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Ohio


Morning headlines: Gina DeJesus looking forward to a normal life
Also:  Goodyear opens new headquarters; call for nonpartisan judicial elections
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • DeJesus looking forward to doing things other young women do
  • Residents call for more neighborhood watches at Cleveland community meeting
  • State working to process Ariel Castro’s DNA
  • Goodyear opens new headquarters in Akron
  • Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice calls for nonpartisan judicial primaries
  • Two boys named in Amber Alert found dead
  • National Park Service rejects skywalk for Horseshoe Casino
  • Plans to convert Eastlake power plant scrapped
  • Marathoner accused of carrying loaded gun sent for mental evaluation
  • DeJesus looking forward to doing things other young women do
    A Cleveland councilman says one of three women found together after about a decade of alleged captivity told him she's looking forward to doing things that other young women do. Councilman Matt Zone said he briefly visited 22-year-old Gina DeJesus on Thursday during her first morning since returning home. Zone said he asked what she wanted to do next, and she replied that she'd like to get her hair done and go to the dentist. He says DeJesus "had a smile from ear to ear" and told him she had slept in. Homeowner Ariel Castro is being held on $8 million bail. He didn't comment in court.

    Residents call for more neighborhood watches at Cleveland community meeting
    Cleveland police, officials from the state attorney general’s office and others met with about 150 residents Thursday night to talk about the week’s events surrounding Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. The Plain Dealer reports Cleveland Police Commander Keith Sulzer talked about the initial search for Berry and DeJesus a decade ago, saying officers did “an extensive job.” A number of residents said they want to see more neighborhood watches. A candlelight vigil was held after the meeting near the Seymour Avenue home where the women were held captive.  City councilman Brian Cummins said the Cleveland Courage Fund has raised $20,000 since it was created Wednesday to benefit the victims. Donations can be made in care of The Cleveland Foundation.

    State working to process Ariel Castro’s DNA
    The state is moving quickly to process Ariel Castro’s DNA to see there are any matches with other profiles in the database. The Plain Dealer reports the state crime lab received the sample Thursday afternoon and processing, which usually takes about three weeks, could be done in as few as two days.   The newspaper reports that Castro’s DNA is likely not in the databases since he had not previously been convicted of a felony. Meanwhile, Castro’s two brothers have been released from custody. Police tweeted on Thursday afternoon that 54-year-old Pedro Castro and 50-year-old Onil Castro have been released from jail. The brothers were not charged related to the disappearance of Amanda berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Pedro Castro pleaded no contest to an unrelated open-container charge in court Monday. Two unrelated misdemeanor charges against Onil Castro were dropped.

    Goodyear opens new headquarters in Akron
    Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has cut the ribbon on its new $160 million headquarters. The more than 500-thousand square -foot, seven-story building broke ground two years ago.  About 2,000 employees moved in last month. California Developer Stu Lichter will be redeveloping Goodyear’s old campus and former headquarters off East Market Street into new office, retail, residential and recreational space. He said yesterday that ground will break this summer.

    Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice calls for nonpartisan judicial primaries
    Ohio's top judge has drawn applause from fellow lawyers with her call for eliminating party labels in Ohio's judicial primaries. Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said Thursday that nonpartisan primaries, more cameras in courtrooms and other policy and election changes can strengthen public engagement and trust in the judiciary. She made her remarks during the Ohio State Bar Association's annual convention. Polls show people believe judges are susceptible to political influence but oppose doing away with judicial elections altogether. O'Connor wants to see Ohio join 14 other states with nonpartisan judicial races. Ohio is the only state that identifies the party of prospective judges in its primaries and then sends winners into a general election in which party labels aren't used. O'Connor said party affiliation has no place in judicial races.

    Two boys named in Amber Alert found dead
    Authorities in northwest Ohio say two of three teenage boys named in an Amber Alert were found dead after the third teen was located several counties away and told authorities where the bodies were. Ottawa police say the alert about two missing 17-year-old boys and a missing 14-year-old boy was issued after a mother returned to a Putnam County trailer home and found a crime scene. Police and the sheriff released no details about that scene, the bodies or where they were later found. Autopsies were planned.

    Park Service rejects skywalk for Horseshoe Casino
    The government has rejected a proposal to connect the Higbee Building – home of Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino -- to a parking garage with a skywalk. In a ruling Thursday, the National Park Service said the skywalk would negatively impact the historic nature of the building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The ruling does not technically block construction of the skywalk.  But making unapproved changes would invalidate tax credits awarded to the building’s owner. Casino owner Rock Ohio Caesars announced in April it plans to buy the building from Forest City Enterprises for about $80 million. The company argued the skywalk would increase business by shielding gamblers from the cold, while opponents said it would kill street-level retail.

    Plans to convert Eastlake power plant scrapped
    Plans have again been scrapped to convert an Eastlake power plant from coal to natural gas, this time due to sequestration.  The News-Herald reports that Akron-based FirstEnergy says uncertainty over tax-exempt and tax-advantaged financing led to the decision.  Two of the plant's five turbines were deactivated last fall, but the company is committed to keeping the plant going until 2015. At that time, the company says it could convert the turbines to synchronous condensers, which control grid voltage.  Currently, about 130 people work at the plant.  Had the natural gas plan gone through, employment would have been only a dozen people.

    Marathoner accused of carrying loaded gun sent for mental evaluation
    Authorities say a Cincinnati Marathoner accused of carrying a loaded gun and commenting about terrorism during the race events last week has been charged and is hospitalized for mental evaluation. The Hamilton County prosecutor says 49-year-old David Moore of Cincinnati is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and failing to inform law enforcement, and with menacing by stalking. The prosecutor says Moore talked about terrorism and complained to the marathon director about his marathon bib number. Police say they asked Moore if he was armed when he continued talking about terrorism, and he showed them a 9 mm gun inside his waistband.

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