picked for top Appropriations Committee spot
  • 19th meningitis case confirmed
  • Pill mill owner gets 17 1/2 years
  • Kent State football coach heading to Purdue
  • Congressman Ryan gets public intoxication charge dropped
    A judge in Virginia has dismissed a public intoxication charge against Northeast Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan.  Ryan of Niles had been charged in August while attending a staff member's wedding in western Virginia.  Ryan tells the Plain Dealer he had been walking awkwardly down the street because his back was sore -- an ailment he attributed to an old football injury. He said he declined to take an alcohol breath test when the officer stopped him. Ryan was first elected to Congress in 2002 and easily won a sixth term last month in a redrawn district that stretches from Youngstown into Summit County. He has reportedly has been considering a run for governor in 2014. 

    Police shooting victims shot dozens of times, deaths ruled homicide
    The medical examiner's office in Cleveland says two people killed when a car chase ended with a barrage of police gunfire were each shot about two dozen times. The chase Thursday night began when an officer reported hearing a gunshot near police headquarters, and it ended with police firing 137 rounds. An office spokesman said Tuesday that 43-year-old driver Timothy Russell was shot 23 times while 30-year old Malissa Williams was shot 24 times. No weapon or shell casings were found in vehicle. Their family members have asked for a federal investigation. Officers say the driver rammed a patrol car and nearly hit an officer, so force was necessary.

    Cleveland schools outlines 4-year plan
    The struggling Cleveland school district is moving forward with a four-year transformation plan, bout a month since voters passed a 15-mill tax levy. Schools CEO Eric Gordon presented the 33-page plan to the school board Tuesday night. It includes overhauling six failing schools, partnering with more charters, and creating more specialty schools. Gordon says he will gather parents and residents input during the next month through public meetings before finalizing the plan in mid-January.  The board also set a January 22nd date for restoring 50 minutes to the school day at kindergarten through eighth grade schools. The days were shortened earlier this year to help the district erase a $66 million budget deficit.

    Columbus schools to pay for state audit
    The Columbus City School district will have to foot the bill for a state audit investigation into an attendance rigging scandal. The auditor’s office decided to separate its investigation into Columbus Schools from the statewide investigation it’s been doing for months. Auditor Dave Yost said Tuesday the district will have to pay an estimated $40 per hour, per investigator and the clock started last week. School officials have been accused of fudging student absentee data to boost enrollment rates. Criminal charges are likely. So far, Columbus schools has spent nearly $300,000 on a private law firm. 

    Concussion legislation clears Senate
    A bill aimed at protecting young athletes with concussions or head injuries has cleared the Ohio Senate. The measure requires coaches or refs to take a player out of a game upon showing signs of a concussion. Athletes would need approval from a doctor to return to play. Coaches and referees would have to be trained in how to recognize symptoms.

    Mom indicted in toddler's death
    A Cleveland woman has been indicted in the death of her 3-year-old son, who was reported missing from a park before his body was found in the trash. 20-year-old Camilia Terry faces 10 counts, including aggravated murder. Prosecutors allege she knowingly triggered a police search after putting the body in the garbage. She has been held with a $2 million bond.

    Bill to curb asbestos lawsuits moves ahead
    A bill to curb lawsuits over on-the-job asbestos exposure is nearing a vote in the Ohio Senate. Legislation requiring workers to divulge all asbestos claims filed by or for them or face perjury charges cleared a Senate committee Tuesday, sending it to an expected floor vote today. Proponents say companies can't know about potential double-dipping by victims, who sometimes seek damages from trusts set up by bankrupted companies and pursue damages from surviving businesses. Cuyahoga County has one of America's busiest asbestos dockets. Similar cases are pending in dozens of Ohio counties.

    Rep. Kaptur not picked for top Appropriations Committee spot
    Veteran Toledo Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur has been passed over to become the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. Kaptur was vying for the spot that decides federal spending but a steering committee instead selected New York Representative Nita Lowey. Kaptur had argued that she should get the job because she’s been on the committee longer than Lowey and has served on eight of its 12 subcommittees. Kaptur won re-election last month in a redrawn district that stretches from Toledo along Lake Erie to Cleveland.  

    19th meningitis case confirmed
    Health officials say a 58-year old Morrow County woman's fungal meningitis is the 19th case in Ohio linked to a larger outbreak and recalled steroid injections for back pain. All are adults and none have died. Federal officials report more than 500 illnesses and 36 deaths in the outbreak linked to a specialty pharmacy that recalled its products.

    Pill mill owner gets 17 1/2 years
    A judge has sentenced the co-owner of a southern Ohio pill mill to more than 17 years in prison. Prosecutors pushing for the sentence argued that Nancy Sadler had so little regard for the law that she boosted painkiller sales when she needed a new car, gambled away clinic profits at casinos and burned clinic records when a search warrant was imminent. Sadler and her husband ran the Ohio Medical and Pain Management facility in Waverly.

    Kent State football coach heading to Purdue
    Kent State is losing the football coach that led the team to its best season in about 40 years. CBS and ESPN report that Darrell Hazell has signed a deal to take over as Purdue’s next head coach. In his second season witht he Flashes, Hazell led the team to an 11-1 record and a top-25 poll ranking before losing in the MAC Championship game. Kent State is set to play in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in January.  Purdue fired coach Danny Hope more than a week ago. Hazell has  four years remaining on his contract at Kent.

     

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