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Kasich has 15-point lead over FitzGerald in new poll
Other morning headlines: Biden to visit Greater Cleveland RTA station today; Two Ohio lawmakers set to introduce day care vaccination legislation
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The latest WKSU news headlines:
Kasich has 15-point lead over FitzGerald in new poll
Gov. John Kasich has surged to a 15–point lead over Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald in the latest Quinnipiac University poll. Kasich is ahead 50 percent to 35 percent over FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive. Kasich’s lead was just 5 points in the previous poll released in February. The poll’s director says FitzGerald remains unknown to many voters and will have to spend a lot of money to get that name recognition. In an open-ended question, 37 percent of Ohio voters list the economy or jobs as the most important issue in this year’s governor’s race. And 53 percent of Ohio voters approve of the way Kasich is handling those issues. Sixty percent are satisfied with the way things are going in the state. 

Biden to visit Greater Cleveland RTA station today
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Cleveland to stress the importance of the U.S. spending money on infrastructure to keep roads and bridges safe. Biden will speak this afternoon at a Cleveland Regional Transit Authority rail complex to highlight the reconstruction of a light rail station near University Circle. The area contains many of Cleveland's cultural landmarks, such as Severance Hall and Case Western Reserve University. President Barack Obama's administration is highlighting infrastructure investment in the U.S. this week.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park closes trails due to storm damage
Crews at Cuyahoga Valley National Park are cleaning up from a storm that washed out trails and damaged the tracks that carry the park's scenic railroad. The trail along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is closed because of high water and washouts. Some parts of the track that carries the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad were heavily damaged, canceling trips between Peninsula and the Akron Northside station. Storms on Monday night also spawned a tornado that damaged a barn and a house in Lorain County. The National Weather Service says the weak tornado was on the ground for about a mile near North Ridgeville. Heavy rains washed away a bridge in Bath Township north of Akron.

House prepares vote on oil and gas tax hike
The Ohio House is preparing to vote on legislation raising Ohio's tax on oil and gas drilling. The measure cleared a committee by a single vote despite objections from Democrats and anti-tax Republicans. The full House is expected to vote today. The bill imposes a 2.5-percent severance tax on horizontal wells, including those extracting resources through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That tax is less than the 4 percent Republican Gov. John Kasich wanted but more than the industry would've liked. 

Ohio Libertarians ask for a reconsideration of ballot access case
Ohio Libertarians are awaiting word from the federal appeals court in Cincinnati on a request to rehear their ballot access case. Secretary of State Jon Husted disqualified Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl from May 6 ballots on grounds that two of his petitioners didn't properly disclose their employers. The Libertarian Party of Ohio appealed, but a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Husted, and the party appealed unsuccessfully to the U.S. Supreme Court. A request seeks a hearing before the full appeals court. Earl’s attorney says there’s a chance Earl and attorney general candidate Steven Linnabary could be restored to November's general-election ballot.

Two Ohio lawmakers set to introduce day care vaccination legislation
Two Ohio lawmakers say they will introduce legislation requiring kids in day care to be vaccinated for preventable diseases such as mumps and measles. Lakewood Democratic Representative Nickie Antonio and Bidwell Republican Ryan Smith say the bill they plan to present in the Ohio House today will ensure that more children are immunized earlier. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio has a law requiring vaccines for children entering kindergarten but is the only state in the nation without a similar one for kids in preschool and day care. Ohio health officials are distributing thousands of doses of vaccines in an effort to stem recent outbreaks of mumps and measles in the state. The measles outbreak in Ohio is the largest in the U.S. since 1996.

State distributes 12,000 measles, mumps vaccines 
Ohio health officials have distributed nearly 12,000 doses of vaccines to try to stem recent outbreaks of measles and mumps in the state. The state says around half of those measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines have been administered. There have been 68 measles cases reported in six counties, mostly among unvaccinated individuals in the Amish community. It’s the largest outbreak in the U.S. since 1996. Ohio counties reporting measles have received 11,200 of the doses. Officials say the mumps outbreak that started in central Ohio in January has reached 342 cases.

Conceal carry permits up slightly so far 
Ohio's attorney general reports that more than 16,000 new concealed-carry licenses were issued in the first quarter of 2014. The numbers released Tuesday also showed that nearly 16,000 licenses were renewed in the first three months of the year, for a total of more than 32,000. That compares with more than 31,000 new permits issued in the first quarter of 2013, along with more than 6,300 renewals.

Court upholds order for man to stop fathering kids 
An Ohio appeals court has for now upheld a judge's order that a deadbeat father can't have any more kids until he pays his back child support. The decision issued this week by the 9th District Court of Appeals didn't provide an opinion as to whether the order was appropriate. Instead the judges said they didn't have enough information to decide the merits of the case without a copy of the pre-sentence report detailing Asim Taylor's background. Lorain County Probate Judge James Walther made the ruling in January 2013. The judge said the order would be lifted if Taylor pays the nearly $100,000 in overdue support for his four children.

Bill to allow pets to be included in protection orders advances
An Ohio bill would allow cats, dogs and other family pets to be included within the scope of protection orders obtained by victims of domestic violence or stalking. A state Senate panel approved the proposal Tuesday. Under the measure, courts could issue orders that keep alleged offenders from threatening or interfering with the care of victims' animals. Judges could also order the removal of pets from alleged abusers and bar them from having any contact with the animals. Only those pets kept inside the home — not livestock or any wild animals — could be part of such orders. Judges already can include animals in protection orders, though the bill would put the authority into law. 

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