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Noon news headlines for January 18, 2013
Unemployment dips; Browns new VP player personnel; Medical Mutual lawsuit

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Unemployment dips
Browns new VP player personnel
Medical Mutual lawsuit

An Ohio health insurance company is suing state and federal officials over confusion in rules for a program for patients with pre-existing conditions. At issue is a high-risk insurance pool created by the federal health care law targeting patients turned away by insurance companies because of such conditions as cancer or heart disease. Medical Mutual of Ohio sued last month in federal court to force clarification over who has the final say in eligibility for enrollment into the program — state or federal officials. The complaint was prompted by a dispute over whether 14 people should receive coverage under Ohio's program. Federal officials eventually provided direction on their coverage, but an attorney at Medical Mutual said the company remains concerned eligibility questions could come up again for others.


A former Democratic candidate for state auditor has admitted falsifying election documents. The Columbus Dispatch reports that former Mahoning County treasurer John Reardon pleaded guilty this week to two misdemeanor charges of election falsification. Prosecutors said he listed false loans from his supporters to improve the image of his campaign coffers in 2006. He was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Reardon repeatedly denied wrongdoing in multiple interviews with FBI investigators. In court he said he believed at the time that his reports were filed properly but now accepts responsibility for what he called a "mistake." Reardon eventually dropped out of the race and received $50,000 from the state party.


Kent State University is turning construction of its new architecture building into a competition. Four finalist teams presented proposals Thursday for the chance to design and build the $40-million facility. A five-person jury will recommend the winning design.


The Browns have introduced Mike Lombardi vice president of player personnel at a news conference in Berea today. Lombardi, who most recently been a TV analyst, was with the Browns from 1987-1995, helping then-coach Bill Belichick run drafts and acquire free agents. He also worked with Browns CEO Joe Banner in Philadelphia, helping him run the draft in 1997. Banner regarded Lombardi as one of the smartest personnel executives he's ever worked with. Lombardi has also worked with the 49ers, Raiders and Rams.

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