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Former Kent State Softball Player Sues Coach and School Over Alleged Rape Cover-up

Photo of former Kent State softball coach Karen Linder
Kent State University Athletics
Top headlines: State of Ohio confirms two cases of Zika virus in Northeast Ohio; Portage County prosecutors want teen accused in death of a Kent State freshman be tried as an adult; Ohio EPA: Sebring failed to communicate updated water test results to residents

 

Morning headlines for Wednesday, January 10, 2016:

Former Kent State softball player sues coach and school over alleged rape cover-up
A former softball player and current student at Kent State University has sued her coach and the school, claiming they engaged in a cover-up and failed to follow federal guidelines after she reported being raped by the coach's son.

Laura Kesterson's lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court alleges she was raped by then-coach Karen Linder's son in 2012. The lawsuit says she told Karen Linder about the attack in 2014 and a university official the following year. Kesterson's attorney says she didn't report the attack to police.

The lawsuit alleges that Linder didn't report the allegation to the university, and school officials didn't follow its procedures. Linder resigned in August 2015. In a statement, the university said, "When we are formally served with the complaint, we will answer accordingly. The university is strongly committed to Title 9, and we take these matters very seriously. "

State of Ohio confirms two cases of Zika virus in Northeast Ohio
There are two confirmed cases of Zika virus in Northeast Ohio. The cases both involve people who recently visited Haiti, a 30-year-old Cleveland woman and 21-year-old Stark County man. The cases are not linked. The department says the cases are among more than three dozen in 13 states and Washington, D.C. There's no vaccine for the virus, which primarily spreads through bites from a mosquito not typically found in Ohio. Officials plan a preparedness exercise before Ohio's mosquito season begins in May. Many people infected don't get sick. Some experience mild illness with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Officials are investigating whether there's a link between Zika infections in pregnant women and a rare birth defect.

Portage County prosecutors want teen accused in death of a Kent State freshman tried as an adult
Portage County prosecutors want a Stow teen charged in the murder of a Kent State University student to be tried as an adult. The prosecutor's office has filed a motion to move 17-year-old Ty Kremling's case from juvenile court to Portage County Common Pleas Court. Police allege Kremling shot Kent State freshman Nicholas Massa of Westlake on Sunday during an armed robbery at an off-campus apartment. Police are still searching for two other teens involved in the robbery.

Calls for change in leadership at the University of Akron continue to grow
Calls for a change in leadership at the University of Akron are increasing. About two dozen department chairs and directors sent a letter to the school’s board of trustees and the state chancellor asking for "an immediate change in direction and leadership." Last week the faculty senate overwhelmingly passed a no-confidence vote in President Scott Scarborough's leadership. Last year Scarborough announced a series of cutbacks, layoffs, program eliminations and other changes. The University board of trustees, where Scarborough continues to have strong support, is meeting today.

Ohio EPA: Village failed to communicate updated water test results to residents
New information shows that the Ohio EPA has failed to communicate recent test results to homeowners in a Mahoning County village who requested sampling. The agency says Sebring also didn't submit required weekly reports about water chemistry. Ohio EPA staff conducting follow-up testing over the past weekend realized the village hadn't promptly and thoroughly notified a few residents whose water had showed high lead levels. The EPA says nearly 700 water samples have been submitted for testing so far, and at least 30 homes showed lead levels above the federal standard.

Federal indictments against Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's trucking company unsealed
Federal indictments were unsealed Tuesday against the former president of Jimmy Haslam’s trucking company and seven other former executives and managers of Pilot Flying J. But nowhere does the indictment list the Browns owner himself -- not even in a section on unindicted coconspirators. The indictments say ex-President Mark Hazelwood and the others OK’d an expanded program to defraud small trucking companies who had been promised rebates as part of their fuel contracts.

It says the fraud continued for five years. The indictments list a combination of conspiracy, fraud and witness- tampering charges and of lying to federal agents. The indictments were actually filed last week but kept sealed until Tuesday’s arraignments. The evidence presented with the indictment includes an email from the former sales vice president, John Freeman, encouraging the deceit. It reads: “Say one thing, do another.” Ten other employees have pleaded guilty in the case.

Cleveland police officer fired after 2012 deadly high-speed chase wants his job back
A Cleveland police officer is fired after a high-speed chase led to a 137-shot barrage that killed two unarmed black people says he wants to return to the force. Six police officers were fired last month following the November 2012 chase and shooting. The chase began when officers mistook a car backfiring for a gunshot. It ended in East Cleveland. Thirteen officers shot their guns, leaving Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams dead. Former officer Freddy Diaz, who fired first, tells WJW-TV that he doesn't want to relive that night or think about it, but that it remains "embedded" in him. Diaz was found guilty of administrative charges including failure to ask permission to join the pursuit.

Lawsuit challenging Cleveland’s traffic cameras heads to judge for further deliberation
The Ohio Supreme Court has sent a lawsuit challenging Cleveland's traffic camera ticket system back to a judge for further deliberation. The court's 4-3 decision Tuesday says the judge must first decide whether drivers had to use the city's administrative appeal process before suing for damages. The Supreme Court said an earlier appeals court ruling allowed the lawsuit to continue but didn't address the issue of the administrative process. The class-action lawsuit involves Cleveland's now-suspended program using an automatic-camera system to catch and fine red light and speeding violators. A 2014 Ohio law essentially banned the cameras.

Promoter cancels annual Cleveland rib cook-off ahead of its 25th anniversary
After 24 years, Cleveland's annual rib festival is coming to an end. The promoter of the event, Live Nation, says it’s cancelling the 2016 Great American Rib Cook-Off, held each Memorial Day weekend. The group tells the Plain Dealer it feels it’s best to focus attention on other functions in the Cleveland area.

Man associated with Black Lives Matter movement kills himself at Ohio’s capitol
A man associated with the Black Lives Matter movement killed himself on the steps of Ohio's capitol Monday night. MarShawn McCarrel, 23, had organized protests in Ohio inspired by those in Ferguson, Missouri. He was active in other civil rights initiatives, and launched a program to help the homeless. He posted a Facebook message on Monday saying, "My demons won today."