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Akron making policy changes for hiring felons
Other morning headlines: Type of Asian carp reproducing in Lake Erie basin; Cleveland councilman taking on CBS news magazine
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Akron making policy changes for hiring felons
  • Type of Asian carp reproducing in Lake Erie basin
  • Attorneys want Supreme Court to take its time in Medicaid lawsuit
  • Prosecutor to seek death penalty 
  • Pretrial hearing scheduled in East Cleveland murders
  • House Democrats propose accessibility and accountability legislation
  • State seeks to have funeral director removed from gay marriage lawsuit
  • Cleveland councilman taking on CBS news magazine
  • Chardon to receive federal tragedy recovery grant
  • More parking coming to Cleveland Hopkins
  • New legislation would protect nursing home patients
  • Sheriff's deputy resigns after escape, deadly chase
  • Police labor union files grievance over discipline
  • Goodyear sales down, profit up
  • Akron making policy changes for hiring felons
    The city of Akron is making several policy changes that will make it easier for people with felony convictions be considered to jobs.

    The Beacon Journal reports that employees applying for non-safety-sensitive positions will no longer see a question about felony convictions on their initial application. They will go through the civil service testing process, and if they qualify, will then be asked about their criminal history.

    The number of years a felon must wait to be considered has also been lowered from five to three.

    Those applying for positions like police office, paramedic and dispatcher will still have to disclose their criminal history on their initial applications.

    The cities of Cleveland and Canton, along with Stark County have also changed their rules to reduce the stumbling blocks for felons when it comes to finding jobs after they serve their sentence.


    One type of Asian carp reproducing in Lake Erie basin
    After years of debate over whether Asian carp could reproduce in the Lake Erie basin, scientists have found proof that one type has. An analysis from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the US Geological Survey found that four grass carp that were caught in the Sandusky River last year were also born there and not introduced through means such as stocking.

    Grass carp are among four species imported from Asia decades ago, but are less of a concern than Bighead and silver carp that are threatening the Great Lakes’ fishing industry. That’s because grass crap mostly eat aquatic vegetation. However, scientists say evidence that the grass carp can reproduce is troubling if they continue to increase in numbers because they could destroy shoreline habitat that is important for waterfowl and some fish.


    Attorneys want Supreme Court to take its time in Medicaid lawsuit
    Attorneys for the state say there's no need for the Ohio Supreme Court to rush its consideration of a lawsuit over Medicaid expansion.

    Two anti-abortion groups and six Republican lawmakers are suing Ohio after a legislative panel cleared the way for Gov. John Kasich's administration to spend federal dollars to cover more people in the Medicaid health program. At issue is whether Ohio's Controlling Board thwarted the intent of the Legislature when it approved the funding.

    In a court filing Tuesday, state Solicitor Eric Murphy says the plaintiffs don't properly justify their request to speed up the case in a manner similar to election cases. The plaintiffs argue such speed is warranted because expanded Medicaid coverage takes effect Jan. 1. 


    Prosecutor to seek death penalty 
    The prosecutor in Cleveland has decided to seek the death penalty against a triple murder suspect whose alleged victims were found in trash bags.

    Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced Tuesday that a grand jury added specifications that could lead to a death sentence for 36-year-old Michael Madison.

    He's charged with killing three women and dumping their bodies in trash bags in East Cleveland.

    The death-penalty option was added in an updated indictment that came after prosecutors reviewed the case. Madison, a convicted sex offender, has pleaded not guilty.


    Pretrial hearing scheduled in East Cleveland murders
    The legal groundwork could begin emerging for a convicted sex offender charged in Cleveland with nearly 300 counts, including aggravated murder and rape.

    A pretrial is scheduled Wednesday morning for 49-year-old Elias Acevedo. He pleaded not guilty last week and was being held on $5 million bond.

    The charges against Acevedo date to two murders in the mid-1990s. Christina Adkins’s remains were recently found. She was 18 and pregnant when she went missing. Another woman went missing around the same time.


    House Democrats propose accessibility and accountability legislation
    Ohio House Democrats are advocating a package of proposals they say would make state government more accessible and accountable.

    The minority lawmakers on Tuesday called Ohio's government dysfunctional. They noted the state fell well below the national average on the Better Government Association's "integrity index" and got a nearly-failing grade in the Georgia Public Interest Research Group's review of spending transparency.

