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Morning Headlines: CWRU Seeks Investigation of Hudson Officer; U of Akron Gets Free Bike-Sharing

photo of Hudson police cruiser
CITY OF HUDSON

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 14th:

  • Columbus officer gets desk duty for threatening suspect;
  • Defense attorney believes condemned killer suffered during execution;
  • Ohio Supreme Court will hear an appeal from ECOT over enrollment data dispute;
  • Tuscarawas Sheriff's Office auctions historic gun to buy new equipment;
  • Case law students and faculty call for investigation of deadly shooting of Emirati student by a Hudson officer;
  • Charges dropped in RNC flag burning incident;
  • City of Cleveland releases report on race relations;
  • University of Akron and Kent State report enrollment drop;
  • University of Akron begins free bike-sharing program;

Columbus officer gets desk duty for threatening suspect
A Columbus police officer is being pulled from patrol duties over comments he made following an arrest captured on a cellphone video that showed other officers kicking and punching the man. Police Chief Kimberley Jones says she is appalled by the body camera footage that shows the officer threatening to choke a suspect. The Columbus Dispatch identifies the officer as 32-year-old Joseph Bogard. The department says Bogard didn't appear to be involved in the September 1st arrest inside a Columbus convenience store.

Defense attorney believes condemned killer suffered during execution
A man convicted of killing two people in back-to-back robberies in Parma in 1992 was executed Wednesday as family members of his victims looked on. Gary Otte was administered three lethal drugs. Defense attorney Carol Wright said she believes the rising and falling of Otte's chest and tears she saw on his face while the first drug, the sedative midazolam, was being administered indicated that he was suffering from a phenomenon known as air hunger. She tried unsuccessfully at first to leave the room to alert a federal judge about her concerns. A prisons spokeswoman said proper security protocol was followed, and the execution was carried out without complication.

Ohio Supreme Court will hear an appeal from ECOT over enrollment data dispute
Ohio's high court has agreed to consider an enrollment dispute the state's largest online charter school says could determine the fate of the entire industry. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to hear an appeal from Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, commonly called ECOT. The school is challenging how the Ohio Department of Education tallied student log-ins when it determined that ECOT must repay $60 million for misrepresenting enrollment in 2015-16. The state contends ECOT didn't provide adequate documentation of student participation to justify the nearly 14,000 students for which it was compensated. The school argues the state wrongly changed reporting criteria. ECOT is one of the largest online charter schools in the U.S. It announced last month that it was applying to be designated a dropout prevention school.

Tuscarawas Sheriff's Office auctions historic gun to buy new equipment
The Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office has auctioned off a 1920s-era Thompson submachine gun for $90,000. Bidding began at $40,000 Monday night at the county justice center in New Philadelphia. An anonymous buyer purchased the gun with an appraised value of $37,000. The department bought the gun in 1934. Auction proceeds will be used to buy equipment.

Case law students and faculty call for investigation of deadly shooting of Emirati student by a Hudson officer
57 graduate students and faculty members at Case Western Reserve University’s law school are asking the U.S. Attorney in Cleveland to investigate the shooting of a fellow student by a Hudson police officer. In a letter, the group questioned why last December, officer Ryan Doran immediately drew his gun and charged at Saif Alameri in a wooded area. The letter asks why the officer chose “to escalate the situation” with the threat of deadly force toward a likely “disoriented and panicked accident victim.” The group also asks whether Alameri’s race played a factor in the officer’s decision to draw his gun. A grand jury declined to indict Doran following his account of being tackled and choked by Alameri before shooting him five times. A U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman tells Cleveland.com the letter will be reviewed.

Charges dropped in RNC flag burning incident
Charges have been dropped against two men who were previously accused of hitting police officers during a flag-burning protest at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year. The two men had pleaded not guilty to striking officers during a flag-burning protest. Lawyers for the protesters say 12 people still face aggravated disorderly conduct and obstruction charges in Cleveland Municipal Court.

City of Cleveland releases report on race relations
A new report suggests race relations in Cleveland can be improved by continuing conversations between civic leaders and their communities. Cleveland’s Community Relations Board began a Race Relations Initiative after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012. The board organized forums to talk about race in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland. The report makes recommendations for improving racial equality in the city, though a release from the mayor’s office did not include specifics; it calls the report “a basis for ongoing community conversations.”

University of Akron and Kent State report enrollment drop
The University of Akron and Kent State University say overall student enrollment is down this fall. The number of students across Kent State’s eight campuses is down three and a half percent from last year. It’s the first time in 10 years that enrollment has dropped at Kent State. The University of Akron’s enrollment is down four and a half percent, less than the projected five percent.

University of Akron begins free bike-sharing program
A free bike-sharing program at the University of Akron is aiming to bridge the gap between the university and the surrounding city.  The program was unveiled yesterday, with University President Matt Wilson taking an inaugural trip on one of the red bikes. Students, faculty and staff will be able to use their university ID to borrow one of 20 bikes which include a basket with the university logo.