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Kasich attorney attempted to assist in Suarez case
Other morning headlines: Eco-groups submit injection well testimony to EPA; Cleveland officer charged with obstructing justice; Mercy killing defendant says wife was in pain
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Eco-groups submit injection well testimony to EPA
  • Kasich attorney attempted to assist in Suarez case
  • Cleveland officer charged with obstructing justice
  • Mercy killing defendant says wife was in pain
  • Most casinos saw October revenue increase
  • Mercy denied for condemned killer
  • Candlelight vigil held for slain firefighter
  • Community health centers to receive federal funds
  • New specialty license plates to be added
  • Education leaders justify new reading requirement
  • Ohio museum displays JFK relics
  • Kasich attorney attempted to assist in Suarez case
    New details are emerging about the connection between North Canton-based Suarez Corporation Industries and several republican lawmakers.

    The company’s owner has been charged with making illegal campaign contributions while facing a consumer protection law investigation in California.

    Founder Benjamin Suarez sought help from numerous Ohio officials in the case, including Governor John Kasich.

    The Plain Dealer reports that a lawyer for Kasich sent a letter to the Attorney General of California, asking for an investigation into the charges against SCI and possible rogue actions by California District Attorneys.

    The California Attorney General declined.

    Kasich’s office says that at the time the letter was written, the attorney who wrote it was unaware that Suarez had donated to Kasich’s campaign.

    Kasich later donated that money to the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Ohio.

    Eco-groups submit injection well testimony to EPA
    Eco-groups and individuals upset about Ohio’s handling of injection wells yesterday submitted testimony to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    The EPA is launching a federal audit of how the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is handling injection wells and liquid drilling wastes.

    The Beacon Journal reports that the audit comes after a complaint letter was filed with the U.S. EPA last March about ODNR’s oversight of wells.

    But the EPA did not schedule public testimony on the wells, which is why the coalition of eco-groups and citizens submitted written testimony.

    It outlines what the groups consider ODNR failures at complying with state and federal laws, as well as an influx of drilling waste from other states because of lax regulation.

    ODNR says Ohio has some of the toughest regulations in the country and a history of tough enforcement.

    The audit will begin early next year.

    Cleveland officer charged with obstructing justice
    A Cleveland police officer has been charged with obstructing justice after he allegedly tipped off a grocer accused of food-stamp fraud.

    Detective John Hall, A 19-year veteran, yesterday turned himself into authorities.

    Hall is accused of informing an East Side Cleveland grocer that investigators were going to serve a search warrant.

    Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says Hall’s indictment comes after a two-year investigation by the FBI and the Cleveland Police Internal Affairs Unit.

    Also indicted was Jamal Hanini, of Strongsville, who the prosecutor's office said tried to cover-up the tip. 


    Mercy killing defendant says wife was in pain
    An Ohio man says he decided to shoot his wife of 45 years in her hospital bed after she appeared to be in pain during a visit and he saw a tear run down her cheek.

    John Wise testified Thursday at his Akron murder trial. He told jurors how he returned to the hospital hours after that unsettling visit, kissed his wife on the cheek and then shot her.

    The 68-year-old Massillon man is pursuing an insanity defense in the August 2012 slaying. Friends of the couple have called it a mercy killing.

    A psychologist has testified that Wise showed signs of depression and other problems and wasn't fully aware of the unlawfulness of his actions.

    Prosecutors contend Wise acted intentionally and should be held responsible.


    Most casinos saw October revenue increase
    Regulators say three of Ohio's four casinos saw revenue increases last month.

    Data released Thursday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission shows the Columbus casino saw the biggest increase, from $15.7 million in September to $17.7 million last month. That's a nearly 13 percent increase.

    Cleveland's revenues increased by about 4 percent to $19.5 million. Toledo saw a much more moderate increase of 1 percent, to $14.7 million.

    Cincinnati's revenues declined by 8 percent to $18.2 million.

    Statewide, casino revenues totaled $70 million in October, up from $68.9 million in September. The monthly high this year was $84 million in March, boosted by the Cincinnati casino's opening.

    The casinos have drawn nearly $688 million so far this year.


    Mercy denied for condemned killer
    Ohio's governor has refused to spare the condemned killer of a 3-year-old girl ahead of a scheduled execution under the state's untried lethal injection system.

    Gov. John Kasich without comment on Thursday denied the request for mercy by Ronald Phillips. He is sentenced to die for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend's daughter.

    A federal judge earlier Thursday also declined to block the execution.

    The 40-year-old Phillips is set to die November 14 by lethal injection with a drug combination never used before in the U.S.

    Attorneys for Phillips argued he was sexually, physically and verbally abused as a child.

    The state said Phillips long denied being abused and raised the issue only as his execution was imminent.

    The Ohio Parole Board recommended against mercy.


    Candlelight vigil held for slain firefighter
    Hundreds of people gathered last night, outside the home of the Cleveland firefighter who was shot and killed in his driveway earlier this week.

    Lt. William Walker was a 15 year veteran of the Fire Department, and worked on the prestigious Rescue Squad 4-- which is a group of firefighters with advanced training and expertise in performing dangerous rescues.

    He is survived by a wife and two children.

    Walker was walking from his car into his home on Lampson Road Sunday night when he was shot multiple times in the chest.

    Cleveland Police are investigating.


    Community health centers to receive federal funds
    The state of Ohio says 11 community health centers will get $6.8 million in federal money under the new health care law.

    Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that the money will go to two community health centers in Columbus, and to facilities in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and six other Ohio cities.

    The federal money will help serve nearly 60,000 new patients in Ohio and more than 1.25 million patients across the country.

    Nationally, 236 centers will receive $150 million in grant awards.


    New specialty license plates to be added
    Ohio motorists will soon be able to choose from 255 different specialty license plates.

    Gov. John Kasich will add three more to the collection when he signs a new bill into law later this month.

    The measure will create specialty plates for "Nationwide Children's Hospital," ''Power Squadron," and for holders of the Combat Action Ribbon or the Combat Action Badge.

    Ohio drivers can already shout out their support for cops, cattlemen, firefighters, freemasons, scenic rivers, coal and more. They can tell people to "Celebrate Kids," ''Choose Life," ''Donate Life," ''Share the Road," ''Support Our Troops," ''Fish Ohio" or "Visit Our Zoos."

    Ohio also offers 58 different plate logos for colleges and universities. Ohio State University is the top seller.


    Education leaders justify new reading requirement
    State education leaders point to Ohio's performance in a national report as evidence that a tough new reading requirement for third-graders is justified.

    The National Assessment of Educational Progress shows Ohio fourth-graders' average reading scores were unchanged from 2011 to 2013. Eighth-graders improved by one point.

    State Superintendent Richard Ross says that shows the importance of Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee. It requires holding back third-graders who don't meet certain reading goals.

    The "Nation's Report Card" assessment is given every two years to a sample of fourth- and eighth-graders. Compared with 2011, this year's report showed average incremental gains in math and reading for both grades of one or two points on a 500-point scale.

    In Ohio, math scores improved by two points among fourth-graders and one point among eighth-graders.


    Ohio museum displays JFK relics
    From the eternal flame at his gravesite to the historic Air Force One plane, many key items that make up the searing images from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are available for public viewing 50 years later.

    In some cases, officials had to scramble to make that happen.

    The Boeing jetliner on which Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office is in a hangar near the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. Federal budget cuts had halted shuttle buses to the hangar. But with the anniversary approaching, museum officials decided they had enough resources to resume tours on a trimmed schedule.

    The eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia was restored recently. And the presidential library in Boston is preparing a special display.


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