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Cleveland sued over "jock tax"
Other morning headlines: Ohio State officials were wary of Drive Capital deal; Jury selection begins in possible mercy killing
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Cleveland sued over "jock tax"
  • Ohio State officials were wary of Drive Capital deal
  • JobsOhio lawsuit could determine who can sue state
  • Jury selection begins in possible mercy killing
  • Cleveland firefighter killed in own driveway
  • Tornado ravaged Mineral City fire station receives donation
  • Grant awarded to Cleveland-Akron film festival 
  • Ohio school districts asking for more money
  • Ohio gas prices up
  • Closed GM plant gets new life
  • Lawmaker wants national parks to purchase Wright Brothers facility

  • Cleveland sued over "jock tax"
    Two former NFL players are suing the City of Cleveland over a so-called “jock” tax that they say unfairly targets athletes.

    The Plain Dealer reports that former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday and Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer argue Cleveland charges visiting pro athletes a higher municipal income tax than other out of town workers. 

    The city assesses its 2 percent tax on visiting players by taking the number of games a team played in the city and dividing it by the number of games a player was available to play in. Athletes say that is unfair, because they work as much as 150 days a year overall.  

    The newspaper reports if the city had to switch methods to include all of those days worked in its assessment, it would lose a million dollars a year.


    Ohio State officials were wary of Drive Capital deal
    New details are emerging about a decision by Ohio State University to invest $50 million in a venture capital fund that’s headed up by a former state official. 

    Drive Capital’s co-founder, Mark Kvamme is the former leader of the state’s private development arm JobsOhio and close friend of former OSU president Gordon Gee. The Plain Dealer reports Gee backed the deal, despite concerns from other top university leaders in a memo from March, saying it did not meet traditional underwriting standards.

    In other memos, Gee discussed seeking a $1.5 million donation from Kvamme for a higher education policy center. Gee retired from the University in July, but remains on staff as a law professor. The university now says the Drive Capital investment is valuable to the school and the community and did go through a rigorous review process.


    JobsOhio lawsuit could determine who can sue state
    A lawsuit against the state’s private development arm, JobsOhio, could have lasting repercussions when it comes to the question of who is allowed to sue the government. 

    The state Supreme Court will decide whether liberal policy group Progress Ohio and two state lawmakers have legal standing to sue over the constitutionality of JobsOhio. 

    Two lower courts have ruled they did not, because they could not prove personal injury or harm to the public by the agency’s creation. Legal experts tell the Columbus Dispatch the case is really about who can file lawsuits over a law. 

    Depending on how the court rules, it could make it easier or nearly impossible to sue when the state passes new laws. The suit originally set out to challenge JobsOhio’s $1.4 billion lease of the state’s liquor profits. 


    Jury selection begins in possible mercy killing

    An Akron man is standing trial for allegedly shooting his wife of 45 years in a hospital intensive care unit in what may have been a mercy killing.

    Jury selection in the aggravated murder trial of John Wise is scheduled to start this morning in Summit County Common Pleas Court in Akron. The 68-year-old Wise, of Massillon, has pleaded not guilty to shooting his 65-year-old wife Barbara in the ICU unit of Akron General Medical Center last August. She died the next morning.

    A friend said Barbara Wise had been disabled by a stroke and that the couple had agreed they never wanted to become disabled in a nursing home.


    Cleveland firefighter killed in own driveway
    A Cleveland Firefighter is dead after being shot several times in his own driveway on the east side.

    WEWS reports 45-year-old William Walker was a 15-year veteran of the department and was off-duty when the shooting happened. He reportedly parked in his driveway and was walking toward his home when he was shot in the chest.

    Police are still investigating.


    Tornado ravaged Mineral City fire station receives donation

    A Tuscarawas County community that lost its fire station in a tornado during the summer has gotten donated equipment to help its volunteer force. 


    The state fire marshal and the Cincinnati-area MN8-Foxfire company partnered to assist the volunteer fire department in Mineral City. Firefox donated radio straps, helmet bands and other gear worth about $5,000.

    State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers says that under the current state budget, local governments can access a revolving loan program and funding for training and equipment grants, including an additional $500,000 for firefighter training.


    Grant awarded to Cleveland-Akron film festival 
    A foundation with ties to northeast Ohio has awarded a $75 thousand grant to back a Cleveland-Akron film festival collaboration.

    The grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will underwrite a day of Cleveland International Film Festival programming in Akron next March. The project will include a "mini-festival" for high school students. Featured films will be tied to school work. The film festival grant was among 14 totaling $750 thousand announced by the foundation.


    Ohio school districts asking for more money
    Nearly a third of Ohio’s school districts are asking for voters to approve tax increases in tomorrow’s election. The hikes come in the form of levies, bonds or income tax increases, and are the result of state funding cuts in years past, reduced property tax revenues and the end of federal stimulus funds.

    The most recent state budget, however, includes increases in school funding over the next two years. Schools are also receiving money from Ohio’s casino taxes.

    Starting this election, property owners will no longer get rollbacks totaling 12.5 percent on new levies under a change approved this summer by Ohio lawmakers.


    Ohio gas prices up
    Ohio gas prices are up slightly from a week ago.

    The state average is $3.25 for a gallon of regular gas in today’s survey from AAA and its partners. That's up 4 cents from last week. Ohio's price is still under the $3.33 per gallon price at this time last year.

    Analysts say the wildly fluctuating gas prices — sometimes jumping 20 cents or more in a single day — are becoming more common. They blame it on fewer refineries and a fuel system increasingly vulnerable to short-term shocks.


    Closed GM plant gets new life
    A shuttered General Motors plant near Dayton is getting new life.

    The Dayton Daily News reports that few details have been made public about the $250 million project on the site of the former assembly plant in Moraine that stopped building trucks in 2008.

    The city of Moraine filed an application for a $700,000 grant from Montgomery County. The project also will require funding from JobsOhio, the state's private development arm.


    Lawmaker wants national parks to purchase Wright Brothers facility
    A Republican congressman from Wright Brothers country is advocating national parks funding to purchase the aviation pioneers' original manufacturing facilities in Ohio, as debate intensifies over rights to the first-in-flight title.

    U.S. Rep. Mike Turner appears in Dayton on Monday alongside Amanda Wright Lane of the Wright Family Foundation to discuss efforts to purchase the Wright Company Factory buildings and include them in Dayton's aviation history park.

    The buildings are the first U.S. facilities specifically designed and built to manufacture airplanes.

    Ohio and North Carolina have long sparred over which can claim first-in-flight honors as the respective locations of the Wrights' birth and first flight.

    This summer, Connecticut passed a law declaring German-born aviator and Bridgeport, Conn., resident Gustave Whitehead as the first to make a powered flight.

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