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Morning news headlines for Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Strongsville teachers and board meet for 12 hours with no deal; Beasley sentencing delayed; Steubenville teens in court for alleged Twitter threats

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz

The latest news from WKSU's Morning Edition for Wednesday:

  • Strongsville teachers will be back on the picket lines today after a nearly 12-hour negotiating session ended with no deal Tuesday.  Union leader Tracey Linscott tells The Plain Dealer: “We are in the spot we were before the strike.” It was the fourth meeting between the union and the school board with a federal mediator since the strike began March 4th. The talks began with the teachers offering a counter proposal. It features lower wage and benefit demands, but school administrators have said it is still at least $2 million more than the district can afford.  
  • An Akron judge has postponed sentencing of convicted Craigslist robbery killer Richard Beasley after his defense attorney fell ill. Judge Lynne Callahan rescheduled the 53-year-old’s sentencing for April 4. Last week the jury that convicted Beasley voted that he should be executed. The judge has the option of reducing the sentence to life in prison. Three men were killed in the plot that lured victims to a farm with phony job offers. A fourth who was wounded testified at Beasley's trial.
  • Two Steubenville teens accused of making online threats against a rape victim are scheduled for their first court appearance. The 15- and 16-year-old Jefferson County girls have been held in juvenile detention since their arrest last week. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the girls posted threatening comments on Twitter on March 17, the day two high school football players were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl last summer. The case roiled the town of Steubenville and stirred reaction from activists online. DeWine's office says the tweets threatened homicide and bodily harm against the rape victim.
  • Cleveland City Council approved a new ward map Tuesday that cuts the number of wards from 19 to 17. The vote followed a redistricting process that drew criticism from some council members and residents. Council President Martin Sweeney led the redrawing process, which sparked some controversy because it was conducted mostly behind closed doors. An estimated 30 percent of the city’s population will now have new council members. The redistricting process was required because of population loss in the city of Cleveland.
  • An annual report that looks at Ohio's capital punishment system says 128 inmates sentenced to death over the past three decades have avoided their sentence through court action, commutations or dying of natural causes. The report by Attorney General Mike DeWine says 18 inmates have been spared by Ohio governors, 24 died in prison and eight were found ineligible for execution because they are mentally disabled. The state has put 50 inmates to death since executions were resumed in 1999.
  • The state of Ohio has released county by county employment figures and the rates are down for each of the state’s 88 counties. Summit County’s jobless rate showed a drop last month from 8 percent to 7.2 percent.  Cuyahoga County’s unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in February, down from 8.3 percent in January.  Stark County’s jobless rate dropped nearly 1 percent to 7.8 percent. 
  • Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says misappropriation of millions in charitable funds held by three veterans services organizations led to an agreement with the groups to prevent misuse of money. While AMVETS posts legally must pay 25 percent of gaming profits to a public charity, DeWine says AmVets Career Center sent some of that back to posts to operate satellite career centers that were often facades. The agreement requires new accounting practices and removal of some personnel.
  • A study by the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts says medical claims costs could jump an average 81 percent for individual policy holders in Ohio under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The report released Tuesday by the Society of Actuaries said the increase will be in large part because sicker people will join the individual insurance pool. It does not project medical claim costs for employer plans, which cover most workers. Nationally, claims costs are expected to rise an average 32 percent per person in the individual health insurance market by 2017. Ohio's insurance director, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, says the estimates are in line with findings a consulting firm prepared for the state.
  • Over the pleas of the local Amish community, a northwest Ohio health board is going ahead with plans to condemn two newly constructed Amish homes because they don't have required septic systems for their outhouses. More than 100 Amish turned out Tuesday night to ask the board to reconsider the order, which requires that the homes be brought into compliance or the families move out. The Columbus Dispatch reports that until now, the 200 or so Amish families in Hardin County have never been made to comply with well and septic rules. 
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