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Morning news headlines for Dec. 28, 2012
Federal investigation called in Cleveland police shooting; Blogger identity case settled in Steubenville; Craigslist murder trial delayed

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Federal investigation called in Cleveland police shooting
  • Blogger identity case settled in Steubenville
  • Craigslist murder trial delayed
  • Film fires-up anti-fracking demonstrators
  • Panel reviews PUCO applicants
  • New project for former DHL hanger
  • Ski resorts open this weekend
  • Federal investigation called in Cleveland police shooting
    Cleveland has asked the U.S. Justice Department to review the police division's policies after a car chase ended with a barrage of police gunfire and two deaths.  The city also said Thursday the police chief has a team reviewing recorded communications, vehicle tracking and other information from the November pursuit to determine whether officers followed protocol.  

    The more than 20-minute chase began when an officer thought he heard a shot near police headquarters. The chase ended with officers firing 137 shots. The driver and passenger from the fleeing car were killed.  No weapon or shells were found in that vehicle.  A criminal investigation and an administrative review of what happened are ongoing.  Police said use of force was justified because the driver rammed a cruiser and nearly hit an officer.

    Blogger identity case settled in Steubenville
    A settlement has been announced in an Ohio lawsuit that pitted a blog site against a high school student and his family seeking to learn the identities of people who posted about a rape investigation involving two high school football players.  The two players in Steubenville were charged in August with rape after a girl's parents reported a sexual assault to police.  A student sued a blogger and anonymous blog posters after comments alleged he may have been involved in the incident but not charged.  Under a settlement announced Thursday, the student's family dropped their lawsuit and attempt to learn the posters' identities.  An attorney representing the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, calls the settlement a win for free speech.

    Craigslist murder trial delayed
    A murder trial has been delayed for an Ohio man who prosecutors say lured his victims with phony Craigslist job offers.  The trial date for Richard Beasley has been pushed to Feb. 19. It had been scheduled to start Jan. 7 in Akron.  The delay came after a change in lawyers for Beasley.  Beasley has pleaded not guilty to charges in a 27-count indictment.  He is accused of the shooting deaths of three men who authorities say were lured to a rural area by bogus job ads on Craigslist. He could face the death penalty if convicted.  A Stow teen, Brogan Rafferty, was sentenced to life in prison in November after being found guilty of assisting in the plot.

    East Cleveland police face layoffs
    The city of East Cleveland is expected to cut its police force by 20 percent.  WEWS-TV is reporting the department  starting in January will lay off around 15 to 19 officers.  These latest cuts follow reductions in 2011 of 36 police officers.

    Film fires-up anti-fracking demonstrators
    Anti-drilling demonstrators say a new movie is inspiring a protest in Youngstown, where deep injection of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing was linked to a series of earthquakes. The group Frackfree Ohio plans a rally this afternoon.  It's seeking to draw attention to an initiative that would prohibit drilling rigs, wastewater deep-injection wells and other oil and gas infrastructure around homes, schools, cemeteries, parks and national forests.  The movie "Promised Land" portrays a community dealing with fracking issues.  Frackfree Ohio says it hopes its efforts will put up similar roadblocks in northeast Ohio.

    O'Neill sworn-in as justice
    William O'Neill has become the latest Democrat to serve on the Republican dominated Ohio Supreme Court.  O'Neill was sworn in at a ceremony in Cleveland on Thursday.  O'Neill is a former 11th District Court of Appeals judge and a registered nurse. He defeated incumbent Republican Robert Cupp in November.  O'Neill will join newly elected Republican Sharon Kennedy and Kasich appointee Judith French as new faces on the court. His term of office begins Jan. 2.

    Panel reviews PUCO applicants
    Engineers, lawyers, executives and two state lawmakers are among contenders to become Ohio's next utilities regulator.  The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio received 26 applications for the seat Commissioner Cheryl Roberto is set to vacate Monday.  Applicants include Sen. Shirley Smith and Rep. Sandra Williams, both Cleveland Democrats.  Roberto specialized in energy efficiency and the environment. Her seat can't go to a Republican because the party already controls three of five seats.  A panel will send a list of four finalists to Gov. John Kasich who makes the final selection.

    New project for former DHL hanger
    A new hangar facility is expected to create more than 250 jobs at the southwest Ohio airport where nearly 8,000 jobs were lost during the recession.  Construction of the $15.5 million hangar at the Wilmington Air Park begins next month and should take roughly a year.  The project is funded with a state package of $14 million and local incentives.  The region lost thousands of jobs when DHL Express moved its delivery operations in 2008 and then donated its Wilmington Air Park and 1500 acres to the Clinton County Port Authority.

    Ski resorts open this weekend
    Parts of Ohio got nearly a foot of snow this week, and the operators of the state's ski resorts are celebrating.  After all, last year's mild weather and lack of snow made for a tough season for some.  The slopes at Boston Mills resort, open this afternoon. Brandywine resort opens Saturday, and Alpine Valley in Chesterland is opening this weekend.

    Browns end season with injuries
    The season is about to end for the Browns, and usually that means change is next.  Two weeks ago, Cleveland still had a chance to make the playoffs. But two straight lopsided losses and a slew of injuries have placed the Browns in a familiar predicament as they prepare for Sunday's season finale at Pittsburgh.  Coach Pat Shurmur is likely to be replaced next week, and new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner may make sweeping changes to an organization that has had 11 double-digit loss seasons since 1999.  Kicker Phil Dawson, who was elected to his first Pro Bowl on Wednesday, said "change isn't easy and I don't know anyone who enjoys it." He's trying to block out an uncertain future as he prepares for what could be his final game with Cleveland.

    Mentor coach named Coach of the Year
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer has named Steve Trivisonno of Mentor High school football Coach of the Year.  The Mentor Cardinals were 9-1 in the regular season and Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division champions. They were ranked seventh in the final Associated Press state poll.  The Cardinals were the first team in eight years to beat St. Edward and St. Ignatius in consecutive playoff games. Mentor bowed out of the playoffs with a state semifinal loss to Toledo Whitmer and finished 12-2.  Trivisonno, a 1981 Mentor graduate, has a 122-52 career record in 16 seasons, all at Mentor.




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