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Morning news headlines for February 1, 2013
Kasich reveals his school funding plan; West Side Market faces lengthy cleanup; Republican statewide incumbents all plan to run again

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Kasich unveils new school funding plan
  • West Side Market cleanup could take weeks
  • Kasich says politics behind JobsOhio challenge
  • All statewide GOP incumbents say they’re running again
  • GE plans to close plants in Warren, Ravenna
  • Woman accused of cheating at casino cleared
  • Cuyahoga County hit hard by flu
  • Condemned man who shot security guard asks for mercy
  • Kasich unveils new school funding plan
    Ohio's governor is proposing a school-funding overhaul he says will help poor districts compete more evenly while introducing changes to promote innovation and performance. John Kasich says the $15 billion, two-year plan would increase state aid to schools by 6 percent in the coming school year, and 3.2 percent the next and he says no schools will see reduced funding next year. It also establishes a $300 million fund to pay for competitive innovation and efficiency grants. A new voucher program would provide private-school tuition starting next fall to any entering kindergartner from a household that falls under 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The long-awaited plan is expected to kick off months of debate over Ohio's education direction. Today, Kasich is taking the plan on the road to Cincinnati.

    West Side Market cleanup could take weeks
    Clean-up at Cleveland’s West Side market is now estimated to take weeks following a fire this week. Two stands burned down following the overnight fire that officials say was likely caused by an electrical problem. The interior of the historic building is covered with soot and by law, food has to be thrown away and the interior must be cleaned thoroughly. The market is closed until further notice but produce vendors, which are housed in a separate building, have been allowed to open this morning but most have said they will stay closed in solidarity. Cleveland’s public works director Michael Cox said Thursday he’ll ask city officials to consider a rent reduction for vendors during the process.

    Kasich says politics behind JobsOhio challenge
    Gov. John Kasich says a liberal policy group and Democrats who are legally challenging his nonprofit jobs agency are intentionally trying to hurt the state's economy and get back in power. On Thursday, Kasich described ProgressOhio and other plaintiffs in the suit against JobsOhio as "obstructionists." The Republican said they'll have to answer to "a much higher power" for continuing to sue.  Democratic Sen. Mike Skindell, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, says Kasich is also accountable to a higher power — the Ohio Constitution. Kasich said ProgressOhio's repeated appeals have brought him close to pushing for legislation that would require parties who lose lawsuits to pay the state's costs. He said the idea isn't fully developed yet.

    All statewide GOP incumbents say they’re running again
    Republicans in the statewide offices of auditor, treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state hope remain on the job after 2014. Auditor Dave Yost, Treasurer Josh Mandel, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted say they will seek re-election for their offices next year. The leaders made their comments Thursday during a legislative preview session for journalists organized by The Associated Press. Gov. John Kasich has already confirmed he intends to keep his position and campaign finance reports show he has more than $2 million on hand. Treasurer Josh Mandel reported just $219 on hand after raising millions in an unsuccessful challenge to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown last year. Republicans swept the statewide offices in 2010.

    GE plans to close plants in Warren, Ravenna
    GE Lighting says it will close two Northeast Ohio plants next year, affecting more than 300 jobs. The company says there has been a dramatic decline in production demands at its Ravenna and Warren plants. The Ravenna plant makes lamps for warehouses and stadiums. The Beacon Journal reports most of the employees will be eligible for retirement or a special plant closing pension. Some may be relocated. Ohio US Senator Sherrod Brown on Thursday called for the company to keep the facilities open.

    Woman accused of cheating at casino cleared
    A judge has cleared a woman who was accused of cheating at a four-card poker game at the Cleveland casino. The Plain Dealer reports that Jessica Encarnacion was the first person accused of cheating at the casino to go to trial. Others who have been accused pleaded guilty. Hearing the case without a jury, the judge ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Encarnacion knowingly cheated at a card table in August. The 23-year-old woman told authorities it was her first trip the casino and she didn't know she was doing wrong when she swapped cards with another person, who is also charged with cheating. The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland opened in May, the first of four voter-approved casinos in the state.

    Cuyahoga County hit hard by flu
    The Plain Dealer reports the Cuyahoga County has had 10 reported flu-related deaths in January. 8 of the people were age 65 and older. There were no flu deaths during the same month last year. A county health department spokesman tells the newspaper there’s still about two more months left in the flu season and it’s not too late to get a vaccine.

    Condemned man who shot security guard asks for mercy
    A condemned man who fatally shot an adult bookstore security guard in northeast Ohio has asked the state parole board to recommend mercy. The request by 48-year-old Frederick Treesh comes a little more than a month ahead of his scheduled execution March 6. Treesh was sentenced to die for the fatal shooting during a robbery in Eastlake in 1994. Gov. John Kasich has the final say. Ohio's most recent execution was in November, when the state put to death Brett Hartman for the 1997 stabbing and dismemberment of an Akron woman.








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