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Ohio


Ohio community makes plans to house immigrant children
Other morning headlines: Extradition of ex-Ohio official; charter school tweet wars; Public Square; Mahoning auditor decision; MH17; OSU band director
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Gov. John Kasich, speaking here to Chardon's graduating class, says he supports charter schools but will hold them accountable.
Courtesy of File photo
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
  • Immigrant children may come to Ohio
  • Feds move for extradition of former Ohio treasurer's aide from Pakistan
  • A tweet and trouble over charter schools in Ohio
  • Gund puts up $5 million for Public Square redo
  • Mahoning County auditor faces removal decision today
  • Former Summit County couple lost in MH17
  • Ohio State fires its band director after investigation reveals 'serious cultural issues'
  • Bedford's former prosecutor pleads guilty
  • Warren Steel gets new life
  • Ohio official pleads guilty in withholding $30 million in tax refunds
  • Woman gets 32 years in slave-labor case
  • No definitive word yet in Progressive Field death
  • Cincinnati excessive force case thrown out
  • Robin Roberts will launch Wingfoot One
  • Browns training begins Saturday
  • Heartbreaker for the Indians
  • Cavs sign $5.5 million deal with Wiggins


  • Immigrant children may come to Ohio
    A Cincinnati charity says it’s applied for a federal grant to try to bring to Ohio some of the immigrant children who have flooded across the U.S. border recently.

    Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio has applied for the money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help house the children. More than 57,000 minors have arrived since October, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador because of drug violence and other problems in those countries.

    Ted Bergh, CEO of Catholic Charities, tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that the children would be housed in a "dormitory environment" that could provide short-term shelter, education and counseling.

    Federal law requires that children be placed in protective care while their immigration cases are resolved.

    Feds move for extradition of former Ohio treasurer's aide from Pakistan
    Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to extradite a former Ohio deputy treasurer who fled to Pakistan. 

    Amer Ahmad pleaded guilty in December to taking half a million dollars in kickbacks for steering the state’s investment business to a Canton financial adviser, Douglas Hampton.

    Ahmad faces up to 15 years in prison and was ordered to repay $3.2 million. But he fled before a hearing in April. He turned up in Pakistan, where he was immediately arrested, accused of using counterfeit documents to get into the country. 

    Ahmad worked for former Democratic Treasurer Kevin Boyce, who was not charged.

    A tweet and trouble over charter schools in Ohio
    The communications director at the Ohio Department of Education could face discipline for a personal tweet in which he told charter-school opponents to back away from the debate and “maybe … get laid.”

    The tweet comes in the midst of an increasingly heated debate over charter schools that includes state and FBI investigations of charters run by Concept Schools

    According to the Columbus Dispatch, John Charlton was responding to criticism from a Democratic leaning group that he thinks  “charter schools are OK — no matter what shenanigans take place.“

    Charlton’s tweet told them to “Take a break from the muckraking” followed by the suggestion of how else they should spend the weekend.

    Charters are becoming a big issue in the gubernatorial campaign. Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald says that the state education department “has become an out-of-control state agency more concerned with personally attacking its critics than actually addressing the lack of oversight and accountability in Ohio’s for-profit charters.”

    Gov. John Kasich is a charter-school proponent, but says he will hold them accountable.

    Gund puts up $5 million for Public Square redo
    The Gund Foundation is putting up $5 million for the overhaul of Cleveland’s Public Square. The announcement comes a week after the Cleveland Foundation pledged $8 million for the project, which would replace the largely concrete downtown square with green space, walkways, a fountain area and concert space. The estimated cost is $30 million. The project will also shut down vehicular traffic for two blocks of Ontario.

    Mahoning County auditor faces removal decision today
    A three-member commission is expected to decide today if indicted Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino should at least temporarily lose his job.

    The Democrat was indicted on charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, bribery and perjury for his role in the fight against moving county offices from a private developer’s property.

    State law sets up a process to temporarily replace indicted officials while their cases are pending. But Sciortino would still be paid his $89,000 a year salary.

    Youngstown’s Mayor Mayor John A. McNally was also indicted for his part in the property deal in the mid 2000s.  But he was a Mahoning County commissioner then, and the law makes no allowances for removing him from his new post.

    Both men say they fought moving the county offices because they believed it was a bad deal for the county.

    Sciortino is a Democrat, and his name will appear as the party’s candidate for reelection in November if he does not resign by Aug. 11 – something he’s given no sign he plans to do.

    Former Summit County couple lost in MH17
    The Beacon Journal is reporting that a former Summit County businessman and his wife were among the nearly 300 people killed aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Auke Dalstra and his wife, Aafke, lived in Hudson from 2007 to 2010. He was chief financial officer of the VMI Group, a rubber industry supplier headquartered in the Netherlands but with operations in Stow. 

    On its Web site, the company remembers Dalstra as a man with “drive, superb intelligence, plain honesty and inspiring leadership,” and called him “a warm-hearted and compassionate person.”

