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Noon news headlines for February 15, 2013
Ohio overpaid unemployment benefits; Learned Owl sold; GM profits pumped into Mahoning Valley

  • Ohio overpaid unemployment benefits
  • Learned Owl sold
  • GM profits pumped into Mahoning Valley
  • GM profits pumped into Mahoning Valley
    GM's profits were down 36 percent last year, but the automaker's recovery still pumped $30 million into the Mahoning Valley. Workers at the Lordstown plant, where the Chevy Cruze is built, will each receive $6750 in profit sharing for the year. That's down slightly from last year. A union rep says the bonuses should arrive sometime in March. Employees opted for profit sharing over pay raises in 2011 contract talks. GM's North American profits were down only 5 percent, but European losses brought down the automaker's bottom line.

    Learned Owl sold
    One of Northeast Ohio's few remaining independent books stores has a new owner. The Learned Owl in Hudson opened in 1968. The new owner, Kate Schlademan, has worked there for 2 years. She raised part of the funds through a crowd-funding campaign and when asked about changes to the store says, “Nothing major right now. We just want to get though the transition period and make sure everyone is comfortable with the change. I’m over-the-moon. I’m speechless. I don’t even know what to say.”

    Schlademan takes over from Liz Murphy, who bought the store in 1983. “I think I found exactly the right person. I couldn’t be happier. She has the passion. She reminds me of me, 30 years ago. What could be better?”

    Murphy estimates that greater Cleveland had about three-dozen independent book stores when she started. A quick search online reveals fewer than that in the whole state today. 

    The sale includes three floors of books, but not the building itself. The Learned Owl has gained attention for its early adoption of e-readers and for a Harry Potter Day celebration that drew thousands of people to downtown Hudson.

    Ohio overpaid unemployment benefits
    Out-of-work Ohioans collected almost $2.3 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation last year, though thousands of claims were over paid. A Dayton Daily News analysis of unemployment compensation data found one in five claims filed by Montgomery County residents resulted in an overpayment in 2012. The newspaper reports that the fraud totaled more than $2 million. Statewide, more than 110,000 claims saw over payments for a total of $87.3 million last year. Ohio also recovered $43 million in overpaid funds in 2012. An official with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says the overpayment problem started during the recession when the state agency pushed to deliver timely benefits to tens of thousands of jobless Ohioans. The department says many overpayments are the result of honest mistakes.
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