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Army Corps leader visits aging Zoar Village levee
Other morning headlines: Ohio inmate condemned for 1 murder convicted again; Ohio AG names group to review face recognition use
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Army Corps leader visits aging Zoar Village levee
Ohio AG names group to review face recognition use
Ohio inmate condemned for 1 murder convicted again
Number of Ohio prison inmates rising rapidly
Agency seeks tough rules to reduce Lake Erie algae
Ohio policeman working as guard kills armed man

Army Corps leader visits aging Zoar Village levee
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' commanding general has visited a historic Tuscarawas County village where the aging levee protecting it from flooding is in serious need of repairs. Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick visited Zoar this week and said the trip put the troubled levee on his radar. Bostick says Zoar residents deserve credit for making known the town's concerns "at all levels," including the federal government. The corps has spent about $4.5 million on the levee in the last few years and is studying options for its future. That could mean costly repairs, moving the village and it’s 200-year old buildings to higher ground or allowing it to flood.

Ohio inmate condemned for 1 murder convicted again

An Ohio death row inmate has been convicted of aggravated murder in a 1997 case days after an appeals court ruled he should get a new trial in the 2003 death of a 3-month-old boy. Thirty-year-old John Drummond Jr. was convicted Wednesday in the fatal shooting of Ronald Hull in Ashtabula. He faces 28 years to life in prison at sentencing today. He was sentenced to death for a baby's slaying in a 2003 Youngstown drive-by shooting. A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Drummond should get a new trial, but the state might appeal that decision.

Ohio AG names group to review face recognition use
The state's attorney general has named two former Ohio Supreme Court justices to a commission that will study the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. The American Civil Liberties Union, which had asked for a commission seat, was absent from Attorney General Mike DeWine's list on Thursday. Included were former high court justices Yvette McGee Brown and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, a county prosecutor, a sheriff and a police chief. Since June, local and state law enforcement officers could use the facial recognition software to match images of possible suspects or victims with Ohio driver's license photos. Critics have called the technology's use intrusive. DeWine wants the group to review whether Ohio should have additional protocols in place for the system that allows the use of facial recognition software.

Number of Ohio prison inmates rising rapidly
The head of Ohio's prison system says the inmate population is spiking far beyond estimates, and that widespread changes are needed to reduce the numbers. Gary Mohr says the already high inmate population of 50,000 could soar to 52,000 in two years, and top 53,000 in six years. Mohr said at a state Correctional Institution Inspection Committee forum Thursday that the increases are not acceptable. He said reducing the numbers will take cooperation from lawmakers and the court system. Mohr says a 2011 law enacting several changes meant to reduce the inmate population didn't go far enough. He tells The Associated Press more needs to be done to standardize county probation systems across Ohio.

Agency seeks tough rules to reduce Lake Erie algae
A U.S.-Canadian agency is urging both nations to crack down on big farms and other sources of phosphorus that is believed responsible for a rash of algae blooms on Lake Erie. The International Joint Commission released a report with its recommendations Thursday. After taking public comment, the commission will revise the document before submitting it to both federal governments. Runaway algae is a worsening problem on Lake Erie and some bays of Lakes Huron and Michigan. It contributes to an oxygen-deprived "dead zone" in Lake Erie and can release toxins. Scientists say a leading cause is excessive phosphorus runoff from farms and cities. The report calls for setting firm targets for reducing runoff. It also recommends tougher regulation of farm fertilizing practices and banning most phosphorus fertilizers for lawn care.

Ohio policeman working as guard kills armed man
Cleveland police say an officer from another department fatally shot a man in an altercation at an apartment complex while working as a private security guard. Police say the shooting happened Thursday night when the guard who works as a police officer in Geneva on the Lake responded to a disturbance in a hallway where he found a man and woman fighting. Police say the man aimed a gun and refused to drop it, and the officer fired. Cleveland police are investigating the shooting. 

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