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Morning news headlines for January 22, 2013
Slick road conditions wreak havoc; Steubenville rape case lawyer takes issue with the word "victim"; Graduation rate up at Ohio high schools

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Road conditions cause big pileups, one death
  • Steubenville rape case defense lawyer wants change in wording
  • Changes in rules could lead to teacher retirement wave
  • High school graduation rate up
  • Highway Patrol tickets up in several counties
  • Ohio offering training on working cold cases
  • Newspaper reveals Medicare fraud scheme
  • Road conditions cause big pileups, one death
    Slick roads across the state caused several pileups on major highways Monday. At least 86 vehicles collided on I-275 near Cincinnati, killing a 12-year-old girl.  Four semitrailers and about 20 cars were involved in an afternoon pileup on I-71 near Mansfield. And, as many as 50 vehicles were in a pileup on I-75, in southwest Ohio.

    Steubenville rape case defense lawyer wants change in wording
    The defense for one of the Steubenville high school football players charged with rape has filed a number of motions that will be decided during hearings this week. The Plain Dealer reports lawyer Walter Madison is asking the visiting judge in Jefferson County to order the parties to refer to the girl at the center of the case as the “accuser,” and not the “victim.” He said to refer to the girl as a victim harms his clients' rights to be presumed innocent and to a fair trial. The alleged rape at a party last summer has divided the community and garnered national attention after a video of the teens joking about the alleged incident was posted on the Internet. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office meanwhile, says it’s investigating a second rape allegation in Steubenville. It reportedly was mentioned by the police chief during a taping of the "Dr. Phil" TV show last week.

    Changes in rules could lead to teacher retirement wave
    Education leaders in Ohio are expecting a wave of teacher retirements in the coming months. The Columbus Dispatch reports that changes in retirement rules will give teachers across the state a strong incentive to retire by July 1. Teachers who retire in the first half of 2013 will begin receiving 2 percent cost-of-living increases to their pensions in 2015 while those who don't must wait until 2018 to see increases. Similar changes to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System led to a big number of retirements at the end of 2012.

    High school graduation rate up
    A new federal report shows the graduation rate at Ohio's public high schools is improving. The report released this morning by the U.S. Department of Education says there were nearly 125,000 graduates in Ohio for the 2009-10 school year. The graduation rate was about 81 percent, higher than the nation's rate of around 78 percent. That's a steady increase from the 2006-2007 school year, in which the state saw a graduation rate of around 78 percent.

    Highway Patrol tickets up in several counties
    The Ohio State Highway Patrol says ticketing in the state's largest county increased by 28 percent last year following the opening of a patrol post there. The increase added up to more than 2,400 additional tickets in Cuyahoga County. Warnings issued by troopers in the county increased by nearly the same number. The patrol opened a post in the northeast Ohio county last summer. The agency reports that neighboring Lake, Medina and Lorain counties also saw double-digit increases in ticketing.  Statewide, the number of enforcement stops by the patrol grew by 11 percent in 2012.

    Ohio offering training on working cold cases
    The state of Ohio is beginning its first training session for law enforcement officers working on cold-case homicides. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation hosts the Unsolved Homicide Investigative Strategies and Resources course today in the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester. It's the first of several regional courses planned throughout the state. Detectives will be trained on aspects of cold-case investigations, including unsolved homicide methodology, initial assessment and protocol. A review panel will also look at evidence in a number of open homicide cases and make recommendations.

    Newspaper reveals Medicare fraud scheme
    A newspaper investigation finds that a Medicare fraud scheme involving UPS Store boxes is being used to steal millions from the government. The Dayton Daily News says dozens of so-called medical providers in Ohio have registered with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by using nothing more than a mailbox as their address. In some cases, the newspaper reports that those operating scams steal the identities of doctors and make up businesses to bill Medicare for nonexistent services. The leaders of one fraud ring were sentenced to prison last May in Cleveland after they used fake storefronts to bill Medicare for $48 million in Ohio and other states.


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