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Navy vets scammer faces 41 year sentence
Other headlines: Neighbor accused of killing Smithville girl; Obamacare contractor dropped by Ohio BMV 
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Neighbor accused of killing Smithville girl
  • Obamacare contractor dropped by Ohio BMV 
  • Ohio attorneys fined for failing education update
  • Stalled farm bill keeps Ohio farmers on edge
  • State doles out new education grant funds
  • New law tells motorists to move over
  • Three Columbus teens shot over shoes
  • Browns blow another fourth quarter lead
  • Navy vets scammer faces 41 year sentence 
    A mysterious figure convicted of masterminding a $100 million, cross-country Navy veterans charity fraud faces sentencing in Cleveland.

    The Ohio attorney general's office handled his trial and has asked the judge for a 41-year sentence and $6 million fine at today's sentencing.

    The defendant identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson, but authorities say he's Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody.

    The defense has asked for a new trial. His lawyer has said he may base an appeal on the issue of ineffective legal representation involving limited preparation time and the defendant's erratic cooperation.

    Thompson was convicted last month of racketeering, theft, money laundering and identity theft.

    He was charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa, Fla. He was arrested in Portland, Ore.


    Neighbor accused of killing Smithville girl
    A neighbor has been arrested in the killing of a 9-year-old Ohio girl whose body was found in a trash bin near her home.

    The Wayne County Sheriff's Office says 24-year-old Jerrod Metsker was arrested on a murder charge early Sunday afternoon.

    Metsker is scheduled to appear in court this morning on an aggravated murder charge in the death of Reann Murphy.

    The Sheriff’s office won't say how Reann Murphy was killed or offer a motive.

    She was last seen Saturday night playing outdoors at the mobile home park where she lived in Smithville.

    Deputies found her body in a trash bin Sunday, about five hours after she was reported missing.


    Obamacare contractor dropped by Ohio BMV
    The Montreal-based contractor blamed for much of the botched roll-out of Healthcare.gov has failed to deliver on a major contract in Ohio.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports that CGI Group, which helped build the federal healthcare website, did not finish work on a new software system for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

    The contract with CGI was terminated after failing to complete the nearly $12 million system intended to streamline vehicle title registration.

    The Dispatch reports Ohio BMV staff will finish the system over the next 18 to 24 months. 

    CGI is currently contracted for a dozen other projects for Ohio agencies worth more than $71 million.

    Ohio attorneys fined for failing education update
    An Ohio Supreme Court commission has sanctioned 195 attorneys for failing to meet requirements for continuing legal education.

    The court says attorneys must complete 24 hours of such coursework every two years, and judges must complete 40 hours.

    The Commission on Continuing Legal Education sanctioned the latest group of noncompliant attorneys on Friday. They'll have to fulfill the educational requirements and pay fees ranging as high as $750.

    Three dozen of them have been suspended from practicing law.


    Stalled farm bill keeps Ohio farmers on edge
    Ohio farmers are holding out hope that the recent budget compromise in Washington bodes well for a compromise on the pending farm bill.

    Leaders in the House and Senate both say they are close to a deal, but deep divisions remain between the two versions of the bill.

    With the current farm bill extended through the end of January, some of the pressure is off of lawmakers to vote on the new farm bill.

    The Youngstown Vindicator reports another measure stalled in Congress extends a tax credit for farm equipment. 

    Some Ohio farmers are hoping to use the credit to defer taxes on oil and gas revenues.


    State doles out new education grant funds
    A state legislative panel is preparing to vote on the first round of education innovation grants through Ohio's new Straight A Fund.

    The Ohio Controlling Board considers $88 million in recommended grant funding today. The fund's governing board selected the 24 finalists from among 569 applicants.

    Finalists include traditional public school districts, e-schools, museums, nonprofits and colleges.

    Gov. John Kasich launched the $250 million fund in September.

    The program aims to reward creative ideas to boost student achievement, or reduce spending.

    Critics say the grant program sends money to only a few schools while districts across the state could use additional funding for their operations.


    New law tells motorists to move over
    Ohio law now says, ‘slow down, and get over,’ when you pass construction workers. 

    The Move Over Law enacted last week requires motorists to move to an adjacent lane when approaching construction or utility workers on Ohio roads.

    The new law expands the rules of making way when approaching emergency vehicles or tow trucks to road crews, and construction workers. 


    Three Columbus teens shot over shoes
    A shoe sale gone wrong left three people wounded on a street in Columbus.

    Police say three teenage women were shot in Columbus after they met to buy and sell Air Jordan shoes.

    Police say the two sides exchanged gunfire and that three of them were hit.

    The three teens are listed in stable condition.

    Police have not yet identified the shooters.


    Browns blow another fourth quarter lead
    The Browns blew a fourth-quarter lead Sunday in a 38-31 loss to the Chicago at FirstEnergy Stadium.

    Browns safety Tashaun Gipson, had two interceptions, but was shocked by his team's fourth quarter melt down.

    The Bears score three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes

    The loss marked the Browns' fifth straight and eighth in their last nine games.

    The Browns are now 4-10 -- their sixth straight double-digit losing season -  with two games left this year.


    Ashtabula teen killed by train
    Authorities say a teenager was killed when the pickup truck he was riding in was hit by train at a northeast Ohio crossing over the weekend.

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol says the 18-year-old was killed Saturday morning when the pickup was hit by a northbound train near Ashtabula.

    Police say the slid in the snow into the path of the train.

    The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck's 20-year-old driver was hospitalized. Their names haven't been released.

    The crash is still under investigation.

    Sandusky man dies in snowmobile accident
    A 44-year-old man has killed in a weekend snowmobile accident in northern Ohio.

    The Sandusky Register reports that Gary Jenkins of Norwalk was killed late Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding struck a culvert and threw him.

    The crash is under investigation.

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