Obama's budget proposal boosts NASA Glenn, cuts Great Lakes and waste water funding
President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal is expected to see drastic changes from Congress before it’s implemented—but as it stands now, Cleveland’s NASA Glenn Research Center would get a boost. The NASA facility would get a nearly 4 percent increase in funding over this year, increasing its budget by more than $20 million— to nearly 600 million, according to the Plain Dealer. However, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would see a $25 million cut in the budget, dropping its funding to $275 million next year. The initiative tackles environmental issues like pollution and invasive species. There would also be a nearly half-billion dollar cut to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund that sends money to Ohio communities for repairing wastewater treatment systems.
GM to invest $14 million in Parma plant
General Motors is investing $14 million in its Parma plant. GM plans to install a new “progressive” press at its metal stamping facility that it says will boost quality and productivity. GM has invested $120 million into the roughly 2 million square foot plant over the last five years. GM says Parma is emerging as the automaker’s premier metal stamping and assembly operations. Startup for the new press is expected late this year or early next.
Challenge to Libertarian candidate's bid for governor underway
A challenge to the candidacy of a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in Ohio got underway Tuesday. Libertarian Charlie Earl's bid for governor potentially could draw votes from Republican Governor John Kasich as he seeks re-election this fall. Libertarian Ohio voter Tyler King argues that Earl should be disqualified from May's primary ballot. He asserts Democrats circulated Earl's petitions and provided other monetary and legal help to the effort. A Capital University law professor representing Earl called the challenge an extension of Republican efforts to exclude third parties from Ohio's ballot.
Exotic animal owners plan another appeal
An attorney for seven exotic animal owners says his clients are considering next steps after a federal appeals court in Ohio upheld the state's restrictions on keeping the creatures. The owners sued the state over the regulations, arguing that the law violates their free speech and free association rights. Ohio defended the law as addressing animal welfare, public health and public safety concerns associated with private ownership of dangerous wild animals. The owners may appeal to the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Proctor & Gamble protests end following arrests in Cincinnati
A protest in which Greenpeace activists using a zip line unfurled huge banners at Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters in Cincinnati has ended. Nine protesters were arrested for vandalism and burglary. The environmental organization says the 60-foot banners on P&G's two towers were in protest of the company's use of palm oil from a supplier that Greenpeace says is linked to tropical forest destruction in Indonesia. P&G says it’s committed to achieving 100 percent sustainable sourcing of its palm oil.
Tressel gains support for YSU presidency
Support is growing to make former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel the next president of Youngstown State University. Leaders of an independent corporation involved in fundraising and scholarships for Youngstown State signed a letter endorsing Tressel, saying he would help bring more students and money to the university. Tressel, who resigned from OSU in 2011, spent 14 years at YSU. He is now an executive vice president at the University of Akron. A group of Youngstown community and business leaders already signaled their support for Tressel, who has not said whether he’s interested in the position.
Scammers target senior citizens, impersonates Ohio Attorney General
Attorney General Mike DeWine says seven Ohioans are charged in a scam that targeted senior citizens and allegedly involved someone impersonating DeWine. DeWine says the group also impersonated lawyers and judges while stealing about $400,000 from six victims in Ross, Pickaway and Hocking counties since 2011. Prosecutors say some victims were told a defendant was expecting money from a lawsuit and they'd get interest on their investment by helping with legal fees. Authorities say others were told they stood to inherit millions after paying fees.
Case Western law school dead resigns
The dean of Case Western Reserve University’s law school has resigned. Lawrence Mitchell took a paid leave in November. That was after he was sued by Raymond Ku, a professor who accused him of retaliating after Ku reported Mitchell may have been sexually harassing women. The Plain Dealer says Mitchell will remain on the Case faculty next school year, but is taking a sabbatical. A trial in the case is set for November.
Municipal Judge indicted on more charges
A Cuyahoga County grand jury has handed down 5 more indictments against Bedford Municipal Judge Harry Jacob, III. In December, Jacob was charged with four felonies in connection with an alleged prostitution ring in the city. Bedford Prosecutor Kenneth Schulman was also charged with 6 felonies at the time. The judge is accused of giving prostitutes special treatment in his court and essentially of acting as a pimp for women in a brothel in town. . A motion was also filed that would require Jacob to turn over a password to protected areas of his personal laptop. He refused a similar request Monday by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Parma settles police brutality suit
Parma City Council has agreed to settle a police brutality lawsuit for $40,000. According to Cleveland.com, council authorized the deal this week. The suit was filed by the mother of a 16-year-old boy who accused police officer James Manzo of striking her son twice in the head -- likely with a flashlight -- following a traffic stop in November of 2012. The suit says the officer then lied that the teen had bumped his head on the window. The boy was hospitalized briefly.
Kasich signs new law banning electronic cigarettes for minors
Governor John Kasich has signed a bill that aims to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of those under age 18. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate. The measure signed on Tuesday would prohibit minors from obtaining, possessing and using the products.
Waiting list for Ohio Medicaid waivers tops 40,000
The Ohio Development Disabilities Council says something needs to be done to speed up wait times for Medicaid waivers for home services. The Columbus Dispatch reports at least 40,000 Ohio kids and adults with developmental disabilities are on waiting lists to get waivers for things like adaptive equipment, transportation and respite for caregivers. They’re waiting an average of six years. During a press conference in Columbus Tuesday, The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council says it will push for the state to add 22 hundred waivers a year for the next ten years to help shorten the wait time. That change would cost about $33 million each biennium.
JobsOhio touts 18,000 jobs created
The state’s private job creation corporation says it helped created nearly 18,000 jobs last year. JobsOhio says it used grants, tax breaks, and other incentives to help secure the new jobs and keep another 70,000 jobs in Ohio last year. Advanced manufacturing led all sectors, with the report saying JobsOhio helped create more 4,500 jobs; that was followed by IT, financial services, and food processing and agribusiness. The 2013 report showed decreased in overall projects, jobs created, and new payroll compared to 2012. JobsOhio has seen widespread criticism from Democrats, who says job numbers are overblown and the agency is cloaked in secrecy. JobsOhio is also the subject of a lawsuit now before the Ohio Supreme Court.