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Latest snowfall cancels classes, knocks out power and snarls traffic
Other morning headlines: Duke Energy to get out of midwest power plant business; Ashland slavery case heads to trial
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Download (WKSU Only)
  • Latest snowfall cancels classes, knocks out power and snarls traffic
  • Ashland slavery case heads to trial
  • Duke Energy to get out of midwest power plant business
  • Youngstown State president accepts new job
  • Committee vote expected on provisional ballot bill
  • Ohio gas prices up
  • Cleveland mayor to present budget to council
  • Ben Venue labs issues recall
  • New nonstop flights coming to Cleveland
  • FirstMerit closing multiple branches
  • Bill would tighten restrictions on group homes
  • Latest snowfall cancels classes, knocks out power and snarls traffic
    Northeast Ohio is under a winter weather advisory through 10 a.m. Kent State University main campus is closed until noon with only essential employees to report before noon. Kent’s Tuscarawas, Salem and Trumbull campuses have cancelled morning classes, along with Cleveland State University and Tri-C. Nearly 4,000 First Energy customers are without power this morning after last night’s big snowfall. The majority of those are in Summit and Cuyahoga counties. Just over 150 American Electric Power customers are in the dark in Stark County.The snowfall will taper off as warming temperatures and the possibility of rain later this week threaten a new round of problems with potential flooding. Temperatures are forecast near 50 degrees by Thursday. The National Weather Service says the combination of melting snow and more rain could cause significant flooding in some places.

    Ashland slavery case headed to trial 
    Two Ashland residents are headed to trial on charges of enslaving a mentally disabled woman for two years with her child. The trial of 27-year-old Jordie Callahan and 32-year-old Jessica Hunt is scheduled to begin today with jury selection in Youngstown federal court. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty and face sentencing in March. Authorities say the victim was treated with cruelty and was forced to do housework under the threat to her and her child from a python or pit bulls. The defendants allegedly looted her bank account and public assistance. The case out of Ashland was broken when the victim apparently shoplifted a candy bar to draw attention to herself and appeal for help.

    Duke Energy to get out of midwest power plant business
    Duke Energy says it's starting to get out of the power-generation business in the Midwest. The company said Monday that its Midwest power plants have produced volatile financial results in a competitive market, and that's not a good fit. The business includes ownership interests in 11 power plants in western and southern Ohio and one each in Illinois and Pennsylvania. The company says it will take 12 to 18 months to finish exiting the power plant businesses. The company says it will take a noncash accounting charge of between $1 billion and $2 billion in the first quarter of 2014 tied to the move.

    Youngstown State president accepts new job
    After just seven months on the job, the president of Youngstown State University has accepted another job. Randy Dunn will be heading to Southern Illinois University as its next president. The Vindicator newspaper reports that YSU trustees were surprised by Dunn’s decision to leave.  Dunn had signed a three year contract last June to lead Youngstown State. Two other top YSU administrators are also leaving. The provost, and the vice president for finance and administration had both previously announced they’re stepping down.

    Committee vote expected on provisional ballot bill
    A vote is expected today in an Ohio House committee on a bill that would make it tougher to cast a provisional ballot in the state. The legislation proposed by Republican Senator Bill Seitz would require voters to provide their address and date of birth with an absentee ballot. They would also have to show a valid ID within seven days after the election, down from 10 days. The goal is cut the number of reasons voters having for casting provisional ballots. Two other election reform bills passed out in that House committee last week to tighten the early voting window and set new absentee-ballot rules.

    Ohio gas prices up
    Ohio drivers who've filled up in the last couple days will have noticed that gas prices are rising. The cost for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio is averaging $3.44 in the survey from auto club AAA and its partners.  That's 4 cents higher than last week and it's the third straight week the price has risen.

    Cleveland mayor to present budget to council
    Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will present his roughly $540 million budget today to Cleveland City Council. Jackson says he’s focusing his attention on economic issues like job creation and job retention for the city. He says he is also committed to connecting Pubic Square to other downtown areas and the waterfront by adding a pedestrian-friendly green space with attractions to pull in more people to the area. Two million dollars of the city’s budget will be the first of fifteen payments to Cleveland Browns’ as part of the team’s $120 million renovation at Browns’ stadium.

    Ben Venue labs issues recall
    There are new safety concerns from Bedford-based Ben Venue Laboratories. The company has announced that it’s recalling one lot of an inhaled drug solution because a glass particle was found inside a vial. The particle could be seen with the naked eye, and no one was hurt. The cancer drug maker with a history of safety problems last year announced it will begin phasing out operations, eliminating 1,000 jobs by the end of 2014.  
    New nonstop flights coming to Cleveland
    There’s a bit of good news for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Two more cities that are losing nonstop flights from Cleveland when United Airlines pulls its hub are being picked up by another carrier. Delta will begin offering nonstop service from Hopkins to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and Indianapolis. Both flights will start in early June and run six days a week.  Frontier airlines recently announced it was adding nonstop flights from Cleveland to Seattle, Orlando and Trenton, New Jersey.

    FirstMerit closing multiple branches
    Akron-based FirstMerit bank is closing 26 branches, including one in the Merriman Valley area of Akron and another in Wooster. The bank’s CEO tells the Beacon Journal the closed branches would be consolidated with other locations, and as many jobs as possible would be relocated. The closures will be a mix of FirstMerit sites and former Citizens locations, which FirstMerit acquired last year.

    Bill would tighten restrictions on group homes
    A new bill that’s expected to be introduced this week in the Ohio House would require group homes and residential centers to make themselves known to emergency responders. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the legislation stems from the stabbing death of a jogger in a Columbus-area park last fall. A 16-year-old foster child who lived in a group home near the park has been charged with murdering the woman. Neighbors said they had complained about the home multiple times. The new bill would require homes to provide addresses, information about their facilities, and outline procedures for emergencies.

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