Wednesday, December 30, 2015 Mayor Frank Jackson pledges Tamir Rice investigation will be thorough Top headlines: Kasich urges peaceful protests in Cleveland; a new initiative to address infant mortality; fire deaths rise by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE and MICHAEL BRATTON
Web Editor M.L. Schultze
Mayor Frank Jackson says he understands the frustration in Northeast Ohio and in other parts of the country when it comes to the Tamir Rice decision.
Morning headlines for Wednesday, December 30, 2015:
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson reflects on the Tamir Rice decision;
Gov. John Kasich urges peaceful protests;
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials announce initiative addressing infant mortality;
Deaths by fire up slightly from last year in Ohio
Columbus authorities detonate unattended suitcase outside the Ohio Statehouse, find no threat;
Ohio colleges and universities to see $1.2 million in federal grants for victims of sexual assault
Ohio Supreme Court rules insurance contracts are exempt from consumer protection;
Ohio timber sales generate $2.1 million for local schools and government
Billionaire Ron Burkle to hold fundraiser for Ohio Gov. John Kasich
No criminal charges for Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman in sale of home
Columbus Zoo officials investigate how dog got into exhibit
Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson reflects on the Tamir Rice decision More than 100 protesters closed streets in downtown Cleveland yesterday, the day after Cuyahoga County prosecutors announced no criminal charges would be filed against the two police officers involved in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014. The protests remained peaceful and there were no arrests, though invectives were thrown at police. Mayor Frank Jackson told the media he understands the frustration here and in other parts of the country.
LISTEN: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson addresses concerns on frustrations
“Not just in Cleveland, but I think across this country and people are voicing their opinions about it and they’re very upset about it,” said Jackson. “And that is what they believe to be a lack of fairness, a lack of justice in the system and the way in which it prosecutes or reviews these kinds of incidents.”
The officers and a dispatcher involved in the shooting are facing a disciplinary review. So are 13 officers who opened fire in November 2012 on two unarmed people. That investigation is expected to be completed by mid-January.
Gov. John Kasich urges peaceful protests in Cleveland Gov. John Kasich is urging those protesting a grand jury decision not to indict police in last year's Tamir Rice killing to demonstrate peacefully. At a presidential campaign stop in New Hampshire yesterday, The Washington Post reports Kasich also noted their views "need to be heard." About 100 protesters marched through downtown yesterday, closing down some streets. But they remained peaceful and no arrests were made. Meanwhile, the city has launched a disciplinary review of the two officers who shot the 12-year-old boy within two seconds of their arriving at a west side recreation center. Rice had an airsoft pellet gun that the officers thought was real.
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials announce initiative addressing infant mortality Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials will announce an initiative today addressing infant mortality called First Year Cleveland. Ohio has exceeded the national rates for infant mortality, and the rate of African-American children dying is nearly twice that of white infants -- and has been growing worse.
Columbus authorities detonate unattended suitcase outside the Ohio Statehouse, find no threat Authorities say a suitcase found near some bushes adjacent to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus seemed suspicious, so they blew it up as a precaution. Police are now saying they don't believe the suitcase was a threat, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Police cleared the streets and detonated the suitcase at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Media reports said the suitcase contained clothing. All roads and sidewalks have reopened around the Statehouse.
Deaths by fire up slightly from last year in Ohio The number of fire deaths in Ohio increased slightly from last year to this year, with 117 fatalities reported in 2015. That was the total as of Tuesday, when the state's fire-prevention chief, Frank Conway, announced the statistics. Ohio had two fewer fire deaths in 2014. Conway says January probably will bring colder temperatures, and it's typically among the worst months for fires. The 26 fire deaths last January make it the deadliest month this year. Conway says Ohioans can improve safety by ensuring their smoke alarms work, turning off heaters when leaving a room and keeping flammable objects away from heat sources. His comments came a day after a Hamilton firefighter battling a blaze fell through a floor at a southwest Ohio home and died.
Ohio colleges and universities to see $1.2 million in federal grants for victims of sexual assault Victims of sexual assault on Ohio campuses are getting additional support through more than $1.2 million in federal grants. Attorney General Mike DeWine said Tuesday that the funds are part of $3 million in federal Victims of Crime Act funds that he set aside earlier this year to allow colleges and universities to provide additional programming, promote awareness and create partnerships with community-based organizations. The money is going to four rape crisis centers and nine colleges and universities including Kent State, Ohio State, Miami and the universities of Cincinnati and Toledo. An Association of American Universities report issued this year found nearly a quarter of undergraduate women surveyed at more than two dozen universities said they experienced unwanted sexual contact sometime during college.
Ohio Supreme Court rules that laws aimed at protecting consumers from deceptive practices don’t apply to insurance repair estimates The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that laws protecting consumers from deceptive practices don't apply to insurance company repair estimates. The court voted 5-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that said an insurance company providing a repair estimate constituted a "consumer transaction." The case involved a couple who sued Farmers Insurance Co. in a dispute over the use of original manufacturer parts or cheaper non-original parts in the repair of their 2-year-old car. The court's ruling said that a 1990 law applicable in the case specifically exempts dealings between insurers and customers from the definition of a consumer transaction.
Ohio timber sales generate $2.1 million for local schools and government Timber sales from Ohio's state forests that benefit schools and local governments rose 16 percent this year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The agency keeps about 35 percent of profit for itself after expenses and sends 65 percent back to the counties, townships and school districts where timber was harvested. The Columbus Dispatch reports the state collected about $3.7 million from timber sales in 2015, sending almost $2.1 million back to local governments. However, the amount harvested from Ohio's state forests dropped compared with 2014. The agency's Greg Guess says that could be because timber prices are up or because wood harvested in previous years was paid for this year.
Billionaire Ron Burkle to hold fundraiser for Ohio Gov. John Kasich Politico is reporting that politically active billionaire Ron Burkle is holding a fundraiser for Ohio Gov. and presidential candidate John Kasich. Burkle has donated more than $450,000 to federal campaigns – usually to Democrats and including Hillary Clinton. He heads a private equity firm that buys and sells supermarket chains.
No criminal charges for Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman in sale of home The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the U.S. Justice Department has confirmed that outgoing Mayor Michael B. Coleman will not face criminal charges related to the sale of his home. Coleman is leaving after 16 years – the longest tenure for a Columbus mayor. In November, Coleman told the Dispatch he does not think the FBI investigation will impact his legacy because “I did nothing wrong.” He said he knew nothing at the time of the business plans of Chinese businesswoman, Jianhua Li, who paid $520,000 for the home in 2010. Li then got help from a city employee and Coleman’s real-estate agent to get visas to visit the United States. Coleman has said the home was originally priced even higher after undergoing major renovations after two fires, making it worth at least what Li paid.
Columbus Zoo officials investigate how dog got into exhibit Officials at the Columbus Zoo are trying to figure out how a year-old Border Collie mix dog was able to slip into the zoo's Africa exhibit last week. The Columbus Dispatch reports the exhibit's usual inhabitants weren't in the enclosure at the time because it's winter.