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Panel meets to resolve differences in bill affecting Ohio's third parties
Other headlines: Ohio receives windfall from drug company settlement; FirstEnergy reports third quarter drop in profits

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Ohio receives windfall from drug company settlement
  • FirstEnergy reports third quarter drop in profits 
  • Chardon shooter T.J. Lane struggles in prison
  • Elyria homeless shelter gets reprieve
  • Panel meets to resolve differences in bill affecting Ohio's third parties
    A bill changing requirements for minor political parties in Ohio has been plagued by political missteps and dissension.

    Part of the measure was inadvertently cut after the House made a series of last-minute changes last week to assure its passage. The Senate had been poised to send it to the governor’s desk, but had to reject the bill so it could be fixed.

    A compromise panel is meeting today to settle the differences.

    The proposal comes as Republicans face growing competition from tea party supporters who say they may back a third-party challenger to Gov. John Kasich next year.

    Opponents of the bill have deemed it the "John Kasich Re-election Protection Act."

    Kasich says he didn't request the bill.

    Ohio receives windfall from drug company settlement 
    Ohio's Medicaid program will receive nearly $53 million through a national settlement with a pharmaceutical company.

    The $2.2 billion national settlement announced Monday involves Johnson & Johnson, one of its subsidiaries, the federal government and several states.

    The allegations include paying kickbacks to physicians and pharmacies to recommend and prescribe two antipsychotic drugs, and one used to treat heart failure.

    The agreement is the third-largest U.S. settlement involving a drug maker, and the latest in a string of legal actions against drug companies that allegedly put profits ahead of patients.

    FirstEnergy reports third quarter drop in profits 
    Akron-based FirstEnergy saw its profits fall by half this quarter compared to a year ago.

    In the earnings report released today the utility reported $218 million in income on $4 billion in total sales.  In the same period last year the company reported a net income of $425 million.

    CEO Anthony Alexander says in a statement with the report that the third quarter results are, “in line with our expectations.”

    Lower energy prices, higher operating costs, increased depreciation and interest expenses, and lower demand are blamed for the drop in profits.

    Chardon shooter T.J. Lane struggles in prison
    The teen serving life in prison for killing three students in the Chardon school shooting apparently has struggled with cellblock living.

    Nineteen-year-old T.J. Lane is serving three life sentences in the state prison in Lima.

    The Plain Dealer reports, he was given 10 days in segregation in July for giving himself a tattoo. And he was disciplined twice for refusing cellblock assignments.

    At his sentencing in March, Lane wore a T-shirt with "killer" scrawled across it and gestured obscenely.

    He has appealed his sentence.

    Elyria homeless shelter gets reprieve
    An endangered homeless shelter in northeast Ohio is going to stay open after all.

    The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram reports that the St. Joseph Overnight Homeless Shelter in Lorain was threatened with closure because its lack of a sprinkler system violated city fire codes.

    But Mayor Chase Ritenauer told the city council Monday night that the fire department and Catholic Charities will work together to come up with a plan to address safety there in the next two weeks.

    Meanwhile, the 65-bed shelter will be allowed to stay open, at least through April 4.

    Ritenauer previously said Lorain would be liable if Catholic Charities didn't install sprinklers and address other code violations.

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