Strongsville school board, teacher’s union returning to the bargaining table today
Both sides in the Strongsville teacher’s labor dispute will return to the bargaining table today after a marathon 14-hour session Wednesday. No progress was made as the strike gets set to wrap up its fifth week. The two sides will meet again with the federal mediator today at 3:00. Parents and students converged on Strongsville city council earlier this week, urging both sides to come to an agreement. The strike took a dramatic turn Tuesday, when the school board immediately turned down a union proposal for binding arbitration, which would have put the major issues in contract talks in a third-party’s hands, which would have agreed with one side or the other.
Kasich says kick Medicaid plan opponents in the shins
A warning to Ohio lawmakers considering voting against the governor's plan to expand Medicaid: Cover your shins. John Kasich added thrust to his pleas that legislators extend the federal-state health care program for the poor during his City Club of Cleveland speech Wednesday, Kasich said legislators are of "good will." But he joked that people should "kick them in the shins" if they're not going to vote for Medicaid expansion. Kasich's fellow Republicans control the Legislature and are preparing changes to the proposal. Kasich supports expanding the program, saying it's a way to recapture Ohio taxpayers' federal money.
Final Route 82 bridge suspect competent to stand trial
The last of five defendants in the failed plot to blow up a bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has been found competent to stand trial. The Plain Dealer reports a forensic psychologist made the determination for 23-year old Joshua Stafford of Cleveland and she’s shared her findings with federal prosecutors and defense lawyers. She’s expected to testify at Stafford’s competency hearing April 15th in U.S. Court in Akron. The four other defendants have pleaded guilty in the plot to blow up the Route 82 Bridge in Brecksville last April. The FBI said the device was a dud provided by an informant.
New details on fatal Warren crash coming today
Investigators are ready to share more details about a crash that killed six teenagers when a speeding SUV flipped into a pond in Warren. The State Highway Patrol plans a news conference for this afternoon to discuss the circumstances of the March 10th crash. The lingering questions include how fast the vehicle was traveling, where the teens were before the crash and whether anyone might be charged. The 19-year-old driver was among those killed. Authorities say she didn't have a valid license. The SUV was reported stolen after the crash.
Authorities looking into assault of slain New Franklin couple’s daughter
Authorities near Akron are investigating whether the violent assault of a young woman last month could be related to the slaying of her prominent parents in their home this week. The Beacon Journal reports that the 18-year-old daughter of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert was stabbed in an incident March 23 at an Akron home. And while that 24-year-old man was jailed in that attack, police say he is not a suspect in the slayings. Another man who is in a relationship with Chelsea Schobert has been questioned. The bodies of her parents were found by construction workers in their home Tuesday in New Franklin.
Sentencing today for Craigslist killer
The Akron man who lured victims with bogus job offers on Craigslist faces a possible death sentence when a judge decides his punishment today. 53-year-old Richard Beasley will be sentenced this morning in Akron. He was convicted last month by a jury that recommended the death sentence. The judge could reduce the sentence to life in prison. Beasley, a self-styled street preacher, and a teenage companion lured victims with offers of farmhand jobs in southeast Ohio and robbed them. Three men were killed and a fourth was wounded in 2011.
Aurora executive charged with defrauding contractors
A Northeast Ohio executive has been charged with pocketing more than $225,000 defrauded from contractors involved in FBI building projects in Indianapolis and Knoxville, Tenn. Federal prosecutors in Cleveland announced the filing of a criminal information Wednesday against 51-year-old Robert Berryhill. He lives in suburban Aurora and worked for a Westlake contractor. An information usually signals a pending plea deal. Berryhill is accused of creating phony businesses and invoices to divert construction funds to personal use. Carnegie Management and Development Corp. says Berryhill was fired in 2009 and the FBI was alerted when an audit detected alleged fraud.
Proposed Cleveland law would crack down on bus, train safety
Proposed new city ordinances in Cleveland would crack down on drivers passing school buses and people assaulting bus or train drivers. The council's public safety committee approved the ordinances Wednesday. Passing a school bus would go from a fourth to first degree misdemeanor, with a maximum six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The Plain Dealer reports that if the ordinance is passed by city council, Cleveland would become the first city in Ohio to make failing to stop for a school bus a first-degree misdemeanor.
Four charged with enrolling at U of Akron on fake GEDs
Four people face federal charges, accused of using fake GED certificates to enroll in the University of Akron. Prosecutors say the group collected more than $100,000 in financial aid between 2006 and 2011. The indictment says 46-year old Lori Martin created transcripts for 40-year old Raheen Martin and two others and helped them complete online applications to the university and for financial aid. They then allegedly used the Pell Grants and federally insured loans to pay for living expenses and tuition.
Ohio cracking down on food stamp fraud
The state is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to crack down on food stamp fraud. The Dayton Daily News reports the USDA will provide training and data-mining assistance to identify suspicious patterns of benefit redemption that could indicate illegal activities. The state and federal agency will share information about their transactions.