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Ohio


Armed with an audit, Medina school board considers firing Superintendent Stepp
Other headlines: October snow surprise, Cuyahoga housing prices, Ohio death penalty
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Medina Superintendent Randy Stepp has been suspended since April, and is suing the board
Courtesy of Medina City School District
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In The Region:
  • Audit raises questions about close to a million dollars in spending
  • Ohio's first snowbelt storm closes roads, schools
  • Housing prices continue to climb
  • Ohio's death row struggle
  • Audit raises questions about close to a million dollars in spending
    The Medina school board will consider tonight whether to fire Superintendent Randy Stepp.

    Stepp has been suspended since April. A state audit released this week says he misspent more than  $4,000 on gift cards, candy, travel expenses and other items for which there was “no apparent business purpose documented.”

    Most of the money was drawn from an account being handled for the Medina City Schools by the Medina Educational Service Center – a county board that handles joint purchases such as health insurance for all the public school districts in the county.

    Questions remain over other spending from that account, which came to close to a million dollars and which the audit says did not have the “proper level of approval.” The state audit also referred to the IRS nearly $200,000 the district paid towards Stepp’s graduate degrees and gym membership.

    Stepp has insisted he did nothing wrong and is suing the school board, saying it approved the payments.

    The district has a five-year, 5.9 mill levy on the November ballot, and two school board members have promised to resign.

    Ohio's first snowbelt storm closes roads, schools
    A rare October snow dumped as much as 6 inches on parts of Cuyahoga and Geauga counties this morning, snapping power lines and closing more than a dozen schools.  A lake effect snow advisory remains in effect until 1 this afternoon, though the bands are narrow and the skies are clear  just a few miles away. The southern part of our region was untouched.   

    Housing prices continue to climb
    Median home prices are continuing to recover in much of Cuyahoga County, according to Cleveland.com. The recovery of prices is led by suburban communities including Beachwood and University Heights, and so far this year, prices throughout the county are up more than 7 percent.

    Ohio's death row struggle
    A Cleveland man and two others who spent a combined 40 years on death row before being exonerated are campaigning throughout Ohio this week to eliminate the state’s death penalty.

    Joe D'Ambrosio, Delbert Tibbs and Damon Thibodeaux are appearing at 10 events with the Cleveland Catholic priest who helped clear D’Ambrosio of the killing in 1988 of Tony Klann. They argue that death penalty cases are flawed by false confessions and eyewitness accounts, and that about 10 percent of those sentenced to death row in the U.S. have later been cleared.

    A task force appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court is reviewing the state’s death penalty but says it will not consider eliminating it altogether. 

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