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Cleveland kidnap victims to collaborate with Washington Post writer on book
Other morning headlines: Ben Venue Laboratories to work with Bedford to find buyer; Cleveland Museum of Art director resigns
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Cleveland kidnap victims to collaborate with Washington Post writer on book
  • Ben Venue Laboratories to work with Bedford to find buyer
  • Cleveland Museum of Art director resigns
  • Akron City School restoring sports, language, music
  • Cleveland man enters not guilty pleas for cold case murders
  • Steubenville grand jury back to work
  • Controlling board votes to expand Medicaid
  • 150 trucking companies opt out of Pilot Flying J settlement
  • Fugitive credit union CEO arrested
  • Meth lab seizures up nearly 50 percent
  • Lorain taken off fiscal watch
  • Cleveland kidnap victims to collaborate with Washington Post writer on book
    Two of the three women held captive for a decade in a Cleveland house are collaborating with a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Washington Post reporters for a book about their ordeal. An attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus says they will work with the Post's Mary Jordan, a Cleveland native, and her husband and fellow reporter, Kevin Sullivan. Negotiations will be handled by Washington-based attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients include President Barack Obama. Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight were freed this past May. Ariel Castro, sentenced to life in prison, hanged himself in his prison cell in September.

    Ben Venue Laboratories to work with Bedford to find buyer
    A suburban Cleveland company shutting down this year says it will work with the city to find a new buyer for the facility. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown says he, along with Bedford city officials and Ben Venue Laboratories came to the agreement Monday to try to save more than 1,000 jobs.  The cancer drug maker recently announced it will begin phasing out operations, eliminating 1,000 jobs by the end of next year. Ben Venue says it will start meeting weekly with Bedford officials. The company voluntarily shut down two years ago due to quality problems at its factory. It said last October it had resumed limited drug manufacturing and was upgrading its facilities.

    Cleveland Museum of Art director resigns
    The director of the Cleveland Museum of Art is resigning after three years. David Franklin came to the museum in 2010 from the National Gallery of Canada. He says he wants to focus on research and writing and will stay on as a consultant while the Cleveland museum searches for his replacement. Trustee Fred Bidwell will serve as interim director. The museum is in the midst of trying raising $100 million of a $350 million expansion and renovation project that is expected to be completed in the coming months.

    Akron City School restoring sports, language, music 
    Akron city schools will restore middle school sports, foreign language programs and music options that were cut last year because of budget problems. The school board last night approved a healthy five year budget forecast following last year’s levy passage and state funding increases. The district had a nearly $19 million shortfall last year that led to program cuts and eliminating 200 jobs. The Beacon Journal reports school board members are still concerned about declining enrollment, as more than 6,000 students living in Akron attend charter and private schools. That number is expected to grow to more than 7,500 by 2018. 

    Cleveland man enters not guilty pleas for cold case murders
    A Cleveland man has pleaded not guilty to nearly 300 counts including aggravated murder and rape charges that date back to the mid-1990s. Elias Acevedo appeared in court Monday where a Cuyahoga County judge set his bond at $5 million. The 49-year-old Acevedo is accused in the death of his neighbor, Pamela Pemberton, in 1994 and Christina Adkins in 1995. Authorities last week identified human remains found in Cleveland as those of Adkins who was pregnant and 18 when she disappeared.

    Steubenville grand jury back to work
    The Steubenville grand jury investigating whether other crimes were broken in the case of a 16-year-old girl raped last year is going back to work today. A chief issue before the panel is whether adults, such as coaches or school administrators, knew of the allegation but failed to report it as required by state law. The 14-member grand jury, which started work in late April, also met Monday. The Steubenville schools' technology director pleaded not guilty after the grand jury charged him earlier this month with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the grand jury March 17, the day a judge convicted two Steubenville high school football players of raping the West Virginia girl in August 2012.

    Controlling board votes to expand Medicaid
    An obscure governmental body has given Governor John Kasich a win he couldn’t achieve in the legislature. The state Controlling Board has voted to extend Medicaid health coverage to as many as 330,000 low-income adults. The expansion passed Monday on a 5-2 vote. The seven-member board did so at the urging of Kasich after GOP lawmakers stripped Medicaid expansion from his budget. The Controlling Board, which includes six lawmakers, normally oversees minor items within the budget. Some opponents of the expansion have threatened to sue, saying Kasich used the Controlling Board to usurp the role of the General Assembly.

    150 trucking companies opt out of Pilot settlement

    About 150 trucking Companies have opted out of a settlement offered by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s truck stop business. Pilot Flying J has offered the deal to hundreds of companies that were shorted on fuel rebates. The settlement gives them money they’re owed plus six percent interest. The Plain Dealer reports that some companies say they’re satisfied with the payments they’ve already received from Pilot, while others say they’ll sign on when an audit of the fuel program is completed, and they’re paid back. Still others say they want Haslam and other executives questioned about the alleged scheme. Several dozen companies have sued. 

    Fugitive credit union CEO arrested
    A former Cleveland credit union CEO who’s been on the run for the last three months has been captured. Alex Spirikaitis was arrested while walking down the street Monday in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood. He disappeared in July after feds closed his Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union and a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges including filing false credit union entries. Government officials say Spirikaitis forged financial documents, falsely reporting more than $16 million in assets in assets deposited with other credit unions. He’s expected in court this morning.

    Meth lab seizures up nearly 50 percent
    Meth lab seizures are up nearly 50 percent over last year in Ohio. The data released Monday by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office shows police seized nearly 1,000 meth labs so far this year, and Summit County is leading the state with nearly 250. The numbers show the problem is largely contained to the state’s rural areas, as Cuyahoga County busted just two labs this year.

    Lorain taken off fiscal watch
    The city of Lorain is off the state’s fiscal watch list after more than a decade. Ohio Auditor David Yost removed the status Monday that had been in place since 2002, when Lorain had a $2.4 million deficit. The state says the city has implemented recommendations including consolidating departments, reducing its workforce and signing a new contract for trash collection.  Yost, however, cautioned Lorain’s city leaders to keep a watchful eye on the city’s income and expenses.

     

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