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Housing prices inch up in Northeast Ohio
Other noon headlines: Budget committee expected to go public, Kasich's popularity hits a personal record, Cleveland psychiatrist to prison

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Gov. Kasich surrounded by school children as he signs a bill designating the state's official artifact. He's grown more popular with Ohio's adults as well.
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In The Region:
  • Housing prices up here, but much less than nationally
  • Ohio budget committee is expected to vote today
  • Ohio Gov. Kasich's popularity nears the magic 50 percent
  • Cleveland Heights psychiatrist sentenced in drug case
  • Housing prices up here, but much less than nationally
    Once again, national and local housing prices are on the rise. But the local numbers are lagging much of the rest of the nation. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index says prices in the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area climbed 4.8 percent this April over last year.  The average increase among the 20 major cities on the index was 12.1 percent. That’s the steepest increase since 2006.

    The index measures three-month trends to come up with its monthly numbers, so the April figures include the slower sales months of February and March.

    Budget committee is expected to vote today
    The Ohio House and Senate conference committee is expected to release its version of the two-year state budget this afternoon and to vote on it at the same hearing.

    The committee of four Republicans and two Democrats has been hammering out an agreement between the two chambers’ versions of the nearly $62 billion spending plan, and had been expected to release its work last night. But that meeting was cancelled late yesterday afternoon.

    Both versions of the budget include tax cuts, though of differing size and directed at different constituencies. After the conference committee votes, the combined package would go back the House and Senate, which are expected to vote Thursday afternoon. Gov. John Kasich would have to sign it by midnight Sunday, and has a line-item veto for provisions he doesn’t like.

    Ohio Gov. Kasich's popularity nears the magic 50 percent
    Gov. Kasich may be in a stronger position to get what he likes. A new Quinnipiac Poll shows him with his highest job approval rating ever, at 54 percent.

    That increases his lead over his Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who lags 47-33 percent. Kasich also holds a 47-36 lead over former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who some Democrats are hoping will run if Republicans continue to block his appointment to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Kasich approval numbers are led by those who think he’s doing a good job with the economy.

    Cleveland Heights psyciatrist sentenced
    A 76-year-old Cleveland Heights psychiatrist was sentenced this morning to nine months in prison for peddling painkillers and  prescription drugs over nearly four years.

    Dr. Samuel Nigro had medical offices in Lakewood, Beachwood and at his home. According to Cuyahoga County prosecutors, pharmacists and former patients tipped police that he was prescribing large doses of painkillers with no medical treatment or testing, and getting $100 to $200 from each office visit. He pleaded guilty in April to attempted engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with drugs, trafficking and attempted trafficking. 

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