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Morning news headlines for January 4, 2013
Two sheriffs leave posts; New details emerge about man who shot two intruders; Utility proposes rate hikes to pay for storm damage

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
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  • Two area sheriffs step down
  • Former Russo aide to be sentenced today in corruption probe
  • Man accused of shooting intruders had concealed weapons license revoked
  • Convenience store clerk who shot robber won’t face charges
  • Akron teen’s arm allegedly broken during altercation with police in school
  • AEP wants to raise rates to pay for storm repairs
  • Obama declares disaster in Ohio after Sandy
  • Judge gives GM workers green light to sue GM, UAW
  • Two area sheriffs step down
    Stark County’s sheriff-elect Mike McDonald yesterday announced that he will not take the top post that he won in November’s election. McDonald cited an undisclosed medical condition as reason for forfeiting the position.  He has been publically battling esophageal cancer, but insists he’s stepping down due to an unrelated health issue.  He was to be sworn in as Stark County Sheriff on Monday. County Commissioners will hold a meeting today to appoint an interim sheriff until the Democratic party can hold another election. Yesterday also saw the surprise announcement that Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid has been asked to retire. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald’s office says the move is part of their planned makeover of County government.   Reid took over the department in 2009 following the ouster of elected Sheriff Gerald McFaul. Under the new charter, Fitzgerald will appoint the next sheriff.

    Former Russo aide to be sentenced today in corruption probe
    One of former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo’s former top aides will be sentenced today for his role in the county’s corruption scandal. Samir Mohammad pleaded guilty in October to five corruption-related charges after he was accused of offering bribes to Russo and former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora. He faces a maximum six and a half years in prison.

    Man accused of shooting intruders had concealed weapons license revoked
    The Cleveland man accused of shooting two men breaking into his house had his concealed weapons license suspended after an incident in 2010. Midorag Burgarcic pleaded guilty to a concealed weapons charge after firing two shots into the ground during a dispute over cleaning up a vacant lot. He shot and killed a man in November after he says he found him at the back door wielding a knife. Police say Burgarcic shot another man on Monday after he says the man threatened him with a lamp. That incident is under investigation. A suspended concealed carry license does not mean that a person can’t own a gun.

    Convenience store clerk who shot robber won’t face charges
    A 22-year-old Cleveland convenience store clerk who fatally shot an apparent robber last fall won't face criminal charges. A Cuyahoga County grand jury declined to indict Sterling Edmonds in connection with the Sept. 25 shooting at a Mini Mart. Police said Edmonds shot an unarmed intruder during an altercation in the store. Charges were dropped this week.

    Akron teen’s arm allegedly broken during altercation with police in school
    The mother of a Northeast Ohio teen injured by police is calling for an investigation. Sandra Williams says a police officer broke her daughter’s arm during an incident at her school. Surveillance video from Jennings Middle School in Akron shows Officer Jon Morgan pinning 13-year-old Tamika Williams against a locker and twisting her arm behind her back. Her mother tells the Beacon Journal that after the October incident X-rays revealed a fracture to her upper arm. The officer wrote in an incident report that he warned the teen about what he calls juvenile behavior before shoving her against a wall.  The eighth-grader was not charged with resisting arrest or any other crime. Her mother filed an excessive force complaint with the Akron Police.  That investigation is in its third month. The officer remains at Jennings.  The injured teen transferred to another middle school.

    AEP wants to raise rates to pay for storm repairs
    American Electric Power wants to make its customers pick up the nearly $62 million dollar tab for repairs resulting from last summer's severe storms. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the reimbursement request the company filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is one of the largest ever in the state. It would add about $3 a month for a typical household, paid over a year. That works out to about a 2-percent rate increase. AEP's system suffered mass power failures because of the June 29 storm. Nearly half of the company's 1.5 million Ohio customers lost power, some for more than a week. Utility spokeswoman Terri Flora said it is typical for utilities to go to customers to recover costs for large-scale storms.

    Obama declares disaster in Ohio after Sandy
    President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Ohio following Superstorm Sandy and ordered federal aid to help in recovery efforts. The federal funds will be available on a cost-sharing basis for state and local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga County.

    Judge gives GM workers green light to sue GM, UAW
    A federal judge says some General Motors workers can move forward with their lawsuit against GM and the United Auto Workers. The nearly 30 workers at the Lordstown plant say they were improperly classified as temporary employees after losing their jobs and then being rehired. They're suing for back pay.

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