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Ohio


ACLU calls on Kasich to suspend Ohio's 'botched' executions
Other morning headlines: flu, home-heating shortage, business filings, ice beaking, vouchers, MLK Day activity, Alzheimer's, Vellourec, cleaner air, cold cases, deer culling
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
The ACLU and other death penalty critics are ratcheting up pressure on Gov. Kasich to suspend executions.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
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In The Region:
  • Flu outbreak statewide
  • Ohio governor tries to speed up home heating delivery
  • Business filings climb in Ohio
  • Ice breaking and ice fishing conflict
  • Ohio lawmakers keep expanding vouchers that often go unused
  • Volunteering on MLK Day
  • Cleveland Clinic IDs a proteins role in Alzheimer's
  • Unionizing efforts at Vellourec Star
  • Ohio EPA says air is clearer in Summit, but no Cuyahoga, Stark
  • Cold case goes to trial
  • Shooting deer in Metroparks resumes


  • Call on Kasich to suspend executions
    The American Civil Liberties Union is asking Gov. John Kasich to suspend all executions in the state of Ohio.

    The ACLU’s letter Sunday to Kasich follows the execution of Dennis McGuire last week that took about 25 minutes under a new combination of drugs never before used in the United States. Witnesses – including reporters who have witnessed dozens of executions -- say the drugs may have caused McGuire to gasp for air for more than 20 minutes.

    The ACLU characterizes McGuire’s execution as “the fourth botched execution in the last 10 years.”

    Ohio plans to execute five more men this year.

    Flu outbreak statewide
    The Ohio Department of Health says the state is in the middle of a widespread flu outbreak, with cases showing up in more than half of the state’s 88 counties.  The H1N1 strain is predominant, and the state says people ages 50 to 59 are being hospitalized the most.

    The state says the flu season has not yet reached its peak, but there’s no shortage of either flu vaccines and treatment drugs.

    Ohio governor tries to speed up home heating delivery
    Gov. John Kasich hopes to expedite the delivery of oil and propane to homes that may be facing a shortage. Kasich issued an emergency declaration Saturday that allows tanker drivers to drive more consecutive hours in order to deliver propane gas and heating oil.

    Kasich says his administration is also working with county officials to look out for people whose supplies might be getting low.

    The state is heading for another cold snap, with temperatures dropping to about 10 degrees tonight and only getting into the low teens tomorrow. Two weeks ago, temperatures dropped well below zero, breaking some records that had stood for more than 130 years.

    Business filings climb in Ohio
    The Ohio secretary of state says new business filings increased in 2013 for the fourth straight year.

    Secretary of State Jon Husted says his office received more than 89,700 new business filings last year. The record high before was 88,068 in 2012.

    The filings include for-profit, nonprofit and professional corporations, and some partnerships. Husted's statement says the filings indicate something about the economy, but do not ensure a business will start operating or create jobs.

    More than 3,500 filings have been submitted via a new email filing system.

    Ice breaking and ice fishing conflict
    According to the Cleveland Leader, the U.S. Coast Guard is permitting a commercial ice-breaking operation around the Bass Islands today. It’s a move ice fishermen fear could put them in danger.

    The icebreaker could affect some of the most popular ice fishing areas of Lake Erie.

    The Coast Guard will broadcast warnings about the ice breaking every three hours on a marine radio channel.

    Ohio lawmakers keep expanding vouchers that often go unused
    Ohio repeatedly has expanded vouchers to pay for private education, but the demand for the vouchers is far below the supply.

    Ohio has 60,000 vouchers available for students in poor-performing public school districts. Less than a third of them have been used, according to an analysis by Gannett newspapers.  In June, he Legislature created 2,000 new vouchers for low-income kindergartners everywhere in the state. The report says lightly more than half of those were claimed.

    Kaleigh Frazier of the School Choice Ohiosays the problem is parents don’t know about the vouchers.

    Volunteering on MLK Day
    City Year is mobilizing thousands of volunteers nationwide for a Day of Service to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in Cleveland, that includes painting murals and refurbishing the FDR Academy. Community leaders, including Cuyahoga County executive and gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald, will be participating.

    Cleveland Clinic IDs a proteins role in Alzheimer's
    Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have identified a protein in the brain linked to the memory loss in Alzheimer's patients.

    That’s according to a new study published in  Nature Neuroscience. The protein – Neuroligin-1 (NLGN1) – involved in memory formation, but this is the first time it’s been tied memory loss.

    The proteins accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, causing inflammation, modifies genes and interrupts brain functions. 

    Unionizing efforts at Vellourec Star
    Voting begins tomorrow and continues through Thursday on whether workers at the old and new steel mills of Vellourec Star in Youngstown should unionize. The French company has built and upgraded in pipe plants in the area to the tune of some $700 million. It also implemented a two-tier pay system and froze pensions for existing employees – eliminating them altogether for new employees -- when it took over the steel operations.

    Ohio EPA says air is clearer in Summit, but no Cuyahoga, Stark

    The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says Summit, Portage and Medina counties now meet federal standards for emissions of soot from coal-powered plants, cars and trucks, and factories.

    But the EPA says Cuyahoga and Stark counties still fall short on the soot standards.

    The federal EPA will decide in August if it agrees.  According to the Beacon Journal, the formal declaration that the air is cleaner means fewer restrictions on businesses.  

    Ohio’s new measurement of soot means that only five counties – including Cuyahoga and Stark -- would still be out of attainment when it comes to the federal standards. That compares to all or parts of 27 counties now.

    Soot contributes to smog and acid rain, and causes breathing and other health problems.

    Cold case goes to trial
    A 20-year-old case built on testing old DNA is to go to trial tomorrow in Cuyahoga County.

    Charles Steele is accused of abducting and raping four women back in 1993 and 1994.  He’s now 60 and in prison for separate rape and kidnapping charges in Hamilton County. He was charged here after Cuyahoga County’s prosecutor got confirmation from Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation that DNA samples from old rape kits matched that of Steele. The case is part of a statewide effort to test old kits to try to solve cold cases.

    Shooting deer in Metroparks resumes
    Cleveland Metroparks starts culling dear again tomorrow in nine of its parks. It the largest sharpshooting program in Northeast Ohio, and has drawn criticism from animal advocates since it started in 1998. Defenders say it is needed because natural predators of deer are no longer around to keep the deer population under control.

    According to Cleveland.com, the highest concentrations of the deer are likely to be in the West Creek Reservation.

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