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Hearing today for ex-Akron police captain seeking new murder trial
Other headlines: Akron council gets heated amid leadership shifts; Historic tax credits at forefront of budget debate
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Morning news headlines for Friday, June 12:

Hearing today for ex-Akron police captain seeking new murder trial 
A judge is set to hear arguments on whether a former Akron police captain should get a new trial in the 1997 slaying of his ex-wife. A Summit County Common Pleas judge will hear arguments today in 69-year-old Douglas Prade's case, marking the latest event in a lengthy legal battle. A now-retired judge exonerated Prade in January 2013 after his DNA didn't match DNA found on a bite mark on the coat of Dr. Margot Prade, a family practitioner. An appellate court reinstated Prade's conviction, and subsequent Ohio Supreme Court appeals were unsuccessful. In documents filed before Friday's hearing, Prade's attorneys argue the new DNA evidence generates questions and reasonable doubt that warrants a new trial. Prosecutors say the new evidence wouldn't change the result of the first trial.

Akron council gets heated amid leadership shifts
Akron City Council met in special session Thursday to name a new president and appoint committee leaders after a series of leadership bombshells. One council member called the body dysfunctional, as the meeting digressed into heated arguments. Mike Freeman will become council president, as president Jeff Fusco takes over as mayor. Former president Garry Moneypenny was mayor for just 10 days, stepping down on Wednesday amid scandal. It all follows longtime mayor Don Plusquellic's abrupt resignation last month.

Historic tax credits at forefront of budget debate
A proposal by Ohio Senate Democrats to restore tax credits for historic rehabilitation projects is among final changes being requested to the state operating budget as it nears committee and floor votes in the Senate next week. The Senate Finance Committee meets again today to review final amendments to its $71 billion spending plan and to hear more testimony. Democrats said Thursday that they asked for an historic rehabilitation tax credit to be restored because they see it as a vital redevelopment tool for urban areas. The Ohio Blended Learning Network, representing 60 school districts and charter schools, urged restoration of the Straight A Fund backed by Gov. John Kasich. The fund offers grants to foster efficiency through innovation.

Prosecutor reaffirms Rice case will go grand jury
Cuyahoga County’s prosecutor says the case of two policemen involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice will go to a grand jury. Tim McGinty spoke after a judge Thursday said enough evidence exists to charge Timothy Loehmann with murder, and Frank Garmback with reckless homicide or dereliction of duty. A judge can't compel prosecutors to charge them. McGinty says the grand jury decides whether police officers are charged or not. Police say Loehmann ordered Tamir to put his hands up and Tamir's pellet gun looked real

Cleveland, DOJ to hold first hearing on police consent decree
The city of Cleveland and the U.S. Justice Department will meet today for the first court hearing on the agreement they reached about how to reform the troubled police department. Cleveland has agreed to train officers to work more closely with the community and to establish new policies on use of force and dealing with the mentally ill. The agreement was signed May 26 after five months of negotiations. A Justice Department report issued in December had said an investigation found a pattern of Cleveland officers using excessive force and violating people's civil rights. U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. has yet to approve the agreement. An independent monitor will be hired to oversee how it is implemented and will report to the judge.

E. coli contaminates dozens of Ohio beaches
More than two dozen beaches across Ohio are contaminated with E. coli, according to state health officials. The Columbus Dispatch reports 28 of Ohio's 134 public beaches are under bacteria advisories this week, and 21 of those are on Lake Erie. E. coli can be caused by sewage overflows, geese and gull feces and failing home-septic systems. The bacteria can stomach cramps and other ailments if ingested. Officials say the beaches will remain open. An Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman says the agency is working to limit bacteria levels by dredging and by controlling geese populations.

Kasich embarks on six state tour 
Governor John Kasich, who's exploring a run for president, plans to visit six states in the next eight days. It began last night with a GOP rally in Las Vegas. He'll then join a summit with other presidential hopefuls at Mitt Romney's place in Utah this weekend. Next week, he'll visit Michigan, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Washington, D.C..
 
Portman co-signs on anti-abortion measure
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has introduced a measure banning most late-term abortions, with Ohio Senator Rob Portman among fellow Republicans listed as co-sponsors. Analysts suggest it could put some GOP lawmakers seeking re-election next year, such as Portman, in a tough spot. Graham believes the measure will get a vote this year. 

Cavs drop game four of NBA Finals
The Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors, 103-82 in last night's game 4 of the NBA Finals. The series is now tied at 2-2. LeBron James, who sustained a gash to his head after colliding with a camera, had his least productive game of the series: 20 points on 7-for-22 shooting, Matthew Dellavedova had just 10 on 3-of-14 shooting. The series now shifts back to the West Coast for Game 5 Sunday night in Oakland.
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