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Morning news headlines for March 26, 2013
Convicted Craigslist killer to be sentenced today; Cleveland Air Show cancelled; Meggitt to keep 200 jobs in Akron

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Beasley to be sentenced today
  • Air Show cancelled due to sequestration
  • Plant upgrade to keep 200 Meggitt jobs in Akron
  • Long winter leading to big expenses to keep roads clear
  • Copley Township cop awarded Congressional Badge of Bravery
  • Great Lakes shipping season underway
  • Cincinnati Republican congressman says he opposes Portman’s gay marriage stance
  • Ohio celebrating first Vietnam Veterans Day all week
  • Canton City Council approves loan for Hercules Engine plant redevelopment
  • Verizon receives tax credit, plans to hire 500
  • Amish families looking for compromise to avoid eviction
  • Morning Journal, News-Herald owner going forward with bankruptcy
  • Beasley to be sentenced today
    A judge in Akron must make a life-or-death decision in sentencing a self-styled street preacher for the murders of three down-and-out men lured by Craigslist job offers. Judge Lynne Callahan will sentence 53-year-old Richard Beasley today after a jury last week recommended the death penalty. The judge has the option of reducing the sentence to life in prison. Three men were killed, and a fourth who was wounded testified at Beasley's trial.

    Air Show cancelled due to sequestration
    The Cleveland Air Show has been canceled in the wake of federal budget cuts that took effect earlier this month. The show is one of the oldest in the country. It’s been held at Burke Lakefront Airport each Labor Day weekend for nearly 50 years. The Air Force is required by the sequestration to reduce flying hours by 18 percent, some of that is met by cancelling air shows across the country. Organizers of the Air Show say the event will return in 2014, barring any surprises next year in Washington.

    Plant upgrade to keep 200 Meggitt jobs in Akron
    A plant upgrade in Akron will keep about 200 jobs here.  Labor and government leaders from Akron to Washington say they worked together to keep Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems located on Akron’s south side. British owners of the company had already moved some of its operations to Kentucky, and were talking about taking most of the rest to Mexico.  The company has also agreed to invest 4-million dollars to upgrade its facilities where it makes parts for commercial and military aviation.

    Long winter leading to big expenses to keep roads clear
    An especially long winter is coming with a price tag in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation says the state has spent almost $74 million on road salt so far this winter, compared to $44 million last year.  It amounts to about 670,000 tons. The agency says, however, the state has plenty of salt on hand to get through the end of April.

    Copley Township cop awarded Congressional Badge of Bravery
    A northeast Ohio police officer who fatally shot a gunman who killed seven people in a shooting rampage in 2011 has been honored for his heroics again. Copley Township Officer Ben Campbell was honored Monday with a Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery awarded annually by the U.S. attorney general. The award was presented by Sen. Sherrod Brown at a ceremony near Akron. Last year Campbell was honored at the White House as one of America's top police officers. Campbell was credited with stopping a gunman whose victims included two high school students and an 11-year-old boy.

    Great Lakes shipping season underway
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Soo Locks in Michigan's Upper Peninsula have opened, officially kicking off the Great Lakes shipping season. The Port of Cleveland’s season began last week with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Plain Dealer reports Cleveland expects its first international ship to arrive Thursday evening from the Netherlands. The newspaper reports the Port of Cleveland handled 52 international ships and seven barges in 2012 carrying 350,000 metric tons of cargo.

    Cincinnati Republican congressman says he opposes Portman’s gay marriage stance
    A fellow Cincinnati area Republican says that while he respects Sen. Rob Portman, he disagrees with Portman's new stand in support of gay marriage. Rep. Steve Chabot spoke Monday in suburban Montgomery during the first of two town halls in his district. Chabot says he continues to support the Defense of Marriage Act, barring federal government recognition of same-sex marriage. Portman recently announced his change in view, developed after son Will told his parents he was gay. The younger Portman wrote about his decision to become public and his discussions with his father in a column Monday in the Yale Daily News.

    Ohio celebrating first Vietnam Veterans Day all week
    Ohio observes its first Vietnam Veterans Day this week a year after Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law to honor veterans of the war. A week of events commemorates the day's first observance, including the display of a traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall replica. The replica goes on display today at the Ohio History Center in Columbus after an opening ceremony. While Vietnam Veterans Day is officially Saturday, observances are being held earlier to avoid conflicts with Easter weekend.

    Canton City Council approves loan for Hercules Engine plant redevelopment
    A project to redevelop a shuttered industrial plant near downtown Canton will get underway after five years of being on hold. City Council on Monday approved a $3 million loan for the first phase of plans to repurpose the former Hercules Engine site.  The first phase includes 95 apartments costing an estimated $28 million. Nearly $20 million is coming from a developer, a construction company and Huntington Bank. The entire project that includes a hotel and convention center qualified for $36 million in state and federal historic tax credits. Development plans for the site were announced in 2008 but stalled in the midst of the recession.

    Verizon receives tax credit, plans to hire 500
    Verizon Wireless is among several companies that have received approval for job creation tax credits for their proposals in Ohio. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday approved assistance for 13 projects expected to create more than 1,400 jobs and retain close to 3,000 positions statewide. The tax credit body reviewed proposals from the economic development nonprofit, JobsOhio, and its regional partners. Verizon plans to add 500 full-time positions.

    Amish families looking for compromise to avoid eviction
    Two Amish families in northwest Ohio are seeking a compromise with a county health board that wants to evict them from new homes that lack required wells and septic systems. Amish from throughout the region are expected to turn out for a meeting today of the Kenton-Hardin Board of Health where an appeal of the orders condemning the homes will be heard. Last summer, the health board said it would start enforcing rules that any new home must have a proper well and septic system — something the simple-living Amish have never had to do.

    Morning Journal, News-Herald owner going forward with bankruptcy
    The owner of two local newspapers has won court approval to move ahead with a planned bankruptcy.  The Journal-Register Company publishes the News-Herald in Willoughby, the Lorain Morning Journal, and two dozen other papers and media outlets in ten states.  A New York-based hedge fund is buying the properties for $6 million in cash, plus $114 million in secured debt. A New York judge Monday overruled union objections to the deal. Two hundred employees at the Journal Register’s two Northeast Ohio newspapers are expected to lose their jobs in the bankruptcy.  Some of them may be rehired by the new owners.

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