Ohio "Stand Your Ground" bill headed for House vote
A gun bill in Ohio that includes a "Stand Your Ground" self-defense proposal is headed for a vote by the full House. The measure that could go before House lawmakers today would expand the circumstances under which people could use force to defend themselves without a duty to first retreat. Under current law, Ohioans need not retreat if they're lawfully in their homes, vehicles or the vehicle of an immediate family member. Ohio's proposal voted out of committee Tuesday also eases certain rules on carrying concealed weapons.
Major delays expected on Cleveland interstates
Expect some major delays on the highways around Cleveland starting Thursday at 9 a.m. I-90 Eastbound will close between I-77 and I-490. It is unknown when it will reopen. ODOT tells the Plain Dealer only that it expects traffic will be using the new bridge by 6 a.m. Monday. The same stretch of westbound lanes will close Thursday night at 7 through 6 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Friday until possibly Monday at 6 a.m. It’s part of the final push to direct traffic onto the new I-90 Innerbelt Bridge.
State dollars in Ohio's poorest school districts not going far
A leading education-funding think tank is releasing new district comparisons that it says more accurately reflect the costs of educating poor students in Ohio. The analysis from the Education Tax Policy Institute suggests that state dollars in Ohio's highest poverty districts are not going as far as the state says they are. The institute challenges what has been called the "apples to apples" comparisons the Ohio Department of Education calculates to reflect each district's spending on special education and disadvantaged students. The differences amount to nearly $2,000 per pupil in some cases.
Cleveland State to rename engineering school
Cleveland State University will rename its engineering school in recognition of a $10 million gift. The donation comes from Parker Hannifin Corp. chairman, CEO and president Donald Washkewicz. Cleveland State's Fenn College of Engineering will be renamed the Washkewicz College of Engineering. The gift ties for the largest in Cleveland State history and will be used for scholarships and to renovate the engineering building.
Browns, city reach agreement for stadium renovations
The Browns will finance $120 million for renovations at FirstEnergy Stadium and recoup $42 million from the city. Mayor Frank Jackson and Browns CEO Joe Banner announced the tentative agreement Tuesday. The Browns will receive $2 million annually over the next 15 years from the city. That money is owed to them as part of their existing lease. They'll get an additional $12 million from a capital improvements fund. Last week, the Browns announced details for planned improvements to the 15-year-old stadium. But they did not indicate how they intended to pay for the two-year project beyond a $62 million loan from the NFL. The Browns plan to install giant scoreboards and make other upgrades to their lakefront stadium.
Chrysler Toledo expected to build 500,000 Jeeps
The manager of the Chrysler assembly plant in Toledo says the facility will build more than a half-million Jeeps next year, making it one of the highest-volume assembly plants in North America. Workers at the plant built about 275,000 vehicles last year and have built about 226,000 vehicles through October this year. Chrysler officials several years ago set ambitious goals to reach global sales of 2.8 million cars and trucks by 2014. The Toledo plant hired more than 1,800 new people ahead of launching the Cherokee, bringing total plant workforce to about 4,000.
Suspected upper tier heroin dealer arrested
A suspected upper tier drug dealer has been arrested in Lorain that narcotics agents say is likely linked to a rash of recent overdose deaths. The Morning Journal reports that 35-year-old Jason Vasquez was arrested on trafficking charges and possession, along with his girlfriend, 23-year-old Ciera Calloway. Six people died last weekend in Cuyahoga County from suspected heroin overdoses and another in Lorain. State officials say the deaths are part of an epidemic. A heroin summit is planned Thursday in Cleveland and State Attorney General Mike Dewine announced this week he's forming a heroin unit.
Cuyahoga County Council pushing for more power
Cuyahoga County Council wants more clout when it comes to what other county offices spend. A proposed resolution would require county departments or independent agencies to give council a 30-day notice before granting raises or spending money agency-wide. The Plain Dealer reports the measure comes after the common pleas court gave its nonunion employees a 3 percent raise last year without notifying council. Supporters of the resolution say it will standardize salaries and help keep tabs on the county’s finances.
Cleveland law firm to pay Lorain $3 million
The law firm that once employed one of the top targets of the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation has agreed to pay the city of Lorain $3 million. Anthony Calabrese the third worked for Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease during the years of corrupt activity. Lorain filed legal claims against the firm stemming from the relationship between Calabrese and Sandy Prudoff, the city’s former community development director. The exact claims have not been revealed. Calabrese pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering and bribery and is serving a nine-year prison sentence.
KSU frat hazing details revealed
New details are emerging about a Kent State University fraternity’s hazing rituals that led to its suspension last month. A Kent State officials’ report obtained by the Beacon Journal shows “circumstantial” evidence that Kappa Alpha Psi members caned and paddled students, and forced them to run errands. The fraternity had already been banned from holding parties, seeking new members and conducting business. It was suspended for three years back in October over the hazing allegations.
Heinz Massillon expanding
Hundreds of new jobs are coming to Stark County, as Heinz closes facilities and shifts jobs. The company’s frozen food division will shift 250 jobs to its Massillon facility that currently employs 450. The company is expected to get an income tax credit and a state job creation tax credit for the expansion. Last week, Heinz announced that it would be cutting more than 1,000 jobs at plants in South Carolina, Idaho and Ontario, Canada.
Ohio manufacturing jobs increase
There are nearly 6 thousand more manufacturing jobs in Ohio today than there were a year ago. That’s a .5 percent gain, according to the 2014 Ohio Manufacturers Directory. A majority of those jobs were gained in the northern portion of the state. Northwest Ohio saw a 2 percent jump in industrial positions last year, Northeast Ohio was 1.2 percent.
"Rocksino" to open in December
The third major gambling venue in Northeast Ohio is scheduled to open December 18th in Northfield. The $265 million Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park will open with 23 hundred video lottery terminals, a comedy club, restaurants and a music venue. It’s located next to Northfield Park's harness track and is expected to employ up to 800 people. It joins Cleveland’s downtown casino and ThistleDown Racino in North Randall in Northeast Ohio. The Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course also is under construction near Youngstown.
Fracking wastewater recycling facility to open
A fracking wastewater recycling facility will soon be opening in rural Carroll County. The Canton Repository reports that Iron Eagle Enterprises will open the first third-party treatment facility in the state in Sherrodsville. The facility will treat up to 14 thousand barrels of wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations daily. About 15 people will be employed at the plant, in addition to dozens of trucking jobs for hauling the water in and out.