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Cleveland kidnap victims give thanks in YouTube video
Other morning headlines: Mansfield prison escapee used ladders; Haslam says he’s not selling the Browns

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Cleveland kidnap victims give thanks in YouTube video
  • A prominent Ohio Republican throws support to gay marriage
  • Kasich to speak at Columbus rally in support of Medicad expansion
  • Northeast Ohio college to close
  • Mansfield prison escapee used ladders
  • Casino revenue down in Ohio
  • Alleged dog shooter gets 23 years in prison
  • Cleveland prosecutors outline case for mercy for death row inmate
  • Judge to rule in free speech debate surrounding Columbus-area mega church
  • Haslam says he’s not selling the Browns
  • Cleveland kidnap victims give thanks in YouTube video
    Three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade are thanking the public for their support in a four-minute YouTube video. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their public silence in the video posted at midnight. Berry says the support has enabled her to restart her life.

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    Michelle Knight speaks of determination and faith.
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    The Cleveland Courage Fund has received more than $1 million from more than 9,000 donors. Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment of kidnapping and rape charges. 

    Prominent Ohio Republican throws support to gay marriage

    At a news conference Monday, Jim Petro joined FreedomOhio in formalizing its intent to seek a constitutional amendment in 2014. He’s a former Ohio auditor, attorney general and state chancellor of higher education. Petro says he's surprised by the reluctance of the GOP to support the issue. He says the party should be for freedom, equality and the notion of commitment. Petro said his daughter, who is gay and married, lives in Massachusetts and she and her wife are expecting a child. The amendment's supporters have been gathering signatures for more than a year. It wouldn't require churches and other religious institutions to perform or recognize a marriage.

    Kasich to speak at Columbus rally in support of Medicad expansion
    State lawmakers in Ohio are on summer break. But that's not keeping supporters of expanding the Medicaid program from rallying at the Statehouse. Republican Gov. John Kasich has planned to appear at this afternoon’s event that will also include leaders of veterans groups and others.  Kasich proposed extending Medicaid coverage to more low-income Ohioans, though GOP leaders dropped it from the state budget that passed in June. Legislators say they'll continue to try to find common ground on how to proceed with the federal-state health program for the poor and disabled people. Roughly 366,000 Ohioans would be eligible for coverage beginning in 2014 if the state expands Medicaid — a key component of Democratic President Barack Obama's health care law.

    Northeast Ohio college to close
    The institution that educated American businessmen John D. Rockefeller and Harvey Firestone is closing after 165 years of service.  Chancellor University announced Monday it will stop offering classes in late August. The school did not provide reasons for closing. The university was founded in 1848. It began facing financial difficulties in the early 2000s. The school closed between 2007 and 2008 before it was bought out of bankruptcy and turned into an online-only, for-profit institution. The university's students will be transferred to Alliant International University, a California-based, not-for-profit school next month.

    Mansfield prison escapee used ladders
    Authorities say the inmate who briefly escaped the Mansfield state prison last week before he was tackled and tied up with rope at a small general store used three ladders to get out of three fenced areas. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says James David Myers got a hold of the ladders Wednesday night after he hid in a maintenance area where he worked as a carpenter. The ladders were inside a locked maintenance building at the facility outside Mansfield. Ghe prison's fence alarm went off and officers found the ladders at that point. Workers at the general store have said Myers asked to use the phone and bought an iced tea before a customer tackled him.

    Casino revenue down in Ohio
    The summer vacation season began badly for Ohio's four casinos. All four casinos saw their revenues drop in June, with revenues at the Horseshoe Cincinnati down the most at 10 percent. Revenues were off more than 3 percent at both the Cleveland and Toledo casinos and down 1.5 percent at Hollywood Columbus. Casino revenues statewide in June were nearly $70 million. That was the least in the four full months with all four Ohio casinos open and was down nearly 5 percent from May.

    Alleged dog shooter gets 23 years in prison
    A career criminal convicted of weapons charges after he allegedly shot a dog tied to a tree will spend 23 years in prison. Cleveland federal Judge Donald Nugent sentenced 42-year-old Raymone Clements on Monday on his conviction for illegal possession of a weapon and ammunition by an ex-convict. The charges stem from accusations that Clements tied a bullmastiff to a tree in Cleveland Heights last November and fired four shots at the dog. Clements denied in court that the gun and ammunition belonged to him and blamed a friend for shooting the dog. Clements has convictions for rape, robbery and drug trafficking. The dog has been adopted and nursed back to health.

    Cleveland prosecutors outline case for mercy for death row inmate
    Cleveland prosecutors say they are not confident they could obtain a death sentence today for a condemned killer facing execution next month. Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Matthew Meyer tells the Ohio Parole Board that without that confidence, his office can't recommend that Billy Slagle be executed for the 1987 stabbing death of a neighbor. Meyer said Monday that the position of the office on capital punishment has changed with the election of new prosecutor Tim McGinty and a new set of criteria are being applied to both old and new cases. Meyer says the decision to recommend mercy was not meant to diminish the heinous facts of the killing of Mari Anne Pope, stabbed 17 times while two young children she was watching were in the house.

    Judge to rule in free speech debate surrounding Columbus-area mega church
    A judge in Columbus must decide whether protests by a conservative Christian group outside one of Ohio's largest churches can continue. The Franklin County Common Pleas Judge will hear arguments today in a dispute between the Vineyard Columbus church and members of Minutemen United. The group has directed months of protests at the 8,500-member church, wanting it to take stronger stands against abortion and homosexuality.  Senior pastor Rich Nathan says he's tired of the demonstrations and is seeking a restraining order. 

    Haslam says he’s not selling the Browns
    A spokesman for Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Haslam has no plans to sell the franchise despite legal troubles with the company he runs. In a story published Sunday on the ESPN Cleveland website, Haslam said he intends to own the Browns "for a long time." And in a statement issued Monday, Pilot Flying J spokesman Tom Ingram said, "We expect no change in Mr. Haslam's relationship with the NFL and/or his ownership of the Browns." FBI agents say transcripts of secretly recorded calls among Pilot Flying J employees reveal a scheme to defraud trucking companies of fuel rebates, and five members of the sales staff at the nation's largest diesel retailer have pleaded guilty to fraud. Haslam has said he was unaware of the scheme.

    Listener Comments:

    Then again one wonders too what these women actually thought during their captivity, if they ever believed in freedom one day or whether they had simply one day acquiesced to the horror that had befallen them, similarly in a way so many of us so often accept debilitating circumstances in real life? Which is to say did this day of freedom and redemption catch them beyond their wildest dreams?

    After all how many of us can literally believe in salvation when in the deepest throes of hell and torment at such a visceral level....?

    Posted by: scallywag (New York) on July 9, 2013 2:07AM
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