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Morning Headlines: Men Wrongly Imprisoned for Murder Get Millions from Ohio

Kwame Ajamu
Brian Bull
Top headlines: Ohio man: Wife walked into oncoming traffic after argument; Ohio Senate passes 3-day sales tax holiday proposal  

  • Men wrongfully imprisoned for murder get millions from Ohio
  • Ohio man: Wife walked into oncoming traffic after argument
  • Ohio Senate passes 3-day sales tax holiday proposal
  • 27K Ohio homeowners eligible for federal refinancing program
  • Ohio father, son found dead of suspected fentanyl overdose
  • Locked-out Canton steelworkers have tentative contract

Men wrongfully imprisoned for murder get millions from Ohio
Two Ohio brothers who spent decades in prison for a murder they didn't commit will receive millions in additional compensation from the Ohio Court of Claims. The court announced Tuesday that 61-year-old Wiley Bridgeman will receive $2.4 million and 58-year-old KwameAjamunearly $2 million for being wrongfully imprisoned in the 1975 slaying of a salesman outside a corner store in Cleveland. Bridgeman received an initial payment of $970,000 and Ajamu $648,000 from the court last year. A third man convicted in the slaying, 59-year-old Ricky Jackson, has received $1 million thus far. Jackson spent 39 years in prison, Bridgeman 37 years and Ajamu 25 years. All were sentenced to death. They were exonerated last year after a key witness who was 13 when he testified recanted.

Ohio man: Wife walked into oncoming traffic after argument
The husband of a northeast Ohio firefighter says the two were arguing just before she exited the sport utility vehicle and was fatally hit by a car on state Route 8. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office says 43-year-old Tonya Johnson of Canton and her husband of nine days were headed home Monday afternoon when they encountered heavy traffic in Akron. Police say Johnson's husband told investigators they had been discussing their relationship issues and arguing about traffic. Authorities say she then walked into oncoming traffic and was hit by a pickup truck. About ten cars crashed. Authorities say Johnson took medication for a mental health disorder on Monday. The medical examiner's office says her death is believed to be a suicide. An official determination hasn't been issued.

Ohio Senate passes 3-day sales tax holiday proposal
Shoppers in Ohio could get a three-day break from the state's sales tax this summer under a bill passed by the state Senate. The bill had initially sought to make the sales tax holiday a yearly occurrence. Sponsoring Sen. Kevin Bacon said the bill was changed Tuesday to make it a one-year pilot at the request of the state's taxation department. The bill passed on a 31-1 vote Tuesday. Ohio had its first-ever sales tax holiday last August to help back-to-school shoppers reduce the cost of clothing and school supplies. The holiday would apply to clothing items that cost $75 or less and to classroom supplies and instructional materials that cost $20 or less. Such items include book bags, textbooks, notebooks and pencils. The tax-exempt period would cover Aug. 5-7.

27K Ohio homeowners eligible for federal refinancing program
The federal government is in the midst of a 10-day social media campaign aimed at Ohio and nine other states to let homeowners know they may still be eligible for a refinancing program that expires Dec. 31. With the hashtagHARPNow, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is trying to get the word out about the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. It's for homeowners who owe as much as or more than what their home is worth. More than 27,000 Ohioans are still eligible for the program, who would save an average of $1,500 a year by refinancing. The campaign targets the 10 states with the most homeowners eligible for the program. So far, about 130,000 Ohio homeowners have refinanced through the program.

Ohio father, son found dead of suspected fentanyl overdose
A father and son have been found dead in Akron after apparently overdosing on the powerful narcotic fentanyl. An investigator with the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office said today that the bodies of 64-year-old Thomas Nash and 46-year-old Vincent Nash were discovered Feb. 17 in the attic of an Akron boarding house. Syringes and a bag containing fentanyl were found near the men and that there were no signs of foul play. A medical examiner in Cleveland said last week there's evidence that fentanyl sold in Ohio is manufactured in China.

Locked-out Canton steelworkers have tentative contract
A tentative deal has been reached with steel workers who have been locked out of a Stark County facility since August. The United Steelworkers say that a new four-year contract with specialty steel maker Allegheny Technologies Inc., or ATI, would bring an end to the company’s six-month lockout of 2,200 workers at 12 facilities in six states. That includes around 120 union members at the Louisville plant near Canton. The National Labor Relations Board announced on Feb 12 that the lockout was illegal and that ATI bargained in bad faith.