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Federal report shows ground water at risk from fracking waste
Other headlines: Cleveland drinking water safe from toxic algae; Toledo mayor seeks help in fighting algae blooms
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Cleveland drinking water safe from toxic algae
  • Toledo mayor seeks help in fighting algae blooms
  • Judge extends ban on executions in Ohio
  • Judge delays closing of last Toledo abortion clinic
  • OSU band alumna says investigation ‘misconstrued’ events
  • Steubenville teen back on football team after serving sentence for rape
  • YSU unions enter tough contact talks 
  • Increase in guns found at airport checkpoints 
  • Fire damages building in Massillon 
  • Tallmadge softball team heads to semi-finals 
  • Federal report shows ground water at risk from fracking waste
    A new federal report says that natural gas production in Ohio's Utica Shale region is growing rapidly.

    The report issued yesterday found that production from the Utica region in eastern Ohio increased by more than 10 times over the last two years, with an estimated output of 1.3 billion cubic feet per day by September 2014.

    A separate federal investigation has found that state governments do not do enough to protect drinking water from contamination from fracking waste injection wells.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports that the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that existing regulations do not adequately protect ground water from chemicals that could leak from injection wells following earthquakes.

    Julia Ortiz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. EPA, told the Dispatch that the agency is reviewing the report, but generally agrees with the findings. 

    Ohio has about 200 fracking wastewater injection wells.

     

    Cleveland drinking water safe from toxic algae
    The supplier of water to 1.4 million people in the Cleveland area has not seen any evidence of the toxin found in algal blooms that recently caused Toledo to warn 400,000 people not to drink or wash with tap water.

    Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald held a summit Monday to allow experts and officials to report what has been occurring in Lake Erie's central basin in the wake of the Toledo crisis.

    Experts say one of Greater Cleveland's advantages over Toledo is the lack of nearby farm land. Fertilizers are a primary source for phosphorous and the blue-green algal blooms that triggered Toledo's crisis.

    A Cleveland Division of Water official says Cleveland holds another key advantage over Toledo because it has four water intakes instead of just one.

     

    Toledo mayor seeks help in fighting algae blooms
    Toledo's mayor has sent a letter to President Barack Obama, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and lawmakers imploring them to do whatever it takes financially to get the city through the 2014 algae season without any more water problems.

    Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins on Monday called on federal and state officials to "take swift action to preserve our health and quality of life," according to The Blade newspaper.

    Collins said he did not specify an amount of money needed nor advocate for specific legislation.

    Earlier this month, 400,000 people in the Toledo area were advised against drinking tap water because it was contaminated by algae-induced toxins from Lake Erie.

     

    Judge extends ban on executions in Ohio
    A federal judge has extended a months-long moratorium on executions in Ohio as debate over the state's new two-drug combination continues.

    The moratorium was to end this week. The new order extends it through Jan. 15.

    The delay highlights the ongoing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death.

    On Jan. 16, an Ohio inmate repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die, and an Arizona inmate who took nearly two hours to die July 23.

     

    Judge delays closing of last Toledo abortion clinic
    A judge has issued a stay allowing Toledo's last abortion clinic to remain open while it appeals an order from the Ohio Department of Health to shut down.

    The stay issued Monday comes just a day before the Capital Care Network abortion clinic had been slated to close.

    The state health department ordered the closure a month ago following a hearing officer's recommendation that said the clinic lacked a valid transfer agreement with a "local" hospital.

    The clinic has argued that an agreement with a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, puts it in compliance with a new Ohio law that requires the transfer agreement. State officials disagree.

     

    OSU band alumna says investigation ‘misconstrued’ events
    A witness in the investigation of Ohio State's marching band says it's "absurd" to suggest fired director Jonathan Waters was dismissive of sexual harassment.

    In a letter to President Michael Drake and trustees, the witness says she was sexually assaulted in high school and Waters protected her by involving stadium security when the perpetrator's relatives attended a band rehearsal.

    She says a meeting with Waters was misconstrued in the investigation report that led to his firing.

     

    Steubenville back on football team after serving sentence for rape
    A Steubenville teen convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party in 2012 is back on the high school football team, according to the Plain Dealer.

    Ma'lik Richmond was released from juvenile detention earlier this year.

    Richmond and former football teammate Trent Mays were sentenced last March after they were accused of sexually assaulting a West Virginia girl who had passed out after a night of drinking.

    Mays remains in detention.

     

    YSU unions enter tough contact talks
    The unions representing faculty and employees at Youngstown State University are facing pushback in contract talks with the office of new president Jim Tressel.

    The Beacon Journal reports that union officials were rebuked for seeking time off from classes to complete contract negotiations.

    The University’s chief negotiator told the union that there is no reason talks need to linger past the August 19th start of the fall semester.

    OEA President Annette Burden in an email told Tressel that “After three years of givebacks, and facing three more, faculty are feeling demoralized, disillusioned, disrespected and unappreciated.”

     

    Injured teacher heads to rehab in PA
    A northeast Ohio teacher who was severely injured when a rock was dropped on a car on a Pennsylvania highway has moved to a rehabilitation hospital.

    Fifty-two-year-old Sharon Budd of Uniontown was riding on I-80 on July 10 when a large rock smashed the windshield and hit her in the face.

    Budd had several surgeries, and part of her brain was removed. She lost sight in at least one eye.

    Four Pennsylvania teens are charged as adults in the rock-throwing.

     

    Increase in guns found at airport checkpoints
    Federal transportation officials say firearms are showing up more often at airport checkpoints in Ohio and around the country — and most have been loaded.

    Transportation Security Administration officers on Sunday detected a loaded handgun in a passenger's carry-on bag at the Dayton International Airport. Dayton Daily News reports it's the third firearm confiscated by airport police this year — compared to just one in all of 2013.

    The passenger was licensed to carry the gun, and he was not arrested.

    TSA spokesman Mark Howell says the agency has detected a 25-percent increase in the past year of people bringing guns to checkpoints.

     

    Fire damages building in Massillon
    A fire has damaged part of a city block in downtown Massillon last night despite a heavy downpour.

    The Canton Repository reports that firefighters saved a large portion of the main office building of Hammersmith Insurance.

    No injuries have been reported.

     

    Tallmadge softball team heads to semi-finals
    A team from northeast Ohio is to the Little League Softball World Series semi finals.

    The team from Tallmadge beat Puerto Rico 4 – 1 last night. 

    The win gives the Central Region champs the No. 2 seed in tonight’s 9pm semi-final game.

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