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Standoff ends, search begins for credit union CEO wanted for fraud
Other morning headlines: Former poll worker gets five years for voter fraud; Akron, Cleveland relator boards merge

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Standoff ends, search begins for credit union CEO wanted for fraud
  • Ashland slavery suspects’ court appearances set
  • Former poll worker gets five years for voter fraud
  • Akron, Cleveland relator boards merge
  • Kasich talking up his budget across the state 
  • Controversy brewing over Statehouse Holocaust memorial
  • Heat advisory for Thursday

  • Standoff ends, search begins for credit union CEO wanted for fraud
    The hunt is on for the CEO of a Northeast Ohio credit union after a more than 15-hour standoff in Solon. Police and the FBI surrounded the home of Alex Spirikaitis Tuesday night, but when they finally entered late Wednesday morning, they found he wasn’t there. He barricaded himself inside when authorities tried to serve him with a federal search warrant for false credit institution entries. Spirikaitis was the CEO of Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in Cleveland, which was shut down by the National Credit Union Association Friday due to fraud. It had more than 1,100 members and assets of nearly $24 million. Police are offering a reward for information leading to his arrest.

    Ashland slavery suspects’ court appearances set
    Two of the four people from Ashland County accused of holding a woman as a slave are due in federal court next Tuesday. The arraignments for Jordie Callahan and Jessica Hunt were set Wednesday, just hours after they were indicted on charges of conspiracy, forced labor, and theft of government benefits. They are accused of imprisoning, beating and starving 29-year-old Shannon Eckley and her 5-year old daughter, and of forcing Eckley to do slave labor. Eckley has developmental disabilities. Callahan’s mother insists he’s innocent. Also charged in the case are Dezerah Silsby and Daniel Brown. Brown was charged through what’s called a bill of information, which usually indicates a defendant is cooperating. Silsby has been released from jail, but ordered to remain in contact with the federal probation office.

    Former poll worker gets five years for voter fraud
    A former southwest Ohio poll worker has been sentenced to five years in prison for casting illegal ballots in other people's names, including a relative in a coma. Melowese Richardson of Madisonville was sentenced Wednesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, two months after she pleaded no contest to four counts of illegal voting.

    Akron, Cleveland relator boards merge
    Cleveland and Akron are merging their Boards of Realtors after more than two years of consideration. Members of both chapters voted Wednesday to create the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors starting in October. It will represent about 4,500 real estate brokers and agents. Each organization has seen a decline in membership over the past decade.

    Kasich talking up his budget across the state
    Gov. John Kasich plans to stop in a Republican friendly part of Ohio to discuss the state budget as he begins a summer tour on the spending plan. The GOP governor will deliver remarks Thursday at a Batavia business and meet with several southwest Ohio chapters of the Chamber of Commerce. Kasich's office says he plans to make stops around the state this summer to talk about proposals in the $62 billion, two-year budget that began July 1.

    Controversy brewing over Statehouse Holocaust memorial
    A panel overseeing the Ohio Statehouse plans to decide today whether to accept a design for a Holocaust memorial to be erected on its grounds. The vote comes despite concerns from Richard Finan, the head of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, who has questioned if the memorial would fit in at the Civil War-era Statehouse. The privately funded, $2 million project is believed to be the first Holocaust memorial at any U.S. statehouse. It comes at Gov. John Kasich's request. Daniel Libeskind of New York has been recommended as the artist of the memorial. His design features a split limestone path toward two, upright panels. Cutouts on the panels are positioned to reveal a six-pointed Star of David, which is closely associated with Jewish culture.

    Heat advisory for Thursday
    We’re under a heat advisory again today starting at 1pm…highs will be in the low 90’s but the heat and humidity will make it feel like it’s over 100. Air quality levels will also be a concern today for some at-risk groups including children, the elderly and those with breathing problems.  People are urged to limit car use and put off mowing the lawn or using other gas-powered devices.
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