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Ohio Internet cafe ban heads to governor's desk
Other morning headlines: Population down in most Ohio cities; Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks exempted from GED classes

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Ohio's Internet cafe ban heads to governor's desk
  • Population down in most Ohio cities
  • Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks exempted from GED classes
  • Ohio House upholds Rep. Landis' election win
  • Federal judge allows accused bomb-plotter to represent himself
  • Thirteen Cleveland firefighters on unpaid leave
  • Grand jury to reconvene in Stuebenville rape case
  • Ohio Democrats want to redirect millions for education
  • Fair-housing advocate in Cleveland charged with tax fraud
  • Man indicted in 30-year-old murder of Cleveland girl 

  • Ohio's Internet cafe ban heads to governor's desk
    A proposal to extend Ohio's moratorium on new storefront sweepstakes parlors and to impose a new reporting requirement is nearly law. The Ohio House approved the measure 76-14 on Wednesday and Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign it. The bill was championed by Republican Senate President Keith Faber after top state law enforcers raised legal concerns about the so-called Internet cafes. The Senate also approved an effective statewide ban on such businesses on Wednesday. Legislative efforts follow lawsuits and raids in Cuyahoga and Richland counties by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who says the operations harbor illegal gambling

    Population down in most Ohio cities
    New U.S. Census estimates show that most large and medium-sized cities in Ohio lost population over the past two years, as many cities elsewhere saw gains. The figures show that 14 out of 15 of Ohio cities with at least 50,000 people had slight population declines from 2010 to 2012. The Dayton Daily News reports that during same period, nine out of 10 of the 729 larger cities nationwide had population gains. Every major city in Ohio except Columbus ranked near the bottom in percentage of population change. Youngstown was listed last — the only city in the nation to lose more than 2 percent of its population the past two years.

    Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks exempted from GED classes
    The Amish imprisoned in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in eastern Ohio will no longer be required to attend high-school equivalency classes behind bars. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Wednesday that Amish bishop Samuel Mullet and his followers are exempted from a policy requiring classes for inmates who lack high school diplomas. The Plain Dealer reports the decision came days after an attorney for Mullet complained that the policy of compulsory education violated his client's First Amendment right to freedom of religion. The 67-year-old Mullet is serving his 15-year term in a prison in Texas, and his co-defendants are held in prisons across the country. The other 15 received sentences ranging from one to seven years. Federal prosecutors are OK with the decision.

    Ohio House upholds Rep. Landis' election win
    The Republican-controlled Ohio House has voted to uphold a GOP candidate's victory last year in a disputed race for state representative. Democrat Josh O'Farrell lost his bid to unseat Republican Rep. Al Landis by eight votes in November. The district covers Tuscarawas and part of Holmes counties. The House voted 58-32 on Wednesday to let Landis' win stand. State law gives the House the right to judge the election of its own members. The race's outcome determined whether Republicans have a 60-vote majority in the House. Democrats have argued there were multiple election irregularities involving provisional and absentee ballots that could have changed the race's outcome.

    Federal judge allows accused bomb-plotter to represent himself
    A federal judge will allow the last of five bridge bomb-plotting suspects in northeast Ohio to represent himself at trial. Federal Judge David Dowd in Akron ruled Wednesday there's no reason to deny the request by 23-year-old Joshua Stafford of Cleveland, whose trial is scheduled June 10. Last month the judge ruled Stafford mentally fit for trial after hearing from psychologists who said Stafford is suicidal, depressed and wary of a dangerous world. No bomb went off and no one was injured in the plot last year in which the intended target was a highway bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville. The other four defendants have pleaded guilty and landed prison terms of six to 11 years.

    Thirteen Cleveland firefighters on unpaid leave
    Thirteen Cleveland firefighters indicted in a shift-swapping scandal have been suspended without pay while their cases move through the courts. The mayor's office said the suspensions were imposed after the firefighters waived preliminary disciplinary hearings Wednesday. Last week the firefighters were indicted on charges including illegally paying co-workers to cover their shifts, theft in office and improper compensation. The city says it's making changes to ensure firefighters are working as assigned. Prosecutors say the firefighters each failed to work 2,000 hours or more of their scheduled time from 2006 to 2010.

    Grand jury to reconvene in Stuebenville rape case
    An eastern Ohio grand jury is resuming its examination of whether other laws were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl raped by two Steubenville high school football players. The panel will start up today after a three-week break while investigators went back to analyzing evidence and interviewing witnesses. The grand jury had met just three days before the adjournment was announced earlier this month. One of the key issues before the panel is whether adults like coaches or school administrators knew of the rape allegation but failed to report it as required by Ohio law. A judge in March convicted the football players of raping the girl at a party in a case that’s divided the community and gained international attention.

    Ohio Democrats want to redirect millions for education
    Democrats in the Ohio Senate want to redirect millions of dollars from a proposed income tax cut to education. The proposal is among roughly 200 amendments that Senate Democrats have offered to the state's $61.5 billion, two-year budget. Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland said Wednesday her amendment would eliminate a proposed 7 percent income tax cut for Ohioans making more than $106,00. She says that would free up about $500 million for an investment fund to provide extra dollars for schools to use in the classroom and for transportation. Republicans overwhelming control the Senate, and any changes would need their support. The Senate version of the budget bill is expected to be released next week, with additional hearings planned on the changes.

    Fair-housing advocate in Cleveland charged with tax fraud
    A fair-housing advocate in Cleveland has been charged with tax fraud for allegedly trying to avoid taxes on $500,000 in income and keeping $80,000 in federal taxes withheld from employees. 62-year-old Edward Kramer is charged with 10 counts in a court filing which usually signals a pending plea deal. Kramer directs Housing Advocates Inc., a non-profit that fights housing discrimination. Kramer’s defense attorney says his client has spent a career fighting housing discrimination, regrets his current situation and will take responsibility.

    Man indicted in 30-year-old murder of Cleveland girl
    A grand jury has returned a murder indictment against a Cleveland man in the 1984 killing of a 14-year-old girl. Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said Wednesday that a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted 58-year-old Hernandez Warren on murder, rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges. His arraignment is scheduled for May 28. Investigators say DNA evidence recently developed linked Warren to the killing of Gloria Pointer, who went missing while walking to school nearly 30 years ago.
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