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State will audit United Airlines deal after hub closure
Other headlines: Yost investigates charter schools; High court allows AEP to keep $358 million in improper fees 
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Yost investigates charter schools
  • High court allows AEP to keep $358 million in improper fees 
  • Lorain Olympian finishes 33rd in speed skating final 
  • State will audit United Airlines deal after hub closure
    The Ohio Attorney General's Office says an independent auditor will investigate whether United Airlines adhered to a 2010 agreement about keeping certain flights at Cleveland's main airport.

    United is dropping its money-losing hub at Cleveland Hopkins Airport and cutting 60 percent of its departures there. That's expected to cost 470 jobs.

    The state wants United to reconsider its decision.

    The loss had been feared since United merged with Continental in 2010.

    A deal struck with the attorney general's office required that the merged airline maintain an average of about 160 flights daily for two years.

    The attorney general's office says an auditor will determine whether United met those terms.


    Yost investigates charter schools
    The state auditor is investigating three sponsors of Ohio charter schools following a string of failed schools.

    Auditor Dave Yost says he also will audit the Ohio Department of Education and review its charter process.

    The investigation comes after the Columbus Dispatch reported that nearly a third of Ohio's charter schools have failed since 1997.  And that nine of those that closed in 2013 cost taxpayers at least $1.6 million.

    Charter schools operate with state money, which allows the auditor to investigate sponsors.

    Charter sponsors keep up to 3 percent of the $780 million in state education funding that flows to charter schools annually.


    High court allows AEP to keep $358 million in improper fees 
    The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that an Ohio utility does not need to refund customers more than $360 million in improper charges.

    The decision stems from a rate hike approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in 2009 for energy provider American Electric Power.

    Two years later consumer activists successfully sued the PUCO which removed the added charge. 

    But the high court ruled yesterday that Ohio law does not require AEP to repay customers for the improper fee and it can keep the $368 million it collected.

    In his dissent Justice Paul E. Pfeifer wrote that “The ratepayers of Ohio deserve better.”


    Lorain Olympian finishes 33rd in speed skating final 
    One Northeast Ohio athlete’s Olympic hopes came up short today.

    Lorain native Kelly Gunther finished 33rd out of 35 in the women’s 1,000 meter speed skating event in Sochi, Russia.

    China's Hong Zhang was the surprise winner.

     

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