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Company to pay $300,000 for Rocky River fish kill
Other morning headlines: DOJ: Medina-based manufacturer overcharged fed gov.; ACLU asks to be in OH facial recognition analysis

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
  • Company to pay $300,000 for Rocky River fish kill
  • DOJ: Medina-based manufacturer overcharged fed gov
  • Cleveland woman gets life sentence in poisoning death
  • ACLU asks to be in OH facial recognition analysis
  • Services planned for former Ohio Gov. Gilligan
  • Ohio Dems express frustration over health care
  • Army Corps. commander removed amid allegations
  • Bill would let employees choose how to get paychecks
  • Company to pay $300,000 for Rocky River fish kill
    A cyanide spill that killed more than 30,000 fish last year in the Rocky River will cost the company responsible $300,000 more. The Plain Dealer reports Kennedy Mint of Strongsville has agreed to make the payments to the Cleveland Metroparks. That’s added to an earlier plea deal in which the company’s owner will pay $30,000 in restitution to the Ohio Department of Natural resources. That money will be used to restock the river with 30,000 steelhead trout. The spill was discovered on Earth Day, 2012. Kennedy Mint owner, 79-year-old Renato Montorsi of Grafton dumped the barrel into a storm sewer.  Investigators found the empty drum at Montorsi’s home. Charges against him were dropped when it was found that he suffered from dementia.

    DOJ: Medina-based manufacturer overcharged fed gov
    Medina-based RPM International Inc. and its Beachwood subsidiary Tremco Inc. have paid nearly $61 million to settle a suit that argued the group filed false claims under roofing supplies and services contracts with the U.S. General Services Administration. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement Wednesday. Tremco is a manufacturer of roofing products. The department says Tremco allegedly failed to give the government price discounts given to non-federal government customers. The department also alleges Tremco marketed expensive materials to government buyers without disclosing the availability of cheaper materials that were also manufactured and sold by the company. Tremco says the settlement recognizes that accurate information about prices and discounts wasn't always provided on a timely basis to GSA. The lawsuit's whistleblower, Tremco's former vice president, will receive nearly $11 million.

    Cleveland woman gets life sentence in poisoning death
    A Cleveland woman has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of killing her fiancé by putting antifreeze in his iced tea. A Cuyahoga County judge said Wednesday that 35-year-old Holly McFeeture will spend at least 30 years in prison before she's eligible for parole. Prosecutors say she poisoned her husband's iced tea over several weeks in 2006. They say she wanted to end her relationship with 31-year-old Matthew Podolak, who was the father of their two children. McFeeture wasn't charged until several years later when police received a tip that the man's death wasn't an accident. Her attorney, Bret Jordan, had sought a sentencing delay and argued for a new trial. Jordan did not immediately return a request for comment.

    ACLU asks to be in OH facial recognition analysis
    The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking the state's attorney general to be included in the commission studying Ohio's new facial recognition program. The organization on Wednesday sent a letter to Attorney General Mike DeWine saying it believes it is "necessary and appropriate" that it has a voice on the commission because of its unique understanding of privacy law. DeWine is convening a group of judges, prosecutors and others to study whether the state should have additional protocols in place for law enforcement officers using facial recognition software. Critics have called the technology's use intrusive. DeWine has said that since June, local and state law enforcement officers could use the facial recognition software to match images of possible suspects or victims with their driver's license photos.

    Services planned for former Ohio Gov. Gilligan
    Memorial services have been scheduled in Cincinnati for former Ohio Gov. John J. Gilligan, with a public program also planned next week at the Ohio Statehouse. The 92-year-old longtime officeholder, who was also a congressman, city councilman and school board member, died at home Monday. A World War II Navy veteran and teacher, Gilligan was elected governor as a Democrat in 1970. He was defeated in 1974, after creating the state income tax. His family plans a 10:30 a.m. mass next Wednesday at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, with a visitation with his family planned from 2:30-4:30 the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati. A program honoring his life and career is planned Sept. 5 at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, starting at 10:30 a.m.

    Ohio Dems express frustration over health care
    Democrats in the Ohio House are accusing Republican legislative leaders of stalling on a decision on whether to expand the Medicaid health program to cover more low-income residents. House Speaker William Batchelder recently told reporters that state lawmakers were having a tough time drafting legislation to change the Medicaid program because of the way the federal health care law is written. Plus, he says he's not yet sure where the votes are for any proposed changes. The Republican leader says the House wouldn't be ready to take any action on Medicaid by October, but more likely by year's end. State Rep. Mike Foley, a Cleveland Democrat, told reporters on Wednesday that's a "deeply disturbing" timeframe. Meanwhile, mental health advocates also called for expansion at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

    Army Corps. commander removed amid allegations
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has relieved the commander of its Huntington District while it investigates allegations of misconduct. Col. Steven McGugan was relieved of his command last Friday. Officials aren’t commenting on the allegations. The district operates and maintains 35 multi-purpose reservoirs and nine locks and dams. including many in the Tuscarawas County area in Northeast Ohio.

    New solicitor named to handle Ohio's major appeals
    Attorney General Mike DeWine has appointed a lawyer with U.S. Supreme Court experience as the state solicitor, who handles the state's major court appeals. Eric Murphy begins the job Sept. 9 after serving as an associate with Jones Day law firm in Columbus. He'll handle cases such as appeals to the Ohio Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court and federal appeals courts. Attorney General Mike DeWine says Murphy is well-prepared for the job after working in private practice and as a law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy at the U.S. Supreme Court. Murphy graduated from Miami University in 2001 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 2005.

    Bill would let employees choose how to get paychecks
    New legislation introduced this week at the Ohio statehouse aims to allow employees to receive their pay in whatever manner they choose, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Representative John Rogers from Mentor-on-the-Lake wants employees to be able to receive their pay through direct deposit or a paycheck, rather than forcing them to use a paycheck debit card that may charge fees for usage. He says the fees can reduce an employee’s take-home pay. Some businesses around the country have started using the cards to save money on paper checks.  Fees range from a dollar 50 for ATM withdrawals to 10 dollars if the card isn’t used in three months.

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