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Ohio's prison population continues to swell despite reforms
Other morning news headlines: Ohio's two newest univeristy presidents to meet the press, public today; VP Biden shores up details on Cleveland visit

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
The latest WKSU news headlines: 

Ohio's prison population continues to swell despite reforms 
Officials say Ohio's prison population is expected to keep rising, despite recent attempts to tamp it down. Ohio's prisons house about 50,000 people, and the latest two-year state budget allocated more than $3 billion to run the system. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the latest projections say the inmate population in 27 prisons will hit 52,000 in two years, and 53,000 in five years. Prisons already are housing 30 percent more prisoners than they were designed to hold. The population has continued to rise despite reforms in recent years such as early-release provisions and enhanced community programs. Each prisoner in the system costs Ohio taxpayers $22,836 per year.

Ohio's two newest university presidents to meet the press, public today

Jim Tressel, the newly chosen president of Youngstown State University will be on campus today. The former Ohio State football coach and current University of Akron vice president will attend a special board of trustee’s meeting at 6pm followed by a press conference and reception. Tressel was selected by the trustees in a unanimous vote on Friday morning and he accepted. The terms of his contract must still be negotiated.

Meanwhile, The University of Akron today welcomes Scott Scarborough at a reception, where he’ll also speak to the press for the first time since being named the school’s 16th president. Scarborough comes to Akron after seven years as provost at the University of Toledo.  His appointment came last week just hours after Tressel reportedly withdrew his candidacy.  Youngstown State announced Tressel as its new president on Friday. As president of the university, Scarborough received a five-year contract with an annual base salary of $450,000. He succeeds Luis Proenza, who is stepping down after 15 years to return to teaching in July. Today’s reception is at 2 p.m. in the University of Akron’s Honors College.

VP Biden shores up details on Cleveland visit
More details are being released about Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Northeast Ohio this week. Biden will use the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's central rail complex as the backdrop for his post-primary election speech in Cleveland on Wednesday. He will highlight the reconstruction of the Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station in his speech on infrastructure investment and the economy. The event is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Ash borer destroys trees in Richland County nature preserve 
State officials say a tree-eating beetle has destroyed hundreds of ash trees in a northern Ohio nature preserve. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it cut down some trees infested with the emerald ash borer in the Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve. But officials decided to let many dead or dying trees in the preserve east of Shiloh in Richland County fall naturally. The Mansfield News Journal reports the department has closed most of a popular trail to prevent hazards from falling tree trunks and limbs. The disruptions could continue at the 168-acre preserve for years. But a department spokeswoman says officials aren't concerned about the insect spreading further in the preserve or onto adjacent property, because it has already moved through the area.

"Mono twins" born in Akron doing well
A northeast Ohio mother says her twin girls are doing well after being born with a rare condition. Thirty-two-year-old Sarah Thistlethwaite, says the babies were removed from ventilators Sunday afternoon after they were able to breathe comfortably. The identical twin girls shared the same amniotic sac and placenta, called mono twins. It happens in about 1 in 10,000 pregnancies and 1 to 5 percent of all twins.  They were born Friday at Akron General Medical Center. Thistlethwaite tells The Associated Press that she and her husband Bill both held them for awhile on Mother's Day.

Theft reported at President James A. Garfield monument 
Police say thieves have broken into the monument of President James A. Garfield and stolen a set of commemorative spoons. Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that vandals shattered a window to get inside the 180-foot-tall monument at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland Heights. Police reports say cigarette butts, a T-shirt and a whiskey bottle were recovered. Garfield, the nation's 20th president, was born in the Cleveland suburb of Moreland Hills. He was assassinated and served just 200 days in office.

Gas prices up in Ohio 
Prices at the gas pump in Ohio are slightly higher than a week ago. The cost for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was averaging $3.71 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That's up about 6 cents from a week ago. Monday's Ohio price is identical to a month ago, and about 12 cents higher than last year at this time. The national average Monday was $3.65 per gallon. That's down 2 cents from last week, and it's 2 cents higher than a month ago. Analysts expect prices to fall into the summer due to ample U.S. crude oil stocks and other factors.



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