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Noon headlines, April 4, 2013: Craigslist killer; Plain Dealer, nuke plant
AG hints at more Craigslist killer victims; Plain Dealer keeps printing, Perry nuke plant upgrades; ACLU on Ohio debtors prisons; dog shooter felony convictions

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
FirstEnergy operates Ohio's only two commercial nuclear power plants, Perry and Davis Besse.
Courtesy of TIM RUDELL
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In The Region:
  • Ohio AG says he wouldn't be surprised if there were more Craigslist victims
  • Plain Dealer continues seven-day publication, cuts home delivery
  • Perry nuke plant $109 milllion upgrades begin
  • ACLU says Ohio mayors courts operate defactor debtors prisons
  • Dog-shooter convicted of federal firearm felonies
  • Ohio AG says he wouldn't be surprised if there were more Craigslist victims
    Akron’s Craigslist killer has been sentenced to death.

    Summit County Judge Lynn Callahan opted for death for 53-year-old Richard Beasley this morning, following a recommendation last month by the jury that convicted him of killing three men and trying to kill a fourth.

    Beasley lured most of his victims to a farm in southern Ohio through a jobs ad on Craigslist. He and his then 16-year-old accomplice, Brogan Rafferty, shot three men to death: 56-year-old Ralph Geiger, 51-year-old David Pauley and 47-year-old Timothy Kern. A fourth man, Scott Davis, escaped and that’s how authorities discovered the bodies of the other three. 

    Attorney General Mike Dewine, who prosecuted the case, says he would not be surprised if there were other victims, but he doesn’t know if the state will ever be able to prove that. 

    DeWine responds to reporter question on more victims
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    Beasley's accomplice, Rafferty, was sentenced earlier to life in prison. 

    Plain Dealer continues seven-day publication, cuts home delivery
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer will continue to be published seven days a week, but will only deliver to homes three days a week beginning this summer. The paper is owned by the Newhouse chain’s Advance Publications, which has cut back publication altogether in cities like New Orleans and Syracuse, NY.

    Andrew Beaujon  of the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, says Advance seems to be adapting to the character of each community.

    No cookie-cutter
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    “They’ve clearly determined that this is the right thing for Cleveland, because they’re not treating it like a cookie cutting Advance property. The Plain Dealer has a really tight connection with its readers. This seems to have taken into account that there are still a lot of readers for the print paper.” 

    The Newspaper Guild signed a contract with the Plain Dealer late last year that includes as many as 58 layoffs from the newsroom by May. Some employees may be rehired by Advance Publications’ on-line arm,

    Perry nuke plant upgrades begin
    Akron-based FirstEnergy is spending $109 million to install three high-efficiency rotors at its Perry nuclear power plant.

    The company expects the project to slightly boost electrical production at the plant along Lake Erie, northeast of Cleveland.

    According to the Plain Dealer, the massive rotors are 35 feet long and weigh 175 tons. The paper says the original rotors will be decontaminated and sold for scrap.

    FirstEnergy is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew its operating license to allow Perry to continue to operate for another 20 years. The original 40-year license expires in 2026. FirstEnergy also operates Ohio’s only other commercial reactor, Davis Besse.

    Dog-shooter convicted of federal firearm felonies
    A Cleveland man has been convicted in federal court charges that sprang from shooting a dog to death in a public park in Cleveland Heights. A jury found Raymone Clements guilty today of possession of a firearm and ammunition. His felony record, including rape, drug trafficking and aggravate robbery, makes it illegal under federal law for him to have guns and ammo.

    The U.S. attorney’s office says it will continue to “aggressively pursue” people who have illegal fireamrs, including so-called straw buyers.


    ACLU says Ohio mayors courts operate defactor debtors prisons
    The ACLU says Ohio operates what amount to debtors prisons, though it’s unconstitutional to jail someone because they can’t pay their debts.

    The civil liberties group presented a report it calls “The Outskirts of Hope” in Cleveland this morning. It includes the stories of six people in Ohio who it maintains were jailed for being too poor to pay their legal fines.

    Courts are supposed to hold hearings before jailing someone for failure to pay a fine. And they’re to find alternatives if someone cannot afford the fines.  But the ACLU many mayors’ courts and some municipal courts never hold those hearings.

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