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Cleveland fast-tracks $2.5 million for 2016 GOP convention


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
The latest WKSU morning news headlines:

Cleveland fast-tracks $2.5 million for 2016 GOP convention
The city of Cleveland has fast-tracked spending $2.5 million dollars to secure the 2016 Republican National Convention.  City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the legislation. It comes about a week after the RNC’s site selection committee recommended Cleveland to host the event. The region will have to come up with about $60 million to cover the costs of the convention. Mayor Frank Jackson's legislation includes guaranteeing the possible use of city-owned facilities including FirstEnergy Stadium and Public Square. Cleveland Host Committee Chairman Terry Egger says the group has lined up about $30 million in funding commitments. The city faces a deadline of August 7-9, when the RNC meets to formally vote on the 2016 site. 

Explosion levels Ashtabula County home
Authorities say a house in Ashtabula County has exploded, killing a 27-year-old woman and injuring a man. The blast was reported around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday in the village of Orwell, roughly 45 miles east of Cleveland. The highway patrol tells WJW-TV that the family had been smelling gas for a few weeks, and the man went upstairs and lit a cigarette — and that's when the house exploded.

Cleveland settles lawsuit over deadly 2012 police chase
The city of Cleveland has settled a federal lawsuit filed by the estates of two unarmed people killed in a hail of 137 gunshots fired by police after a chase in November 2012. An order filed Wednesday and signed by a federal judge does not specify the terms of the settlement between the city and the estates of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The 43-year-old Russell and the 30-year-old Williams were killed by police after a 20-mile pursuit that involved 62 police cruisers and more than 100 officers. It ended in the parking lot of a middle school in East Cleveland. Six police officers have been indicted. A patrol officer is charged with voluntary manslaughter, and five supervisors face misdemeanor counts of dereliction of duty. All have pleaded not guilty.

Ohio A.G. DeWine urges appeals court to reject gay marriage request
The Ohio Attorney General's Office is urging an appeals court to reject arguments that the state should have to recognize gay marriage, saying that decision should be left to voters. The arguments filed in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati preview what's to come Aug. 6, when the court hears arguments in five cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Attorneys for same-sex couples say their clients have a constitutional right to marry, and courts have a duty to protect that, even if voters favored banning it. A previous Ohio attorney general and several law enforcement agencies have made filings in support of those arguments. The current attorney general vowed to uphold Ohio's gay marriage ban, saying he must defend laws passed by voters.

Auditor launches charter school investigation
The state auditor is launching an investigation of a charter school chain after learning of alleged test cheating and other potentially criminal misdeeds at a Dayton school. The Ohio Department of Education and the FBI are also investigating. The Columbus Dispatch reports that state Auditor David Yost opened the investigation at the request of the Ohio Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union. Yost says newer allegations corroborate older claims his office learned of last winter. Four former teachers at Horizon Science Academy in Dayton gave the state school board Wednesday accounts of sex games and test tampering at the school.

Trial delayed for man accused of murdering three Cleveland women
The trial of a sex offender charged with killing three women in Cleveland has been pushed back to November. Court records show that a Cuyahoga County judge granted Michael Madison's request for a continuance on Tuesday. The trial was scheduled to begin next Monday. The new trial date is Nov. 3. Judge Nancy McDonnell delayed the trial as an appeals court examines her ruling to force Madison to take a psychological exam. Madison is charged with killing the women and leaving their bodies in trash bags in a rundown East Cleveland neighborhood. He has pleaded not guilty. The bodies were found last July. 

Ohio prisons want to use drones
Ohio's prisons agency is weighing the use of drones as a security measure keeping watch over corrections facility yards and fences. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is taking public comments over the next month about the proposal for unmanned aerial vehicles at Lebanon Correctional Institution and Warren Correctional Institution in southwest Ohio. The agency is considering three options: a tethered helium balloon, a quad-copter and a fixed-wing vehicle.

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