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Cleveland City Council approves plans to link I-490 to University Circle
Other morning headlines: Casino revenues improve slightly from April to May; Audit: 5 Ohio VA sites saw most vets within month
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The lastest WKSU news headlines: 
Cleveland City Council approves plans to link I-490 to University Circle
Cleveland City Council has approved plans for a six-lane boulevard linking I-490 with the city’s growing University Circle area. The Opportunity Corridor will cost more than $300 million for 3.5 miles of roadway through residential and commercial neighborhoods. It got a boost recently when it received funding from Ohio’s new Turnpike-based financing program. The Plain Dealer reports three council members voted against the plan, arguing it costs too much for its size and that the money would be better spent maintaining existing roads and improving public transit and walking and biking paths. The first phase of construction will begin this fall. 

Casino revenues improve slightly from April to May
New figures show revenue rose slightly at Ohio's four voter-approved casinos in May compared with the previous month. The Ohio Casino Control Commission's Monday report says the facilities had nearly $72 million in combined revenue last month, up from about $69 million in April. Together they have brought in more than $346 million so far this year. The month-to-month increases ranged from less than 1 percent at the Toledo casino to just over 5 percent for Columbus, which logged more than $18 million in May revenue. The Toledo casino reported nearly $16.2 million. Cleveland had nearly $19.5 million, and Cincinnati had over $17.1 million. Compared with the numbers from a year ago, May revenue was higher at the casinos in Columbus and Toledo and lower for Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Audit: 5 Ohio VA sites saw most vets within month
A federal audit shows that five Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Ohio scheduled most of their patients for appointments within 30 days, and two of those sites have been flagged for further review. The VA says more than 57,000 patients nationwide have been waiting three months or more for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics. The VA audit released Monday shows medical centers in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chillicothe and Dayton saw all but 2 percent of their patients within 30 days. The Cincinnati and Cleveland facilities are on the list for further review. The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center had 950 patients waiting 31 to 60 days. 

Foreclosures down in Ohio, U.S. 
Foreclosures declined in Ohio and throughout the U.S. in May. Real-estate and foreclosure information service RealtyTrac says statewide, foreclosure filings were down nearly 7 percent from April and about 27 percent from May 2013. National foreclosure filings dropped about 5 percent from April and nearly 26 percent from a year ago, to the lowest level since 2006. RealtyTrac includes foreclosure lawsuits, sheriff auctions and bank repossessions in its tally.

Ohioans face new procedures for unemployment benefits
New regulations are requiring Ohioans to do more to get unemployment benefits.The rules now require jobless workers to post their resumes on Ohio's job-search website, take three assessments and complete an unemployment questionnaire to continue receiving benefits. State officials tell The Columbus Dispatch that they hope the new process will expedite the job-search process for unemployed workers. The new rules were approved by the state Legislature last year. Workers will still be required to apply for at least two jobs every week. Nearly 67,000 Ohioans were collecting unemployment benefits as of May 31.

Akron forms plan to tackle more than 2,500 tall-grass complaints
The city of Akron has amassed more than 2,500 tall-grass complaints and now has a plan in place to begin catching up. The Beacon Journal reports the city will hire another seasonal employee and possibly hire another contractor. It will borrow two employees and mowing equipment from other departments and authorize comp time to full-time employees. The city will also urge the courts to assign more community service hours in lieu of fines. It hopes to get caught up on addressing the 800 open complaints by the end of the month. 

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