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FitzGerald calls for review of execution, but supports death penalty
Other headlines: Ohio law would make expulsions easier and longer; Ohio's high court upholds firing of teacher 

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Ohio law would make expulsions easier and longer
  • Ohio's high court upholds firing of teacher
  • Auto sales strong in Northeast Ohio 
  • Ice fishing blocks construction project
  • Ice formation plays role in shrinking Great Lakes
  • FitzGerald calls for review of execution, but supports death penalty
    Democratic gubernatorial contender Ed FitzGerald says he supports the death penalty and believes there are times when it is called for.

    FitzGerald was asked by reporters this morning about the death penalty following one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999. Death row inmate Dennis McGuire gasped and snorted last week as an untested drug combination was used to put him to death.

    FitzGerald says the procedure should be reviewed. He says his experience as a former prosecutor and FBI agent have shaped his views on the death penalty.

    Republican Gov. John Kasich's spokesman has said the governor supports the death penalty and the procedure is being reviewed.

    McGuire's attorney, an anti-death penalty group and several Democratic state lawmakers are urging a moratorium on executions.

    Ohio law would make expulsions easier and longer
    An Ohio lawmaker wants to make it easier for schools to expel disruptive students and keep them away for longer periods.

    The Dayton Daily News reports that a bill before the Ohio House would allow superintendents to expel students for up to 180 days instead of the current 80 days for threatening the safety of other students.

    House Bill 334 introduced by Republican Bill Hayes also stiffens punishment for students who make threats on social media or in passing to other students.

    Opponents of the measure argue that it would make it too easy to kick kids out of school for arbitrary reasons.

    Ohio's high court upholds firing of teacher
    The Ohio Supreme Court won't reconsider its decision upholding the dismissal of a public school science instructor who refused to remove religious materials from his classroom.

    The court denied John Freshwater's request for reconsideration in a split decision today. The court previously ruled the Mount Vernon district had grounds to fire Freshwater in 2011 for insubordination for keeping religious books and a poster of a praying president.

    Freshwater's attorneys argued the court wrongly interpreted his attempts to deal with what they called vague requests from administrators with flat-out insubordination.

    Three justices dissented Wednesday, saying the case could be a basis for districts to fire teachers for insignificant reasons. Their opinion says evidence against Freshwater wasn't sufficient to establish insubordination.

    Auto sales strong in Northeast Ohio
    Car sales in Ohio are reaching pre-recession levels. 

    Sales of new cars and trucks rose 10% last year over 2012, according to the Beacon Journal. Ford is the top selling brand in Northeast Ohio with Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, and Kia rounding out the top five.

    The National Automobile Dealers Association is projecting another 5 percent increase this year over 2013.

    Economists consider new vehicle sales a leading economic indicator.

    Ice fishing blocks construction project
    Ice-fisherman on Lake Erie are holding up a project to repair docks on South Bass Island.

    The Sandusky Register reports that a Coast Guard tug was prevented from breaking a channel through the ice near the Lake Erie islands because fisherman this week refused to abandon their shanties.

    The Coast Guard was supposed to clear a path for a barge from Cleveland carrying construction materials to Put-in-Bay. 

    Ice formation plays role in shrinking Great Lakes
    Scientists are reporting new findings about the relationship between evaporation, precipitation and changing water levels in the Great Lakes. 

    In a paper being released Tuesday, researchers say the role played by ice that covers sections of the lakes during cold winters is more complex than previously believed.

    Lead writer John Lenters of the Ann Arbor consulting firm LimnoTech says ice doesn't simply act as a "cap" that limits evaporation in winter. It also cools lake temperatures and helps delay the onset of evaporation later. But heavy evaporation can occur shortly before ice forms.

    The other study by the University of Wisconsin says large-scale atmospheric patterns played a role in regular ups and downs of water levels until the late 1990s, when they began a slump for reasons that aren't clear

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