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Noon headlines, April 15, 2013: Strongsville, bridge bomb, millionaires
Strongsville strike movement; bridge suspect evauated, Ohio millionaires increase

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Strongsville school board makes its first new offer to teachers
  • The final Cuyahoga Valley bridge bombing suspect is evaluated in Akron
  • More Ohio millionaires as economy improves
  • New offer on the table from Strongsville school board
    Strongsville Board of Education President David Frazee announced today the district has identified $3.2 million in additional funds that could be part of a settlement of the teachers' strike. The strike is beginning its seventh week.

    In a release, Frazee says the money comes primarily from delinquent tax collections and other tax sources. A new proposal from the board would provide the teachers with a half-step increase for each of two years of experience or a one-time cash payment of $1,200, depending on their position. The board had planned to eliminate step increases altogether for the term of the contract.

    The union also wants a cap on class sizes, with extra pay for teachers who have more than the maximum number of students in their class.

    The two sides met much of the day yesterday and well into the night. No time has been set to resume negotiations. 

    Final bridge bomber suspect evaluated in Akron
    Psychologists are outlining mental health issues impacting the last of five Ohio bridge bomb-plotting suspects.

    The testimony came today in Akron before U.S. District Judge David Dowd, who must decide if 23-year-old Joshua Stafford of Cleveland is mentally competent to stand trial.

    Forensic psychologist Sandra McPherson detailed Stafford's mental health history. She described him as depressed, suicidal, wary of a dangerous world but able to help his defense. No bomb went off and no one was hurt in the plot last year. Four other defendants have pleaded guilty and got prison terms of six to 11 years. 

    More Ohio millionaires as economy improves
    Statistics show that the number of wealthy taxpayers in Ohio is on the way back up.

    The Dayton Daily News crunched the numbers and found that nearly 6,300 taxpayers who lived in Ohio in 2011 made more than $1 million. That's up 40 percent from the 2009, the worst year of the recession. The number of wealthy taxpayers did not return to pre-recession levels in 2011, but experts say the group is expanding because of the improving economy and rising stock market.

    By contrast, numbers from the Ohio Department of Taxation showed more than seven in 10 taxpayers in the state earned $60,000 or less in 2011. Another quarter of tax filers earned between $60,000 and $175,000. The million-dollar earners account for the 0.1 percent of Ohio's resident taxpayers.

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