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Ohio school districts ask for millions in 'Straight A Fund' grants
Other morning headlines: Jury selection underway in retrial of man convicted in Cleveland's deadliest fire; Akron man ruled competent for trial in sledgehammer deaths 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Ohio school districts ask for millions in 'Straight A Fund' grants
  • Jury selection underway in retrial of man convicted in Cleveland's deadliest fire
  • Akron man ruled competent for trial in sledgehammer deaths 
  • Ohio offers veterans posts legal gaming option
  • Ohio grand jury indicts 4 in statewide theft ring
  • Ohio: Child killer to get untried 2-drug injection
  • Ohio school districts ask for millions in 'Straight A Fund' grants
    Hundreds of schools and educational ventures in Ohio have applied for grants from a new $250 million innovation fund established by Gov. John Kasich. The Ohio Department of Education said Monday some 570 applicants representing 420 different organizations applied for "Straight A Fund" grants. Winning ideas must significantly boost student achievement, reduce spending or target an impressive share of resources into the classroom. State Superintendent Richard Ross said the overwhelming number of applications means competition will be intense. Final decisions are expected in mid-December. Each proposal will first receive separate fiscal sustainability and value scores and then a panel of grant advisers will vet them. That group will recommend finalists to the seven-member Straight A Fund governing board. The board's selections must be approved by the state Controlling Board.

    The Cleveland school district submitted requests totaling about $13 million to replace more than 65 of its aging buses, help start a new Cleveland High School for the Digital Arts and pay for 17,000 tablet computers to students. Akron is asking for nearly $19 million to launch an early reading program and a system that would allow students the opportunity to earn one year of college credit while in high school. Canton is asking for nearly $5 million to redesign classrooms including acquire an additional 10 compressed natural gas buses. Click here for the complete list of statewide district applications.


    Jury selection begins in retrial of man convicted in Cleveland's deadliest fire
    Jury selection is underway for the second trial of a man accused of setting the deadliest fire in Cleveland history. Antun Lewis, 29, was convicted two years ago on federal charges for setting the fire on East 87th Street in 2005. It killed nine people, including eight children at a birthday sleepover. In 2012, a judge declared the testimony of government jailhouse informants against Lewis unreliable and ordered a new trial. 

    Akron man ruled competent for trial in sledgehammer deaths 
    An Akron man charged in the sledgehammer deaths of a prominent Summit County couple has been declared competent to stand trial. 19-year old Shawn Ford, Jr. was ruled competent by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tom Parker after a review of two psychological evaluations. Ford has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the April slayings of attorney Jeffrey Schobert and his wife Margaret in their home in New Franklin, near Akron. No trial date for Ford has been set. The next hearing in his case tentatively is scheduled for Nov. 26.

    Ohio offers veterans posts legal gaming option
    The Ohio Lottery has announced it will put 1,200 gaming machines into fraternal lodges and veterans posts around the state. Each club will get no more than five of the machines. The Ohio Lottery has announced it will put 12-hundred gaming machines into fraternal lodges and veterans posts around the state. Attorney General Mike DeWine had ordered the clubs last week to give up other electronic slot machines, saying they’re illegal under Ohio law. Gov. John Kasich's office had asked the lottery to come up with an alternative. The lottery says any organization that wants its machines must promise to get rid of the illegal ones and will get no more than five of the machines. The groups, other charities and makers of the machines will split 85 percent of the proceeds, while the lottery will get the other 15 percent, most of which will be passed onto schools. 

    Ohio grand jury indicts 4 in statewide theft ring
    Four people have been indicted in a scheme that involved sneaking into Ohio businesses during work hours and stealing credit cards and cash from employees' unattended belongings. The indictment says Larry Cobb of Leavittsburg, dressed in business attire and entered offices in eight counties, typically during lunchtime. He is accused of taking credit cards from wallets and purses left in desk drawers, then passing them along to a co-conspirator to buy gift cards, electronics and other items that they would sell for money. The indictment says Cobb hit the Ahuja Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic Administrative center in Beachwood, along with Akron General Health and Wellness Center in Bath. 

    Ohio: Child killer to get untried 2-drug injection
    Ohio says it will use a never-tried dose of two drugs injected intravenously to put to death an inmate who raped and killed his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron. The announcement Monday by the state prison system means the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction wasn't able to obtain enough pentobarbital, the drug Ohio formerly used until its manufacturer put it off-limits for executions. The state says it will use a combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller, in the Nov. 14 execution of Ronald Phillips of Akron. Those drugs are included in Ohio's untested, back-up execution method, which requires them to be injected directly into an inmate's muscle. No state has put a prisoner to death with those drugs in any fashion.

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