Cleveland Marathon to step up security
Cleveland Marathon organizers say they will be stepping up security for next month’s race. Director Jack Staph tells WEWS he’s called a meeting today to discuss measures they can take. The marathon is set for May 19. Cleveland police say they had increased patrols downtown overnight, deployed a canine unit and put a bomb squad on stand-by as precautions.
Secretary of State’s wife, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor near Boston Marathon bombing
The wife of Ohio's secretary of state says she was about a block from the finish line at the Boston Marathon when she heard an explosion. Tina Husted says she had finished the race and was waiting in a van for fellow athletes when she felt a huge boom and saw smoke. She wasn't hurt. It's the second time Husted completed the Boston marathon. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty tells the Plain Dealer he was one or two minutes from the finish line when the first bomb blew. McGinty, who was running in his 14th Boston Marathon, quickly got word back that he was okay.
FBI locks down Browns owner Haslam’s company
The FBI on Monday locked down the headquarters of Pilot Flying J in Tennessee. That’s Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam’s company. It’s not known what’s surrounding the investigation into the Knoxville-based truck stop business. Haslam stepped down as company CEO after buying the Browns last summer. He returned in February, replacing former PepsiCo President John Compton. In a statement Monday, Haslam said "We will cooperate appropriately with any and all external investigations and conduct our own," "I believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing.” Like most major cities, Cleveland says it’s on heightened alert in the wake of yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. Stressing there is no reason to be concerned, Mayor Frank Jackson says police have increased patrols downtown, deployed a canine unit and put a bomb squad on stand-by as precautions. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Marathon is set for one month from now, and organizers say they plan to meet today to discuss how they can increase security.
Grand Jury selected in Steubenville rape
The case involving the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players in Steubenville last year is entering a new phase. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says a grand jury has been selected to investigate whether other laws were broken. Questions have been raised during the investigation that suggest there might be more wrongdoing in the case itself or the handling of it. DeWine says he wants to get to the bottom of it.
Cleveland taking more time to decide on controversial ward map
Cleveland City Council wants more time to look at ward map changes that have been controversial. A vote was set for last night, but the Plain Dealer reports council members received legislation description the new boundaries about two hours before the vote and requested another week to review it. Last month, council approved the first map revision. But complaints from the city’s Hispanic community prompted further changes. Community leader Jose Feliciano says the first redistricting cut the city’s largest Hispanic voting bloc in two. The 14th ward was originally redrawn to include 37 percent Hispanic voters. That’s been changed to include nearly 40 percent but Feliciano wants 50 percent Hispanic voters in that ward. He’s considering suing the city, accusing it of violating the Voting Rights Act if that percentage isn’t reached. Feliciano has started the process by requesting information on the redistricting process from the City Council. Feliciano says ten-percent of Cleveland’s population is Hispanic, but there are no Hispanic council members.
House committee expected to vote on state budget today
A revised state budget is expected to advance a step in the Ohio House. The House Finance and Appropriations Committee is expected to make additional changes before it votes on the two-year, $61 billion measure this afternoon. A full House vote could come on Thursday. House Republican leaders dropped from the budget Republican Gov. John Kasich's plan to extend Medicaid health coverage under the federal health law. A provision added to the measure would effectively defund Planned Parenthood. The budget bill contains a seven percent permanent income-tax reduction, while excluding the governor's proposed small-business tax cut.
David Pepper announces Attorney General run
Cincinnati attorney David Pepper says he plans to challenge Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in 2014. Pepper, a Democrat, is a former Cincinnati city councilman and Hamilton County commissioner. He lost a bid for state auditor to Republican Dave Yost four years ago despite a well-funded campaign. A spokesman said Pepper filed paperwork for the 2014 bid Monday, making him the first Democrat to officially enter the field.
Last Route 82 bridge suspect competent to stand trial
A judge has ruled that the last of five Northeast Ohio bridge bomb-plotting suspects is mentally competent to stand trial. Judge David Dowd in Akron ruled Monday that 23-year-old Joshua Stafford of Cleveland is able to assist in his defense. The judge set a Thursday hearing on trial arrangements. The judge ruled after hearing from psychologists who said Stafford is suicidal, depressed and wary of a dangerous world but able to assist in his defense. No bomb went off and no one was hurt in the plot last year in which the intended target was the Route 82 Bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The four other defendants have pleaded guilty and landed prison terms of six to 11 years.
Nursing home admits to overbilling Medicaid, Medicare
The owner of a Northeast Ohio nursing home has admitted to overbilling Medicaid and Medicare by more than $2.5 million. David Patel, owner of Alpine Nursing Care in North Randall, pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Cleveland says Patel stole from tax payers by, “scamming Medicaid and Medicare.” The nursing home’s office manager was convicted on related charges and will be sentenced next month. Patel is expected to be sentenced later this year.
Seven charged in alleged Central Ohio home repair scam
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says seven people have been charged in an alleged home repair scam that mostly targeted central Ohioans in their 80s and 90s. DeWine said Monday that seven Circleville residents were indicted in Fairfield County. He says the door-to-door improvement scheme cost at least a dozen or more victims a total of about $100,000. DeWine says homeowners typically were told a roof or chimney needed repairs and then were given higher-than-expected bills, finding that little or no work was done. DeWine says some homeowners were told they had been overcharged and needed to write additional replacement checks.