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Federal judge extends voter ID rule in Ohio through 2016
Other noon headlines: Tomorrow's election, death row suicide, algae blooms

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:
  • Voter ID order extended in Ohio
  • Special election tomorrow
  • Suicide watch scheduled for inmate who committed suicide
  • Toxic algae spreads in Ohio 
  • George Zimmerman thanks Buckeye Firearms Foundation
  • Voter ID order extended in Ohio
    A federal judge has extended his decree on voter ID’s in Ohio through the 2016 presidential election.

    U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley  originally issued the order in 2010, when advocates raised concerns that Republican-backed  ID laws would restrict minority, young, old and low-income voters.

    The order requires polling places to accept – provisionally --  ballots from voters who provide the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

    Secretary of State Jon Husted, argued the decree is unnecessary.

    The order was to have expired June 30th.

    Special election tomorrow
    Speaking of elections, Ohio has one tomorrow – at least in 23 counties. Ohio’s special elections in February and August are for issues only, and 28 school districts, municipalities and other groups have levies, bond issues, and charter and amendments on the ballot.

    Suicide watch scheduled for inmate who committed suicide
    An Ohio death row inmate who committed suicide just three days before his execution was supposed to have been put on a suicide watch today, according to the Plain Dealer.

    Billy Slagle was discovered hanging in his cell in a prison in Chillicothe Sunday morning.

    The 44-year-old murdered his neighbor Mari Anne Pope in Cleveland in1987 during a burglary. He lost several bids for clemency despite the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office calling for his sentence to be commuted to life in prison with no chance for parole.

    Pope was babysitting two children who witnessed the attack. One of them also committed suicide when he was an adult, and his mother told the Plain Dealer he was haunted by what he witnessed.

    Toxic algae spreads in Ohio 
    Outbreaks of toxic algae blooms are spreading in Ohio, though for now they remain confined to central and southwestern Ohio.  The state has now issued a warning for three beaches at Buckeye Lake, near Columbus, after water samples tested positive for a liver toxin produced by the algae. The advisories caution young children, older adults and people who have immune system problems against swimming or wading.

    Other beaches already affected this year are  Grand Lake St. Marys and East Fork State Park’s lake in Clermont County. Two years ago, warnings went up at more than a dozen state parks and reservoirs.

    George Zimmerman thanks Buckeye Firearms Foundation
    The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that George Zimmerman’s attorney has thanked the Buckeye Firearms Foundation for sending more than $12,000 so Zimmerman can buy a new gun.

    Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter for killing Trayvon Martin in Florida. But federal officials continue to investigate whether the killing violated other laws, and Zimmerman’s gun has not been released to him.

    His attorney Mark O’Mara  says Zimmerman will use the money “to replace items necessary for him to protect himself and also to accomplish security systems for his house.”

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