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Hiram College names its first female president
Other headlines: Lawmakers test silencers with gun lobby; Ohio high court grants stay for death row inmate

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Lawmakers test silencers with gun lobby
  • Ohio high court grants stay for death row inmate
  • Cruze sales keeps cruising despite winter blast 
  • Half of backlogged evidence kits tested for DNA
  • Ohio high court grants stay for death row inmate
    The Ohio Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution for an Akron man who was sentenced to die next month. 31 year-old Dawud El Spaulding was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and another man two years ago during a day-long shooting spree. 

    In an appeal of his death sentence, Spaulding argued his attorneys failed to give him a proper defense.  He also said the trial should not have allowed testimony about prior convictions. Spaulding had been convicted of domestic abuse and one victim, Erica Singleton, had a civil protection order against him. 

    Lawmakers test silencers with gun lobby
    Supporters of allowing Ohio hunters to use firearms silencers have given state lawmakers a hands-on look at the devices.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports the Buckeye Firearms Association hosted lawmakers at a Shooting Center where they fired silenced and unsilenced pistols and rifles.

    Backers of a bill allowing suppressors say they protect hunters' hearing and reduce disruptions to neighbors.

    Opponents say quieter weapons are less safe and easier to use illegally.

    According to U.S. Justice Department data, in April 2013, Ohio had nearly 25,400 registered silencers, ranking fourth behind Florida, Georgia and Texas. 

    Hiram names first female president
    Hiram College has named a woman as its president for the first time in 164 years.

    The private college in Portage County today announced that senior vice president of California State University, Sacramento Lori Varlotta will become its 22nd president.

    Varlotta succeeds Tom Chema who is retiring after 11 years as head of Hiram.

    She begins her term in August.

    Cruze sales keeps cruising despite winter blast  
    While General Motors' overall sales fell last month, the Ohio-built Chevrolet Cruze had its best January ever.

    GM reported Monday that January sales of the Cruze — assembled in Lordstown — were up 16 percent over the same period last year.

    Overall, GM sales were down 12 percent last month. The other two top-selling U.S. companies, Ford and Toyota, also saw their sales drop with the temperatures in January.

    Half of backlogged evidence kits tested for DNA
    The Ohio Attorney General's Office says it has received 5,523 previously untested rape kits as it searches for DNA matches that could help solve sexual assaults.

    The office said Tuesday it has completed testing of nearly half of them, leading to 886 hits in the state's DNA database. The new kits came from 121 law enforcement agencies in the state.

    Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the testing initiative in December 2011. The office offered DNA testing to any law enforcement agency with untested rape kits in which a crime was believed to have been committed. Many of the kits submitted for testing are between 10 and 20 years old.  

    In Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio, prosecutors and investigators have generated 76 indictments as a result of the testing initiative.

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