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Morning news headlines for January 9, 2013
Ohio Supreme Court orders ballots sealed in crucial House race; Schools will share nearly $40 million in casino taxes; JobsOhio to sell $1.2 billion in bonds
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Ohio Supreme Court orders ballots sealed in crucial House race
  • Cuyahoga Heights schools sues to recover $4 million
  • JobsOhio to sell $1.2 billion in bonds 
  • Schools will share nearly $40 million in casino taxes
  • Cincinnati-area legislator at center of fraud probe
  • Steubenville steps up security
  • Former NEO Congressman on the move
  • Youngstown mayor won't seek re-election
  • Toledo museum returns artifact
  • Ohio Supreme Court justice orders ballots sealed in undecided House race
    Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Conner has ordered boards of elections in Tuscarawas and Holmes Counties to seal ballots in the 98th District House race. Democrat Josh O’Farrell filed suit with the high court after he lost the November election to Republican incumbent Al Landis by eight votes. O’Farrell argues that some disqualified ballots were at the fault of poll workers and voters who mistakenly wrote the present date on the line where they should have written their date of birth. Chief O'Conner also wants the elections boards to submit briefs within five days, explaining why the ballots should not be transferred to the chief justice for safekeeping. The court did deny O'Farrell's request for a hand count and inspection of absentee and provisional ballots in more than a dozen precincts. Both candidates must gather evidence to submit to the court. 

    JobsOhio to sell $1.2 billion in bonds 
    Ohio's new private job-creation entity is moving forward despite legal uncertainty with a nearly $1.2 billion bond sale intended to fund its 25-year lease of the state's liquor business.JobsOhio and Republican Gov. John Kasich's administration made the joint announcement Tuesday. Proceeds of the Jan. 23 sale would go to economic development efforts. JobsOhio Chief Investment Officer John Minor and Kasich's budget and commerce directors said they're confident in proceeding after Moody's and Standard and Poor's both issued favorable ratings Monday. The liberal group ProgressOhio said the administration is disregarding a constitutional prohibition against allowing a private entity to control public money.

    Schools will share $40 million in casino taxes
    Ohio’s nearly 1,000 school districts will share nearly $40 million in casino taxes that will be paid out at the end of the month. It’s the first payment to schools since the state’s four casinos began opening this past year. Cleveland’s opened first in May. The Plain Dealer reports Northeast Ohio schools will share about $9 million, based on enrollment. Cleveland, as the largest district, will get more than $800,000. Under a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2009, schools receive their payments twice a year. Counties and cities get their money quarterly and have already received two payments.

    Cincinnati-area lawmaker at center of fraud probe
    A legislative ethics committee will look into a civil lawsuit's fraud allegations against a southwest Ohio state legislator. A lawsuit filed last week in Hamilton County alleges Rep. Peter Beck of Mason participated in a fraud cheating investors out of more than $1.2 million by spending their investments on non-business items including Beck's 2010 election campaign. Beck has denied the allegations and no criminal charges have been filed.

    Steubenville steps up security
    The Steubenville school district has added unarmed security guards to its buildings amid increased attention over two high school football players who are facing rape charges. A guard is now posted at each of the school's four buildings. The schools were placed on lockdown Tuesday morning following a potential threat. The rape case has garnered national attention when video of the football players joking about the alleged rape were posted on the internet. 

    Cuyahoga Heights schools sues to recover $4 million
    A Cleveland-area school district is suing to try to recover more than $4 million stolen by a former administrator. The Cuyahoga Heights district has filed the civil suit against former technology director Joseph Palazzo and about two dozen others. A state audit found Palazzo pocketed money he got from a scheme in which he put in phony equipment orders with venders. He also spent district money on computers and other gadgets for his friends and relatives. He resigned in 2011. So far, no criminal charges have been filed. 

    Former NEO Congressman on the move
    Former Northeast Ohio congressman Steven LaTourette is formally announcing plans to run a law firm's new lobbying subsidiary in the nation's capital along with his wife. The move was announced Tuesday by the McDonald Hopkins law firm. LaTourette, a Republican from Lake County, served 18 years in Congress. He didn't seek re-election last year in frustration with political gridlock.

    Youngstown mayor won't seek re-election
    The mayor of Youngstown says he won't seek election to a full term this year. Sixty-nine-year old Charles Sammarone, who became mayor in 2011 when his predecessor joined the Obama administration, says he plans to run for his old job as council president. 

    Toledo museum returns artifact
    The Toledo Art Museum is handing over an ancient water jug to the Italian government after investigators determined that it was likely illegally dug up from that country years ago. Authorities believe the artifact was probably illegally excavated in Italy, smuggled to Switzerland and given a forged record of ownership. U.S. Immigration and Customs investigators say it was part of a larger scheme by the art dealers to sell items obtained illegally.

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