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Cleveland firefighter pleads guilty in shift-swapping scandal
Other headlines: Ohio regulators investigate FirstEnergy fees; GE adds 1,400 jobs to Ohio facility

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Ohio regulators investigate FirstEnergy fees
  • GE brings 1,400 jobs to Ohio with new facility
  • Mumps outbreak continues to spread
  • ODOT investigates cracks in Toledo area interstate
  • Cleveland firefighter pleads guilty in shift-swapping scandal
    A Cleveland firefighter has pleaded guilty to paying coworkers to cover nearly 3 ½ years of his shifts. Calvin Robinson admitted to a misdemeanor charge of “complicity to receiving unlawful compensation,” and has been ordered to pay court costs.

    Robinson is the last of 13 Cleveland firefighters who were charged in the shift-swapping the case. He collected nearly $90,000 in salary and benefits as a firefighter while also working as a substitute teacher and football coach, and running a limo service and childcare center.

    His attorney says he is an important mentor in the community, and that the city contract allowed him and the others to trade the shifts.

    Prosecutors say state law does not, and that Robinson missed important training during the 3 ½ years he was off work. 

    Ohio regulators investigate FirstEnergy fees
    Ohio regulators are investigating a Northeast Ohio utility’s decision to charge customers a fee to cover costs of a January cold snap.

    The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio announced yesterday that it will investigate whether FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp., is authorized to charge its customers the extra fee.

    The company says it wants to add a $5 - $15 one-time fee to the bills of around 2.1 million electricity customers in six states.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports the PUCO is investigating whether the fees are, “unfair, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable.”

    GE brings 1,400 jobs to Ohio with new facility
    General Electric is announcing plans to build a new global operations center in the Cincinnati area, adding 1,400 jobs in southwest Ohio.

    The announcement was made today by JobsOhio, the state's private job-creation agency.

    GE describes the center as a "shared services" site that's part of the sprawling company's efforts to streamline operations.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that three locations in Cincinnati or one of its suburbs are considered front-runners for the site. GE expects to break ground this summer and have the site fully running by 2017.

    Mumps outbreak continues to spread
    The outbreak of mumps continues to grow in central Ohio. 

    Health officials say 175 people have come down with the disease in the three months since the first case was reported at Ohio State University. 

    Mumps has a 25 day incubation period before symptoms appear during which people can spread the highly contagious infection. 

    The mumps vaccine prevents the disease in 80-90 percent of exposures.

    ODOT investigates cracks in Toledo area interstate
    Ohio transportation officials are trying to figure out why large cracks have formed in the recently rebuilt pavement of an interstate highway near Toledo.

    The Ohio Department of Transportation has taken pavement samples to help determine why several long, lengthwise cracks have formed in a section of Interstate 475. The repaving project had started four summers ago and was finished last year.

    Todd Audet, the agency's deputy director in the region, tells The (Toledo) Blade that the cause of the cracks could be a design flaw, a materials problem, or faulty workmanship.Besides trying to fix the problem, officials want to know if they need to change plans for the upcoming reconstruction of Interstate 75 in the area.

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