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Gas well fire under control in Boston Heights
Other headlines: Portune balks again in bid for governor; $27.5 million asbestos verdict largest of its kind in Ohio

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Portune balks again in bid for governor
  • $27.5 million asbestos verdict largest of its kind in Ohio
  • OSHA fines PPG $69,000 in fatal accident 
  • Gas well fire under control in Boston Heights
    Richfield police are reporting a large natural gas fire on Hines Hill Road in a heavily wooded area of Boston Heights. 

    An explosion was reported about an hour ago.  Hines Hill road, near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is closed.

    No injuries have been reported. Fire crews are on the scene.  Valley Assistant Fire Chief Dave Morehouse says the fire is under control.

    Portune balks again in bid for governor
    A longtime Cincinnati-area officeholder has postponed his announcement whether he will continue the bid for Ohio governor that he launched less than a month ago.

    Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune was expected to announce today his decision on whether he’ll run.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Portune backed out of a noon meeting at the paper.  Portune apparently has not chosen a running mate.

    Portune said on Dec. 30 he was challenging Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald for the Democratic nomination. FitzGerald has been running for months, but Portune said he was hearing from some rank-and-file Democrats that they want a choice in the May 6 primary.

    $27.5 million asbestos verdict largest of its kind in Ohio
    A jury in Ohio has awarded a Cleveland-area man suffering from asbestos-related cancer a $27.5 million verdict.

    The man's attorney tells The Plain Dealer that it's the largest award of its kind in Ohio.

    John Panza was diagnosed in 2012 with what is usually a fatal form of lung cancer. The 40-year-old Panza got cancer after being exposed to asbestos dust on the clothes of his father, who worked at the former Eaton Airflex plant that made brakes.

    The December verdict means that the successor to the firm that made the asbestos brake pads, Mich.-based Kelsey-Hayes Co. is responsible for the $27.5 million award to Panza and his wife.

    OSHA fines PPG $69,000 in fatal accident
    OSHA is fining PPG Industries $69,000 for a fatal accident last summer at its plant in Barberton.

    Employee Wendy Breiding was killed when she became entangled in a spindle winder.

    Federal safety officials say, “It’s It’s unacceptable that PPG Industries failed to ensure adequate machine guards were in use.”

    OHSA also issued three citations against the Pittsburgh based company.   PPG employees 150 workers at its Barberton facility.

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