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Noon headlines, April 25, 2013: United Airlines; Facebook; Richter scale
United's first-quarter loss is down; North Olmsted man's Facebook sentence; background checks and health navigators

Kabir Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
  • Possible background checks for "health navigators"
  • United Airlines reports $417 loss, down from $448 million a year ago
  • 17 months for North Olmsted Facebook threats
  • United Airlines reports loss
    United Airlines today reported a first-quarter loss of $417 million, citing challenging weather, fuel prices and ongoing integration costs related to the 2010 merger with Continental Airlines.  But the company also had its best first-quarter on-time performance in a decade and passenger revenue is up slightly.  And this year’s first-quarter loss is down from the $448 million reported a year ago.

    The United-Continental merger created the world's largest airline, with 8 U.S. hubs, the smallest of which is at Hopkins airport.  United pledged to keep the hub if Northeast Ohio could sustain a certain level of passengers.

    Bill requires background checks for "health navigators"
    A bill requiring training for a new group of professionals who can guide consumers through the new health insurance market is on its way to Gov. Kasich.

    The health navigators will help educate consumers and small businesses about the online marketplaces created by President Barack Obama's health care law.

    Through these exchanges, consumers will be able to buy individual private policies and apply for government subsidies to help pay their premiums. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1.

    Ohio's bill would require navigators to pass criminal background checks, and it specifies they can't sell, solicit or negotiate health insurance.

    North Olmsted man gets 17 months for Facebook threats 
    A suburban Cleveland man has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for Facebook rants against police and judges after his drunken driving conviction.

    The Plain Dealer reports 27-year-old William Bement was sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to attempted retaliation.

    The North Olmsted man was given probation on a drunken-driving conviction on Feb. 5. 
    That's when authorities say he took to Facebook to post comments such as "stop shooting up schools and start shooting cops in courthouses." Another said, "Kill your local judges!!!!!!!."

    Bement told the judge yesterday that he was just venting and never intended for anybody to feel threatened. He said he did it for "shock value."

    A prosecutor said someone else could have read the postings and acted on them.

    Richter scale inventor honored
    Charles Richter, developer of the Richter scale to measure earthquake strength, will be remembered tomorrow by historians in southwest Ohio, where he was born.

    Butler County officials will recognize Richter's birthday annually. They want to keep his legacy alive, even as other shock wave magnitude measurements have been developed.

    Charles Richter was born April 26, 1900 and passed away in 1985.

    The NFL draft kicks off tonight.  And the Indians are off tonight but begin a four-game series in Kansas City tomorrow night.
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