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Fourth suspect arrested in alleged slavery case in Ashland
Other morning headlines: Lawmakers propose tanning bed restrictions for kids; Cleveland casino gets 'OK' for skywalk construction to begin
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Fourth suspect arrested in alleged slavery case in Ashland
  • Lawmakers propose tanning bed restrictions for kids
  • Cleveland casino gets 'OK' for skywalk construction to begin
  • Lower court to decide attorney fees in serial killer case
  • Lower court to decide attorney fees in serial killer case
  • Report cites deficient bridges in Ohio
  • Ohio to spend nearly $50,000 on human trafficking awareness
  • Fourth suspect arrested in alleged slavery case in Ashland
    The first of four suspects in an alleged slavery case in Ashland is due in court today. The group is accused of holding a disabled woman and her child against their will for nearly two years. Bond for 21-year-old suspect Dezerah Silsby will be set today in the case. She turned herself in on Wednesday.  Prosecutors say the group threatened and beaten the woman and her and her child, forced them to live in unsanitary conditions and do housework. The case broke last October when the woman shoplifted a candy bar so she could escape by being arrested. She then told the police about how she was being treated. An FBI affidavit says Silsby admitted she helped retrieve the alleged victims from their relative's house. The other suspects are expected to have bond hearings Monday.

    Lawmakers propose tanning bed restrictions for kids
    Ohio lawmakers are again taking on the issue of kids using indoor tanning beds. A proposed bill would ban anyone under 18 from tanning in a salon unless a doctor gives permission for some medical reason. Teens wouldn't be punished for indoor tanning, but owners allowing it could be fined and have their licenses revoked. The Columbus Dispatch reports that industry leaders, who contend indoor tanning is safe, are prepared to fight the measure. Salon owners say more restrictions would not prevent teens from damaging their skin. Lawmakers have tried to pass similar bills twice before in recent years. The latest version is in the early stages.

    Cleveland casino gets 'OK' for skywalk construction to begin
    The state has given approval for Cleveland’s Horseshoe casino to break ground on a controversial skywalk this summer. The federal government prevented Rock Ohio Caesars from building the glass-enclosed walkway linking its parking garage to the casino in the old Higbee department store building. That’s because the building gets historic preservation tax credits. But, the state says construction can begin now that Rock Ohio is buying the entire Higbee building from Forest City Enterprises for nearly $80 million, thus dropping the historic tax credits. Construction is expected to be complete by winter. 

    Lower court to decide attorney fees in serial killer case
    The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to decide a debate over fees paid to attorneys of a Cleveland man who killed 11 women. Attorney John Parker is challenging a decision by a Cuyahoga County judge to cap attorney's fees in the case of serial killer Anthony Sowell. Parker says it resulted in an hourly rate of only $18.50 for a 10-week trial. Parker argues lawyers must be fairly compensated, especially in capital cases, and also says the fees issue could be used by Sowell for an ineffective counsel claim. Prosecutors say because the cap was imposed after trial, no such claim could be brought. Sowell killed 11 women between 2007 and 2009 and is on death row.

    Report cites deficient bridges in Ohio
    A new report says one of every 11 bridges in Ohio is structurally deficient. The report released Wednesday by the nonprofit Transportation for America says about 2,000 of Ohio's 27,000 bridges need replaced or repaired. It recommends the federal government reinstate funding that was dedicated to that work. The federal transportation law set up a new program that allowed states to redirect money set aside for bridge replacement and repair. 

    Ohio to spend nearly $50,000 on human trafficking awareness
    Gov. John Kasich says the state is working with a Hudson public relations firm to develop a "multi-pronged outreach and education campaign" that is expected to be introduced before the end of the year. Kasich's office says the goals will be to educate the public on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, how to report it and to direct victims to appropriate services and treatment. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.

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