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Morning news headlines for February 22, 2013
Strongsville teachers could strike; Summa sells minority share to Catholic Health Partners; New jobs at Ford made official

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Strongsville teachers file strike notice
  • Teachers union airs concerns about new school funding plan
  • Investigation into superintendent accused of campaigning with public resources ends
  • Summa to sell minority share to Catholic Health Partners
  • Ohio awarded grant to coordinate medical care
  • All 16 convicted in beard-cutting case appeal convictions
  • Nun accused of illegally voting for another nun
  • Lawmakers propose more required reporting of elder abuse
  • It’s official: 450 new jobs at Brook Park Ford plant
  • Sherwin-Williams settles on big payback for retirement plan problems
  • Strongsville teachers file strike notice
    Teachers in Strongsville have filed notice that if a settlement with the district is not reached within 10 days, they may go on strike. The Strongsville teachers union voted overwhelmingly last Friday to authorize the work stoppage, which is now set to begin March 4. The two sides have been trying to hammer out an agreement for nine months.  The last contract expired in June. Strongsville school superintendent John Krupinski says the issue comes down to costs versus revenue in the district, He says the school will remain open in the event of a strike. The union says a strike is necessary to protect working conditions for teachers. 

    Teachers union airs concerns about new school funding plan
    Members of an Ohio teachers union are dropping in on state legislators to air their concerns about new teacher evaluations and other changes in Governor John Kasich's proposed budget. The Plain Dealer reports that members of the Ohio Federation of Teachers — in Columbus for the union's annual convention — fanned out to let lawmakers know how their classrooms would suffer as the result of Kasich's funding plan and the diversion of more public money to private-school vouchers. Union President Melissa Cropper criticized the evaluation system that will be introduced later this year. She said it relies too heavily on the results of an annual state test designed to help students improve rather than judge their teachers.

    Investigation into superintendent accused of campaigning with public resources ends
    A southwest Ohio school superintendent and prosecutor have reached an agreement ending an investigation into the possible misuse of public resources for political campaigning, which was aimed at the governor. Franklin City Schools Superintendent Arnol Elam had written parents last week urging them to join "an active campaign" to make sure Gov. John Kasich and legislators supporting him aren't re-elected. Elam is among school officials in some of the state's poorer districts upset about the Republican governor's new school funding plan. Warren County’s prosecutor says the probe has closed, after Elam agreed to pay the costs of his letter to parents and a new one saying he made some inappropriate statements.

    Summa to sell minority share to Catholic Health Partners
    A major northeast Ohio healthcare system is taking on an even bigger partner in response to changing business models in the healthcare industry. Summa Health Systems says it will sell a minority share in its $1.6 billion operation to Catholic Health Partners. Cincinnati-based Catholic Health manages 100 health centers in Ohio and Kentucky. Summa began its search for a larger non-profit partner last July to prepare for what it calls a “new era of healthcare.”

    Ohio awarded grant to coordinate medical care
    Ohio is being awarded $3 million in federal money to expand an approach to better coordinate medical care for patients and change how certain procedures are paid for. State officials said Thursday the grant would be used to design a lump payment for certain high-cost medical cases, such as a patient's hip replacement. The idea is that payment would be linked to the overall case, rather than the series of medical services needed for treatment. The grant also will go toward extending the use of so-called patient-centered medical homes, a model of primary care focused on keeping patients healthy. The approach is aimed at avoiding duplicative tests and unnecessary hospital stays.

    All 16 convicted in beard-cutting case appeal convictions
    The last two of 16 Amish found guilty in beard and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio have appealed their convictions. A son-in-law and nephew of ringleader Sam Mullet Sr. filed appeals Thursday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Appeals by all 16 defendants are now before the court. The defendants, all members of Mullet's extended family, had challenged the constitutionality of the hate crimes act as overly broad. The trial judge in Cleveland rejected the claim. They were convicted in five attacks in 2011.

    Nun accused of illegally voting for another nun
    Election officials say a nun in southwest Ohio is suspected of illegally casting a ballot for another nun who had died before last November's election. A ballot in the name of a nun who died in October was returned to the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati. A board member says an investigation showed it may have been cast by another nun. No charges have been filed.

    Lawmakers propose more required reporting of elder abuse
    Proposed Ohio legislation would add bankers, pharmacists and county humane society agents to the list of people required under law to report suspected elder abuse. The bill introduced Thursday by Republican Reps. Mike Dovilla of Berea and Wes Retherford of Hamilton adds those categories to existing requirements for doctors, dentists and hospital workers. The legislation, backed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, would also require a state registry to help identify patterns of elder abuse.

    It’s official: 450 new jobs at Brook Park Ford plant
    Ford has made it official: 450 jobs will be added at the Brook Park plant next year to make a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The automaker said Thursday it will invest $200 million into the plant. Ford now imports the motors from a plant in Spain. The move allows it to unload expensive shipping costs.

    Sherwin-Williams settles on big payback for retirement plan problems
    Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Labor that will pay back $80 million to current and past participants of its employee retirement plan. Federal investigators found that stock purchases by the company and the bank managing its retirement fund did not benefit workers. The settlement came out of an investigation by the Labor department into whether Sherwin-Williams and GreatBanc Trust Company sought to take advantage of tax breaks.




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