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More arrested, fewer die on Ohio highways this holiday
Other noon headlines: Land bank success, priest extorted, Chinese steel, gay marriage in Ohio

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:
  • Memorial Day tolls on Ohio highways
  • Cuyahoga County Land Bank and federal funds
  • Man sentenced for extorting parish priest
  • Chinese steel tariffs and Ohio companies
  • Gay marriage and the governor's race
  • Memorial Day tolls on Ohio highways
    State Highway Patrol DUI arrests were up 5 percent this weekend over the 2012 Memorial Day holiday, and highway fatalities also climbed. Fourteen people died in crashes over the weekend, compared to 13 last year. But DUI-related deaths were down, from seven to three. The patrol’s stats cover from midnight Friday through 11:59 Monday  night. 

    Cuyahoga County Land Bank and federal funds
    The Cuyahoga County Land Bank and its partners are among those leading the nation in distribution of stimulus funds to help stabilize neigborhoods. The other partners are the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the consortium $41 million to help shore up neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. The money has gone to Cleveland, East Cleveland, Lakewood, Shaker Heights, University Heights and Garfield Heights. The city of Cleveland has used its share of the money to tear down homes and to rehabilitate more than 300 of them.

    Man sentenced for extorting parish priest
    A 27-year-old Ashtabula man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for extorting more than $100,000 from a parish priest. Brian Gaster pleaded guilty last week to two charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities.

    According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the priest believed Gaster and his family needed the money because he had a seriously ill child and someone kidnapped a family member. The pastor of St. Joseph’s Calasanctius parish game him some $133,000 in personal and parish money over a year.

    Chinese steel tariffs and Ohio companies
    Ohio’s U.S. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown are pushing the U.S. Department of Commerce to continue tariffs to protect U.S. companies from Chinese dumping of steel pipe. The Commerce Department is expected to rule this week on a petition regarding continuing duties impost on a Chinese oil-pipe manufacturer. The tariffs were pushed by American companies like U.S. Steel in Lorain and the French-owned V&M Star, which is building a new steel pipe operation in Youngstown.

    Gay marriage and the governor's race
    Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is drawing a clear line of difference between himself and Gov. John Kasich, whom he’s expected to challenge in next eyar’s gubernatorial race. FitzGerald is calling to Ohio to change its law to allow for gay marriage and to eliminate housing and job discrimination based on sexual orientation.


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