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Trial set for Stuebenville ex-school worker in rape case
Other morning headlines: Train derails in central Ohio; Ohio officials remind residents about heating help 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Trial set for Stuebenville ex-school worker in rape case
  • Train derails in central Ohio
  • Ohio officials remind residents about heating help
  • Prisoner advocates protest on Christmas in Ohio  
  • Rep: Ohio 'clean energy' plan a grassroots idea
  • Crashes block part of snowy I-90 east of Cleveland 

  •  
    Trial set for Stuebenville ex-school worker in rape case
    The former Stuebenville district technology director faces a late February trial on charges alleging he misled investigators looking into the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players. William Rhinaman, of Mingo Junction, has pleaded not guilty to evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. The Ohio Attorney General's Office, which is prosecuting the case, says a final pre-trial hearing is set for Jan. 28 with a tentative trial on Feb. 24. Rhinaman was indicted earlier this year by a grand jury looking into whether other crimes were broken in the rape of the West Virginia girl in August 2012. In March, a judge convicted two Steubenville football players of raping the girl after an alcohol-fueled party.

    Train derails in central Ohio; speed not a factor
    A railroad official tells the Chillicothe Gazette that a train was traveling below the speed limit when part of it derailed in central Ohio. Norfolk Southern Corp. officials say 11 cars jumped the tracks shortly before midnight Monday in Chillicothe, about 45 minutes south of Columbus. No injuries were reported. Norfolk Southern division supervisor Gary Shepard says speed wasn't a factor in the derailment. He says other possible causes or factors under consideration include a wheel that will be sent away for testing. Crews worked Tuesday to get the cars back on the rails. They expected to have the track fixed by early Thursday. The southbound train was carrying coal. No other trains were delayed by the derailment. Norfolk Southern Corp. provides transportation to every major Eastern seaport. It's based in Norfolk, Va.

    Ohio officials remind residents about heating help
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials are reminding residents that heating assistance is available again this winter for those threatened with disconnection or whose service has been disconnected. The Ohio Development Services Agency administers the Winter Crisis Program, which assists qualified Ohioans with winter heating costs. The program also provides assistance to people if their tank contains 25 percent or less of its capacity of bulk fuel. Eligibility for the program depends on the total gross household income. That annual income must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which about $41,213 for a family of four. Those interested in the help must have a face-to-face interview with a Winter Crisis Program provider.

    Prisoner advocates protest on Christmas in Ohio
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group of Ohio prisoner advocates and the friends and family of longtime inmates are planning a Christmas day protest. The group, known as the Universal Support Network, says about 10 to 20 people plan to sacrifice much of their holiday for a two-hour protest in front of the Ohio Parole Board's building in downtown Columbus. The Cincinnati-based group is condemning the imprisonment of what they say is 3,500 inmates sentenced before a 1996 law changed sentencing guidelines. The legislation called for flat prison sentences of definite amounts, such as a 10-year sentence, as opposed to sometimes-broad ranges under the old law, such as a three-to-15-year sentence. The Universal Support Network is condemning the parole board for not releasing more so-called "old-law" inmates. A parole board spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment.

    Rep: Ohio 'clean energy' plan a grassroots idea 
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A strategist for a mysterious clean-energy initiative headed toward Ohio's 2014 ballot says it's a one-of-a-kind nonpartisan measure driven by a group of concerned Ohio citizens. If approved, the Ohio Clean Energy Initiative would require $1.3 billion in annual investments over a decade in infrastructure, research and development related to solar, wind and other energy sources. A private entity called Ohio Energy Initiative Commission, a private Delaware corporation, would pick eligible projects. Media strategist German Trejo told The Associated Press the commission's corporate structure makes it free of political influence. The corporation would receive $65 million a year in operational expenses under the ballot proposition. Trejo declined to name those involved in the corporation. He said the campaign involves no big energy interests, billionaires, or offshore entities.

    Crashes block part of snowy I-90 east of Cleveland 
    PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have reopened eastbound Interstate 90 east of Cleveland, which was blocked for miles after a series of crashes involving up to 40 vehicles during snow squalls. The crashes began before noon Tuesday and closed an 11-mile stretch of I-90 near the city of Painesville, about 30 miles east of downtown Cleveland. Troopers say snow and ice were making driving conditions hazardous in that area of Lake County. A few injuries were reported, but none was serious. A State Highway Patrol dispatcher says the traffic flow resumed by dinnertime. Interstate 90 links Cleveland with Erie, Pa., and Buffalo, N.Y.

     

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