Morning Headlines: Former Financier Wants Convicton Thrown Out; DREAMer Protests in Painesville

Oct 13, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, October 13th:

  • Stark woman who hid daughter's dead body pleads insanity on murder charges;
  • Authorities search for suspect in four southern Ohio shooting deaths;
  • Akron man receives life sentence for attempted murder;
  • CEO behind Issue 2 ballot initiative plans to air hour-long documentary;
  • Ohio universities remain undecided on allowing white nationalist speakers;
  • Jack Entertainment expands parking with acquisition of former May Co. garage;
  • Three Congress members are among newly-formed NASA caucus;
  • Indiana man who conned Northeast Ohio investors asks for conviction to be thrown out;
  • Free financial counseling will soon be available for low-income workers in Akron;
  • Top Ohio lawmakers set aside their differences trying to nab Amazon headquarters;
  • DREAMer advocates protest in Painesville

Woman who hid daughter's dead body pleads insanity on murder charges
A Stark County woman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity after her 5-year-old daughter's body was found hidden in the family's restaurant. 29-year-old Mingming Chen, of Jackson Township faces charges including murder, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse. Authorities say Chen repeatedly punched her daughter, Ashley. Chen and her husband falsely reported the girl missing in January. Investigators found her body inside Ang's Asian Cuisine in North Canton the next day.

Authorities search for suspect in four southern Ohio shooting deaths
A manhunt is underway for a suspect in the shooting deaths of four people including a 7-year-old boy, whose body was apparently hidden in a home where the others were also found. Warrants have been issued for 23-year-old Arron Lawson, as the search for the suspect focused on a wooded area near the southern tip of the state. The deaths occurred roughly 40 miles southeast of the Piketon area, where eight people from the Rhoden family were found shot to death in four homes in 2016.

Akron man receives life sentence for attempted murder
An Akron man has been sentenced to life in prison for attempting to execute a woman who was found by hikers in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 28-year-old DeZay Ely had earlier pleaded guilty to attempted murder and other charges related to the shooting of the 18-year-old woman – who was blinded by the attack.

CEO behind Issue 2 ballot initiative plans to air hour-long documentary
The frustrated promoter of an Ohio ballot initiative aimed at lowering prescription drug prices says his campaign plans to air an hour-long documentary around the state so voters can get a complete and accurate picture of what's being proposed. Michael Weinstein is president of the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation behind Ohio's Issue 2. Its documentary, "Keeping the Promise," will air in six Ohio cities over Saturday and Sunday, costing $62,000. Weinstein accuses the pharmaceutical industry of using its $15 million-plus opposition campaign to unjustly malign him and his nonprofit while refusing an honest debate.

Ohio universities remain undecided on allowing white nationalist speakers
The University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University say they’re not ready to announce decisions on a demand they allow white nationalist leader Richard Spencer to speak on campus. Attorney Kyle Bristow earlier wrote emails to UC and Ohio State saying they had until Friday to agree to make campus space available for Spencer to speak or face a lawsuit. Bristow said Thursday he will be ready to file a lawsuit this Sunday.

Jack Entertainment expands parking with acquisition of former May Co. garage
Dan Gilbert’s Jack Entertainment has bought the former May Co. 10-story parking garage in downtown Cleveland for an as-yet undisclosed amount. According to Cleveland.com, the garage will expand casino parking by 670 spaces, which also could be used for parking when the former department store is converted into retail, residential and other mixed-uses. Another Gilbert company bought the department store and another building next to the garage this summer for $11.6 million. The companies have not provided a timetable for construction, but say fixing the garage, which is south of Public Square, could take a year to a year-and-a-half.

Three Ohio Congress members are among newly-formed NASA caucus
Ohio’s Marcy Kaptur, Dave Joyce and Bill Johnson are among the two-dozen members of Congress who have formed a new NASA caucus. The caucus is similar to ones formed around interests in congressional districts such as steel and auto. Democrat Kaptur’s district stretches from Toledo to Cleveland includes NASA Glenn Research Center in Brook Park and its related Plum Brook station near Sandusky. Joyce and Johnson are Republicans.

Indiana man who conned Northeast Ohio investors asks for conviction to be thrown out
The Indiana man convicted of bilking hundreds of Northeast Ohio investors out of $200 million is again asking a court to throw out his conviction. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Tim Durham -- who once boasted of his wealth, car collections and political connections -- says his lawyer provided a shoddy defense that led to his 50-year prison sentence. The motion he filed this week says the attorney, John Tompkins, lied in order to keep a $1 million advance, and that he failed in everything from witness selection to cross-examination. Durham ran Akron-based Fair Finance, which went under. He was convicted in 2012 of a dozen counts of conspiracy and securities and wire fraud, and though some of the charges were later thrown out, appeals courts upheld the sentence.  He also faces hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.

Free financial counseling will soon be available for low-income workers in Akron
United Way of Summit County, City of Akron and Huntington National Bank have launched an effort to financially empower 11,000 Akron people who are working but are still low income. The bank is donating its Kenmore branch to house financial counselors who will meet with residents to help them budget, save, lower their debt sand improve their credit. The center is expected to open early next year.  United Way report recently estimated that nearly 60 percent of Akron’s residents earn less than they need to cover basic cost-of-living in Ohio.

Top Ohio lawmakers set aside their differences trying to nab Amazon headquarters
Ohio’s congressional delegation is bridging partisan differences as they try to make a deal to lure Amazon’s second North American headquarters to the state. In an Oct. 5 letter obtained by The Associated Press, both Ohio senators and all 16 representatives pitched Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos on the state's assets. They cited Ohio's advantageous location, high-quality higher education network, large and talented workforce, robust transportation infrastructure and "business-friendly" environment. The letter drafted by Republican Sen. Rob Portman stops short of promoting any particular Ohio city. Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and the Youngstown/Warren area have positioned themselves separately to try to attract the online retail giant.

DREAMer advocates protest in Painesville
Advocates for the so-called DREAMers plan a protest at the Painesville office of Northeast Ohio GOP Congressman Dave Joyce Tuesday. They’re also targeting another Republican congressman, Bob Latta, in Bowling Green. The events are part of a series of rallies and marches planned tor 20 cities in 13 states next week by those who want young immigrants brought here illegally when they were young children to retain their legal status. President Trump has said he intends to end the program set up under President Obama unless he gets money to build his border wall and Democrats agree to other conditions. (Editor's note: the date of the protest was originally incorrect.)