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Morning news headlines for December 18, 2012
Calabrese's home raided; Kasich still plans to sign Statehouse gun bill; Petro announces retirement
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Police raid Anthony Calabrese III’s home
  • Kasich spares death row inmate
  • Kasich still plans to sign bill allowing guns in Statehouse garage
  • Jim Petro announces retirement
  • New businesses in Ohio down last month
  • Third Frontier giving $14 million to Northeast Ohio organizations
  • Ohio Electoral College officially gives Ohio to Obama
  • Financier convicted in Fair Finance case appeals sentence
  • Columbus teacher bonuses on hold during attendance-rigging probe
  • Mahoning, Trumbull, Cuyahoga counties plan turnpike meetings
  • Police raid Anthony Calabrese III’s home
    Authorities raided the home of attorney Anthony Calabrese III this morning. The Plain Dealer reports they were looking for evidence in a six month-old bribery investigation. Detectives wouldn’t comment on what they collected, but a detective tells the newspaper the raid was not related to the Cuyahoga County corruption probe. Calabrese faces 18 counts related to the corruption scandal, including racketeering and bribery. The trial in that case is scheduled for February.

    Kasich spares death row inmate
    Governor Kasich has spared the life of a death row inmate formerly from Lorain who claims he’s too fat to be executed.  Kasich has commuted Ronald Post’s death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Post weighs more than 450 pounds and his attorneys have argued that he’s too obese for a lethal injection to actually kill him.  Kasich, in his statement, doesn’t refer to Post’s body weight.  Instead, says he agrees with the parole board’s conclusion that Post did not receive an effective legal defense.  Post was convicted of the 1983 murder of an Elyria motel clerk. He was scheduled to die Jan. 16.

    Kasich still plans to sign bill allowing guns in Statehouse garage
    Gov. John Kasich says he'll sign a new law allowing guns into the Ohio Statehouse parking garage — despite calls that he veto the bill in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting. Kasich is expected to sign the legislation this week. It will allow guns for the first time in the parking garages underneath the Statehouse in Columbus. Guns would have to be kept in cars, and would not be allowed into the Statehouse. Kasich said "I'm a Second Amendment supporter and that's not going change." He added that there were many other issues besides gun control involved in the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

    Jim Petro announces retirement
    Chancellor Jim Petro, whose long career in public service has included 12 years as Ohio's auditor and attorney general, is retiring. The 64-year-old Petro says he'll retire in February after two years as state higher education chief. The Republican from outside Cleveland ran for governor in 2006 but lost the GOP primary. In 2005, Petro became the first state attorney general in the nation to intervene for the use of DNA evidence on behalf of a wrongly convicted inmate. His work helped exonerate Clarence Elkins, a Summit County man wrongly accused of rape and murder. Petro and his wife wrote a book on the experience, which will be the center of an international tour after he retires.

    New businesses in Ohio down last month
    The number of new businesses in Ohio declined slightly last month compared to October, but overall new business filings this year are on the rise. The Secretary of State’s Ohio reports about 81,000 new businesses were formed as of November 30th.  That’s nearly 5,000 more than the same period last year.

    Third Frontier giving $14 million to Northeast Ohio organizations
    Northeast Ohio organizations are getting $14 million to fund high-tech research. Ohio’s Third Frontier program has awarded $3 million grants to The Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and the venture firm JumpStart. $600,000 in smaller grants went to several university-backed projects, including liquid crystal research at Kent State University, and a carbon-based adhesive project at the University of Akron.

    Ohio Electoral College officially gives Ohio to Obama
    Members of the Electoral College have formalized the presidential election results in Ohio in a vote that delivers the battleground state's 18 electoral votes to Democratic incumbent Barack Obama. The electors convened Monday at the Statehouse for the formal process. Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor kicked things off with a swearing-in ceremony in the chambers of the Ohio Senate. Obama beat Republican nominee Mitt Romney 50 percent to 47 percent in the state after the months of intensive campaigning.

    Financier convicted in Fair Finance case appeals sentence
    An Indiana financier found guilty of swindling investors --- most from Ohio ---- out of about $200 million is appealing his convictions on fraud and conspiracy charges. Timothy Durham's appeal will be heard by the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals. Durham was sentenced to 50 years in prison last month after a jury convicted him of securities fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud in the collapse of Akron-based Fair Finance.

    Columbus teacher bonuses on hold during attendance-rigging probe
    Hundreds of Columbus city teachers have yet to get bonuses….while the district is at the center of a statewide attendance-rigging investigation. The Columbus Dispatch reports the bonuses totaling nearly 5-thosuand dollars per teacher all should have been paid out by October. But a state investigation into whether district officials changed millions of student performance records over the past several years has put final state report cards for buildings on hold, and until they are calculated, district officials don’t know who is due a bonus.

    Mahoning, Trumbull, Cuyahoga counties plan turnpike meetings
    Days after Governor Kasich announced his plans to generate billions of dollars of extra revenue from the Ohio Turnpike, some county officials are organizing public meetings to encourage citizen participation. The first one is tonight at 5:30 in Lordstown’s United Auto Workers headquarters. It’s headed up by Mahoning, Trumbull and Cuyahoga county officials, several of which have already expressed concern about part of the plan that includes increasing tolls for vehicles traveling the length of the 241 mile road. Local officials held similar public meetings when Kasich was considering selling or leasing the turnpike. He ultimately decided instead to keep it public.

     

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