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Morning news headlines for February 7, 2013
Numbers behind Kasich's education plan released; Ohio looks to fix Medicaid application glitch; Cleveland could regain control of Edgewater and other lakefront parks
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Details on Kasich’s school funding proposal unveiled
  • Ohio closer to correcting Medicaid application system
  • Jobs Ohio plans to double staff after bond sale
  • Cleveland could regain control of Cleveland Lakefront State Park
  • Hamilton County officials continue voter fraud probe
  • New casino revenue report coming today
  • Details on Kasich’s school funding proposal unveiled
    Ohio school districts are finding out just how much funding they would get under Governor John Kasich’s new formula. Sixty percent of Ohio’s more than 600 districts would get no additional state money in the next two years under the plan, including many smaller, rural schools. But the plan does not cut funding for any of them. Canton schools would see gains of about 14 percent; Akron's funding would rise about three percent. Funding levels would remain unchanged for Cleveland. The formula also would give a handful of small suburban districts more than double the funding, including Lordstown and Twinsburg.

    Ohio closer to correcting Medicaid application system
    Ohio is closer to replacing an outdated system that's known for rejecting eligible people from the Medicaid program. Officials said Wednesday the state will contract with Accenture LLC for a new system that will allow people to apply online for Medicaid. The administration estimates that 60 percent of the old system's eligibility determinations are inaccurate and must be manually overridden to prevent applicants from being denied coverage. The announcement comes as the governor wants to expand the federal-state Medicaid program to cover more low-income people. Gov. John Kasich's proposed budget includes $230 million for the eligibility system upgrade, though the federal government is expected to reimburse the state for most of the cost.

    Jobs Ohio plans to double staff after bond sale
    Ohio's private, nonprofit job-creation agency is doubling its staff and expanding its outreach efforts now that it's gone to market with a $1.5 billion bond sale. President John Minor told board members Wednesday that JobsOhio has been working with a "skeleton crew." That's largely because of a legal challenge to the constitutionality of its funding structure. In January, JobsOhio proceeded to sell bonds backed by future liquor proceeds despite the lack of resolution. Proceeds will help fund additions to its 22-member staff, including managing directors overseeing biohealth and agribusiness.

    Cleveland could regain control of Cleveland Lakefront State Park
    Control of Cleveland Lakefront State Park could be changing hands. A bill before the Ohio House would terminate the deal between the city and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. That would allow the city to regain control of the six state-run parks that include Edgewater Park and the E. 55th St. Marina. Mayor Frank Jackson supports the plan. He tells The Plain Dealer the move would allow the city to link the parks with the Towpath Trail and other nearby parks. City Councilman Mike Polensek says he has concerns about a lack of upkeep and security under ODNR control.

    Hamilton County officials continue voter fraud probe
    Elections officials in southwestern Ohio's Hamilton County will issue more than two dozen subpoenas as an investigation into possible voter fraud during November's election heats up. Hearings will be held later this month to give the voters a final opportunity to provide explanations before the cases are turned over to prosecutors for possible criminal charges. The cases include a poll worker who may have falsified votes, a woman whose absentee ballot was sent to her several days after she died and a Florida resident who tried to use her old Cincinnati-area address to vote in Hamilton County.

    New casino revenue report coming today
    Ohio regulators are set to release the latest monthly revenue report for the state's three casinos. The report due today from the Ohio Casino Control Commission covers January revenue from gambling sites in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. Last month's report showed bettors put more money into slot machines and table games at the two northern Ohio facilities in December. The newer Columbus facility saw a betting drop compared to the previous month as the novelty wore off. The Cleveland and Toledo casinos opened last May, and the one in Columbus debuted in October. A fourth casino is scheduled to open March 4 in Cincinnati.

     

     

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