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FitzGerald asks high court to throw out GOP lawsuit
Other headlines: Cuyahoga County pushes Voting Rights Amendment; Steubenville coach says player has paid his dues

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Cuyahoga County pushes Voting Rights Amendment
  • Steubenville coach says player has paid his dues
  • Bed tax extension will fund tourism and inductions 
  • Doctor claims Ohio execution was not humane 
  • Former anti-poverty official charged for alleged kickbacks 
  • New $1.75 billion pipeline planned for region’s shale gas 
  • Columbus schools get new report card ratings 
  • Casinos seek to expand smoking slots 
  • State funds new heroin recovery model program 
  • Floods halt RTA train lines 
  • Horse and wagon accident kills one and injures nine in Berlin 
  • FitzGerald asks high court to throw out GOP lawsuit
    The Democratic candidate for governor has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to toss out a Republican lawsuit trying to force him to release key-card data showing when he enters and leaves county buildings and parking facilities as the Cuyahoga County executive.

    Attorneys for Ed FitzGerald say the lawsuit should be rejected on technical grounds because a supporting document wasn't filed.

    The request filed Tuesday also says the Ohio Republican Party was already informed that FitzGerald's key-card data would not be released for security reasons.

    Democrats have suggested FitzGerald's refusal to provide the records is similar to a decision by the administration of his GOP opponent. Gov. John Kasich's administration has sought to block release of records detailing threats against the governor, because both involve a government leader's security.


    Cuyahoga County pushes Voting Rights Amendment
    Voters in Ohio’s most populous county will now decide on whether to add a Voting Rights Amendment to the county charter.

    Cuyahoga County Council yesterday placed the measure on the fall ballot.

    It makes protecting the right to vote part of the county's core mission.

    County executive and gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald proposed the amendment in response to state law changes from Republicans in Columbus that reduced the number of days voters can cast early ballots and blocked counties from mailing unsolicited absentee ballots.


    Bed tax extension will fund tourism and inductions
    Cuyahoga County Council yesterday approved a 40 year extension of the county bed tax. 

    The tax on hotel guests had originally funded the building of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    The 1.5 percent extension will fund marketing efforts for the city and cover the $1.25 million dollar cost of holding the Rock Hall inductions in Cleveland every three years.


    Steubenville coach says player has paid his dues
    Steubenville High School’s football coach is defending his decision to allow a player convicted of rape return to the team.

    Ma'Lik Richmond played a scrimmage for the first time yesterday since serving time in a juvenile detention center for raping a 16-year-old girl two years ago.

    Steubenville football coach Reno Saccoccia says Richmond did everything the judicial system asked of him and deserves a second chance.

    The Ohio High School Athletic Association says it's up to the school to determine whether a student athlete participates.


    Doctor claims Ohio execution was not humane
    An anesthesiologist working for the family of an Ohio inmate put to death says the prisoner experienced pain and suffering during the prolonged execution.

    California doctor Kent Diveley says neither of the drugs used to execute Dennis McGuire can be relied on to produce a rapid loss of consciousness and death.

    In a report released Tuesday Diveley said the Jan. 16th execution was not humane from a medical perspective.

    A federal civil rights lawsuit filed by McGuire's family alleges he "suffered needless pain and suffering" during the record 26 minutes it took him to die.

    The state prisons agency concluded there was no evidence McGuire experienced pain. 


    Former anti-poverty official charged for alleged kickbacks
    The former head of an agency that oversaw Head Start and Cleveland-area anti-poverty programs has been charged in federal court with accepting $24,000 in illegal goods and services.

    Jacqueline Middleton of Shaker Heights resigned in April from the Council of Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland after it became known she was under investigation.

    She is accused of accepting work on her home and other things of value from two contractors who worked for the agency.


    New $1.75 billion pipeline planned for region’s shale gas
    A company is planning a $1.75 billion project that includes laying 160 miles of natural gas pipeline in Ohio and West Virginia.

    Columbia Pipeline Group announced yesterday that pipeline would help transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

    It will support natural gas development in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia.

    Columbia expects to start construction in fall 2016 before putting the pipeline in service in the second half of 2017.


    Columbus schools get new report card ratings
    The Ohio Department of Education is changing the report-card ratings for 20 Columbus schools that had cheated their way to better grades.

    The state will lower the grades for most of the schools today when it issues changes to three years' worth of recalculated ratings for schools in the large district.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports that 18 of the district's 116 schools will receive lower overall ratings for the 2010-11 school year.

    That's the school year that has been most scrutinized by investigators looking into the manipulation of attendance data by administrators trying to improve the school's overall rating.

    The state already has reissued 2010-11 report cards for a handful of other Ohio districts that also scrubbed data.


    Casinos seek to expand smoking slots
    Ohio's casinos want to make sure gamblers can still feed the slot machines during their smoke breaks.

    Major casinos in Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo want to install slot machines in designated smoking areas while keeping their main gaming floors smoke-free.

    Cincinnati's downtown casino plans to install about 150 slot machines and other gaming devices on a nearly 10,000-square-foot smoking deck now under construction.

    Ohio's smoking ban has been seen as a disadvantage compared to Indiana casinos where smoking is allowed.

    All five of Ohio's racinos have at least a few slots in smoking areas. 


    State funds new heroin recovery model program
    A northwest Ohio county is getting a $650,000 grant from the state's attorney general to help fund a pilot program for heroin addicts.

    The funds will help Lucas County create two new victim advocate and clinical positions to assist addicts immediately after a heroin overdose.

    The University of Toledo will evaluate the program's effectiveness and potential use as a model for other communities.

    Like many states, Ohio has seen a surge in heroin use and a sharp rise in overdose deaths.

    Lucas County was picked because of county leaders' efforts to provide support to heroin overdose survivors.


    Officials bust illegal gaming parlor in Mahoning County
    State officials have searched a Mahoning County business suspected of operating as an illegal casino.

    Local police and agents with the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation removed 54 machines from the business Tuesday.

    The facility is suspected to be operating casino gaming machines and giving cash payouts.

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the state will not tolerate illegal casinos that lack regulatory oversight.


    Floods halt RTA train lines
    Flooding has closed two RTA train lines in Cleveland.

    Buses will be carrying passengers along the Blue and Green Line routes today.

    RTA customers are advised to plan for extra time this morning as crews clean up flooded areas.


    OSU drills new well to fill Mirror Lake
    Ohio State University is going to refill its iconic Mirror Lake using water from an underground well.

    Crews are expected to start pumping water from the well today into the campus lake that has been empty since it was drained in December.

    The university emptied the lake to look for a new source after finding that it took 50,000 gallons of water a day to keep it filled.

    A company hired by the university drilled 140 feet down to tap into water below ground. The lake will fill up over the next week.


    Horse and wagon accident kills one and injures nine in Berlin
    The Holmes County Sheriff is investigating an accident yesterday with a horse drawn wagon that left one man dead and nine others injured.

    A worker at the Ridge Ranch Animal Park in Berlin fell under the wheels and was run over by the wagon.

    Investigators say Orley Miller stopped the wagon he was operating to let passengers feed wildlife.

    They say Miller was leaning on the wagon's safety rail, which broke and caused him to fall backward. The spooked horses then took off, and the wagon ran over him and struck a tree.

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