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Proposal would excuse high school seniors from make-up days
Other morning headlines: Kent State wrestler suspended after homophobic tweets; Government sues AT&T after 13 Ohio workers suspended
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Proposal would excuse high school seniors from make-up days
  • Kent State wrestler suspended after homophobic tweets
  • Gay couples seek marriage recognition on birth certificates
  • Government sues AT&T after 13 Ohio workers suspended
  • Legislative committee to vote on election proposals
  • Cleveland lawmakers propose airport expansion commission
  • Greater Cleveland RTA forms partnership with other NEO transit agencies
  • Fairlawn-based Veyance Technologies sold to German company
  • New bill to ban electric carmaker Tesla's business model in Ohio
  • Toledo is snowiest city in Ohio
  • Proposal would excuse high school seniors from make-up days
    An Ohio proposal would let high school seniors be excused from certain school days their district must make up because of weather-related closures. Under the Senate bill, districts could let seniors skip the make-up days if they are slated to occur after their scheduled graduation ceremonies. The bill, which was introduced last week, would only apply to the current school year. Many schools have exhausted their five allowable days off for snow or bad weather, meaning they have to extend the school year with makeup days. Governor John Kasich has advocated for adding extra calamity days on a one-time basis because of this season's severe weather. A House proposal would let school districts take up to four additional weather-related days off this year. It's cleared a House panel.

    Kent State wrestler suspended after homophobic tweets

    A Kent State University wrestler has been suspended following a series of homophobic tweets posted to his social media account.  Sophomore Sam Wheeler’s tweets Monday included a gay slur about Missouri football player Michael Sam, who came out Sunday on ESPN. The tweets were captured in a photo posted to the gay website Outrage. The Beacon Journal reports Wheeler is suspended indefinitely. He had an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships last year.

    Gay couples seek marriage recognition on birth certificates
    Four married gay couples have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking to force Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates. The lawsuit was filed Monday by the same attorneys who won a federal court ruling in December that ordered Ohio to recognize gay marriage on death certificates. That ruling is being appealed. The plaintiffs in the new lawsuit include three lesbian couples living in the Cincinnati area who were recently married in states that have legalized gay marriage. One woman in each of those marriages is pregnant through artificial insemination, and their babies all are due to be born this summer in Cincinnati hospitals.

    Government sues AT&T after 13 Ohio workers suspended
    The government has sued AT&T over allegations that it suspended 13 Ohio workers without pay for one to three days for reporting work-related injuries. The U.S. Labor Department says the lawsuit filed Monday against Ohio Bell Telephone Co., doing business as AT&T, asks a federal judge in Cleveland to halt the alleged practice and award the workers back pay. Five disciplined employees are based in Columbus. Others are in Brooklyn Heights near Cleveland, Canton, Akron, Cleveland and Uhrichsville in Tuscarawas County.  A spokesman says AT&T is committed to following employment laws and believes the lawsuit has no merit.

    Legislative committee to vote on election proposals
    An Ohio legislative committee plans to vote on two election-related proposals that would affect early voting. One bill would eliminate the chance for residents to both register to vote and cast an early ballot on the same day. Without that so-called golden week, early voting would start the first day after voter registration ends. That's typically 29 days before Election Day. The early-voting period currently begins 35 days before Election Day. Another bill would set rules for mailing unsolicited absentee ballot applications. Ohioans can cast an absentee ballot by mail or in person without giving any reason. A House panel is scheduled to consider the proposals this afternoon. If approved, the full House could vote as soon as Wednesday. Both bills have passed the Senate.

    Cleveland lawmakers propose airport expansion commission
    Two Cleveland-area lawmakers want the state to establish a commission that would work to expand commercial flights to Ohio’s airports. Democratic State Representatives John Barnes and Bill Patmon say the commission would include three members each from the state Senate and House and a representative or appointee from every commercial airline and air cargo carrier that operates flights in the state. But the Cincinnati Enquirer reports the legislation lacks details about how the commission would function and achieve its goals. The bill also has not been co-sponsored since it hit the House floor January 21st. It’s been nearly two weeks since United Airlines announced it’s eliminating its Cleveland Hopkins hub.

    Greater Cleveland RTA forms partnership with other NEO transit agencies
    Northeast Ohio transit agencies are forming a partnership to make it easier and cheaper to transfer between services. The Greater Cleveland RTA has joined with the Portage and Stark area RTA’s and Akron METRO. People in the RTA system will be able to ride on any partner agency at no charge. On the return trip, customers transferring to those agencies will get a credit in the amount of the RTA fare paid.

    Fairlawn-based Veyance Technologies sold to German company
    Fairlawn-based Veyance Technologies has been sold to a German automotive giant. Continental Corporation has purchased Veyance for nearly $2 billion. Veyance is a spinoff of Goodyear that makes conveyor belts and other rubber-engineered products. It employs 9,000 people at 27 plants worldwide and hundreds in the Akron area. Continental has not said whether there will be any changes as a result of the acquisition.

    New bill to ban electric carmaker Tesla's business model in Ohio
    There’s a new push to keep Tesla Motors’ company-owned dealerships out of Ohio. A new Senate bill would essentially ban Tesla’s model of doing business. Lawmakers, along with The Ohio Automobile Dealers, argue the electric carmaker’s direct-sale model is a threat to independently owned franchises—which includes nearly all dealerships in Ohio. An attempt to insert similar legislation into an unrelated bill back in December failed. Tesla opened a dealership near Columbus late last year. The company sells high-end electric cars online and through company owned dealerships. The new proposal would allow those existing dealers to remain open.

    Toledo is snowiest city in Ohio
    Cleveland and northeastern Ohio have the reputation of being the state's snowiest section but Toledo this year is the state's snowiest, making the top ten cities nationally for snowfall. Erie, Pennsylvania is the runaway leader so far this winter with more than 107 inches.

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