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Military vets running out of time for bonuses
Other morning headlines: Ohio posts record flu cases; Gas prices are moving back down
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Military vets running out of time for bonuses
  • Northeast Ohio well-represented on state budget committee
  • Ohio posts record flu cases
  • Gas prices are moving back down
  • Lawmakers debate new regulations for capturing loose dogs
  • Statehouse proposal calls for $2 million in security upgrades
  • Cleveland gun buyback nets 352 firearms
  • Ohio AG: Be wary of new rental property scam
  • Beachwood officer shoots suspect
  •  
    Military vets running out of time for bonuses
    Military veterans eligible to claim Ohio bonuses of up to $1,500 are running out of time. And officials are worried thousands of veterans may miss out. Ohio voters in 2009 approved a $200 million bond issue to fund bonuses for veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The Persian Gulf-era application deadline is Dec. 31. And state and county officials urging those qualified not to wait since some time is needed to verify and process applications. They say over $55.7 million has been paid to more than 66,000 veterans or family members for all three bonus periods since 2010. But officials say there could be as many as 90,000 who haven't applied, including probably several thousand from the Persian Gulf era.

    Northeast Ohio well-represented on state budget committee
    A group state lawmakers begins meeting on Tuesday to hash out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the $62 billion state budget that must be passed by June 30. Northeast Ohio is well-represented on that conference committee. Four of the six committee members hail from Summit, Stark and Wayne counties -- State Senator Tom Saywer of Akron, Representatives Ron Amstutz of Wooster and Vernon Sykes of Akron and committee chairman, Senator Scott Oelslager of North Canton.

    Ohio posts record flu cases
    The Ohio Department of Health says flu cases this past season were the most since it began keeping count. Stats show that 5,200 Ohioans were hospitalized with the flu from September last year through mid-May. That tops the 3,200 hospitalized in 2009-2010 during the swine-flu pandemic. State health officials say it's hard to say what led to the spike; there’s no indication that a new virus contributed. The numbers do show that the flu season began about a month earlier than normal and hospitalizations started going up in mid-December.

    Gas prices are moving back down
    After hovering around $4 a gallon for a couple weeks because of refinery problems in the Great Lakes region, prices at the pump have fallen. The state average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.74 in today's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. That's down 18 cents from the same time last week. The Ohio price is still 13 cents higher than the national average. 

    Lawmakers debate new regulations for capturing loose dogs
    New guidelines regulating how loose dogs can be captured in Ohio are under review. The measure being considered by state lawmakers sets training and licensing requirements for dog wardens and other officers who use a drug to capture a dog. Officers must undergo training in the use, storage and record keeping of drugs used in "chemical capture." The Ohio House has passed the bill and it’s now in the Senate. 

    Statehouse proposal calls for $2 million in security upgrades
    Security could get a little tighter at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board wants to spend close to $2 million to purchase hand-held metal detection wands, cameras and other equipment to protect the building's entrances. The Statehouse currently leaves its doors open during normal business hours, allowing people to freely enter and leave under the watch of the State Highway Patrol. Recommendations call for only four entrances to be open during regular business hours. Each would be staffed with state troopers using metal detection wands and include security cameras and other equipment.

    Cleveland gun buyback nets 352 firearms
    The city of Cleveland collected more than 350 firearms over the weekend. The city’s gun buyback program was held on Saturday. People got $100 or $200 gift cards or sports tickets for trading in handguns and semi-automatic rifles. The weapons will be taken to ArcelorMittal where they will melted down. 

    Ohio AG: Be wary of new rental property scam
    Ohio's attorney general is urging residents to be wary of rental property scams Attorney General Mike DeWine says his office has received more than a dozen reports since January. Ohioans have reported losing an average of about $1,000 to the scams. DeWine says con artists hijack legitimate ads showing houses for sale and re-post them as houses for rent. They then persuade people to send money for the deposit or first month's rent. Scammers may say they have to leave the country quickly and tell potential renters to send money through wire transfers.

    Beachwood officer shoots suspect
    Authorities say a police officer in suburban Cleveland shot and wounded a man who was wanted for felony domestic violence. Police in Beachwood say it happened when officers went to an apartment on Sunday to arrest a man wanted in an earlier domestic violence incident. The man was hiding in a bathroom and confronted the officer, who fired a single shot. The man's wound was not believed to be life-threatening, and he was arrested without further incident. The man's name and other details of the incident haven't been released.
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