mugshot of Ronald Phillips

The first man scheduled to be put to death in Ohio since a problematic execution almost three years ago is asking for life without parole. The clemency hearing for Ronald Phillips was held yesterday.

Forty-year-old Ronald Phillips of Akron was sentenced to die for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter Sheila Marie Evans in 1993, when he was 19. Attorneys for Phillips spent six hours before the parole board restating the case for sparing Phillips, which hinges on his abusive upbringing and his reformation into a better person behind bars. 

Mayor Gary Norton

Residents of financially troubled East Cleveland will go to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether or not to recall the city’s mayor and city council president.

This will be the second time this year Mayor Gary Norton faces a recall attempt. An effort to unseat him failed last spring because not enough signatures were collected to put the issue on the ballot.

Council President Thomas Wheeler has survived two recall efforts. Tuesday’s special election will cost the cash-scrapped city $30,000.

photo of Lake Michigan waves

The Great Lakes have their own miniature version of tsunamis – more than 100 times per year.  That’s according to new research led by the University of Wisconsin Madison.  The name of these waves – and the danger that comes with them – are relatively unknown to those in the region. 

photo of Lisa Hamler-Fugitt

Ohio lawmakers are trying to agree on how to shore up the fund that pays jobless benefits to unemployed workers. Several advocacy groups say the lame-duck efforts still threaten people during their most vulnerable time.

A laid-off worker would be able to get unemployment checks from 26 weeks to 20 weeks based on a new bill proposed in the House and Senate. That’s up from a previous bill that would have cut the time to 12 weeks.

The bill would also require more businesses to pay more into the fund.

Montage of Statehouse protests

A decision by the Ohio Department of Health to order a Dayton-area abortion clinic to shut down is drawing criticism and praise. Abortion opponents say it’s a step in the right direction, but supporters of legal abortion say it is politically motivated over-reach by a state agency.

NARAL Pro Choice Ohio’s Gabriel Mann condemns the decision by the Ohio Department of Health to revoke an operating license for a Dayton area abortion clinic. 

“Well, this definitely appears to be a witch hunt,” he said.