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Morning news headlines for December 19, 2012
State officials detailing progress on school safety plans; Columbus mayor urges Kasich to veto Statehouse gun bill; Two area lawyers indicted on bribery charges

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • School officials set to outline progress of safety plans
  • Columbus mayor calls on Kasich to veto gun bill
  • Defense spending bill spares Mansfield cargo planes
  • Two lawyers indicted on bribery charges
  • Former basketball coach expected to plead guilty to taping nude boys
  • Newspaper reveals Senator pushed bill benefitting his nonprofit
  • Columbus continues to pay out for attendance rigging probe
  • Department of Taxation will start alerting businesses if they’ve overpaid
  • Cleveland Clinic plans Mentor campus
  • Dorms coming to University Circle Uptown development
  • School officials set to outline progress of safety plans
    Ohio's attorney general and the state's top public schools official are outlining the progress of school safety initiatives since three students were killed in the Chardon High School shooting earlier this year. Mike DeWine and Michael Sawyers this morning will outline what has been done since the Feb. 27 shootings, as well as recommendations for future action. Chardon suspect 18-year old T.J. Lane, who filed an insanity plea, goes on trial next month. A hearing will be held this morning on whether recorded comments made by his grandparents in a police interview room will be allowed as evidence during the trial.

    Columbus mayor calls on Kasich to veto gun bill
    The mayor of Columbus is the latest to call on Governor John Kasich to veto a new law that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to store their guns in cars parked in the Statehouse underground garage. The state legislature passed the law last week, and Kasich says he’ll sign it.  Michael Coleman sent Kasich a letter Tuesday and the two had a 15 minute phone conversation. Coleman also wants Kasich to support requiring background checks for private gun sales at gun shows, limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds and passing an assault weapons ban like the one Kasich supported in congress in 1994.

    Defense spending bill spares Mansfield cargo planes
    The final version of a federal defense-spending bill will preserve a fleet of aircraft at an Air National Guard base in Mansfield. The National Defense Authorization Act calls for the U.S. Air Force to retain cargo aircraft in its inventory for units such as the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield. But lawmakers stripped language from the final version that would freeze any proposed reduction to a fleet of 18 tankers at Rickenbacker Base in Columbus. That means the Air Force has the option of reducing the fleet there.

    Two lawyers indicted on bribery charges
    Two Cleveland-area lawyers have been indicted on bribery charges. It happened just hours after the feds raided attorney Anthony Calabrese III’s home early Tuesday morning.   A grand jury indicted Marc Doumbas of Westlake and G. Timothy Marshall of Olmsted Falls for allegedly offering a sexual assault victim money to change their testimony. Prosecutors wouldn’t comment on the link between Calabrese and the two indicted attorneys. But the Plain Dealer reports Calabrese previously represented the defendant in the sexual assault case and is Marshall’s nephew. Calabrese faces trial in February on other unrelated charges stemming from the sweeping Cuyahoga County corruption scandal.

    Former basketball coach expected to plead guilty to taping nude boys
    A quick resolution appears possible in the case against a former Stark County high school basketball coach charged with videotaping nude boys in the locker room over an eight-year period. 46-year-old Scott Studer plans to plead guilty today. More than 70 boys have been identified on tapes made at Jackson High School near Canton.

    Newspaper reveals Senator pushed bill benefitting his nonprofit
    A newspaper investigation has found a western Ohio state senator championed a 2009 budget amendment that financially benefited an agricultural nonprofit he co-founded and financially backed. The Plain Dealer reported Senate Finance Chairman Chris Widener's ties to the Ohio Equine and Agricultural Association. The association planned to build a livestock exposition center in Clark County, a project Widener's architecture firm designed and managed. The Springfield Republican told the newspaper he quit the nonprofit's board and canceled a loan guarantee he provided for its startup before introducing his amendment.

    Columbus continues to pay out for attendance rigging probe
    Columbus City Schools is continuing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for the special investigation into alleged student attendance rigging. On Tuesday the school board allocated $40,000 more to a law firm to defend the board against a class-action lawsuit filed last month, bringing the total amount spent to $415,000. And the bill could go higher. State Auditor David Yost said last month the district must pay for part of the statewide probe into the accuracy of attendance and academic ratings at school districts.

    Department of Taxation will start alerting businesses if they’ve overpaid
    Ohio's tax department says it will start alerting businesses when they've overpaid taxes and help them reclaim their money. Previously, if businesses failed to discover the error in paying their commercial activities tax within a certain time frame, they lost the right to reclaim it. The Ohio Department of Taxation will begin notifying about 3,500 taxpayers who may have overpaid by a total of nearly $14 million. The commercial activities tax is Ohio's primary business tax. It generated $1.65 billion in the last budget year that ended in June.

    Cleveland Clinic plans Mentor campus
    The Cleveland Clinic is looking to expand in Lake County. The Clinic has finalized a deal with the city of Mentor to purchase nearly 50 acres with a proposal to change the zoning for a medical campus. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation paid nearly $8 million for the land. The Clinic tells the Plain Dealer it has no immediate plans.

    Dorms coming to University Circle Uptown development
    Student dorms are coming to an upscale development in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. Developers will break ground next month on the $21 million project to create rooms for Cleveland Institute of Art students. It’s part of the second phase of what’s called the Uptown project. The Plain Dealer reports it’s a departure from the apartments in the first phase, which are some of the most expensive in the city. The second phase will also add 43 more apartments and several businesses along the ground floor.


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