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Groups hope for raises for Ohio elected officials
Other morning headlines: Agency using new scale to grade Lake Erie algae; Ohio gas prices continue to drop
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The latest WKSU morning news headlines: 
Groups hope for raises for Ohio elected officials
Groups representing elected officials in Ohio who haven't had pay raises in years are hopeful that state lawmakers will increase those officials' salaries. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio's trial-court and appellate-court judges haven't had pay raises since at least 2008. State legislators, county elected officials and township trustees also haven't seen raises since then. All those officials' pay is set in Ohio law and can be increased only by a legislative vote. Lawmakers have not taken such a vote in about 14 years when they approved cost-of-living adjustments for most through 2008. A spokeswoman for House Speaker William Batchelder says he has not determined what to do about the pay-raise issue.

Agency using new scale to grade Lake Erie algae
Researchers are adding a new wrinkle to how they will forecast the yearly algae outbreaks on Lake Erie. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will use a scale of 1 to 10 to predict and rank the algae that is a growing problem off the northern Ohio shore. This summer's algae outbreak is expected to be a 5 or 6 on the scale. A researcher with the federal agency tells The Blade newspaper in Toledo that a ranking system similar to the Richter scale used for earthquakes may help people better understand the algae forecasts. Algae blooms on Lake Erie during recent years have been blamed for contributing to dead zones in the lake where fish can't survive and forcing cities to spend more money to treat drinking water.

Time running out for some Ohio veterans' bonuses
Veterans who served in Iraq during the war only have a few months left to claim Ohio bonuses of up to $1,500. And state officials are expanding efforts to reach potentially thousands of veterans who may miss out by not applying. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services is releasing public service announcements about the bonuses this week. They also have been spreading the word through postcards, social media and veterans groups. Ohio voters in 2009 approved a $200 million bond issue to fund bonuses for veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq war eras. The Persian Gulf-era application period ended last year. Veterans who served within Iraq's borders from March 19, 2003, through Dec. 31, 2011, have until the end of this year to apply.

Former Cleveland Orchestra conductor Maazel dies
Former Cleveland Orchestra conductor Lorin Maazel died Sunday at age 84. Maazel was born in Paris in 1930 and was a prodigy who began playing violin at age 5.  He first performed with the Cleveland Orchestra at age 12, and later serving as music director from 1972-1982. In a statement, the orchestra credited Maazel with his "dynamic energy and fresh ideas," which included the first complete recording of Porgy and Bess with an all-African-American cast.

Ohio gas prices continue to drop
Ohio gas prices are still falling and are well below the national average. The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.47 in today’s survey from auto club AAA and its partners. That's 9 cents cheaper than a week ago — and 41 cents lower than a month ago. Today’s national average was $3.61. Analysts say the price of crude oil is lower on expectations Libyan oil will soon return to the market, and higher wholesale gasoline prices have begun to subside in many parts of the country.

FitzGerald campaigns in southern Ohio
The Democratic candidate for governor is campaigning through southern Ohio, focusing on what he says are residents hurt by the incumbent's economic policies. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald says cuts in local government funding are among policies that have hurt public employees and other residents and that the state's recovery is lagging. Republican Gov. John Kasich says Ohio has been creating jobs, cutting taxes and closing budget shortfalls over the last four years. FitzGerald said in Cincinnati on Friday that the governor has helped the wealthiest Ohioans at the expense of the middle class. FitzGerald was scheduled Saturday to be at an International Association of Fire Fighters training demonstration in Cincinnati. He also had events planned in Lebanon, Wilmington and Jackson.

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