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Civil rights attorneys ask judge to strike down Ohio's gay marriage ban
Other morning headlines: Cleveland Public Power customers targeted by scam; Chagrin Falls school board approves strike plan
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Civil rights attorneys ask judge to strike down Ohio's gay marriage ban
  • Kent freshman who prompted lockdown recovering from self-inflicted gunshot wound
  • Cleveland Public Power customers targeted by scam
  • Chagrin Falls school board approves strike plan
  • Report finds Summit County can afford raises for deputies 
  • Push to increase earned-income tax credit
  • MWCD loses public records case filed by anti-fracking group
  • Indians home opener could be delayed
  • Civil rights attorneys ask judge to strike down Ohio's gay marriage ban
    Civil rights attorneys are arguing that a federal judge should prohibit Ohio officials from enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage. The attorneys will deliver closing arguments in the matter today before federal Judge Timothy Black in Cincinnati. Their request goes far beyond their original and narrow February lawsuit asking Black to force Ohio to recognize gay marriage on birth certificates. They're now asking Black for a ruling that would effectively strike down the state's gay marriage ban, passed by voters in 2004. Attorneys for the state argue Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage and has the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. In a limited ruling in December, Black ordered Ohio to recognize gay marriage on death certificates.

    Kent freshman who prompted lockdown recovering from self-inflicted gunshot wound
    Kent State University officials say the freshman who fired a gun and prompted a campus lockdown shot himself in the hand and was taken into custody at a hospital after he sought care for his wound. Campus police Chief John Peach says the man fired only once Wednesday night while arguing with two female students, and no one else was hurt. He says the motive wasn't clear. Peach says 24-year-old Quavaugntay Tyler of Cleveland was in jail Thursday on a concealed weapon charge. It's not clear if he has an attorney. Police say Tyler was the subject of a campus theft investigation and was on probation from a separate theft case. He told police he had a gun because he'd been the victim of an armed robbery.

    Cleveland Public Power customers targeted by scam
    Cleveland Public Power customers are the target of a new scam, accusing them of unpaid bills. Commercial businesses have been the primary targets so far in the scheme. At least one customer was contacted and told that if they failed to pay the debt, their electricity would be turned off. Investigators are looking into the incident, and Cleveland Public Power says customers should ignore calls that refer them to a third party payment option.

    Chagrin Falls school board approves strike plan
    A Northeast Ohio school district is preparing for a potential teacher strike. The Chagrin Falls school board this week approved a strike plan, even though the teacher’s union has not yet issued a strike notice. They’ve been working without a new contract for nearly a year. Another negotiation session is planned for April 15. Some of the sticking points include class size and salaries.

    Report finds Summit County can afford raises for deputies 
    A fact-finder’s report shows that Summit County can afford to give its sheriff’s deputies annual pay raises as part of a three-year contract. The county wanted to freeze wages for the nearly 300 deputies. The fact finder, however, recommended lower raises than the union wanted, amounting to 1.5 percent retroactive to January and up to 2.25 percent by 2016. The Beacon Journal reports both sides are recommending approval of the report, which could happen as early as next week.

    Push to increase earned-income tax credit
    There’s a new push to increase the earned-income tax credit for Ohio’s working poor. The Columbus Dispatch reports Senator Charleta Tavares is working with advocacy groups Progress Ohio and Policy Matters Ohio to encourage changes that would about triple the average annual credit from $74 to $226. Republican Governor John Kasich has already proposed increasing the credit from 5 percent to 15 percent of the value of the federal credit beginning next year. But Kasich’s plan involves a cap that would cut the credit in half if a family makes more than $20,000 a year. Tavares’ plan would have no cap, and would make it fully refundable to the 850,000 Ohio families who receive the federal credit.

    MWCD loses public records case filed by anti-fracking group
    The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District has been ordered to turn over its records to an anti-fracking group.The 5th District Court of Appeals sided with the FreshWater Accountability Project, which a year ago requested names and addresses of any one who leased property from the district. The district argued names and addresses of owners was not public record. In its ruling, the appeals court said the documents are subject to monitoring because the leases amount to $2 million a year for the district. The Times Reporter newspaper reports the watershed district turned over the records prior to the ruling and has no plans to appeal. 

    Indians home opener could see rain
    The much-awaited Indians home opener will get underway this afternoon at 3:05. Rain could delay the start, though. The forecast is wet and windy through late afternoon. The Indians will take on the Minnesota Twins with Danny Salazar on the mound. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the first game at the now-Progressive Field. Former Indians manager Mike Hargrove will throw the first pitch to Sandy Alomar, Junior. Hargrove was manager from 1991 to 1999. Alomar played with the Tribe for 10 years and is now the bench coach. The Cleveland Orchestra Double String Quartet will perform the national anthem. There is also word today that the Indians have signed second basemen Jason Kipnis to a six-year contract worth $52.5 million. The contract includes an option for a seventh year. 

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