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Morning news headlines for February 4, 2013
Kasich to unveil budget, decide on Medicaid expansion; West Side Market cleaning up after fire; Last Route 82 Bridge case back in court

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Kasich ready to make decision on Medicaid expansion
  • West Side Market cleanup under way
  • Public university debt nearly tripled in last decade
  • Last Route 82 Bridge case back in court
  • Trumbull County secures road maintenance deal from drilling company
  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad posts record year
  • Kasich ready to make decision on Medicaid expansion
    Governor John Kasich is set to announce whether he wants to expand Medicaid in Ohio under the new federal health care law. Kasich’s decision will come today as he rolls out his new state budget proposal. At stake is expanding health care coverage for more poor people in the state. It's a key element of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. A group of Ohio's doctors and hospitals back the idea. But some conservatives worry the plan will be too costly and are against it.

    West Side Market cleanup under way
    Work started Sunday to clean up Cleveland's historic West Side Market after it was damaged by fire. The city hired a Mentor company to handle the cleanup that is expected to take five to 10 days. The $276,000 for the cleaning contract will come from capital funds previously identified for market upgrades and improvements. The fire apparently started in an electrical connection early Wednesday. No one was injured, but soot blackened parts of the walls and ceiling. Officials have allowed outdoor produce vendors to open, but the inside of the market remains closed.

    Public university debt nearly tripled in last decade
    Outstanding debt among Ohio's 13 four-year public universities has nearly tripled over the past decade amid a building spree on classroom buildings, dormitories and recreation centers. At Ohio State University, which has built a recreation center and student union, debt has more than quadrupled. Of the state's public universities, Ohio State has the largest total debt load at nearly $2.5 billion — more than four times what it was in 2002. It is followed by the University of Cincinnati with $1.2 billion in debt, Kent State University with nearly $500 million. Cleveland State’s debt jumped the most: nearly 1,300 percent to nearly $143 million.

    Last Route 82 Bridge case back in court
    The case against the last of five bridge bomb-plotting suspects in northeast Ohio is headed back to court. The case against Joshua Stafford of Cleveland has been delayed by a psychiatric review. Legal briefs are due from both sides by Feb. 15. A hearing could come later. Four defendants have pleaded guilty in the foiled attempt to bomb the Route 82 Bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The FBI has said the public was never in danger and the device was a dud provided by an informant. 

    Trumbull County secures road maintenance deal from drilling company
    A northeast Ohio county is getting ready for expanded oil and natural gas drilling. Trumbull County commissioners in Warren have received a fourth road use and maintenance agreement from the horizontal gas and oil industry. But for now, the county engineer's office says the drilling will be vertical test wells. Agreements before the commissioners specify road improvements and repairs the driller will make to roads used for hauling rigs. 

    Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad posts record year
    The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad says it set a new ridership record last year. The railroad says it carried more than 210,000 passengers through Cuyahoga Valley National Park in 2012. That's up from about 160,000 riders in 2011, when it was closed for a time for track repairs, and more than 195,000 in 2010. The non-profit scenic railroad runs trains between suburban Cleveland and the Akron area.




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