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Mansfield schools moved to fiscal emergency
Other headlines: Copper thieves ordered to repay utilities; 2013 safest year ever for Ohio roads
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Copper thieves ordered to repay utilities
  • 2013 Safest year ever for Ohio roads
  • Mayor and councilman get physical in Akron
  • Four years and waiting after Fair Finance collapse
  • Heinz brings 275 jobs to Ohio
  • Former police officer pleads guilty to child porn 
  • Kasich maps 2014 strategy with business leaders and lawmakers
  • Farm worker dies in Ashtabula accident 
  • Mansfield schools moved to fiscal emergency
    A school district and two villages have been added to the state list of governments and schools in fiscal trouble.

    State Auditor Dave Yost on Tuesday named Mansfield City Schools and the village of Edgerton west of Toledo in fiscal emergency. In Southwest Ohio the village of Bloomingburg was placed in a state of fiscal caution.

    It’s an unusual for that number of entities to be flagged in a single week.

    The designation may allow the state to intervene to help the district and villages.

    Mansfield’s schools had been under fiscal watch since 2006.

    The additions bring the total to eight school districts and 21 Ohio municipalities in fiscal emergency.


    Copper thieves ordered to repay utilities
    Five men who pleaded guilty who sold stolen copper for $15,000 will have to pay more than $240,000 to have it replaced.

    The copper was taken from two dozen substations in Northeast Ohio owned by either FirstEnergy or Cleveland Public Power

    The U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland says the five received prison terms range from 15 months to more than four years. A sixth defendant in the theft ring was given two years of supervised release. The seventh man will be sentenced next year.

    Prosecutors say the thefts created a risk of blackouts and threatened the safety of utility workers who maintain power stations.

    The defendants have been ordered to pay First Energy Corp. a total of more than $242,000 for emergency repairs made after the thefts, which occurred between January and May.


    Safest year ever for Ohio roads
    The Ohio Dept. of Transportation reports that if the trend continues, 2013 could be the safest year for Ohio drivers since record-keeping began in 1936.

    So far this year, 945 people have died on Ohio roadways.

    ODOT director Jerry Wray says roads are safer today because, “roadway engineering is getting better, vehicle engineering is getting better and law enforcement is getting better.”   

    The most fatal year on Ohio’s roadways was 1969 when 2,778 people died.


    Mayor and councilman get physical in Akron
    It’s not clear who started it, but both the Mayor and an Akron councilman are still pointing fingers at each other after a physical altercation Monday.

    The Akron Beacon Journal reports things got pretty tense between Mayor Don Plusquellic and Councilman Russel Neal following a swearing-in ceremony. 

    Council President Garry Monneypenny and several other officials were forced to step-in and keep the shoving match from escalating.

    The two were reportedly arguing about committee assignments.

    Monneypenney tells the Beacon Journal he’s trying to arrange a private meeting between Plusquellic and Neal to clear the air.

    A police report has not been filed.


    Four years and waiting after Fair Finance collapse 
    Four years after the collapse of an Akron-based investment firm, trustees in the case say defrauded investors may never get their money back.

    The FBI raided Fair Finance in November of 2009.  Owners Timothy Durham and James Cochran were convicted last year for stealing more than $200 million in investments.

    At the monthly meeting in U.S. Bankruptcy Court this week, trustee Brian Bash reported that $6.6 million has been recovered, but none of it has reached defrauded investors, according to the Beacon Journal.


    Heinz brings 275 jobs to Ohio
    Ohio Gov. John Kasich has approved deals for 11 companies investing in Ohio at this week’s meeting of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.

    The deals were put together by the governor’s private job creation authority JobsOhio.

    Two companies promise to bring 575 jobs to the region.

    Heinz is adding 275 positions to its facilities in Massillon and Fremont and will get a nine-year, 65% tax credit.

    In Youngstown, Network Solutions Providers is adding 300 jobs, with a six-year, 60 percent credit.

    The governor’s office says the two companies will add $18 million in payroll and $46 million in new investments.


    Former police officer pleads guilty to child porn
    A former Columbus police officer has pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography.

    Investigators say they uncovered thousands of images and hundreds of videos on two external hard drives owned by former officer Stewart Miller.

    Miller acknowledged an interest in child pornography in a letter obtained by investigators and acknowledged he has an addiction.

    The 48-year-old Miller pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Columbus.

    He faces up to 20 years in prison.


    Kasich maps 2014 strategy with business leaders and lawmakers
    Gov. John Kasich is scheduled to join Ohio legislative leaders to look back on the year and to discuss priorities for 2014.

    Kasich will deliver remarks today to a gathering of statewide business and Chamber of Commerce officials, an event traditionally held before reporters.  Kasich faces re-election next year.

    He'll be joined by Ohio Senate President Keith Faber and Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder.

    They are fellow Republicans who, with Kasich, passed a two-year state budget that included an estimated $2.7 billion in overall tax cuts to Ohioans over three years. It also included a sales tax increase and additional restrictions on abortion.

    Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, the administration's leading critic of the federal health care overhaul, also will participate.


    Farm worker dies in Ashtabula accident
    A farm worker who died over the weekend in Ashtabula County has been identified.

    The Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office says 41-year-old Santos Medina de Jesus drowned in a manure storage lagoon on a dairy farm in Dorset Township Saturday.

    He was pinned by his overturned tractor for 30 minutes before he was discovered. 

    De Jesus was in charge of removing manure from a barn and pushing it into the lagoon.

     

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