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Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges open
Other morning headlines: Cuyahoga prosecutor wants plea deal unsealed; University of Akron reaches agreement on teaching workload
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges open
  • More than 300 jobs lost in Boardman
  • 100 jobs coming to Omnova, Hendrickson
  • Oil, gas companies advised to share information on chemicals
  • Attorney General says cold homicide case database growing
  • Round two of voucher program underway
  • Cuyahoga prosecutor wants plea deal unsealed
  • University of Akron reaches agreement on teaching workload
  • Legislation introduced to repeal budget provisions
  • Akron council passes resolution opposing Stand Your Ground
  • New natural gas pipeline planned for Columbiana, Mahoning counties
  • BBB warns of ticket schemes in Indians postseason
  • Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges open
    A centerpiece of the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act is set to be rolled out in Ohio and across the country. Beginning today, Ohioans can start shopping for health care options under the new law that requires almost everyone to have health insurance. Ohio is leaving it up to the federal government to run the state's health insurance exchange where people can buy coverage.

    Health care providers and other organizations that serve the poor will be out promoting "Obamacare" to 1.5 million uninsured Ohioans. But some groups in the state that received federal dollars to hire people to walk applicants through the process say it will be weeks before they're ready.

    Consumers have until mid-December to sign up if they want coverage by the first of the year.


    More than 300 jobs lost in Boardman
    More than 300 jobs will be lost in the consolidation of a wireless voice and data business that received a tax credit recommended by Ohio's privatized nonprofit job creation board.

    The Youngstown Vindicator reports the consolidation of Verizon Wireless offices in Ohio will result in the shutdown of the company's Boardman office and the loss of 370 jobs.

    The JobsOhio board created by Republican Gov. John Kasich's administration to lead Ohio's economic development efforts recommended the $4.5 million tax credit to keep Verizon in the state.

    Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols says the tax credit saved other Verizon jobs in Ohio.

     
    100 jobs coming to Omnova, Hendrickson
    Two Northeast Ohio companies are getting state tax credits that will add about 100 jobs.

    The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Tuesday approved a 50 percent, five year tax break for specialty chemical maker Omnova Solutions, which recently announced it’s expanding its headquarters from Fairlawn to Beachwood. It expects to create 70 full-time jobs, generating nearly 5-million dollars in additional annual payroll.

    Canton-based Hendrickson USA will use its 40 percent, six-year credit to create 30 full-time jobs as it expands its divisional headquarters. The company develops and manufactures components for the heavy-duty vehicle industry.


    Oil, gas companies advised to share information on chemicals
    Ohio officials are advising oil and gas companies to share information on the toxic chemicals they use with local authorities, including first responders.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio notified companies this month that federal disclosure law trumps a 2001 state law requiring only that the information be filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

    The guidance affecting the state's growing fracking industry follows an April letter in which the U.S. EPA made clear that Ohio's chemical-reporting laws don't supersede federal right-to-know requirements. The head of Ohio's oil and gas association said the state law was intended to ease access to the information.


    Attorney General says cold homicide case database growing
    Ohio's attorney general says the state's cold case homicide database now has more than 1,800 cases, more than 10 times the number it had before law enforcement agencies were asked to submit cases to the centralized site.

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday announced that about 1,600 cases have been added to the database since September 2012, when his office issued a call for case submissions. DeWine says his office has received dozens of tips regarding several of the cases since the database was expanded. DeWine's office tries to draw attention to some cases by routinely featuring them on the homepage of the attorney general's website.

    Cincinnati's police department has submitted more than 400 cases, while Dayton police has registered more than 350 cases.


    Round two of voucher program underway
    Ohio has begun the second round of a voucher program that provides financial assistance to employers interested in improving their employees' skills.

    Gov. John Kasich on Monday announced that the state will make available $30 million to reimburse companies for qualifying costs associated with training their workers. The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program reimburses employers up to $4,000 per employee after the worker completes the training. Employers must first pay the full cost of training before they can receive a state voucher. An employer can be reimbursed up to $250,000 per fiscal year.

    The first round of the program, which launched in January, drew applications from 450 companies for the $20 million that were available at the time.


    Cuyahoga prosecutor wants plea deal unsealed
    Cuyahoga County’s prosecutor wants to unseal details of a settlement with an Internet café supplier. Timothy McGinty tells the Plain Dealer he wants the terms of the pleas entered in the case of VS2 Worldwide Communication to be released to the public.

    Last week, the owners of VS2 said it would no longer do business in Ohio. That agreement avoided a trial for the New Jersey company on racketeering and other charges.

    A gag order was issued on the case back in June and other terms have not been released. VS2 supplied the software that about a half dozen Internet cafes were using when they were raided in Cuyahoga County earlier this year.


    University of Akron reaches agreement on teaching workloads
    Departments will once again be responsible for setting teaching workloads at the University of Akron.

    The Beacon Journal reports the university and its faculty reached an agreement to return to the old policy after changing it less than a year ago. Last spring, University administrators increased class workloads for this semester in an effort to close a $27 million dollar shortfall. The union said that was a violation of its contract and filed a grievance.  In the contract, workload changes have to be discussed with the union.

    The budget shortfall has grown to $40 million, after a nearly 6 percent decrease in enrollment.


    Legislation introduced to repeal budget provisions
    Some long-shot legislation has been proposed in the Ohio House that would repeal a number of the budget provisions affecting women’s issues that are set to take effect today. Democratic Representative Kathleen Clyde of Kent introduced the legislation Monday.

    Her bill would do away with provisions that defund Planned Parenthood, require a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion, block transfers between women’s clinics and public hospitals and stop rape crisis funding for centers that make referrals to abortion clinics.

    Republicans have a super majority in the House, which make the likelihood of the bill passing slim.


    Akron council passes resolution opposing Stand Your Ground
    Akron is the latest Ohio city to pass a resolution opposing the so-called Stand Your Ground bill that is pending in the state legislature. Akron City Council passed the resolution Monday night.

    The state legislation would change Ohio’s concealed carry law, and allow for more situations where a person has no duty to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense.

    Canton, Youngstown, Dayton and Cincinnati have passed similar resolutions. A protest is planned for tomorrow at the Statehouse. Petitions opposing the measure  are expected to be delivered as part of the protest.

    The Beacon Journal reports so far, about 10,000 signatures have been collected.


    New natural gas pipeline planned for Columbiana, Mahoning counties
    A new natural gas pipeline is planned for northeast Ohio.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports the 38-mile pipeline would connect a processing plant in Mahoning County to another plant in Columbiana County, and transport natural gas liquids.

    Plans for the pipeline were released yesterday by a sister company to Columbia gas.

    It’s expected to cost $60 million and will transport 90,000 barrels per day.

    The project is expected to help in the development of Ohio’s Utica shale, which is rich in natural gas liquids.


    BBB warns of ticket schemes in Indians postseason
    The Better Business Bureau is warning northeast Ohioans about ticket scams leading into the Indians postseason. Tickets for Wednesday’s Wildcard game were sold out shortly after the Tribe won on Sunday, but there are still plenty of tickets on the market.

    The bureau recommends buying tickets from sites that offer money-back guarantees and making sure the site has a secure payment process. That is usually denoted by an "https" being part of the site’s web address.

    The bureau says to be especially cautious about buying tickets on the street that could also be fake. 

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