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Morning news headlines for January, 23, 2013
Dimora to report to W.VA federal prison; Perry plant reactor shut down; Oil and gas industry officials and lobbyists descend on the Statehouse

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Dimora to report to W.VA federal prison
  • Perry plant reactor shut down
  • Former lawmaker sentenced to prison
  • Oil industry workers, lobbyists gather at Statehouse
  • Summa layoffs 
  • UD offers tuition guarantee
  • Bankruptcy filings down
  • First Merit posts profit
  • Man accused in mosque fire wants to recant plea
  • Attorneys for Steubenville rape suspects want trial delayed; moved
  • Dimora to report to W.VA federal prison
    Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, convicted the sweeping public corruption probe, will serve his prison sentence at a federal facility in West Virginia. Dimora will be moved soon from a private federal prison in Youngstown where's his been since his sentencing last July. Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in prison for racketeering and other crimes but has denied wrongdoing. Dimora is among about 40 people sentenced to prison after the years-long investigation. A federal judge had recommended that Dimora serve his sentence at a North Carolina prison. The Plain Dealer reports it's not clear why that recommendation wasn't followed.

     Perry plant reactor shut down
    The Perry nuclear power plant along Lake Erie east of Cleveland shut down its reactor Tuesday following an electrical problem. The Plain Dealer reports the reactor shut itself off after sensors detectored that the water level was decreasing, which can cause fuel rods to melt. First Energy officials tell the newspaper no radiation was released and they found a blown fuse in a circuit, which has been replaced. They say they’ll continue to investigate.

    Former lawmaker sentenced to prison
    A former state representative is headed to prison for ethics charges. Dayton-area Democrat Clayton Luckie struck a deal Tuesday, a few hours after his trial was set to begin. He pleaded guilty to eight charges for skimming as much as $150,000 from his campaign fund over six years. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien agreed to a three-year sentence, though Luckie could have gotten more than 10 years. Luckie will also have to pay back to the state nearly $12,000, the salary he received from the time he was indicted in October until his term ended in December. Luckie did not seek re-election, but would not resign after he was indicted. 

    Oil and gas industry workers, employers and lobbyists descend on the Statehouse
    Workers, employers and lobbyists for Ohio's growing oil and gas industry are descending on the Statehouse to tout the industry's economic benefits. The lobbying event today is expected to draw more than 200 industry representatives and 75 lawmakers. It's sponsored by the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, the Ohio Petroleum Council and the Ohio Shale Coalition. Participants will visit lawmakers in their offices and at a scheduled luncheon. The event comes 12 days before Gov. John Kasich introduces his two-year state budget. The Republican governor's plan may include tax hikes on large-scale oil and gas drillers whose proceeds would fund a modest statewide income-tax cut. The plan previously stalled.

    Meanwhile, Kasich has arrived in Switzerland for his planned appearance at the World Economic Forum.  He’ll attend an interactive discussion Thursday about the future of advanced manufacturing, including reducing a shortage of skilled workers and addressing increased competition for raw materials.

    Summa layoffs 
    Summit County’s largest employer has laid off about 50 employees, saving more than $4 million. Summa Health System tells the Beacon Journal the layoffs come as it faces lower-than-expected revenues and prepares for looming changes from health-care reform. The company, which employs about 11,000, also tells the newspaper it will save another $8 million by not filling some open positions. Summa launched a cost-cutting plan in 2011, after an analysis showed health-care reform could cost the company anywhere from $200 to $950 million in revenue over 10 years.

    UD offers tuition guarantee
    A southwest Ohio university is promising new freshmen that they will pay the same amount for tuition all four years they are in school. The University of Dayton is attracting attention with its new four-year tuition plan. The university is also pledging that that its scholarships and grants will grow dollar-for-dollar each year as tuition increases. The private, Roman Catholic school is hoping other colleges will copy the effort.

    Bankruptcy filings down
    Bankruptcy filings were down about 14 percent in Ohio last year. There were about 50,000 personal and business bankruptcies last year, down about 8,000 from 2011, according to data from U.S. Bankruptcy Court districts. The Columbus Dispatch reports the decline can be attributed to mortgage lenders holding off foreclosure proceedings and people becoming “uncollectible” as they hit financial bottom. It's the lowest level since 2006.

    First Merit posts profit
    Akron-based First Merit Corporation says it posted a fourth-quarter profit of 25-percent from the same quarter a year. The bank says it earned about 38-million dollars for the quarter. For the full year, it says profits were up 12-percent.

    Man accused in mosque fire wants to recant plea
    An Indiana man who admitted in court that he started a fire at a Toledo-area mosque now wants to withdraw his guilty plea. Randy Linn had told a federal judge last month that he set the fire at the mosque because he wanted revenge for the killings of American soldiers overseas. Linn now says in a court filing that he was in an emotional state and depressed when he pleaded guilty. A deal had called for him to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    Attorneys for Steubenville rape suspects want trial delayed; moved
    The attorney for one of two Steubenville high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl says he wants to delay the trial. Attorney Brian Duncan filed the motion on behalf of defendant Trent Mays, who is scheduled for trial next month in juvenile court. Duncan says he expects to file an additional motion this week to move the trial. An attorney for the second defendant, Ma'Lik Richmond, filed similar motions earlier this month, as well as a request to close the trial to the public. The case has gained international attention through the work of bloggers who posted video of teens joking about the alleged incident online. 

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