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Two Cleveland homes near captivity site to be razed
Other morning news headlines: Ohio sees dozens of charter schools open this year; Two die in separate Lake Erie drownings

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Two Cleveland homes near captivity site to be razed
  • Ohio sees dozens of charter schools open this year
  • Ohio cleared to spend $60M to raze abandoned homes
  • Few texting citations so far in Ohio
  • Ohio AG: Mental illness gun law data don't add up
  • Two die in separate Lake Erie drownings
  • Ohio to begin baiting with rabies vaccine
  • Cellphones hot Ohio prison contraband items
  • Ohio gas prices rise, still below national average
  • Two Cleveland homes near captivity site to be razed
    Workers are tearing down two more vacant homes next to the Cleveland property where a man held three women captive for about a decade. The abandoned houses being demolished Monday stood near the home where the women escaped in May. That home was destroyed three weeks ago under the plea deal that spared Ariel Castro a possible death sentence and forced him to turn over the deed to the house and pay for its demolition. Castro was sentenced to life in prison. It's not clear what will happen to the demolition sites. There's been talk of creating a park or a garden. Some residents in the area contend the demolition makes way for something positive, but others argue the properties should have been fixed up as housing for the needy.

    Ohio sees dozens of charter schools open this year
    Dozens of new charter schools are opening this fall around Ohio, with about one-third of them in Columbus. Fifty-two charter schools can open in the state, up from 33 new schools a year ago and 35 the previous year. The facilities are public schools that can get state funding but can operate only in certain areas. They often are independent of school districts. The Columbus Dispatch reports few of the 350-plus charter schools throughout Ohio have shown stellar academic performance. Charter schools sometimes incorporate features not typically found in traditional public schools. Some of the new schools have single-gender classes or use a mix of online and in-person instruction. Some aim to serve students from particular income classes or neighborhoods that aren't close to other schools.

    Ohio cleared to spend $60M to raze abandoned homes
    Ohio has received federal approval to spend a portion of its remaining foreclosure crisis funds to demolish nearly 5,000 vacant and abandoned homes statewide. The U.S. Department of the Treasury okayed use of $60 million of $270 million remaining in state Hardest Hit Funds for the effort.  The agency originally received $570 million in 2010 for its foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio. The newly released funds will be available on a competitive basis to the 16 Ohio counties that have an established land bank. The program is expected to begin early next year and last through 2015.

    Few texting citations so far in Ohio
    Traffic citation statistics indicate there hasn't been a big upswing in tickets for Ohio drivers who text while driving. The Columbus Dispatch reports that a check of three populous counties didn't find many citations under the Ohio ban that took effect a year ago. The Ohio State Highway Patrol issued warnings in the first six months the law was in effect. A spokeswoman says it doesn't have a tally of citations written since the grace period ended nearly six months ago because the data set would be so small. The newspaper reports that in Cleveland, two tickets for the statewide ban have been written, with more written under a local ordinance. Ten adults have been cited under the state ban in Franklin County, while Hamilton County has had 18.

    Ohio AG: Mental illness gun law data don't add up
    The Ohio attorney general's office says numbers collected under a state gun law requiring courts to report information about people subject to court-ordered hospitalization for mental illnesses don't add up. Figures compiled by the AG find some counties like Cuyahoga reporting thousands of cases of people ordered to receive mental illness treatment by judges, while other counties such as Lake or Delaware reported few or none. The reporting requirement was included in Ohio's 2004 concealed weapons law. The attorney general's office has ordered its regional field representatives to survey Ohio's probate courts to figure out why numbers vary so widely across the state.

    Two die in separate Lake Erie drownings
    Two people have died after being pulled from Lake Erie in Cleveland in separate incidents over the weekend. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office says 29-year-old Jonathan Davis, of South Euclid, died Sunday after being pulled out of the water on East 72nd Street. He reportedly jumped in the water after his 9-year old son fell in while fishing. Twenty-four-year-old Traveno Sledge died Saturday after he and a 4-year-old boy were pulled out of Lake Erie in Euclid Beach Park. The Plain Dealer reports the boy was last listed in critical condition.

    Ohio to begin baiting with rabies vaccine
    Ohio will begin putting out baits laced with rabies vaccine today in the eastern part of the state in an effort to stop the disease from spreading. The Ohio Department of Health says the baiting will continue through Sept. 20 and cover about 4,000 square miles. The coated baits are white and rolled in a brown fishmeal glaze known to attract raccoons. Five raccoon-rabies cases have been confirmed this year. The cases include four raccoons in Mahoning County and one cat in Trumbull County.

    Cellphones hot Ohio prison contraband items
    Ohio corrections officials are finding that cellphones are increasingly popular contraband items for prison inmates. The Plain Dealer reports that state prison records show corrections officers have seized more than 300 cellphones in the year's first seven months. That compares to 340 for all of last year, and nearly triped from 2010. New and smaller kinds of cellphones are making it easier for them to be smuggled into and hidden in prison. Authorities say inmates can use cellphones to plan escapes or assaults and to run crime operations from inside the prison.

    Ohio gas prices rise, still below national average
    Ohio drivers are paying slightly more at the pump as summer wraps up and students head back to school. The state's average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.53 according to today’s survey. That's up a nickel from a week ago but down 24 cents compared with a year ago. Nationally, the average is $3.54, holding steady compared with a week ago. Experts say falling unemployment claims and rising manufacturing are among signs that demand for oil in the world's largest economy is gaining momentum.

    Listener Comments:

    I guess if you have to tear down houses, you have to tear down houses.

    Lawn Care Calgary

    Posted by: Jess on August 26, 2013 5:08AM
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