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Noon news headlines, Jan. 22, 2013
Ohio lawmaker to plead guilty; Obama-Hitler post defended; duct-tape photo could mean termination; housing sales up; Fair Finance and National Lampoon

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:
  • Another Ohio lawmaker in court
  • State board president defends Obama-Hitler post
  • Akron middle school teacher may be fired for Facebook post
  • Ohio housing sales recover
  • Fair Finance and National Lampoon money swaps pursued
  • Another Ohio lawmaker in court
    A former Ohio state representative was to plead guilty this morning to eight felony charges, including grand theft and money laundering. 

    The charges are tied to how Clayton Luckie of Dayton spent some $130,000 in campaign funds. Franklin County prosecutors originally charged the 49-year-old Democrat with nearly 50 counts, accusing him of spending the money at casinos, for home repairs and at retail businesses, and then falsifying his records to cover that up.

    Both Democrats and Republicans had been pressuring Luckie to resign in the fall. He withdrew from running for re-election and largely stopped showing up at the Statehouse to vote, but finished out his term. 

    In June, another lawmaker -- W. Carlton Weddington of Columbus -- pleaded guilty to of bribery, election falsification and an ethics violations.

    State board president defends Obama-Hitler post
    The president of the Ohio Board of Education is defending herself against claims that her Facebook page equated President Obama with Adolf Hitler.

    The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Debe Terhar posted a photograph of Hitler with a message criticizing Obama’s gun-control efforts.  The post quoted Hitler: ‘To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.’

    The paper says the photo apparently originated with the Facebook page of Uncle Sam’s Miguided Children – a site that often features anti-Obama material.

    Terhar told the Dispatch that her Facebook posts are visible only to friends and that people who know her understand she was encouraging an examination of history. Others, she acknowledged, might misunderstand.

    Akron middle school teacher may be fired for Facebook post
    A Akron middle-school teacher has until later this week to respond to an allegation that she posted a Facebook photo of her students with their mouths covered with duct tape.

    The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that Melissa Cairns was put on paid leave in October, ant the Board of Education voted last week to pursue her firing. She’s a math teacher at Buchtel Community Learning Center.

    The photo was allegedly posted with the caption: "Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!" A colleague notified her supervisor.

    Ohio housing sales recover
    The Ohio housing market continues to rebound. According to the Ohio Association of Realtors, home sales were up nearly 13 percent last year over 2011. And the average price climbed 5.5 percent.

    In all, nearly 115,000 houses sold, at an average price of nearly $135,000.

    Sales in the fourth quarter 2012 showed the most significant increase over the same period fro a year ago… and were the best since the last quarter of 2006.

    Fair Finance and National Lampoon
    The U.S. Bankruptcy Court is holding another hearing today trying to trace the path of money to and from Akron-based Fair Finance. The court will be taking a closer look at allegations by bankruptcy Trustee Brian Bash that Timothy Durham used money from the movie maker National Lampoon to pay for his defense on criminal charges that he looted Fair Fainance and ran a giant Ponzi scheme. Bash is pursing some $9 million from National Lampoon, which Durham also ran.

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