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Chemical spill forces 400 families from their homes
Other headlines: Steubenville schools place indicted employees on leave; Slight improvements seen in regional unemployment rates
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Steubenville schools place indicted employees on leave
  • Slight improvements seen in regional unemployment rates
  • Judge considers reduced sentence for mercy killer
  • Lorain County man sued for spamming
  • One-year anniversary of deadly police chase could bring lawsuits
  • Appeals court rules in favor of fracking waste company
  • Amish girl and family skip court ordered chemotherapy
  • Mount Vernon teacher asks high court to reconsider dismissal decision
  • 'Superhuman' is Browns back-up quarterback 
  • Chemical spill forces 400 families from their homes
    Authorities in a small Northern Ohio city say residents may be kept out of their home until tomorrow after an overnight chemical spill.

    Around 400 homes in Willard, Ohio were evacuated last night when a hole was discovered in a railcar storing the highly flammable and toxic chemical styrene.

    Cleanup workers from CSX are on the scene now in the city south of Sandusky.

    Officials say the evacuation order will remain in place for most of today, and it’s possible it may remain in effect until tonight or even tomorrow

    The hole in the railcar has been sealed, but it’s not known what caused the leak of the chemical.

     

    Slight improvements seen in regional unemployment rates
    The unemployment rate in Ohio, at 7.5 percent, is higher than the national average, but figures released Tuesday show signs of improvement in the local job market.

    The unemployment rates in Summit County and its two largest cities fell slightly in October.

    Summit County’s unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, down from 7 percent in September, but up from 6 percent a year ago.

    Akron’s unemployment rate went down a fraction to 7.5 percent, Cuyahoga Falls is at down slightly at 6.2 percent.

    Cuyahoga County’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.9 percent.

    Unemployment rates declined in 74 of Ohio’s 88 counties last month, but are still higher now than a year ago.


    Steubenville schools place indicted employees on leave
    An Ohio school district has placed its superintendent and two other employees on leave after they were charged following an investigation prompted by the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players.

    The Steubenville school board did not address the allegations against the employees and referred all questions to the state attorney general, who is leading the investigation.

    The board announced Tuesday the employees were placed on leave at an emergency board meeting. A former superintendent was also tapped to lead the district temporarily.

    The employees were charged with lying or failing to report possible child abuse after an investigation prompted by the rape of the West Virginia girl.


    Judge considers reduced sentence for mercy killer
    An Ohio judge says she will consider a lighter sentence for a man facing up to a life term for fatally shooting his ailing wife in her hospital bed.

    Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands in Akron told attorneys for both sides Tuesday that the sentence for 68-year-old John Wise of Massillon must fit within legal limits.

    The prosecutor said earlier that the unique circumstances warranted a lesser sentence for Wise than a mandatory 20 years to life for aggravated murder.

    Instead Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh suggested that Wise be sentenced on the lesser crime of manslaughter and get a six-year term.

    The defense welcomed the leniency offer. No sentencing date was set.

     

    Lorain County man sued for spamming
    The Ohio Attorney General's office is suing a man accused of texting thousands of unwanted sales messages to people, including many on the National Do Not Call registry.

    The lawsuit alleges that Darren Sizemore used an automated dialing system to send the unsolicited text messages to consumers across the country in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

    The lawsuit filed in Lorain County court Tuesday also alleges that Sizemore directed individuals to websites to claim prizes or obtain free or discounted services.

    Sizemore is accused of misleading consumers about the prizes and the conditions needed to win them.

    Attorney General Mike DeWine is seeking unspecific damages and an order directing Sizemore to stop sending the texts.

     

    One-year anniversary of deadly police chase could bring lawsuits
    This week marks the one-year anniversary of a massive Cleveland police chase that ended in the death of two unarmed suspects.

    An internal review of the incident resulted in the firing of a police supervisor and a dozen supervisors disciplined, plus demotions and suspensions.

    Now WOIO-TV is reporting that federal lawsuits could soon be filed by the families of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell.  They were killed by police who fired 137 shots following a lengthy chase November 29, 2012.

    A Cuyahoga county grand jury is still considering whether any criminal charges should be filed against officers.

     

    Appeals court rules in favor of fracking waste company
    A federal appeals court has ruled that the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources did not provide all of the public records requested in case over fracking waste.

    Yesterday’s opinion ordered the agency to provide the city of Warren and Patriot Water Treatment all of the remaining documents, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

    The city and the waste treatment company successfully appealed a ruling by the Ohio EPA that prevented Patriot from sending recycled fracking waste from Utica and Marcellus shale wells in Ohio and Pennsylvania to Warren’s sewage-treatment plant.

    Patriot and Warren continue to operate, dumping the treated waste in the Mahoning River.


    Amish girl and family skip court ordered chemotherapy
    A 10-year-old Ohio Amish girl with leukemia and her parents seem to have disappeared from home amid their legal fight with a hospital over whether she should restart chemotherapy treatments that the family decided to end.

    The Medina Gazette reports Sarah Hershberger and her parents weren't at at their Homer Township home during an Oct. 30 welfare check.  Authorities haven't seen them since summer.

    Last month, a court decided a registered nurse would have power to make medical decisions for the girl. That guardian's attorney says he isn't sure where the family is.

    Doctors have said Sarah will die without chemotherapy.

    Her parents say they stopped the treatments because the effects were terrible and opted for "natural" medicines. The Amish generally shun modern life.

    Mount Vernon teacher asks high court to reconsider dismissal decision
    A public school science instructor who refused to remove religious materials from his classroom is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider its decision upholding his dismissal.

    Attorneys for John Freshwater say the court wrongly interpreted his attempts to deal with what they call vague requests from administrators with flat-out insubordination.

    The attorneys asked the court Tuesday to reconsider its decision to address what they call erroneous conclusions.

    A divided court ruled last week the Mount Vernon school district had grounds to fire Freshwater in 2011 for insubordination for keeping religious books and a poster of a praying president.

    The court also concluded the district infringed on Freshwater's First Amendment rights by ordering the removal of his personal Bible from his desk.

     

    'Superhuman' is Browns back-up quarterback 
    The Cleveland Browns have signed internet sensation Alex Tanney as backup quarterback. 

    Tanney is known for his uncanny accuracy with the football, appearing on the History Channel’s Superhumans series, and viral You Tube videos that show him hitting targets with pinpoint precision.

    The Browns snagged Tanney from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad yesterday.  He’s likely to be Brandon Weeden’s backup Sunday when the Browns host the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Browns also claimed tight end Andre Smith off waivers from the Cowboys.

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