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Morning news headlines for January 7, 2013
Judge in T.J. Lane trial expected to hear request for delay; Full plate for state lawmakers as new term begins; RTA making Red Line Rapid trains more bike-friendly
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Judge expected to hear motion to delay T.J. Lane trial
  • Number of Ohio death row inmates down
  • New representation for many Northeast Ohioans as 113th Congress opens
  • Opening Day at the Statehouse
  • Internet café owners fighting back against regulations
  • RTA Red Line trains becoming more bike-friendly
  • Kinsman solar farm set to be running this month
  • Canton City Council to vote on sludge pipeline
  • Gas prices down
  • Judge expected to hear motion to delay T.J. Lane trial
    A judge is expected to consider a request to delay next week's scheduled trial of the teen charged in the Chardon High School shooting deaths of three students. The final pretrial hearing for 18-year-old T.J. Lane is scheduled for this morning in Chardon. The judge is expected to discuss with attorneys a motion filed last week seeking to postpone the trial to give them more time to prepare. Prosecutors and Lane's attorneys agree on the proposed delay. The trial is scheduled to start next Monday.

    Number of Ohio death row inmates down
    The number of prisoners on Ohio's death row is decreasing. The Dayton Daily News reports that Ohio courts handed down just three new death sentences in 2012. But there were three death row inmates executed, another died in prison and one had his death sentence vacated. Two inmates received clemency and life sentences from Gov. John Kasich and one was released on appeal. That leaves the number now on death row at 142, down from 204 in January 2003.

    New representation for many Northeast Ohioans as 113th Congress opens
    Many Northeast Ohioans have new representation in Congress as the year begins. The redistricting process split up Stark County. A majority of Stark is now in Holmes County Republican Bob Gibbs’ district, which stretches all the way to Avon. Republican Jim Renacci has a portion of Stark, including North Canton and now represents part of Cuyahoga, Summit and Portage counties.  Democrat Tim Ryan’s district that primarily covered Mahoning and Trumbull counties now stretches into Summit, including parts Akron and an eastern portion of Stark. 

    Opening Day at the Statehouse
    New and veteran state lawmakers are heading to Columbus to take their seats in Ohio's 130th General Assembly. Opening day ceremonies are today at the Statehouse. Passing a state spending blueprint for state programs over the two years beginning July 1 will be lawmakers' main focus for the first half of the year. Other bills that failed to clear the lame duck session may also resurface during the session, which spans two years. Among them is a proposal to impose the most stringent abortion limit in the nation, prohibiting the procedure in most cases after the first fetal heartbeat.

    Internet café owners fighting back against regulations
    Owners of Ohio storefront gambling-style operations known as Internet cafes want to press their case against state regulations that could amount to a ban. The group called the Internet Cafe Coalition of Ohio has launched a website and will organize owners to lobby state lawmakers. Last month the president of the Ohio Senate put off a vote on a House-passed bill regulating Internet cafes, saying there was too little time to consider the measure. The House-passed bill would have shut down nearly all of the estimated 800 sites by narrowly defining what counts as a sweepstake.

    RTA Red Line trains becoming more bike-friendly
    Trains on a Cleveland commuter rail line are undergoing a makeover, and will wind up with fewer seats but more room for bicycles. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will spend $2.5 million this year remodeling the interiors of Red Line trains connecting the airport, downtown Cleveland and East Cleveland. Four seats will be removed from each car to clear space for bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and luggage.

    Kinsman solar farm set to be running this month
    One of Ohio’s largest solar farms is will begin generating energy this month in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood. The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing authority has installed more than 4-thosuand solar panels that span 6 acres of a brownfield next to its new headquarters.  The Plain Dealer reports the $3 million solar farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 100 homes. Akron-based First Energy has agreed to buy the renewable energy credits from the project to help meet a state law that requires a small portion of its energy to include solar energy by 2024.

    Canton City Council to vote on sludge pipeline
    Canton City Council is expected to vote tonight on a proposal that would allow a landfill to build a 12-mile pipeline in an agreement that would also benefit the city. Waste Management wants to ship sludge from American Landfill in Sandy Township to Canton’s city sewage plant. The Beacon Journal reports that in return, the city would ship its sludge to American Landfill to help meet new federal clean-air rules. Some council members say they’re concerned about additional contaminants coming into the plant, primarily liquid waste from the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking.

    Gas prices down
    Ohio gas prices are lower to start the new work week. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio is $3.19 in today’s survey. That's 13 cents lower than a week ago, and reverses two straight weeks of rising prices at the pump.

     

     

     

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