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Ohio


Noon headlines, Jan. 15, 2013: Bribery charges, Ohio animal law rankings
Cleveland-area lawyer corruption charges; Humane Society ranks Ohio better; Medicaid cost estimate lowered; gas prices up
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:
  • Calabrese expected to plead today in Cuyahoga corruption case
  • Ohio jumps the most in Humane Society rankings
  • Expanding Medicaid in Ohio could cost less, benefit more, than anticipated
  • Gas prices up here, but still cheaper than nationally
  • Calabrese expected to plead today in Cuyahoga corruption case
    A Cleveland lawyer is expected in federal court in Akron this afternoon to plead guilty to racketeering and bribery charges linked in part to Cuyahoga County’s disastrous purchase of the Ameritrust building.

    According to the indictment, Anthony Calabrese III paid a county worker to influence the county commissioners to buy the downtown Cleveland bank building in 2005. The county ended up paying more than $40 million to buy and begin retrofitting the building before abandoning the project. The complex is now up for sale.

     The indictment also accuses Calabrese of trying to hinder the corruption investigation. He’s accused of paying public officials to steer business his way.

    Calabrese is facing separate charges in Cuyahoga County court, where he’s accused of trying to bribe a witness in a rape case.

    Ohio jumps the most in Humane Society rankings
    Thanks to new laws governing puppy mills and wild animals, Ohio has jumped the most in the annual Humane Society rankings.  But the state is still ranked 27th overall.

    The rankings grade states on their animal protection laws, including policies on animal cruelty, research and treatment of farm animals. Ohio lawmakers adopted two major changes last year that require licenses for people to keep most wild animals and for large-scale dog breeders.

    Expanding Medicaid in Ohio could cost less, benefit more, than anticipated
    A new report says it may be worth it to Ohio to expand Medicaid.

    The non-partisan report by the Health Policy Institute, Urban Institute and Ohio State University, confirms it would cost the state $13 million to expand Medicaid in 2014, and that would rise to $609 million in 10 years, as the federal government reduces a subsidy to the states.

    But the report says Ohio could save $709 million by helping people earlier who end up qualifying for Medicaid after they’ve been hit with major medical bills and spend all their resources.

    The report says the state also could collect more money from its sales and insurance taxes if it expands. The federal Affordable Care Act calls on states to provide Medicaid coverage for families making up to 138 percent of the poverty level.

    Gas prices up here, but still cheaper than nationally
    Northeast Ohio gas prices have been bouncing up and down, and have landed about three cents higher than a week ago, at an average of $3.266 per gallon. 

    Today’s national average is $3.30. 

    Listener Comments:

    Ohio is ranked 34th in animal protections by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. There were seven, companion animal bills, each of which had to do with animal cruelty, that languished and died last year in the Ohio General Assembly.

    1. Ohio Dog Auctions Act (would have banned Ohio ‘puppy mill’ dog auctions)

    2. HB 25 (would have included companion animals in domestic violence/stalking protection orders)

    3. HB 108-Nitro’s Law (would have provided discretion in prosecuting kennel owners, managers and employees who knowingly committed an act of animal cruelty as a felony of the fifth degree)

    4. HB 138 (would have required a person to file proof of successful completion of training with the county recorder prior to being appointed as a humane society agent)

    5. HB 289 (would have made bestiality a felony of the fifth degree)

    6. HB 290 (would have made an assault against a dog warden, deputy dog warden, humane agent, or animal control officer a felony of the fifth degree)

    7. HB 300 (would have provided protections for search and rescue dogs)

    Ohio, can we do any better than this for our companion animals and pet owners?


    Posted by: Beth Sheehan (Cincinnati) on January 16, 2013 1:01AM
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