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Morning news headlines for February 13, 2013
School votes to keep Jesus portrait; Radioactive waste from oil and natural gas drilling could face new testing; Ohio treasurer wants Medicaid expansion rejected 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • School votes to keep Jesus statue
  • Radioactive waste from oil and natural gas drilling could face new testing
  • Ohio treasurer wants Medicaid expansion rejected 
  • Ohio Senate outlines top 10 bills
  • State school leader asked to recalculate report cards
  • Lawmaker files counter suit in alleged fraud
  • West Side Market to open Monday
  • School votes to keep Jesus portrait
    A southern Ohio school district will keep a portrait of Jesus hanging in the school building where it's been 65 years, saying it is protecting students' free speech rights. The Jackson School District board voted unanimously Tuesday night to keep the painting up despite a federal lawsuit that contends the portrait unconstitutionally promotes religion in a public school. After huddling with attorneys in closed session the board said the portrait belongs to the student group that put it up. An ACLU spokesman says the portrait is still unconstitutional.

     Radioactive waste from oil and natural gas drilling could face new testing
    Ohio's treasurer is encouraging fellow Republicans in the Legislature to reject Gov. John Kasich's  proposed expansion of Medicaid. In a letter, Treasurer Josh Mandel urged legislative leaders to oppose Kasich's plan. The GOP governor has framed the move as recapturing Ohioans' tax dollars from the federal government. Washington will pay the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years, gradually phasing down to 90 percent — still well above the state's current level of 64 percent. Mandel warned state leaders that "there is no free money," and Ohio would be stuck with its long-term effects. Many Republicans are averse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law and resistant to expanding government programs.

    Ohio treasurer wants Medicaid expansion rejected 
    Ohio's treasurer is encouraging fellow Republicans in the Legislature to reject Gov. John Kasich's  proposed expansion of Medicaid. In a letter, Treasurer Josh Mandel urged legislative leaders to oppose Kasich's plan. The GOP governor has framed the move as recapturing Ohioans' tax dollars from the federal government. Washington will pay the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years, gradually phasing down to 90 percent — still well above the state's current level of 64 percent. Mandel warned state leaders that "there is no free money," and Ohio would be stuck with its long-term effects. Many Republicans are averse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law and resistant to expanding government programs.

    Ohio Senate outlines top 10 bills
    School safety, workforce development and polling-place access are among the Ohio Senate's legislative priorities alongside the state budget. Republican Senate President Keith Faber announced the top 10 bills Tuesday. Proposals include streamlining the state's job-matching services and establishing a revolving-loan fund to help displaced workers with education and job retraining. 

    State school leader asked to recalculate report cards
    The acting leader of the Ohio Department of Education is being asked to recalculate grade cards for nine school districts, including Canton, Cleveland and Campbell in Mahoning County, that have been accused of scrubbing student data to improve their performance.  The request comes from Ohio Auditor David Yost, who on Monday announced the results of his statewide probe. Acting Ohio Department of Education superintendent Michael Sawyers says the agency will investigate the problems in those districts and consider other recommendations in the auditor’s report, including requiring more than one annual count of students each year.  

    Lawmaker files counter suit in alleged fraud
    A Cincinnati-area lawmaker has filed a counter lawsuit against 14 investors who sued him last month, alleging he participated in a fraud cheating them out of more than $1.2 million. The investors allege their money was improperly spent on non-business items including the 2010 election campaign of state Rep. Peter Beck of Mason. Those allegations have led to a legislative ethics committee investigation of Beck. Beck's lawsuit filed Monday in Cincinnati denies investors' allegations, wants the lawsuit dismissed and asking for damages. 

    West Side Market to open Monday
    The city of Cleveland has announced it will reopen the West Side Market Monday.
    The indoor market has been closed since a fire broke out early the morning of Jan. 30. Only two meat vendors' stalls were heavily damaged, but smoke and soot spread throughout the building, and food had to be disposed of.
    The city hired a company for the clean-up and structural engineers say the building is safe.
    The Cleveland Fire Department says it still isn't sure of the cause.

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