Akron's University Park Alliance facing third lawsuit
A group that’s working to revitalize 50 city blocks around the University of Akron is trying to scrape together money for operating expenses by turning to its board in the midst of now three lawsuits. The Beacon Journal reports the non-profit University Park Alliance has asked the 15 organizations represented on its board to donate $1,500 each to help cover expenses through the end of the year. A third lawsuit was recently filed against the group for allegedly failing to complete the purchase of six homes near the university. The latest suit claims the Alliance was supposed to contribute nearly $3 million to demolish two houses that the owner had used as rentals. The owner says the homes should have been demolished in February, but they are still standing.
Another strike looming at Youngstown hospital
Another strike could be looming at Youngstown’s Northside Medical Center. The Vindicator reports that registered nurses voted Wednesday to re-authorize a strike call against the hospital. That vote was required to be held if striking is a possibility. Some nurses held a one day strike on September 24th and those who participated were then locked out of the hospital for several days. The hospital said that was because it was required to sign a 72-hour minimum contract with fill-in nurses. The nearly 500 registered nurses at Northside have been without a contract since July of 2012 and rejected the most recent contract offer last month.
MetroHealth extends same-sex benefits
Another major Northeast Ohio employer will soon extend health benefits to its employees’ same-sex domestic partners. The Plain Dealer reports that MetroHealth Medical Center will begin offering the benefits January 1st. The health system is owned by Cuyahoga County, which already allows same sex partners to take part in benefit programs. The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Summa Health Systems offer similar options. MetroHealth employs about 6,500.
Opponents of laws limiting access to women's health care, abortions rally
Several hundred opponents of Ohio laws limiting access to abortions and other women's health care are hoping a Statehouse protest draws the attention of Governor John Kasich and Republican lawmakers. Wednesday's "We Won't Go Back" rally drew participants from more than 50 women's groups, labor unions and others. Demonstrators waved signs attacking Kasich and other male leaders for effectively de-funding Planned Parenthood and passing abortion-related restrictions on Ohio's publicly funded hospitals and on counselors at taxpayer-funded rape crisis centers. Cleveland gynecologist Lisa Perriera told protesters informed consent meant recently requiring a couple forced to end a wanted pregnancy for medical reasons to listen to the fetal heartbeat.
Former Coshocton pharmacist pleads guilty to fraud
A former Ohio pharmacist accused of defrauding state, federal, and private medical insurance companies of $1 million to $2.5 million has pleaded guilty to federal charges. Attorney General Mike DeWine says Barbara Elise Miller pleaded guilty Tuesday. She owned and operated Three Rivers Infusion and Pharmacy Specialists in east-central Ohio's Coshocton. Investigators say Miller used a false provider name, overstated nursing time needed to provide injections and made fraudulent claims about drug dosage and frequency.
No new clues in 1995 disappearance
Arsonists' names submitted to new database
The FBI says an organized search near a Cleveland park turned up no new clues in the 1995 disappearance of a woman who was 18 and pregnant when she vanished. A group of federal, state and local authorities spent hours combing through thick brush in woods near a field on Wednesday in the latest search for Christina Adkins. She was last seen in January 1995. FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson says the search for possible remains stemmed from information developed by investigators. Anderson says they have not stopped searching for Adkins since the case was first opened.
Ohio officials have submitted the names of 42 convicted arsonists to a newly created database requiring them to register annually with local authorities. The names were added in the first three months of the registry which started up July 1 and is managed by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Officials hope it will help solve more cases, deter repeat offenses and prevent deaths and property damage. Ohio is among a few states that require convicted arsonists to register with authorities. The registry is not a public record. It's funded by registration fees paid by the offenders.
Grand jury in Steubenville rape case to reconvene
Storm water fee will not be immediately returned
A grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville last year will reconvene later this week. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the grand jury will meet on Friday and will likely be in session just a single day. DeWine told The Associated Press on Wednesday there's little he can say about the panel's work except that, as with all criminal cases, his office follows the facts to see where they take investigators. The grand jury last met in August as it investigates possible crimes around the West Virginia girl's rape by two Steubenville high school football players. One issue is whether coaches or school administrators knew of the allegation but failed to report it as required by law.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District says you don’t have a pay a fee for storm water that might show up on your next bill…but says if you do, you won’t get your money back right away. The Plain Dealer Reports that the sewer district-- which serves Cleveland and dozens of surrounding suburbs-- is sending out postcards to notify customers they don’t have to pay the fee for storm runoff that was struck down in court last week. But the courts did not order the district to return $13 million its collected since the fee took effect in January. For now, those payments will wait in an escrow account. The district plans to appeal the 8th District Court of Appeals ruling to the Ohio Supreme court, arguing storm runoff fits the definition of wastewater and must be maintained. The fee is being taken off of most bills, but still may show up on some.
Job description released for Ohio State president
The newly released job description for the next leader of Ohio State University says candidates should have a record of significant fundraising. The presidential profile created by a university search committee also says understanding of an academic medical center and top NCAA athletic programs is desirable. Ohio State is seeking a replacement for former president Gordon Gee, who retired in July following controversial remarks were made public. University trustees and a headhunting firm have begun compiling a list of possible candidates. A decision is expected early next year.
Kent State Athletic Director now highest paid in MAC
Kent State’s Athletics Director is now the highest paid AD in the Mid-American Conference. Joel Nielsen has received a two-year contract extension that amounts to an 18 percent pay raise, bringing his salary to just over $300,000. His pay will continue to increase by $40,000 a year until 2017. During Neilson’s tenure, Kent State’s football team went to its first bowl game in 40 years last spring, the baseball team made the College World Series and the women’s gymnastics team also landed its first ever NCAA championship appearance.
Red Line rail service limited Thursday
The Red Line rail service in Cleveland has been partially restored after a power line fell and hit an RTA wire yesterday. No one was hurt. Just after 3 a.m. Thursday morning, the first Red Line train began running again. It will operate normal service between Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the Cedar-University Rapid station.
Ohio National Guard to welcome home soldiers
Cleveland shock jock says charges were exaggerated
The Ohio National Guard will welcome home 160 soldiers who have been serving in Afghanistan at a ceremony this week. The soldiers from the 1487th Transportation Company will be welcomed back in a ceremony Friday in Piqua in west-central Ohio. The 1487th replaced the 1486th Transportation Company out of Mansfield.
The Cleveland shock jock known as Rover tells the Plain Dealer he was a victim of police brutality, and claims Cleveland police trumped up charges against him after an incident at Whiskey Island in July. Shane French was indicted Wednesday on more than a dozen charges including assault and resisting arrest. Police say he pointed fireworks toward an off duty officer before shoving him. French hosts “Rover’s Morning Glory” on WMMS.