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Noon headlines, Dec. 20, 2012: Supreme court, exotic animals, pipelines
New Supreme Court justice, animal limits cleared, drilling venture, school safety

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
New Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French
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In The Region:
  • Kasich names French to Ohio's high court
  • Federal judge says Ohio's exotic animal limits are legal
  • New venture plans to spent $1.5 billion on Ohio drilling support
  • Cleveland unveils school safety program
  • Kasich names French to Ohio's high court
    Gov. John Kasich has appointed 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Judith French to the Ohio Supreme Court.

    She’s replacing Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, who is retiring after 16 years on the statehigh court. French will have to run for re-election in two years.

    She's a 50-year-old Republican who was chief legal advisor to former Gov. Bob Taft. He appointed her to Franklin County’s Court of Appeals in 2004. Kasich chose her for the Supreme Court from a pool of 13 applicants. 

    Federal judge says Ohio's exotic animal limits are legal
    A federal judge has upheld Ohio’s new exotic-animal ownership rules. 

    U.S. District Judge George Smith in Columbus says the state law is constitutional. His 46-page ruling says the state has “set forth a legitimate government purpose ... to protect animal welfare and public safety from threats posed by certain dangerous wild animals.” 

    Exotic animal owners were pushing for an injunction putting the law on hold. They maintained that it violates constitutional guarantees including due process and will put them out of business because it won’t let them sell some animals and includes expensive caging requirements.

    The law passed after a Zanesville man released dozens of wild animals, including tigers and other big cats, in October of 2011 before killing himself. Most of the animals were killed.

    Smith says he sympathizes with “exotic animal owners who will not be able to retain possession of their beloved animals.” But he says the public interest is paramount.

    New venture plans to spent $1.5 billion on Ohio drilling support
    A new joint venture of Dominion and Caiman Energy will spend $1.5 billion to expand pipelines and other aspects of Ohio’s infrastructure to support companies that are developing Ohio’s Utica shale. 

    The announcement is not expected to create many jobs, though the venture plans to open an office in Canton.

    Cleveland unveils school safety program
    Cleveland police and the city’s school district  are unveiling this afternoon a news safety program called Securing Our Students.

    Foremost Safety Solutions helped produce the safety blueprint for 100 schools in the district. The program is set up to inform first responders.

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