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Testimony resumes in Bobby Thompson charity fraud trial
Other morning headlines: Ohio nuclear power plant has most high-level violations; 'Sweetheart scam' warning from attorney general
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Testimony resumes in Bobby Thompson charity fraud trial
  • Medicaid expansion to be considered Monday
  • Ohio nuclear power plant has most high-level violations
  • 'Sweetheart scam' warning from attorney general
  • Warning for drivers during deer-related crash season
  • Study finds problems with internet breast milk sales
  • Possible teacher misconduct up in Ohio
  • Police-involved shooting under investigation
  • Marina fire under investigation
  • Ohio gas prices up for second week
  • Testimony resumes in Bobby Thompson charity fraud trial
    Testimony resumes today for the third week in the Cleveland trial of the man known as Bobby Thompson. He’s accused of swindling $100 million from people who thought they were donating to the U.S. Navy Veteran’s Association charity that he created. During the first two weeks of testimony, the prosecution said Thompson, whose real name is John Cody, went to great lengths to skirt the system… telling telemarketers not to solicit in states that do mandatory audits of charities, creating fake addresses and diverting contributions into his own bank accounts. But the defense says Thompson wasn’t acting alone, and that fundraisers kept up to 90 percent of the donations. It also contends the charity did do the charitable work it promised, including care kits for troops and donating to lobbying efforts on behalf of veterans.

    Medicaid expansion to be considered Monday

    An Ohio legislative panel plans to consider the governor's request to allow federal money to be spent on expanding the Medicaid program. Ohio recently got approval from the federal government to extend Medicaid eligibility. However, Gov. John Kasich's administration needs legislative sign-off to spend federal dollars on newly eligible residents. The seven-member Controlling Board handles certain adjustments to the state budget. It will hear Kasich's spending request today. Kasich has pushed for Medicaid expansion. But the Republican-controlled Legislature has balked, so he turned to the little-known board.  His move to bypass the full Legislature has been criticized.

    Ohio nuclear power plant has most high-level violations
    Ohio’s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant has the most high-level violations per reactor of any commercial nuclear power plant in the country. That’s according to a report from the Government Accounting Office. The report reveals inconsistent safety enforcement at nuclear plants in different regions of the country, and classifies violations from low- to high-risk. Davis-Besse, located in Oak Harbor along Lake Erie, reported 14 high-level violations during the last 12 years. Jennifer Young is a spokeswoman for plant owner First Energy. She says the violations follow a problem with a reactor vessel cap in 2002, when acid nearly ate through the reactor’s 6-inch-thick steel cap. Young says that problem was resolved with updates to plant safety.

    Sweetheart scam warning from attorney general
    The state's attorney general urges Ohioans to be wary of so-called "sweetheart scams" where con artists typically develop relationships with victims online before asking them for money. Attorney General Mike DeWine says his office has received about 70 complaints of such scams since 2011. DeWine says the highest reported loss was $210,000. The con artist in a typical sweetheart scam meets the victim online through a dating website or social networking site and communicates through email, instant message or phone. The scammer later asks the victim to send money to help cover costs such as medical expenses. The scammer often asks the victim to send money via wire transfer. DeWine warns Ohioans not to send money to someone they meet online and to report suspected scams to his office.

    Warning for drivers during deer-related crash season
    Ohio's insurance director says fall is the peak season for deer-related crashes in the state and is urging drivers be on the lookout. Insurance Director and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says drivers should be extra careful in the morning and early evening and check to ensure they have adequate insurance coverage. Taylor says some Ohioans may not be aware that the collision portion of an insurance policy's physical damage coverage does not include deer-vehicle collisions. Damage to a vehicle from such a collision would not be covered for consumers who only have a liability policy.

    Study finds problems with internet breast milk sales
    A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus warns against buying breast milk online. In a study, more than 75 percent of breast milk samples purchased online were contaminated with bacteria that could make babies sick. Researchers bought more than 100 samples and compared it to unpasteurized samples from a nonprofit milk bank. The level of contamination in the online milk was far higher, with most samples containing coliform bacteria and some containing salmonella. Twenty percent of the milk also wasn’t packed with dry ice or a method to keep it cool, which increased the bacteria count. There was also little information about milk handling and storage, drug use, or disease screening.

    Possible teacher misconduct up in Ohio
    The Ohio Department of Education has seen a 69-percent increase in referrals for the possible teacher misconduct during the past seven years. The analysis by the Dayton Daily News shows that the referrals to the education department's Office of Professional Conduct increased from about 4,700 in 2005 to more than 8,000 last year. However, last year's figure was a roughly 5.5 percent decrease from 2011. It's only the second time the state has seen a decline in the referrals since 2005. Referrals are for behaviors ranging from conduct unbecoming to more serious violent and drug offenses. Officials say there are several reasons for the increases, including changes to state law in the past decade that have allowed for greater accountability.

    Police-involved shooting under investigation
    An investigation is underway after a police officer in Warren shot and killed a 24-year-old man while responding to a reported car accident early Saturday morning. A 911 recording indicates that Officer Michael Krafcik found the car empty when he arrived on the scene.  But the Youngstown Vindicator reports that a few minutes later, he called for backup when another car showed up with two people inside, one of them with a gun. Warren’s police chief says he has no information about whether one of the men pointed a gun at the officer before shots were fired, killing Taemarr Walker.  Krafcik is on paid leave pending an investigation.

    Marina fire under investigation
    Investigators are looking into a weekend fire at a northern Ohio marina that left around $300,000 in damage. The Vermilion Fire Department says it happened Sunday afternoon at Don Parsons Marina on the Vermilion River. Nobody was in the marina when the fire started, and there were no injuries reported. The fire was contained to the marina structure, and firefighters had it under control in a half hour. The cause hasn't been determined.

    Ohio gas prices up for second week
    Ohio's gas prices are up for the second straight week. The state average was $3.36 for a gallon of regular gas in today’s AAA survey. That's up 6 cents from last week but still a dime below the cost a year ago. The lowest average in the state today is $3.25 in the Canton-Massillon area. 


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