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Morning news headlines for January 14, 2013
Cuyahoga County officials looking into sheriff's forced resignation; New details in attendance-rigging investigation; New president for Cleveland NAACP
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Cuyahoga County Council president looking into sheriff’s forced resignation
  • Attendance-rigging scandal may be more widespread
  • Former death row inmate given green light to sue state
  • Cleveland NAACP swears in new president
  • Texas company to buy controlling stake in Longaberger
  • Ohio State sophomores to live on campus starting in 2016
  • More soil tests planned in cancer-prone Clyde
  • Gas prices higher
  • Cuyahoga County Council president looking into sheriff’s forced resignation
    Cuyahoga County officials want to look into whether the county executive should have the authority to force the sheriff to resign and then appoint a new one. The Plain Dealer reports Council President C. Ellen Connally has asked the county's charter review commission to examine the issue as part of this year’s review of the system for the first since it was approved by voters in 2009. The request comes after executive Ed FitzGerald asked for county sheriff Bob Reid’s resignation on January 3rd. FitzGerald then named sheriff’s captain Frank Bova as interim sheriff. The Plain Dealer reports the council president wants the sheriff to serve a fixed term and be removed only by council for cause.

    Attendance-rigging scandal may be more widespread
    Ohio Auditor David Yost says about 100 more Ohio schools show signs they might have altered student attendance to improve school performance. The Columbus Dispatch reports a statistical model developed by Ohio State University has been used in the statewide attendance-rigging investigation. The model looks at attendance rates, passing rates on math exams and schools’ reasons for withdrawing students. Those factors helped researchers identify about 175 schools that auditors might want to examine. The Columbus Dispatch reports some of those already had been identified in the auditor’s first round of work in the fall. Yost is to release a report this month that details how many schools scrubbed data. Columbus schools has been a key target of the investigation…where the district allegedly withdrew and then re-enrolled students so that their test scores and attendance records wouldn’t count.

    Former death row inmate given green light to sue state
    A former death row inmate can seek reimbursement from Ohio for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment. A Cuyahoga County judge issued the ruling in favor of Joe D’Ambriosio. The Plain Dealer reports the 51-year-old of North Royalton could be eligible for $1 million if he sues and wins. D'Ambrosio was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1988 murder of Anthony Klann of Cleveland. A federal judge later overturned the conviction, ruling prosecutors withheld evidence that might have exonerated him at trial. He was released from prison over three years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the state last year, enabling D'Ambrosio to try to seek compensation.

    Cleveland NAACP swears in new president
    The Cleveland chapter of the NAACP enters the New Year with a new president for the first time in nearly 20 years.  Reverend Hilton Smith took the oath of office at the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church, where he is also associate pastor. Smith succeeds longtime former president George Forbes, who resigned in April.

    Texas company to buy controlling stake in Longaberger
    A Texas company plans to acquire a controlling stake in a longtime central Ohio basket-making company that has seen sales and employment dip significantly over the past decade. The Newark-based Longaberger Co. and Dallas-based Computer Vision Systems Laboratories Corp., or CVSL, have signed a letter of intent for CVSL to acquire a controlling voting interest in Longaberger. The Ohio company is known for its handcrafted baskets and its iconic basket-shaped home office. Terms of the deal announced by the companies weren’t disclosed. It would be subject to lender, shareholder and regulatory approval. Longaberger President and CEO Tami Longaberger says the acquisition would provide more capital and allow Longaberger employees to become shareholders.

    Ohio State sophomores to live on campus starting in 2016
    Ohio State University is aiming to improve graduation and retention rates with a new rule requiring sophomore students to live on campus. The Dayton Daily News reports that the university is set to become the largest college in the country to require sophomores to live on campus. The initiative is slated to take effect in fall 2016. Kent State, Ohio, and Bowling Green universities already require sophomores to live on campus. Ohio State plans to tear down eight buildings and construct a dozen new ones, beginning later this year and wrapping up by August 2016.

    More soil tests planned in cancer-prone Clyde
    The owners of a former park in an area of northern Ohio where cancer has sickened dozens of children for more than a decade say more tests on the soil are being planned. An attorney for the site's owners say tests will likely take place in February. The U.S. EPA has said soil samples at the now-closed park showed high levels of a chemical believed to increase the risk of certain cancers. The former park near the town of Clyde had been owned by the Whirlpool Corp., which has a washing machine factory in the town.  Nearly 40 young people have been diagnosed with cancer since the mid-1990s in a 12-mile-wide circle that's between Cleveland and Toledo.

    Gas prices higher
    Ohio gas prices are higher to start the new work week. The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.24 in today’s survey. That's 5 cents higher than a week ago. Ohio's prices are still below the national average of $3.30, which is about the same as last week.

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