DeWine wants crackdown on sweepstakes cafes
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wants state lawmakers to crack down on storefront gambling-style operations known as Internet cafes. DeWine told lawmakers Wednesday he supports an Internet cafe regulation bill sponsored by state Rep. Matt Huffman of Lima. DeWine says that, without regulation, Ohio's nearly 800 Internet cafes are a rip-off with no guaranteed pay-off. Backers of Internet cafes say state regulations could amount to a ban. Late last year, the Ohio Senate put off a vote on House-passed Internet cafe regulations, saying there wasn't enough time to consider it. Customers at the cafes pay for Internet time or phone cards and use them to bet points on computers loaded with games such as poker. Operators say they sell legitimate products with a chance to win a prize.
JobsOhio working to attract California businesses
Governor Kasich’s private nonprofit job creation agency is tapping California. Kasich said Wednesday JobsOhio has hired San Francisco business broker George Arabian to help attract California businesses to the Buckeye State. The Columbus Dispatch reports Arabian’s contract is for six months. The Ohio Supreme Court recently agreed to consider whether liberal-leaning policy group ProgressOhio has standing in a lawsuit, which challenges whether it’s constitutional for JobsOhio to use state liquor profits to fund its operations.
New Ford/UAW contract could bring more jobs to Brook Park plant
Ford Motor Company and the United Auto workers reportedly have reached a tentative new contract that could bring hundreds of jobs to its suburban Cleveland engine plant over the next several years. The Plain Dealer reports the UAW at Brook Park will begin voting on the deal Monday. In 2011, Ford agreed to put a small new engine at the plant by 2015 as part of national UAW negotiations. The newspaper reports the deal could mean as many as 300 new jobs. The Brook Park plant currently employs about 1,000. Brook Park’s UAW leader tells the Plain Dealer the union won’t have to make any major concessions to get the additional work. The news follows years of cutbacks and downsizing at the Ford facility.
Kasich working to build support for school funding plan
Gov. John Kasich's education team is setting out to defend a new school-funding formula that left many districts — including some of the state's poorest — surprised at the lack of added cash. The head of the Governor's Office of 21st Century Education says he'll present figures to an Ohio House budget-writing committee that prove the proposed equation delivers on the Republican governor's promise to help poor districts the most. Superintendents were shocked and some were livid when district-by-district funding breakdowns were released recently. Sixty percent of districts' allotments turned out to be flat. Kasich adviser Richard Ross says he will emphasize that the new formula funnels the largest amount of money — 27 percent of what Ohio spends — to the state's 14 large urban districts.
Elyria schools cutting 60 jobs
A Cleveland-area school district has approved making three million dollars in cuts that will eliminate about 60 jobs. The Elyria City School Board approved the budget cuts last night after voters in November failed to pass a levy that would have avoided a deficit by 2015. Last year, Elyria cut $3 million from its budget, laid off 52 people and closed a school.
Foreclosures fell in January
The number of foreclosure filings in Ohio continued to drop in January. RealtyTrac reported that about 8,300 foreclosure documents were filed for the month, a 23 percent drop from December. Nationally, foreclosures fell 7 percent during the same period to the lowest level since June 2006.
Cleveland mining company's stock plummets after earnings report
Cleveland-based mining company Cliffs Natural Resources saw its stock plummet 20 percent on Wednesday after reporting steep 4th quarter losses. As anticipated in a January announcement, Cliffs noted a $1.6 billion loss for the quarter. It also said Wednesday it would slash its dividend 76 percent to 15 cents a share from about 62 cents. Officials attribute the loss to several months of poor prices for iron ore, to below $100 a ton. The company also plans to issue more than 10 million new shares of stock. Cliffs has been operating for more than 150 years.
Lawmakers want to remove penalties for violating new youth concussion law
Coaches and officials in Ohio's youth sports leagues could face criminal penalties for violating a new state law governing young athletes' concussions and head injuries. But state lawmakers said Wednesday that a bill-writing error unintentionally imposes the punishments and they want to correct it. The new law takes effect in late April. It requires coaches and referees in youth sports organizations to have players who show concussion-like symptoms sit out games or practices until they're checked and cleared by a doctor or licensed health care provider. Two legislators have sponsored a bill aimed at removing criminal penalties for violating the requirements.
Man faces charges after accidental gun show shooting
A man who accidentally fired a handgun that seriously injured another man during a recent gun show in Medina is facing charges. 59-year-old Harry Magocky of Parma faces misdemeanor counts of discharging a firearm within the city limits and negligent assault. Magocky was trying to unload the 9mm semi-automatic gun when it fired, hitting 63-year old Robert Roussea of Lorain in the arm and leg at the January 19th show at the Medina County Community Center. The operator of the gun show said he’s since changed his policies to include that firearms be tied so that they cannot be fired.
Twinsburg man indicted for millions in false income tax refunds
A Twinsburg man has been indicted on federal charges alleging he made false claims for income tax refunds totaling nearly $9 million. Federal prosecutors in Cleveland say Brian Krantz and corporations he controlled were issued 17 refund checks amounting to more than $3.6 million as a result of the alleged scheme. Prosecutors say it involved fake IRS forms and that Krantz used some of the proceeds to finance a real estate venture.