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Morning news headlines for December 20, 2012
Kasich signing year-end bills today; Expanded safety training planned for educators; Former Jackson basketball coach sentenced
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Kasich signing dozens of year-end bills today
  • Kasich quiet on ballot initiatives, right-to-work laws
  • Kasich set to announce Supreme Court appointment
  • Ohio plans expanded safety training for schools
  • T.J. Lane’s family says they weren’t aware of police recording
  • Schools in Hudson, Medina locked down
  • Former Jackson basketball coach sentenced to 15 years in prison
  • Historic Stanley Block building coming down
  • Indiana man pleads guilty to Toledo mosque fire
  • Notre Dame College nets $2 million donation
  • Kasich signing dozens of year-end bills today
    Gov. John Kasich will make more than three dozen bills law today. Kasich is expected to sign the flurry of legislation passed in the final days of the Ohio General Assembly lame duck session. Among the bills is the controversial law allowing guns to be taken in to the garage running beneath the state capitol. It also changes the definition of an unloaded weapon so that clips could be kept loaded in a vehicle as long as they are not kept in the same compartment with a gun. He’ll also sign a bill that disbands mayor’s courts for villages of less than 200 people and a bill that will better protect young athletes who suffer concussions.

    Kasich quiet on ballot initiatives, right-to-work laws
    Gov. Kasich and GOP legislative leaders aren't saying whether they'll use strong Statehouse majorities next year to push some preferred issue onto Ohio's statewide ballot. On Wednesday, Kasich answered "next question" when asked by a reporter whether the 60-vote margin in the Ohio House might be invoked to advance some ballot measure. The GOP will have both the House and Senate votes beginning in January to do so without Democratic help. Kasich also declined to say whether he would work to support or oppose a right-to-work amendment limiting Ohio labor unions, if one were advanced by an outside group.

    Kasich set to announce Supreme Court appointment
    Gov. John Kasich today will announce his appointment to replace retiring Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton. Stratton is one of six Republicans on the seven-member court. She is vacating the seat two years before her term expires. Thirteen judges and lawyers are vying for the job.

    Ohio plans expanded safety training for schools
    The state is expanding safety training for Ohio educators to reflect the reality that those inside a school are the first to face danger. Attorney General Mike DeWine said Wednesday that nothing short of barricading every school in the country can stop something from happening, but officials have a moral obligation to take steps that will increase the odds of children surviving. DeWine says the state police training academy will train educators across the state in how to deal with an active shooter. DeWine says that Ohio schools should consider arming at least one staffer in their building in case of a shooting, stressing it would be a local decision.

    T.J. Lane’s family says they weren’t aware of police recording
    Relatives of the 18-year-old charged in the Chardon High School shooting rampage that killed three students earlier this year have testified they were unaware of taped surveillance of their conversations in a police interrogation room. T.J. Lane's relatives testified Wednesday in Chardon on the defense bid to rule out the conversations as evidence at his murder trial next month. The prosecution says relatives should have had no expectation of privacy while talking among themselves in a police interrogation room just after the shootings last February. Lane faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted.

    Schools in Hudson, Medina locked down
    Hudson High School was locked down briefly when an employee mistook an umbrella for a rifle. An elderly man was carrying the umbrella with a wooden handle in the parking lot. Doors were immediately barricaded and an alert was sent to parents. And in Medina, authorities locked down Waite Elementary School after an empty shell casing was found in the lobby, likely brought to school by a student and dropped. The Beacon Journal reports parents were sent an email and officers were called.  

    Former Jackson basketball coach sentenced to 15 years in prison
    A former high school basketball coach in Stark County has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for videotaping nude boys in the high school locker room over a period of eight years. Forty-six-year-old Scott Studer pleaded guilty Wednesday.  He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine to a fund for the victims in Newtown, Conn.

    Historic Stanley Block building coming down
    Downtown Cleveland’s historic Stanley Block building will be razed after years of lawsuits and uncertainty. The city of Cleveland says demolition on Ontario Street will begin this weekend. Cleveland’s Housing Court months ago had ordered the building’s owner Macron Investment to address safety problems and either demolish or repair the property. The company had been trying to secure funding to fix it up but got caught up in a shareholder dispute. Cleveland’s casino developer, Rock Ohio Caesars, has a 50% stake in Macron and wants the building torn down. The building sits in the middle of Cleveland’s new casino parking garage and was condemned in 2010.

    Indiana man pleads guilty to Toledo mosque fire
    An Indiana man has pleaded guilty to setting a fire inside a mosque in outside Toledo in September.  As part of a plea agreement, Randy Linn will be ordered to serve 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in April and will be required to pay restitution to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. Linn admitted he set fire to the rug in the prayer room after walking through the building with a gun to check for people in each room. He said he was motivated to drive the nearly two hours from his Indiana home to the Perrysburg mosque “to get some payback” for Americans who had been killed.

    Notre Dame College nets $2 million donation
    Notre Dame College in South Euclid is getting its largest donation in its 90-year history. The school says it’s getting $2 million from Wickliffe-based Normandy Catering, which has been providing food service on campus for more than a decade. Most of the money, to be donated over 10 years, will go toward student aid.

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