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Flood watch continues for Northeast Ohio
Other noon headlines: Great Lakes invasive species lawsuit, American Greetings, mega-church, Ohio and Medicaid

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
A NOAA weather map shows rain continues to concentrate on the Ohio Valley and Midwest.
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In The Region:
  • Flood watch continues
  • Environmental group sues over invasive species in the Great Lakes
  • American Greetings profits soar
  • Hearing set for Columbus  mega-church protesters
  • Kasich wants special summer session to tackle Medicaid
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    Flood watch continues
    A flash flood watch remains in effect throughout much of northern Ohio until 8 tonight.

    Some 2.5 inches of rain fell overnight in Carroll, Tuscarawas and Columbiana counties.

    Columbiana County’s Emergency Management Director Luke Newbold says the Red Cross has been put on standby while residents and officials wait to see if the rain will let up.

    “Down in the East Liverpool area, there’s some flooding. They requested sandbags, so right now we deployed out the Highland Township Fire Department, and they’re going out to provide and help. As of right now, they don’t need anything else. All officials have been notified, and we’re just standing by to see if they need anything else.”

    The hardest hit areas of Ohio were Perry, Morrow and Richland counties.  Perry got 6.25 inches of rain in 30 hours.

    Environmental group sues over invasive species in the Great Lakes
    The National Wildlife Federation is suing the U.S. EPA to take steps it says will stop ships from discharging invasive species into the Great Lakes.

    This spring, the EPA issued a permit to regulate ballast-water discharges. The water discharged by the ships often includes zebra mussels and other species that the federation says have “turned the Great Lakes ecosystem on its head.”

    It estimates the cost to Great Lakes communities is $200 million a year, and that the EPA permit does not include enough protections.

    American Greetings profits soar
    American Greetings sales shot up 26 percent during the quarter ending May 31, according to the earnings report it issued this morning. Profits more than tripled to more than $33 million.

    The company, now based in Brooklyn, also announced that shareholders will vote on Aug. 7th whether to take the company private. Last week, the Weiss family – which started the company, announced it is buying up company stock at $19 a share. It had been offering $18.20.

    Hearing set for mega-church protesters
    A hearing has been set for Aug. 1 on a request by a Columbus mega-church for an injunction to stop a conservative Christian group from picketing it.

    Vineyard Columbus asked for the injunction against Minutemen United, and a Franklin County judge already granted a temporary restraining order keeping the protesters off church property.

    The 8,500-member church says the protesters have trespassed to post signs on church property and harass churchgoers since October. The group is protesting because it says the church tolerates abortion and gay marriage. The protesters say they have remained in a public right of way.

    Kasich wants special summer session to tackle Medicaid
    Gov. John Kasich is calling for state lawmakers to hold a special summer session to consider extending Medicaid to nearly 300,000 more uninsured Ohioans. But some lawmakers told the Columbus Dispatch they’re more uncertain now, than ever, that federal promises made to pay for the expansion will be kept.

    Kasich originally proposed the expansion in his budget. Republicans in both the state House and Senate struck it out, and their version of the budget included a prohibition of the expansion both in the budget or in any other way. Kasich vetoed that language and says he’s now looking for another legislative avenue.  The Dispatch quotes Westerville Republican Anne Gonzalez saying there’s now more “uneasiness” because of other changes made recently in implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

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