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Greater Cleveland area tops nation in job losses
Other morning headlines: State tests 3,200 rape kits with hundreds of matches; NEO Tea Party activist to use IRS to fight Medicaid expansion

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Greater Cleveland area tops nation in job losses
  • State tests 3,200 rape kits with hundreds of matches
  • NEO Tea Party activist to use IRS to fight Medicaid expansion
  • Experts expecting large algae bloom in Lake Erie this August
  • Fireworks explosion, arrest in Akron
  • VA office moves through backlog
  • Absentee voting begins today


    Greater Cleveland area tops nation in job losses
    New U.S. Labor Department figures show the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor metropolitan area lost more jobs in a year than any other metro in the country. The report released Tuesday shows that Greater Cleveland lost 5,600 jobs between May 2012 and May 2013. The report looked at employment in 372 metro areas set by the U.S. Census Bureau. Finishing second was the Atlantic City, N.J. area, which lost 4,200 jobs.

    State tests 3,200 rape kits, gets hundreds of matches
    The state attorney general's office has received nearly 3,200 untested rape kits from Ohio law enforcement agencies and found hundreds of matches in testing those kits for DNA. Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that Ohio's crime lab has tested more than 1,100 of those kits for DNA, and about 300 resulted in a match. DeWine mounted the effort to review untested rape kits in 2011. The lab tests the oldest kits first because many of them are nearly two decades old. Ohio law has a 20-year statute of limitations for rape. DeWine's office says Cleveland police have submitted the largest number of kits, followed by Akron. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office in Cleveland has received 33 indictments resulting from the testing.

    NEO Tea Party activist to use IRS to fight Medicaid expansion
    A Northeast Ohio tea party activist wants to use a unique weapon against Gov. John Kasich's continued efforts to expand Medicaid: the Internal Revenue Service. In a confidential email sent to fellow Ohio tea party leaders and obtained by The Associated Press, Tom Zawistowski of Portage County lays out a strategy for invoking a little-known IRS provision that allows citizens to challenge salaries of hospital CEOs. Zawistowski identifies the hospitals as big financial backers of expanded Medicaid. His email says tea party groups will "make Medicaid personal" by publicizing large salaries of those seeking federal money to help the poor. The effort follows a Sunday veto by Kasich of a provision in the state budget that would have blocked his administration from expanding Medicaid to additional low-income residents.

    Experts expecting large algae bloom in Lake Erie this August
    Experts are predicting the toxic blue-green algae bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie this summer will be more significant than last year, but much smaller than the amount that blanketed much of the water in 2011. An oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presented the forecast Tuesday, saying the forecast predicts a "significant bloom" in that part of the lake will begin in August. It's expected to be about one-fifth the size of the 2011 bloom that hampered tourism and drew headlines as one of the worst on record.

    Fireworks explosion, arrest in Akron
    Akron police say they found a cache of fireworks and explosive materials in a home where a blast shook the neighborhood, shattered windows and seriously injured a man. Police say 34-year-old Kevin Skubic was badly hurt when a box of homemade fireworks he was carrying to his truck suddenly detonated late Monday. Officials estimated the fireworks that went up were equivalent to a quarter stick of dynamite. The blast shattered front windows at the home where it happened and some in the three-story house next door. Police said they found other explosive materials inside the home owned by 65-year old Roosevlet Jones Sr., who was charged. Neighbors say he put on a display every Fourth of July.

    VA office moves through backlog
    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it has completed nearly 3,000 disability compensation claims for Ohio veterans who had waited more than two years as the agency deals with a backlog of claims. The VA says the nationwide backlog had been reduced by about 65,000 claims in recent months through extra efforts to speed up decisions for veterans who had been waiting at least a year for decisions on their claims. The head of the VA's Cleveland regional office says workers have been putting in long hours and now will turn their attention to claims pending for at least a year and try to address some remaining older claims. The VA is aiming to clear a national backlog of hundreds of thousands of claims by the end of 2015.

    Absentee voting begins today
    Absentee voting for Ohio's Aug. 6 special election begins today. Voters in 23 counties will decide 29 local issues, including 19 school issues and a handful of local tax levies, bond issues and charter amendments in the special election. County boards of election also will mail out absentee ballots to voters who have already requested them. All other voters have until noon Aug. 3 to request an absentee ballot by mail or by contacting their election boards. The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 6 election is Monday.


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