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Noon news headlines for Feb. 18, 2013
Taxes shift to services under Governor's plan; Gun rights supporters call for "Day of Resistance"; Flu risk fading in February

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Taxes shift to services under Governor's plan
  • Gun rights supporters call for "Day of Resistance"
  • Flu risk fading in February
  • Wrong way driver struck near Cleveland-Hopkins
  • Cooper Tire to open new technology center 
  • OSU student behind NASA's "Gangnam Style" video 
  • Internet cafes blamed for slow casinos traffic
  • Taxes shift to services under Governor's plan
    Gov. John Kasich is expected to lay out more details of his Ohio tax restructuring plan at tomorrow’s State of the State address. Kasich wants to cut the state's overall sales-tax rate while also applying the lower 5 percent tax on new items like bowling alleys, pool halls, circuses and arcade games. Admission to fairs, museums, and theme parks would come under Ohio's sales tax for the first time. So would tickets to pro, college and high school games. The Republican governor says it brings fairness to Ohio's tax rates. Kasich’s plan to expand sales taxes, and increase the severance tax on oil and gas drilling will offset proposed cuts to income taxes for individuals and small businesses. 

    Gun rights supporters call for "Day of Resistance"
    Supporters of gun-rights in southwest Ohio are planning a rally as part of a national campaign aimed at strengthening opposition against new gun laws. The rally next Saturday is one of "Day of Resistance" events being organized across the country. Organizers say the goal is to rally opposition against the proposed laws and raise awareness of what gun-rights supporters say are attacks on their right under the U.S. Constitution to keep and bear arms.

    Flu risk fading in February 
    The Ohio Department of Health says the state is winning the battle against the flu bug. Although this was a tough flu season, the number of serious cases across the state continues to decline. Health Department Spokeswoman Tessie Pollock talked about the latest numbers.

    “We have seen more flu activity as far as number of flu hospitalizations across the state this season. Since October, there’ve been about 3,914 and this time last year we’ve only seen about 137 flu associated hospitalizations, so last year was definitely a mild season compared to what we have seen this year.”

    Pollock says there has been a 55 percent decrease in the number of flu-related hospitalizations last week compared to the week before. She says flu activity in Ohio has reached its peak and can expect the number of flu-related cases to go down. 

    Wrong way driver struck near Cleveland-Hopkins
    Police in Cleveland say a wrong-way driver hit a semi on Interstate 71 just north of the city's airport. Officers say the driver is in the hospital after the accident early this morning. Police say the driver of the truck saw the wrong-way car coming and was able to slow down and reduce the impact of the collision. Officers think alcohol was a factor in the crash.

    Cooper Tire to open new technology center 
    Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plans to open a new technology center in northwest Ohio by the end of the year. The company plans to hire about 40 people to do research at the center in Findlay where Cooper Tire has its headquarters. Cooper Tire received a $2.8 million state grant for the project. The company says it plans to put $40 million into the project over the next five years. The new hires will include engineers, scientists, researchers and technicians.

    OSU student behind NASA's "Gangnam Style" video
    An Ohio college student's online parody of the Korean pop hit "Gangnam Style" has gone viral. Brian Schwing is a senior at Ohio State University and an intern at NASA in Houston. His video, "NASA Johnson Style”  has nearly 4.5 million views on YouTube and counting. Schwing says it took him about 200 hours to produce the video, with 15 hours of footage that had to be edited down to four minutes. Schwing says he hopes the video gets more people interested in science and spaceflight.

    Internet cafes blamed for slow casino traffic
    Some state officials in Ohio think that storefront gambling-style operations known as Internet cafes might be one reason why casinos in Ohio aren't generating as much tax-revenue as predicted. The Columbus Dispatch reports gross casino-tax revenue is likely to be $900 million short over two years. That means less money than expected for cities, counties and schools. Ohio's attorney general wants state lawmakers to crack down on Internet cafes. A lobbyist says the sweepstakes operators are being used a scapegoat for the casinos' lower-than-expected revenue.

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