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State wants inmates' lawsuit over execution drugs dismissed
Other morning headlines: Man who sold heroin to Chardon victim's father gets prison term; Ebola survivor donating blood to help fight virus
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Morning headlines for Thursday, January 22, 2015:
State wants inmates' lawsuit over execution drugs dismissed
The state is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four death row inmates challenging a new state law that shields the names of companies providing lethal injection drugs. The inmates say the law violates free speech rights and they've asked the same judge to stop the provisions from taking effect in March. The state said in a filing Tuesday that nothing in the law violates prisoners' First Amendment rights or affects their ability to argue the issue in court. Lawyers for the state Attorney General say the law denies inmates access to information in the hands of the state, which is not the same thing as suppressing free speech. The law is meant to restart Ohio executions delayed by a lack of drugs.

Ohio Democrats eye raising minimum wage, expanding Medicaid

Democratic state senators are making their pitch for raising Ohio's minimum wage and ensuring that an expansion of the Medicaid health program remains in place. Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni joined other Democratic senators on Wednesday to discuss the caucus' priorities for the new legislative session. Other items on their agenda include increasing job training opportunities, regulating charter schools, improving police-community relations, and investing in roads, sewers and other infrastructure. It's uncertain how much of the minority party's priorities can be accomplished. Republicans control the governor's office and the Ohio Legislature. The Democrats' agenda comes as Gov. John Kasich prepares to release his two-year budget proposal early next month.

Cuyahoga County's mistake results in slightly higher taxes
A mistake made by Cuyahoga County has resulted in slightly higher first-half tax bills for those who own property inside the Cleveland Municipal School District. A county spokeswoman says the difference for the typical homeowner is about $4.20. Property owners are being assessed 1 mill on the first-half tax bill instead of the .5-mills approved by voters in November for school maintenance. About 145,000 property owners are affected. Those paying their first-half taxes will see an adjustment in their second-half bills. Those who have or will be paying for the full year will receive a refund.

Man who sold heroin to Chardon victim's father gets prison term
A man who sold heroin that led to the death of a Chardon High School shooting victim’s father has been sentenced to prison. Russell King Sr. died of a heroin overdose last February, on the second anniversary of the school shooting that killed his son and two other students. On Wednesday, 26-year-old Chas Johnson, formerly of Euclid, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and trafficking. Another suspected heroin dealer, Chad Riffett of Chardon faces involuntary manslaughter charges tied to King's death.

Yost to announce results of charter school visits
State Auditor Dave Yost will release results today of head counts of students taken during unannounced site visits to 30 Ohio community schools last fall. Yost says the attendance checks conducted on Oct. 1 came in response to reports of irregular attendance and enrollment practices within several community or charter schools. He also plans to make recommendations to both charter school sponsors and the Ohio Department of Education, which oversees their operations. The event comes as Gov. John Kasich and state legislative leaders have said they'll pursue revisions to Ohio's charter school laws after a series of negative reports.

Ebola survivor donating blood to help fight virus
An Akron native who survived the deadly Ebola virus tells WKYC she wants to help find a cure. Dallas nurse Amber Vinson made national headlines last October when she contracted the disease while caring for an Ebola patient. Just before showing symptoms, she was permitted to travel to Northeast Ohio to plan her wedding. WKYC reports Vinson is donating her blood to Texas company, XBiotech, for them to make a new drug to combat the virus. She says if the drug works, the company will donate 5% of profits to people fighting the disease who cannot afford treatment.

Two Cleveland police officers hurt after shots fired
Two Cleveland police officers have been treated at a hospital for minor injuries after apparently being fired on by a suspect during an arrest. Multiple media reports say the shooting happened on the city's east side as officers were trying to make an arrest after trailing an alleged burglary suspect. Reports say the suspect, a passenger in the car, allegedly pulled a gun during a struggle with the officers and fired. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says officers had been following a pickup truck that matched the description of one used in the burglary.

Ohio man to be arraigned for U.S. terror threats
A 20-year-old Ohio man accused of plotting to kill officials and workers at the U.S. Capitol faces arraignment on new charges in federal court. An indictment returned in Cincinnati charges Christopher Lee Cornell of suburban Green Township with two counts that carry possible sentences of up to 20 years each. They allege attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees, and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. He also faces a firearms-related charge. His arraignment is today. A magistrate last week concluded he posed a danger to the community and denied bond.
Cornell's attorney said he wants to be called by his Muslim name and have access to a prayer mat in jail.
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