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Morning news headlines for March 29, 2013
Strongsville strike becoming costly for district; Ohio files suit over Clyde cancer cluster; Kasich coming to Northeast Ohio next week
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Strongsville teachers union says strike is costly for district
  • 180 jobs could be coming to Mansfield Air National Guard base
  • Air Force Reserve wing at Wright-Patterson to be furloughed on Fridays
  • Ohio files lawsuit against Whirlpool over Clyde cancer cluster
  • Charges dropped against man accused of Rocky River cyanide dump
  • Kasich making three Northeast Ohio stops next week
  • Akron Digital Academy closing
  • Trouble at Toledo prison raises overcrowding concerns
  • Strongsville teachers union says strike is costly for district
    The teacher’s union in Strongsville says an ongoing strike is costing the district upwards of $1 million so far. The Strongsville Teacher’s Association tells The Plain Dealer documents obtained through a public records request show the strike will surpass $1.8 million this weekend. They say the figures come from the company hired to provide strike services. The district is paying $175 a day for each substitute teacher, along with security, lodging and rented vehicle costs. The strike ends its fourth week today and there are no talks scheduled. The Plain Dealer was unable to reach school board members for comment Thursday.

    180 jobs could be coming to Mansfield Air National Guard base
    The Mansfield Air National Guard base is getting a new mission that could mean 180 new jobs. The base last year was among those facing cuts, but Senator Sherrod Brown on Thursday announced the new mission and eight C-130H planes from the Air Force. President Barack Obama's administration earlier had proposed the elimination of four C-27 J Spartan cargo planes from Mansfield as part of a plan that would have retired 200 planes and involved more than 60 installations in 33 states. But the White House said later last year that Obama was committed to finding a mission for the Mansfield base.

    Air Force Reserve wing at Wright-Patterson to be furloughed on Fridays
    Officials say a U.S. Air Force reserve wing that flies troops around the globe will start shutting down on Fridays when civilian furloughs begin at Ohio's largest military base. That's the word at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, where around 13,000 civilian employees will be subject to furloughs because of defense budget cuts. Wright-Patterson union leaders welcomed the Department of Defense's announcement Thursday that civilian furloughs would be up to 14 work days beginning in June, eight fewer days than originally anticipated.

    Ohio files lawsuit against Whirlpool over Clyde cancer cluster
    Ohio has filed a $750 million class action lawsuit against Whirlpool Corp. that's related to a child cancer cluster between Toledo and Cleveland. The lawsuit filed Thursday attempts to link Whirlpool and others to the cancer cluster in Clyde, though the children's families aren't involved. The U.S. EPA has said high levels of a chemical believed to increase the risk of certain cancers were found in soil samples from a former park Whirlpool once owned. The findings didn't link the contaminants with the cancer cluster. A statement from the company says it also wants to figure out the facts behind the issue.

    Charges dropped against man accused of Rocky River cyanide dump
    Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against a 79-year old Grafton man, his wife and his company accused of draining a 55-gallon drum of cyanide into the Rocky River last year. The Plain Dealer reports a forensic psychiatrist determined that Renato Montorsi suffers from a mental disease and dementia, and lacks the ability to understand the charges against him. U.S. attorneys say the dismissal would not affect the criminal cases pending against his company, Strongsville-based Kennedy Mint, or his wife. On Earth Day last year, Montorsi allegedly dumped the drum in a storm sewer, killing 31,000 fish and wildlife. The empty drum was later found at his home.

    Kasich making three Northeast Ohio stops next week
    Ohio Governor John Kasich will be making the rounds in the Cleveland-area next week. On Monday, he’ll be at Tendon Manufacturing in Warrensville Heights to sign the state transportation budget bill. The $7.6 billion budget features Kasich’s controversial proposal for the state to borrow $1.5 billion for road repair projects to be repaid with tolls from the Ohio Turnpike. The bill also raises the speed limit on Ohio highways from 65 to 70, set to begin this summer. Kasich will discuss his 2-year state budget proposal Wednesday at City Club of Cleveland forum. His budget plan includes a full Medicaid expansion, overhaul of education funding and a controversial tax reform plan.  Kasich will also head to Eastlake to headline the Lake County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner.

    Akron Digital Academy closing
    Akron is shutting down its online digital academy for students. The board of directors on Thursday voted to close the school in June. There are about 600 students enrolled and 100 teachers employed in the program that allows kids to attend school on a computer without physically going to class. According to the Beacon Journal, there are conflicting reasons for the shutdown.  Some say the program was in the red, but others say it had $2.5 million in the bank. Others cite rumors of conflict between board members and Akron Public Schools. When students enroll in the online school, state dollars for that student follow. Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James tells the Beacon Journal the academy has had poor academic performance the past four years.

    Trouble at Toledo prison raises overcrowding concerns
    Two recent deadly attacks at a northern Ohio prison are raising concerns about crowding in the state's prison system. Trouble at the Toledo Correctional Institution has been on the upswing over the past two years. That's when the prison began bringing in maximum-security prisoners and putting two inmates in each cell to deal with overcrowding statewide. Just two weeks ago, an inmate was strangled in his cell, and another attack in September left a prisoner dead. Those were the first killings at the Toledo prison since it opened in 2000. The prison's warden says the rise in assaults just about matches the Toledo prison's population increase over the last few years. He says the prison also has added more violent inmates who've been moved out of lower security prisons.

     

     

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