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Ohio


Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear plant has the most high-level safety violations
Other morning headlines: Summit County jail in need of more employees;
New prison unit aims to integrate inmates into society; Governor appoints three to tourism advisory panel

by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
In The Region:
  • Ohio nuclear plant has most high-level safety violations
  • Summit County jail needs more employees
  • New prison unit aims to integrate inmates into society
  • Governor appoints three to tourism advisory panel
  • Death row inmate says he was physically, sexually abused
  • Unemployment report delayed
  • Health and Human Services Secretary to visit Ohio
  • Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear plant has the most high-level safety violations
    A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Port Clinton had the most higher-level violations per reactor in the country in the last 12 years. Davis-Besse had 14 violations.

    The report found that the number of safety violations varies dramatically across different regions of the United States. Researchers say that implies there is inconsistent enforcement of regulations. 

    Akron-based FirstEnergy is trying to get a 20-year renewal of Davis-Besse's operating license. The plant has had repeated trouble with its  steel cap and with cracks in its protective concrete shield.

    The report says the Southeastern United States has the most reactors, according to the Associated Press, and the fewest violations per-reactor.

    National overview: Summit County jail needs more employees
    A national jail expert says if things don't change at the Summit County jail, it will need to shut down portions of the facility.

    The Beacon Journal is reporting that Rod Miller of Community Resource Services found that Summit County needs to hire about 50 more workers to safely continue operating at its current level.

    Right now, the jail has 205 employees. Even with operational changes, Miller found the jail needs a minimum of 259. 

    Miller's report was required as part of a federal consent decree aimed at improving conditions at the jail. That stemmed from a lawsuit by female Summit County deputies over gender-related staffing issues.
    Because of the federal shutdown, it is not known when the Department of Justice will begin reviewing the report.

    County leaders and the Summit County Sheriff's Office worked with Community Resource Services while compiling the report.


    New prison unit aims to integrate inmates into society
    The state is preparing to open a new prison unit aimed at better integrating Ohio inmates back into society by giving them constructive activities eight to 12 hours a day.

    About 70 prisoners at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution eligible for the program can take classes through Ashland University, work on a prison farm, help build state salt trucks or participate in substance abuse counseling or religious programs.

    Chillicothe's reintegration unit was scheduled to open Wednesday morning with remarks by Warden Norm Robinson, who says the goal is giving inmates the opportunity to make good decisions about their lives.

    Ohio prisons Director Gary Mohr says inmates need the real-life experience of working eight hours a day and figuring how to balance work and personal activities.


    Governor appoints three to tourism advisory panel
    Gov. John Kasich has appointed three people to a state advisory panel that has lacked members for almost a year after the law that created it took effect.

    Kasich was required to appoint nine members to the TourismOhio Advisory Board by last November. He appointed three people Tuesday: Todd Mesek of Lakewood, Jodi Burroughs of Grove City and Ellen Grinsfelder of Logan.

    The law creating the panel was set up to bolster Ohio's tourism business, with board members helping the state's development department and its tourism office market Ohio.

    A spokeswoman for the Ohio Development Services Agency defended the vacancies last month by saying the agency's director took over in late March and wanted to understand the issues better.


    Death row inmate says he was physically, sexually abused
    A death row inmate who raped and killed his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter is citing a childhood of physical and sexual abuse as he asks the Ohio Parole Board for mercy.

    Attorneys for condemned killer Ronald Phillips say no judge or jury has ever heard the full story of the abuse Phillips suffered growing up.

    A document filed with the Parole Board before Wednesday's clemency hearing says Phillips was repeatedly raped and beaten by his late father. The state says Phillips long denied he suffered such abuse and has only raised it with his execution imminent.

    The 40-year-old Phillips is scheduled to die Nov. 14 for killing Sheila Marie Evans in 1993 in Akron.


    Unemployment report delayed
    The monthly Ohio unemployment report scheduled for Friday will be delayed because of the federal government shutdown.

    That means residents and employers will have to wait to find out whether the slight uptick in the state jobless rate for August continued last month. Ohio's unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.3 percent in August.

    The Columbus Dispatch says the state compiles the report using data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. The shutdown is affecting both agencies.

    A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says it's not clear when the state report might be released. He says for now, the status is "wait and see."

    Economists say the delay creates uncertainty for businesses that depend on the data.



    Health and Human Services Secretary to visit Ohio
    U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be in Ohio to discuss the federal health care overhaul that has encountered glitches as it rolls out around the country.

    The discussions are expected to focus on enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges created by the act, and on community resources.

    Sebelius will participate in a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act in Cincinnati today followed by a similar discussion Thursday in Columbus.

    Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and consumers planning to enroll in coverage will also take part.

    Consumer interest in the new health insurance markets has been strong. But technology glitches have frustrated many trying to sign up for coverage online.

    Efforts are continuing to upgrade and repair the online site.


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