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Ohio judge sentences Navy charity swindler to 28 years in prison
Other noon headlines: EPA backs off hydrant rules, Alcoa's big order for Cleveland, rebuilt plant in Canton

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Bobby Thompson appeared disheveled and bizarre during the final days of his trial.
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In The Region:
  • Navy charity swindler gets a 28-year-sentence
  • Alcoa's Cleveland plant gets a big order from Airbus
  • EPA gets pressure from locals/Congress and backs off hydrant rules
  • Canton plant damaged in explosion will be rebuilt/expanded
  • LISTEN: Fire hydrant battle

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    Navy charity swindler gets a 28-year-sentence
    The swindler and big-time political contributor known as Bobby Thompson has been sentenced to 28 years in prison by a Cuyahoga County judge.

    Thompson is the identity stolen by John Donald Cody, who established the U.S. Navy Veterans Association in Tampa, Fla. He solicited donations in 41 states, including Ohio from 2002 until he disappeared in 2010. And he made political donations, primarily to Republican candidates over the years.

    Ohio authorities started looking into the fraud after the St. Petersburg Times raised questions about the fundraising and spending, and Cody was tracked down by U.S. Marshals and found with nearly a million dollars in cash in a storage locker. Thompson’s bizarre behavior during his trial is likely to lead to an appeal of his conviction on charges of racketeering, theft, identity theft and money laundering.

    Alcoa's Cleveland plant gets a big order from Airbus
    Alcoa has signed a $110 million deal with aircraft maker Airbus to supply titanium and aluminum aerospace forgings, and plans to use a recently upgraded press in Cleveland to supply the orders.

    According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, the press can produce the world's “largest and most complex titanium, nickel, steel and aluminum forgings.” The forgings will be used to connect the wings to the engine for Airbus’s fuel-efficient single-aisle jet.

    EPA gets pressure from locals/Congress and backs off hydrant rules
    A U.S. EPA rule change affecting firefighting across the country came as a potentially costly year-end surprise for many cities and towns. The tab for Ohio’s bigger metros would be six figures.  But, WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports that strong community pushback is getting serious consideration in Washington and is forcing the EPA to reconsider.

    LISTEN: Fire hydrant battle

    Other options:
    Windows Media / MP3 Download

    It took a fire hydrant to draw Congress to bipartisan action. And it spurred unanimous action in the House, on a bill backing off the EPA.  Passage of a similar measure is expected in the Senate. 

    Since 2011 the EPA has been phasing in rules for safer drinking water, including phasing out brass plumbing with lead content.  But, it wasn’t until this October that the agency added hydrants to the list.  After January 4th communities be barred even from using up existing inventories of replacement hydrants .  George Loesch (LESH) of Akron Water:

    “In a normal year, Akron replaces about 40 hydrants due to automobile knock-offs, or for maintenance.  And in addition to that we install about 35 hydrants as part of new construction activities and water main replacements. “

    Hydrants cost about $1,200.  Explaining its new rule, the EPA said people might drink from hydrants left open.  Sponsors of the bill booting the rule called it silly and an unnecessary cost burden. 

    Canton plant damaged in explosion will be rebuilt/expanded
    HydroDec Group plans to repair and expand the re-refining plant in Canton that was severely damaged in an explosion and fire earlier this month. The plans will add half-again the space to the plant and the work should be done next year. 

    HydroDec says the facility is safe now, and that it’s working with insurance investigators on its claim. Shares of the London-based company rose 2.3 percent this morning on the news. 

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