    Democrats proposed expanding disclosure and reporting requirements for the private nonprofit job-creation office JobsOhio and the state tax-credit authority. They'd also revise Ohio's redistricting process, require legislative committees to be broadcast, and make the state watchdog independent.

    Republican House Speaker William Batchelder's spokesman calls the effort hypocritical. He says Batchelder was the first to broadcast state budget hearings, something Democrats never tried when they controlled the chamber.


    State wants funeral director removed from gay marriage lawsuit
    Attorneys for the state want a funeral director removed from a lawsuit that seeks to have gay marriages recognized on Ohio death certificates despite a statewide ban.

    They're expected to argue in federal court in Cincinnati today that Ohio's ban on gay marriage couldn't affect the constitutional rights of Cincinnati funeral director Robert Grunn, and that he should be removed from the civil rights lawsuit. The lawsuit originally was filed on behalf of one gay couple in Cincinnati, then included another couple. Grunn's addition expanded the litigation to all gay couples in Ohio who married in other states.


    Cleveland councilman taking on CBS news magazine
    A Cleveland City Councilman is taking on the CBS TV show “60 Minutes," challenging the national news magazine to hire more minorities.

    The Plain Dealer reports that Councilman Zack Reed introduced a resolution Tuesday bringing attention to the fact that “60 Minutes” appears to have made little effort to recruit black or Hispanic correspondents. Reed plans to take the resolution to the National League of Cities conference next month in Seattle, and prompt other city leaders around the country to draft similar resolutions.

    He’s also considering a protest outside the local CBS affiliate in Cleveland.


    Chardon to receive federal tragedy recovery grant
    The Chardon School District is getting a grant from The U.S. Department of Education to help in its recovery from last year’s shooting that killed three students.

    The nearly quarter million dollar grant comes from a program that helps districts recover from traumatic events that disrupt the learning environment. The money will be used to hire social workers that will provide trauma screening and counseling to students and staff affected by the February, 2012 shooting.

    Shooter TJ Lane has been sentenced to life in prison.


    More parking coming to Cleveland Hopkins
    More parking is coming to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

    Cleveland city council has authorized the sale of up to 100 million dollars in revenue bonds to purchase two parking lots on Snow Road about a mile from the airport. Both lots will have shuttle service to the terminal and will have rates of about 7 dollars per day.

    Parking Company of America will manage the 6,000 spaces for 100 thousand dollars a year for the next 10 years.

    Adding new parking lots is part of a long-planned overhaul of the airport parking system.


    New legislation to protect nursing home patients
    Proposed legislation aims to protect nursing home patients by giving them the right to set up hidden cameras in their rooms to catch neglect or abuse.

    The Ohio House Judiciary Committee will look at the legislation Wednesday afternoon.

    Nursing home industry officials, however, say it raises privacy concerns. Right now, setting up cameras is neither illegal nor a protected right.


    Sheriff's deputy resigns after escape, deadly chase
    An Ohio sheriff's deputy has resigned a day after an inmate escaped custody, stole a vehicle and died in a crash during a police chase.

    The Fayette County deputy had lost a key during a jail scuffle Monday. An inmate later used that key to free himself from restraints. Authorities say 27-year-old David Payne of Lynchburg escaped while being taken to a hospital and stole a vehicle. He led officers on a chase at speeds topping 100 mph before a deputy used "stop sticks" to flatten the vehicle's tires.

    Authorities in Pickaway County say Payne was thrown from the car when it went off the side of a road and rolled several times


    Police labor union files grievance over discipline
    The Cleveland police labor union has filed a grievance with the city over the disciplining of 64 officers involved with last year's high speed chase that left two people shot to death.

    The Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association calls the discipline "arbitrary, disparate, excessive and unreasonable" and says it's a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

    A fleeing driver and passenger were killed when officers fired 137 shots at them in the 23-minute chase last November that involved five dozen cruisers and wove through residential neighborhoods before ending in gunfire. No criminal charges have been filed against the officers.


    Goodyear sales down, profit up
    Sales are down, but profit is up for Akron-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

    The company’s North American Tire division had a record profit for the third quarter. But a drop in sales meant the third quarter report wasn’t good for stock prices. Revenue results fell more than 200 million dollars short over the last three months, causing shares to fall nearly 6 percent.

    Still, shares are up 88 percent from October of 2012. Overall, Goodyear says it’s pleased with the results for the quarter and expects to finish the year strong… with lower raw material costs and stabilizing conditions in the global markets.

     

     

     


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