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Government and Politics


Cleveland Clinic CEO reportedly approached to head the VA
Other morning headlines: Camaign finance fraud trial of Canton businessman begins; Cleveland pays over $2 million to settle shift-rounding lawsuit
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LYNDSEY SCHLEY


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Cleveland Clinic CEO reportedly approached to head the VA
  • Campaign finance fraud trial of Canton businessman begins
  • Cleveland pays over $2 million to settle shift-rounding lawsuit
  • RNC selection committee finishes up Cleveland trip today
  • Cleveland school teachers rank last in national attendance ranking
  • Ohio House passes bill to reduce costs for oral cancer treatments
  • Chevrolet Cruze sales continue to rise
  • ODOT to invest $4 million in turnpike-related projects
  • N.A.M.I. Ohio gets grant to train police
  • Cleveland Clinic CEO reportedly approached to head the VA
    Cleveland Clinic’s CEO is reportedly being considered to head the Department of Veterans Affairs in the wake of the VA wait time scandal. The Wall Street Journal reports the Obama Administration has approached Toby Cosgrove to take over following Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation last Friday. Cosgrove, 73, has been CEO of the Cleveland Clinic since 2004. He’s also a prominent heart surgeon with 30 medical patents. He earned a Bronze Star as a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. The Obama Administration has often referenced the Clinic as a model for health care reform.  

    Campaign finance fraud trial of Canton businessman begins
    The prosecution and defense are ready to outline their cases at the Cleveland trial of a Stark County businessman accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions to two Republican candidates. Opening statements were scheduled this morning in the trial of Ben Suarez. He is accused of steering about $100,000 each to Congressman Jim Renacci's re-election campaign and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign. Both campaigns returned the contributions after learning of the allegations that the 72-year-old Suarez and Michael Giorgio conspired to bundle contributions in the names of employees and their spouses. Attorneys for Suarez allege Giorgio embezzled $1 million from the company.

    Cleveland pays over $2 million to settle shift-rounding lawsuit
    The city of Cleveland will have to pay millions of dollars to employees after it was sued for improperly rounding the lengths of employees’ shifts. City clerk Cheryl Ambruster filed the suit because the clock system rounds to the lower increment instead of the closet increment, which she says shortens employees’ hours. The city will have to pay over $2 million to almost 4,000 former and current city employees. Under the settlement, the city has agreed to no longer use rounding rules.

    RNC selection committee finishes up Cleveland trip today
    The head of the Republican National Committee says the three cities competing with Cleveland to host the 2016 GOP national convention will have to work hard to outshine the northeast Ohio city. Party officials are in Cleveland for a three-day site visit that ends today. GOP chairman Reince Priebus told reporters Tuesday that the enthusiasm Cleveland has shown for hosting the convention can not be replaced. He says Republican officials on this visit and a previous one have found no technical weaknesses in Cleveland's ability to host the event. Cleveland is competing with Denver, Kansas City and Dallas. Cleveland also has submitted a bid to host the 2016 Democratic convention. An announcement about which city will be awarded the Republican convention is expected in mid-August.

    Cleveland school teachers rank last in national attendance ranking
    The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has the worst teacher attendance of 40 big city school districts, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality. The teachers missed an average of 16 days a school year. That is over three school weeks. However, the district and the teacher’s union say this number is not accurate, as it includes teacher training days. The district does say it wants to improve the numbers in the future. It will provide a small stipend for teachers with over 95 percent attendance and have a disciplinary policy for teachers will poor attendance.

    Ohio House passes bill to reduce costs for oral cancer treatments
    The Ohio House has passed legislation that would keep insurance companies from charging significantly more for chemotherapy pills than for traditional intravenous treatments. The bill passed in the House Tuesday had been sought for years. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign it. Supporters say the measure will provide patients with more treatment options by ensuring that health plan coverage for orally administered cancer medication is in line with the coverage for injected medication. They say pills can cause fewer side effects, target cancer cells more effectively, and give patients more freedom. Insurance and business interests argued the legislation would increase costs.

    Chevrolet Cruze sales continue to rise
    The Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze is continuing to see increased sales, despite major GM recalls. May Cruze sales went up over 40 percent from the same month last year, according to GM. Cruze sales were only about 500 units below the sales record of nearly 33,000 units in a month set in June of 2013. General GM sales went up over 10 percent in the same period.

    ODOT to invest $4 million in turnpike-related projects
    ODOT will spend $4 million for improvements along the Ohio Turnpike over the next two years. About half of the money will go to five projects in Portage, Trumbull and Mahoning counties. These are part of a program that aims to reduce the effects of things like drainage and congestion on communities within one mile of the roadway.

    N.A.M.I. Ohio gets grant to train police
    The Ohio Attorney General's office has given a $125,000 grant to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio to help train police officers. The money will go to police officer training, a documentary on interactions between officers and the mentally ill and studies on how the mentally ill enter the criminal justice system. The money for the grant came from the sale of a bankrupt psychiatric hospital in Mansfield. 

    Akron-based Myers Industries purchases competitor
    An Akron-based rubber company announced its plan to purchase a competitor for over $150 million. Myers Industries, Inc. will purchase Scepter Corp. and Scepter Manufacturing L.L.C. The acquisition will include warehouses and offices in Ontario, Canada and Oklahoma. Myers Industries was founded in 1933 and has about 3,000 employees. The company will also sell its lawn and gardening unit as part of a restructuring plan.

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