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Morning news headlines for October 23, 2012
Gas prices could drop further; Ohio presidential polls tightening; New meningitis case reported

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Jeff St. Clair
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  • Gas prices expected to tumble further
  • Obama returns to Ohio as polls tighten
  • Voters receive postcards with wrong Election Day
  • Ruling expected in firing of two Democratic election officials
  • FirstEnergy not worried about fracking near nuclear plant
  • New meningitis case reported
  • New Sowell attorneys criticize old defense team
  • Review reveals education officials failed to report expenses
  • RTA driver in viral video turns himself in
  • Anti-blackout bill introduced
  • Gas prices expected to tumble further
    Gasoline prices are continuing to fall across our region. And they’re expected to fall even further. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.38 last week, the second lowest in the country. Fred Rozell of the Oil Price Information Service tells the Plain Dealer prices could fall as low as $3.00 per gallon by Thanksgiving. He calls the gas market in Ohio “really weird,” saying stations here tend to overreact to price changes. Analyst Tom Kloza says the falling price of crude oil is helping to lower prices, and Midwest refineries are processing less expensive heavy crude from Canada and North Dakota.

    Obama returns to Ohio as polls tighten
    President Barack Obama is returning to Ohio as some supporters are feeling anxious about a tight race. Obama was to join Vice President Joe Biden at a rare joint rally Tuesday afternoon in Dayton. The Democrat carried Ohio in 2008. He has campaigned in the pivotal battleground state frequently, and his campaign and supporters have devoted a lot of money and resources to Ohio. However, Republican Mitt Romney's campaign says he has gained momentum with two weeks left until Election Day. His Ohio officials say the Romney campaign has a powerful "ground game" that is reaching millions of voters across the state. A Quinnipiac University/CBS News poll released Monday put Obama ahead with 50 percent to 45 in Ohio, down from a 10-point lead in a Sept. 26 survey.

    Voters receive postcards with wrong Election Day
    Elections officials say about 2,200 voters in northwest Ohio have been mailed postcards listing the presidential election date as November 8th, when Election Day is November 6th. The Ottawa County Board of Elections says it's working to remedy the error.

    Ruling expected in firing of two Democratic election officials
    A federal judge is expected to decide today whether to reinstate two Democratic elections officials who claim they were wrongfully fired by Ohio's Republican secretary of state. Former Montgomery County elections board members Dennis Lieberman and Thomas Ritchie say their removal at the hands of Secretary of State Jon Husted was arbitrary, unjustified, and violated their constitutional rights. Husted fired the Democrats in August after they voted to allow early voting on weekends. He said the officials violated his order setting uniform early voting hours and broke the law. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected Husted's appeal of a lower court's decision reinstating in-person early voting in the three days before Election Day.

    FirstEnergy not worried about fracking near nuclear plant
    Akron-based FirstEnergy says there’s no reason to be worried about a natural gas well set to be fracked a mile from a nuclear power plant. The well is near the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant in Western Pennsylvania. The Shale Reporter blog exposed the issue Friday. An EPA spokesman says he isn’t aware of any geological concerns. The nuclear power plant was built to withstand a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. That’s stronger than the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Pennsylvania as well as the 4.0 magnitude quake in Youngtown caused by an waste injection well.

    New meningitis case reported
    Health officials say a sixth meningitis case in Marion County gives Ohio a total of 11 illnesses linked to a larger outbreak and recalled steroid injections for back pain. The Ohio Department of Health also has reported single cases of rare fungal meningitis in Crawford, Franklin, Hamilton, Morrow and Warren counties. The cases involve adults, and none have died. Federal officials report more than 280 illnesses and at least 23 deaths in the outbreak linked to a pharmacy in Massachusetts. Officials say 64 facilities in Ohio received products from the pharmacy.

    New Sowell attorneys criticize old defense team
    Attorneys for an Ohio serial killer convicted of hiding the remains of 11 women around his Cleveland home say his original defense team should have focused on sparing him from the death penalty. Attorneys for Anthony Sowell said in an appeal filed yesterday that it was a forgone conclusion he would be convicted. The appeal seeks a new trial or new sentencing hearing.

    Review reveals education officials failed to report expenses
    Nine education officials in Ohio failed to properly disclose trips to locations including Washington, D.C., San Diego and Orlando and other expenses on financial disclosure reports since 2009. The omissions were identified as part of an internal review by the Ohio Department of Education, launched after then-State Superintendent Stan Heffner was targeted in a state watchdog probe. The flaws were detailed in letters obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request. Among individuals involved were Michael Sawyers, acting state superintendent, and John Stanford, chief education adviser to former Gov. Ted Strickland. Recipients interviewed described the errors as clerical. Inspector General Randall Meyer's investigation found Heffner used his state staff, email and cellphone to land a new testing-firm job and buy a house in Texas. He wasn't prosecuted.

    RTA driver in viral video turns himself in
    The RTA bus driver who allegedly punched a woman after she spit on him turned himself in to police. Artis Hughes faces assault charges in the September incident that went viral this month. Dozens of people showed up yesterday to support Hughes as he turned himself in to Beachwood police. The video of the altercation appears to show 25-year old Shidea Lane pushing and spitting on Hughes, who then allegedly punched her and threw her off the bus. Hughes is currently on paid leave. Lane faces disorderly conduct charge. Both are due in court next month.

    Anti-blackout bill introduced
    A state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would stop Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns games from being blacked out on local television, if they're not sold out.  Democrat Robert Hagan of Youngstown introduced the bill yesterday. It would prohibit any team playing in publicly financed stadiums or arenas from blacking out games.



    Listener Comments:

    My comment has to do with the continuous feed on unemployment. It would be nice to know just how many jobs there are throughout the U.S. in numbers, openings that is, that cannot be filled due to lack of skill level, and choice of concentration by college students/graduates. No one is discussing this small fact except for one CNN financial expert.

    Times have changed, however, and not overnight. Technology has been moving to the forefront for at least a couple of decads now. It appears that people have not been focused on investing in themselves to meet this challenge. There is only so much any president can do. Our sitting president has pushed education and even provided for grants over the past four years encouraging people to go back to school, invest in themselves, ready yourselves for the new skills needed for the new look in the job world. It's a sad situation that someone has to be held accountable for, but who should that someone be?


    Posted by: a walker (east cleveland, ohio) on October 23, 2012 5:10AM
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