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Columbus grows while Northeast Ohio's population drops
Other morning headlines: Ohio senate passes new tax cuts; Thunderstorms cause flooding in Lake County village
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR
and LYNDSEY SCHLEY


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Cleveland area's population drops
  • Thunderstorms cause flooding in Lake County village
  • Ohio senate passes new tax cuts 
  • Gov. Kasich proposes new school safety efforts
  • Ohio house cracks down on "skill games"
  • Ohio senate decides student athletes are not employees
  • "Pill Mill" owner gets 14 years in prison
  • Ohio senate passes new education plan 
  • Cleveland area's population drops
    Two-thirds of cities in the greater Cleveland area lost population, according to the 2010 Census. The biggest loser in terms of population was Cleveland, which lost almost 7,000 residents. Akron also lost about 1,000 residents. It was not all losses, though. The small town of Reminderville in northern Summit County had an almost 10 percent increase in population, edging it towards 4,000 residents. 
    Meanwhile Ohio’s capital is seeing steady population growth.  The latest census numbers show Columbus added more than 12,000 residents in the past year. That makes Columbus the 15th-fastest-growing city in the country

    Thunderstorms cause flooding in Lake County village
    A Lake County village suffered flooding last night after a series of severe thunderstorms. Two to three inches of rain fell in a short time near Madison, causing waterways to overflow into homes and businesses. The Plain Dealer reports the heavy rain started around 9:30 p.m. and flooding following right behind. It was part of a fast-moving storm system that moved through Lake, Ashtabula and Trumbull counties. A tornado warning was issued for parts of Ashtabula and Trumbull counties. The National Weather Service has not confirmed a funnel cloud formed.

    Heavy rain also led to flash flooding in western Ohio, shutting down parts of the two interstates and other roads in the Dayton region.

    Cuyahoga Falls declares state of emergency
    Damage from storms earlier this month prompted the mayor of Cuyahoga Falls to declare a state of emergency for the city. Owners of more than 700 homes submitted damage estimates yesterday to Mayor Don Walters prompting him to declare the emergency status. City Hall suffered around $300,000 in damage from the May 12 deluge. A state of emergency allows the city to seek state and federal disaster relief.

    Ohio senate passes new tax cuts
    The Ohio Senate passed a new measure that will likely lead to cuts in state income and small-business taxes. The Plain Dealer reports the bill boosts a previously approved 9 percent income tax cut to 10 percent. The measure also raises tax deductions for small businesses from 50 percent to 75 percent. The Republican-sponsored bill also includes some measures aimed at low income Ohioans. The bill will double the Earned Income Tax Credit and will increase tax exemptions for Ohioans making less than 80,000 dollars a year.

    Gov. Kasich proposes new school safety efforts
    Ohio schools would see more grant money made available for security upgrades and face penalties for failing to submit safety plans under school safety initiatives proposed by Gov. John Kasich. Grants and sanctions were part of a package detailed Wednesday. State Superintendent Richard Ross said 3,000 schools took advantage of $12 million made available last summer for entryway security and communications. New grants would be available for security upgrades at both public and private schools. Kasich also would provide free safety-plan training and consultation to districts through a grant to the University of Findlay. He proposes penalties up to revocation of a superintendent's license for failing to file a required safety plan. Attorney General Mike DeWine says Kasich's proposals are a helpful next step in Ohio's school safety efforts.

    Ohio house cracks down on "skill games"
    The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill cracking down on so-called “skill games”.  The Columbus Dispatch reports many internet sweepstakes cafes that were banned by previous laws reopened after labeling themselves as “skill games” parlors. Officials say these games have nothing to do with skill and give out prizes that are higher than legal limits.The bill would task the Casino Control Commission with these crackdowns.

    Ohio senate decides student athletes are not employees
    Ohio has advanced a proposal that says college athletes are not employees under state law. The state Senate passed the idea Wednesday as part of a broader bill. It needs approval from the House, which passed an earlier version of the bill. The employee status of full-scholarship football players became an issue in March, after a federal labor official ruled Northwestern University football players are employees and have a right to unionize. The ruling is being appealed. If it holds, it could have widespread repercussions in the multibillion-dollar college sports industry. Supporters of the Ohio provision say it could have little immediate effect but would clarify state law if the issue arises. The Northwestern players voted on unionization April 25, but the ballots are sealed until after the appeals process. 

    "Pill Mill" owner gets 14 years in prison
    The alleged owner of a southern Ohio pill mill has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by a judge who called him a "parasite" who fed the prescription drug addictions of hundreds of people for profit. Judge Michael Barrett sentenced Tracy Bias of West Portsmouth in federal court in Cincinnati on Wednesday. Bias' attorneys argued he shouldn't get more than 10 years because he testified against a co-defendant. Prosecutors argued he wasn't fully cooperative and deserved more than 19 years for running what they called a "pill tsunami" in southern Ohio. Prosecutors say dozens of customers a week traveled hundreds of miles to visit Bias' clinics in southern and central Ohio, paying $200 per visit for painkillers. They say the pill mills contributed to the deaths of two people.

    Ohio senate passes new education plan
    The Ohio Senate has passed an education plan that includes adjustments to teachers' performance evaluations and safeguards to protect student data. The ideas were among a slew of policy changes contained in two midterm budget bills that cleared the Senate on Wednesday. The changes in the education measure were aimed at asserting the role of local school districts in implementing Ohio's new learning standards. The proposal states that a school district has the authority to determine the curriculum, and course materials used in Ohio classrooms. It also would require districts to give parents an opportunity to review the instruction materials. The House passed an earlier version of the education bill.

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