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Morning news headlines for January 8, 2013
Attorneys may try to move Steubenville rape case; New Ohio Senate president sets agenda; Sentencing today for contractor involved in Cuyahoga County corruption

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Attorneys for Steubenville football players may try to move rape trial
  • New State Senate President Faber lays out agenda
  • Contractor involved in Cuyahoga County corruption to be sentenced today
  • Revenue up at casinos in Cleveland, Toledo; down in Columbus
  • Thistledown hiring hundreds for new racino
  • Man convicted of Fair Finance swindling declared indigent
  • Condemned inmate asks Ohio Supreme Court to allow DNA testing
  • Retired Cleveland councilman allowed to double-dip
  • Akron Children’s Hospital gets grant for psychological trauma support
  • Attorneys for Steubenville football players may try to move rape trial
    Attorneys for two Steubenville high school football players facing rape accusations say they may try to have the case moved to protect possible witnesses. Attorneys for the two 16-year-olds say potential witnesses have already been threatened and some are reluctant to come forward in court for fear of retaliation, including having their names and addresses published on the Internet. The case made national headlines and divided the town after a video surfaced of athletes mocking the 16-year-old girl who made the accusations. The suspects scheduled to stand trial in juvenile court on Feb. 13. A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says prosecutors will review all motions in the case.

    New State Senate President Faber lays out agenda
    Ohio's new Senate president says extended term limits, changes to the state's political map-drawing process, and tougher abortion restrictions are among issues that could arise in the next two-year legislative session. Republican Keith Faber made the remarks to reporters during opening day of the state Legislature on Monday. Faber said the fate of certain hot-button issues will depend on his GOP colleagues, who hold 23 of 33 seats in the chamber. He said jobs and the economy will remain the priority.  He also said he's working with Senate Democratic Leader Eric Kearney to identify at least five bipartisan priority bills. Faber said appointments to newly structured committees will come Wednesday.

    Contractor involved in Cuyahoga County corruption to be sentenced today
    A Cleveland contractor, tied up in the bribery and corruption scandal involving former county commissioner Jimmy Dimora, will be sentenced today in Akron.  55-year old Michael Forlani was owner of electrical company Doan Pyramid, and other businesses that did business with Dimora and Cuyahoga County.   He was charged with 18 counts that included paying bribes to Dimora for county work and paying bribes to the former Vice President of MetroHealth Medical Center for contracts with the hospital.  He pleaded guilty to 13 counts and the government agreed to drop five other charges.

    Revenue up at casinos in Cleveland, Toledo; down in Columbus
    Bettors were looking for holiday luck last month, putting more money into slot machines and table games at the two Ohio casinos opened the longest. The Horseshoe Cleveland casino received the biggest boost in December, with slots betting up about 17-percent and wagers at table games up nearly 13-percent.  Slots betting rose nearly 8-percent in December at the Hollywood Toledo casino. But the Ohio Casino Control Commission said Monday the Hollywood Columbus casino which opened in October saw betting drop from November to December for both slots and table games as the novelty wore off.  A fourth Ohio casino is scheduled to open March 4 in Cincinnati.

    Thistledown hiring hundreds for new racino
    There are about 600 job openings for a new racino that’s set to open this spring at Thistledown in North Randall. The owner, Rock Ohio Caesars is investing $88 million to add more than 1,000 video slot machines at the horse track. Currently Thistledown employs 200 people during the live racing season.

    Man convicted of Fair Finance swindling declared indigent
    An Indianapolis businessman convicted of swindling Ohio investors out more than $200 million will not have to pay for an appeal if he’s granted one.  A federal judge said Timothy Durham can proceed with his case as indigent.  Durham said last month that he had no money to request an appeal with the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago.  The 50-year-old Durham was sentenced to 50 years in prison in November after a jury convicted him of fraud in the collapse of Akron-based Fair Finance.

    Condemned inmate asks Ohio Supreme Court to allow DNA testing
    The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear arguments today in the case of a condemned inmate whose attorneys argue DNA testing could help exonerate him. At issue is the case of death row prisoner Tyrone Noling, convicted in 1996 of fatally shooting an elderly Portage County couple at their home. Lawyers for the Ohio Innocence Project want to test a cigarette butt found at the scene against DNA profiles of offenders in a national database, including a convicted killer who was executed. The state says previous tests have excluded Noling as the smoker of the butt and says new testing would prove nothing. A lower court judge has twice denied the request.

    Retired Cleveland councilman allowed to double-dip
    A retired Cleveland City Council member will be allowed to double-dip after a heated debate. Council voted Monday to re-appoint recently retired member Ken Johnson. The Plain Dealer reports the 65-year old will be able to tap his public pension while still earning his $74,000 a year council salary. Johnson tells the Plain Dealer he wanted to retire before the end of 2012 to lock in a yearly cost-of-living adjustment to his pension that would have been lost as the result of changes to the state’s pension system.

    Akron Children’s Hospital gets grant for psychological trauma support
    Akron Children’s Hospital is getting a $1.6 million grant to provide services and support for children who have experienced psychological trauma. The grant from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network will create a specialized center at the hospital where doctors, mental health professionals and teachers will be trained to help kids cope with trauma. Akron Children's will join a network of more than 150 centers across the county established by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children's Health Act.








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