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Republican National Convention officials set Cleveland, Cincinnati visits
Other morning headlines: Bridgestone executive indicted in price-fixing case; Natural gas power plant proposed for Youngstown
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The latest headlines from the WKSU newsroom:

Republican National Convention officials set Cleveland, Cincinnati visits 
The two Ohio cities still in contention to host the 2016 Republican National Convention will be visited in late April by party staff or members of a selection committee. Teams will visit Cincinnati on April 29 and Cleveland on April 30 for a more in-depth look at factors such as financing, convention venues, media workspace and hotels. The visits will help officials decide which of the cities on the short list get visits from the full RNC delegation before the convention site is chosen. Republican officials plan to pick the host city this summer, and Las Vegas has emerged as an early leading contender. The other cities in the running are Dallas, Denver and Kansas City, Mo.

Natural gas power plant proposed for Youngstown 
A new natural gas-fired power plant could be coming to Northeast Ohio. Residents in Lordstown heard a proposal this week from Boston-based Clean Energy Future to build an $800 million power plant in the village. Lordstown officials must first rezone the 57-acre property to industrial use. The proposed plant would benefit from Ohio’s shale gas boom. WFMJ in Youngstown reports the company selected northeast Ohio for the project because of the recent closings of several coal-fired plants in the region.

Bridgestone executive indicted in price-fixing case
A Bridgestone Corp. executive and two former company executives have been indicted in an alleged price-fixing conspiracy. The Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into price-fixing and bid-rigging in the parts industry. Twenty-six companies, including Tokyo-based Bridgestone, have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty. According to the indictment, the defendants agreed to allocate sales of, to rig bids for, and to fix, raise and maintain the prices of anti-vibration rubber parts sold to foreign automobile manufacturers of Toyotas, Nissans, Suzukis, and Subarus in the U.S. and elsewhere. Bridgestone has said some employees violated U.S. antitrust laws and its confident those activities are no longer in place. On Sunday, Bridgestone agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $425 million criminal fine for its role in the conspiracy. Bridgestone opened a $100 million technical center in Akron in 2012 that employs hundreds. 

Kasich, FitzGerald have plenty in their personal accounts 
Candidates on Ohio’s gubernatorial tickets have plenty of money in their personal accounts, according to financial disclosure statements that were due Tuesday.  The Columbus Dispatch reports Gov. John Kasich reported eight sources of income. He has 44 investments of more than $1,000. Gifts included unspecified travel, meals or lodging from his privatized development agency, JobsOhio. Kasich’s Democratic challenger, Executive Ed FitzGerald, listed his salary as Cuyahoga County executive, a pension plan and a savings account. He reported no gifts. FitzGerald’s running mate, Sharon Neuhardt, had four sources of income, including her law practice and family farm. Lt. Governor Mary Taylor had five income sources and five investments, which included college savings plans for two children.

Summit county children receive shoes from convicted heroin traffickers
Needy children in Summit County are getting new tennis shoes seized from three convicted heroin traffickers. The Beacon Journal reports the Summit County Sheriff’s Office delivered 48 pairs of brand-name athletic shoes to the Children Services Board on Monday. The sneakers were part of a haul that included more than $11,000 in cash, high-end watches, sunglasses, smartphones and other electronics. All the items will go to various charities.

Ohio ranks low in government transparency survey
An independent research group says Ohio needs to work on its government transparency. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advocate for consumer and citizen information, tested the websites of each state for factors such as ease of use and the ability to download information.  It gives Ohio a D- and ranks it fifth-worst in the country. The group says Ohio isn’t necessarily getting worse, but other states are improving, while Ohio is not. The poor score is attributed in part to a lack of online search options when it comes to bid award recipients, keywords, agency and bulk download searches.

Mumps vaccinations crucial for students
Central Ohio officials are warning that children without mumps vaccinations might have to miss weeks of school if an outbreak of the illness hits classrooms. More than 200 cases of the contagious viral illness, with more than 130 of those linked to Ohio State University, have been reported this year. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the health commissioners for Columbus and Franklin County wrote letters to schools encouraging vaccinations. The letters also advise parents that unvaccinated students might have to stay home 25 days or longer if clusters of mumps cases begin showing up in schools. Officials have urged residents of the region to make sure they've been inoculated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Roundtable discussion about heroin set for Wednesday

Anti-drug activists, community leaders, school officials and students are gathering in Columbus to take part in a roundtable discussion about heroin. Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of the Cincinnati area is hosting this morning’s gathering on heroin abuse, and prevention, treatment and recovery from the drug that's increasingly causing addiction and deaths across Ohio. Portman says a comprehensive, "all hands on deck" effort is needed to counter heroin and other opiates. The discussion was scheduled to be held with the Drug Free Action Alliance, at the Youth 2 Youth International Center.

Bids for roof repairs sought at Summit County Metro Parks nature realm
Summit County Metro Parks will seek bids for roof repairs at the Seiberling Nature Realm, after a plan to make the fixes without a bidding process was blocked. It’s going to cost nearly 500,000 to make the repairs caused by leaks. Park commissioners voted Tuesday that they would seek bids for the project, rejecting a plan to make the repairs an emergency and contracting with a company that submitted a $500,000 estimate. The board hopes to have bids presented in June.

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