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Noon headlines, Jan. 17, 2013: Norv Turner, school shootings, Mayfield, Thistledown
Ohio trains teachers to spot shooters, Mayfield Heights and ethics questions; Thistledown jobs and court fight; Turner joins the Browns; mortgage settlement deadline

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:
  • Training teachers to deal with shooters
  • Suburban Cuyahoga mayor leaves following ethics investigation
  • Thistledown prepares even while a  court battle continues
  • Mortgage settlement deadline looms
  • Ohio plans a partial payment to a wrongly imprisoned man
  • Norv Turner joins Chuzinski with the Browns
  • Training teachers to deal with shooters
    Ohio is holding its first “active shooter training for educators” today in Columbus. About 250 people are attending the training offered by the Attorney General's Peace Officer Training Academy and the state Department of Education. It’s designed to teach educators how to protect students if a shooter comes into their schools. It also trains teachers to try to identify a student who may be heading for trouble.
    But it does not include firearms training and is separate from training offered to teachers by the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun advocacy group.

    Suburban Cuyahoga mayor leaves following ethics investigation
    The mayor of the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Heights has abruptly resigned after a two-year investigation into what he reported about two land deals.

    According to the Plain Dealer, Greg Constabile said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

    But Mayfield Law Director Leonard Carr confirmed that the mayor has been under investigation by both the Ohio Ethics Commission and Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office. They’ve been looking into allegations that Constabile failed to report how much he made on a deal with Seagull Development to include his land in drilling for natural gas. Seagull paid Constabile $15,000; his neighbors to either side got $5,000.

    But Carr emphasized that the concerns are not how much he got, but what he did or did not report on his state ethics disclosure statement. Carr says he expects more to develop in the investigation within two weeks.

    Neither Constabile nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

    Thistledown prepares even while a  court battle continues
    Thistledown racino, south of Cleveland, is doing a nearly $90 million renovation, plans to hire 600 people, and is holding a job fair tomorrow to screen applicants for those jobs, including operating the horse-racing tracks’ new video slot machines.

    Meanwhile, a conservative group opposed to gambling in Ohio is arguing in an appeals court today that the Thistledown racino and six others like it are unconstitutional.

    The Ohio Roundtable is appealing a Franklin County Common Pleas judge’s ruling last June. The ruling said the Rountable had no standing to challenge the racinos. The group argues that the racinos are an expansion of gambling in Ohio that requires a constitutional amendment approved by voters.

    Mortgage settlement deadline looms
    Tomorrow is the deadline for Ohioans to submit claims to get a share of National Mortgage Settlement.

    Ohio, 48 other states and the federal government signed the settlement last February with the country’s five biggest mortgage servicers -- GMAC, Bank of America, CitiMortgage, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.  The deal included direct payments to people who improperly lost their homes to foreclosures. The administrator of the settlement says nearly 6 of every 10 eligible Ohioans have filed claims, compared to just 50 percent nationwide.

    Ohio plans a partial payment to a wrongly imprisoned man
    Cleveland man wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years is expected to get a payment of $380,000 after the State Controlling Board meets later this month. The money will be going to Darrell Houston and is only part of what he’s expected to get from the state.

    Houston was convicted by a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court jury in 1992 of one count of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated robbery with firearm specifications.

    In 2007, the Cuyahoga County court granted his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence and vacated all his convictions. If the Controlling Board OK’s the deal, Houston will get more money if one of two things happens: 1) he reaches a settlement with the state or 2) he’s cleared in a new trial.

    Norv Turner joins Chuzinski with the Browns
    The Browns have announced that Norv Turner is the team’s new offensive coordinator. Turner is 60 and has 38 years of NFL experience. Cleveland’s new head coach, Rob Chudzinski, worked for him when Turner was head coach of the San Diego Chargers.  

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