    Ohio State fires its band director after investigation reveals 'serious cultural issues'
    Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band, alleging Jonathan Waters knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment. Investigators found students were pressured to march in their underwear, sing lewd songs and perform sexually themed stunts to earn often-explicit nicknames.

    Ohio State President Michael Drake says the university values respect and diversity and he was disappointed and shocked by the investigative findings.

    Waters had led what fans call "The Best Damn Band in the Land" since 2012, and served in lesser capacities for a decade. His popular halftime shows drew millions of viewers on YouTube.

    The day after the firing, the band is performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.

    Bedford's former prosecutor pleads guilty
    Former Bedford Law Director Kenneth Schuman has pleaded guilty to a single charge of having an unlawful interest in a public contract. 

    The charge is tied to a contract for bond work that he awarded in 2006 to the Cleveland law firm of Vorys, Sater Seymour & Pease. The law firm paid Schuman $9,500. He was indicted in December and resigned in April.

    Schuman is to be sentenced in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 3. A trial for his co-defendant, Bedford Municipal Judge Harry Jacob III, is scheduled for Aug. 6.

    Warren Steel gets new life
    Warren Steel Holdings plans to reopen in a week, thanks to a discounted utility rate approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

    The agreement will save the steel mill as much as $35 million over six years. The company has promised to employ at least 200 people and 25 contractors, as well as invest as much as $33 million.

    Ohio official pleads guilty in withholding $30 million in tax refunds
    A former top official at the Ohio Department of Taxation has pleaded guilty to a dereliction of duty involving more than $30 million in tax refunds wrongly withheld from companies.

    Rick Anthony served as Ohio's deputy tax commissioner. An investigation by Ohio’s inspector general found Anthony had marked refunds that had been approved as "pending," which means they were never actually paid.

    A new state law requires the state to notify taxpayers of overpayments.

    Truckers suit against Pilot Flying J gets a setback
    Trucking companies have lost one round in their fight against Pilot Flying J in a federal court in Kentucky. They were trying to move ahead with a process called discovery – including getting company documents. But the judge said the seven companies must wait until Pilot tries to get the case dismissed.

    Pilot is owned and run by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and the company has admitted it swindled trucking companies out of promised diesel fuel discounts. The company has reached settlements and agreed to pay a criminal fine totaling nearly $150 million. But some companies have opted out of the settlement and are continuing their own class action suit. Haslam says he was unaware of the scam.

    Woman gets 32 years in slave-labor case
    An Ashland woman has been sentenced to 32 years in federal prison for enslaving a mentally disabled woman through threats and intimidation. A federal judge in Youngstown sentenced Jessica Hunt yesterday. A jury had convicted Hunt and her boyfriend of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to illegally obtain prescription drugs.

    No definitive word yet in Progressive Field death
    A coroner's office say further tests and investigation are needed to determine what caused the death of a concertgoer at Progressive Field, whose body was found at a Lorain County landfill. Cleveland police say 22-year-old Cory Barron may have fallen down a garbage chute and landed in a large waste container. The Fremont man went missing Friday night.

    Cincinnati excessive force case thrown out
    A lawsuit alleging a police officer used excessive force when he fatally shot a 16-year-old boy in a struggle in downtown Cincinnati has been dismissed. A judge has determined that the officer  acted reasonably in self-defense when he shot Davon Mullins in 2011.

    Robin Roberts will launch Wingfoot One
    Robin Roberts of ABC News and ESPN will be christening Goodyear’s newest airship, Wingfoot One. Roberts great-grandfather worked for Goodyear, and her mother was born and graduated from high school in Akron.

    The blimp will launch from the Goodyear hangar at Wingfoot Lake on Aug. 23.

    Goodyear will be offering a limited number of tickets to the public, and details will be available through Twitter @Goodyear Blimp and on Facebook.  The airship was named in a public contest.

    Browns training begins Saturday
    The Browns open training camp tomorrow at the practice facility in Berea. But unless you are a player, coach or have tickets, don’t plan to show up when the gates open at 8:30 a.m.

    The Browns are requiring the free tickets for the first time, and have reached their limit for the first three days of practice. And the team also has reached its limit of 25,000 free tickets for a Family Day scrimmage Aug. 2 at the University of Akron.

    Heartbreaker for the Indians
    Nori Aoki singled home Lorenzo Cain in the 14th inning to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 2-1 win over Cleveland Thursday night. Indians starter Corey Kluber had carried a perfect game into the seventh inning on.

    Cavs sign $5.5 million deal with Wiggins
    The Cavaliers have signed the NBA draft’s No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggins, and their second-round pick, Joe Harris. The deal pays Wiggins $5.5 million next season – the maximum allowed by NBA rules for a rookie.

    Wiggins is 19 and was drafted after a year at Kansas. He’s been the subject of lots of trade rumors involving Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love. But now that he’s signed, NBA rules prohibit his being traded for at least 30 days.

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