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Ohio lawmakers act quickly to limit impact of EPA coal standards
Other noon headlines: Jury selection underway in Suarez campaign finance trial; Summit County hosts public hearing on sales tax proposal
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The latest WKSU noon news headlines: 
Ohio lawmakers to act quickly to limit impact of EPA coal standards
Ohio lawmakers are expected to quickly take action on legislation intended to limit the impact of federal plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. The rule announced today by the EPA is a key part of President Barack Obama's plans to reduce pollution linked to global warming. The proposal would give states years to submit plans to cut power plant pollution. Ohio gets 70 percent of its electricity from coal. A bill with bipartisan support would require any such plan from Ohio to protect electric affordability and reliability and to minimize effects on industrial, commercial and residential consumers. A legislative committee is scheduled to vote on the measure Tuesday.

Summit County hosts public hearing on sales tax proposal
Summit County is hosting the first of two public hearings today on a proposal to increase the county sales tax. County Council is considering putting a one-quarter-percent sales tax increase on this fall’s ballot. The increase would bump the tax up to 7 percent. The extra revenue would be about $20 million a year. Most of that – around $13 million -- would go toward improvements at the county’s 911 dispatch system and jail. The rest -- $7 million – would seed a new arena for the University of Akron basketball teams. The hearing is set for 4:30 p.m. in County Council chambers. The second hearing will be at 7 p.m. June 9 at the same location.

Jury selection underway in Suarez campaign finance trial
A federal judge began questioning more than 50 jurors this morning in a trial focused on $200,000 in contributions to the campaigns of a sitting congressman and Ohio’s treasurer. Ben Suarez is accused of using straw donors – employees of his North Canton company and their spouses – to steer the money to the unsuccessful Senate campaign of Treasurer Josh Mandel and to the congressional campaign of Jim Renacci. According to the Plain Dealer, Judge Patricial Gaughan (GO-gan) asked would-be jurors about any involvement they and their family and friends have had in political campaigns. Both Mandel and Renacci have been subpoenaed by Suarez’s attorneys.

Cuyahoga County files lawsuit over 2005 Ameritrust deal
Cuyahoga County is suing 10 companies and people – including the son of former Auditor Frank Russo. The suit accuses them of steering the county’s purchase of the Ameritrust complex in 2005. The county has never occupied the building and eventually lost $18 million on the project. The suit names no dollar amount yet, beyond the minimum in such civil suits of $25,000. Those named in the suit include Vince Russo and the former Staubach Company, which the county says recommended the deal.



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