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Rocky River polluters fined a dollar-a-fish in toxic spill
Other headlines: Another bomb threat at Cuyahoga Falls school; Akron 1st grade teacher will head OEA; Charles Ramsey statue unveiled in Kentucky

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Jeff St. Clair
  • Another bomb threat at Cuyahoga Falls school
  • Chardon families sue United Way : Update 
  • Akron 1st grade teacher will head OEA
  • Cleveland PlayHouse director resigns abruptly
  • “Night Out for Missing Persons” held in Cleveland
  • Federal cuts hit state and local health departments
  • Marijuana measure approved for signatures
  • Charles Ramsey statue unveiled in Kentucky 
  • Another bomb threat at Cuyahoga Falls school 
    Students at Cuyahoga Falls High School have been sent home today after a reported bomb threat. Cuyahoga Falls Police and Fire are at the scene investigating. The superintendent sent out a recorded phone call at 7 this morning. This is the third time this year the school has been closed for a threat.

    Chardon families sue United Way : Update
    A court date has been set in the lawsuit against the charity set-up to help victims of last year’s Chardon school shooting. Geauga County Judge Tim Grendell will hold a hearing on the case on Tuesday. The families of the three students killed in the February 2012 shootings are suing administrators of the “Chardon Healing Fund.”  They say the charity, which has raised nearly a million dollars, is illegally withholding additional contributions to the families.  

    So far, more than $400,000 dollars has gone to the slain student’s families, and to the families of the three other students who were wounded. The United Way is operating the fund. The organization says the money is being properly distributed, including $250,000 allocated to help pay for mental health services for community members traumatized by the shootings. The slain student’s families are also trying to stop that donation from being made. 

    Akron 1st grade teacher will head OEA
    A teacher from the Akron area has been named to lead the state’s largest teachers union.  Becky Higgins, a first grade teacher in the Copley-Fairlawn district, is the president- elect of the Ohio Education Association. The union represents 121,000 teachers and support staff in Ohio. Higgins tells the Beacon Journal that her union strongly opposes the so-called ‘right to work’ legislation introduced this month by House Republicans Kristina Roegner of Hudson and Ron Maag of Lebanon. The measure, that prohibit unions from requiring employees to join a union and pay dues, has been tabled until later this summer. 

    Cleveland PlayHouse director resigns abruptly
    The Cleveland Play House is approaching its 100th anniversary but the man who guided its growth and re-birth for the past 9 years won’t be there to celebrate. Artistic Director Michael Bloom abruptly stepped down from his position Thursday, no reason has been given. Bloom led the theatre through its 2011 relocation to Playhouse Square after a $32 million renovation of the Allen Theater complex. Bloom will be replaced by Associate Artistic Director Laura Kepley until the Cleveland Play House Board hires a new director. 

    “Night Out for Missing Persons” held in Cleveland
    Police investigators returned to the Cleveland neighborhood where three women were held captive in a house for a decade hoping to get tips on unsolved missing-person cases. Cleveland city and public transit police and the FBI sponsored Thursday evening's event called a "Night Out For Missing Persons." There were two locations, one on Cleveland's east side and the west side street where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped to freedom May 6.

    The Guardian Angels crime fighting organization passed out leaflets highlighting missing people. Authorities hoped to encourage information on the more than 100 open missing-person cases in Cleveland. Cleveland police were criticized for the handling of missing-person reports in the deaths of 11 women found buried in 2009. 

    Rocky River polluters fined a dollar-a-fish in toxic spill
    A Strongsville company and the owner's wife have pleaded guilty for their roles in the dumping of liquid cyanide into a storm drain, resulting in the death of almost 31,000 fish in an Ohio river last year. Kennedy Mint Inc. pleaded guilty Thursday to violating the Clean Water Act. The owner's 74-year-old wife pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. Storm water from the business's parking lot flows into the East Branch of the Rocky River.

    Kennedy Mint will pay restitution of $30,893 -- one dollar for every fish killed. The money will be used to restock the river. Kennedy Mint also will make a payment to the Cleveland Metroparks, at an amount determined later.

    Federal cuts hit state and local health departments
    Ohio health officials warn federal budget cuts are going to put a dent in public health programs. The Ohio Department of Health said Thursday that cuts totaling nearly $8.5 million so far will affect programs including newborn hearing screenings, food assistance programs and abstinence education. Much of the costs will be absorbed by the state health department, but local health departments will have to figure out how to cover some losses. State health officials say a lack of details coming out of Washington has made it more difficult to plan for the reductions.

    Ohio Lottery online sales challenged 
    Ohio House members want to make sure the Ohio Lottery doesn't start selling tickets on the Internet. A provision in the state budget proposed by the Ohio House would prohibit the lottery from following the lead of other states and selling tickets directly to players via computers and hand-held devices. Online sales are seen as a way for the lottery to attract younger customers and compete with more glamorous casinos. Critics see it as an expansion of gambling and worry that minors could buy tickets using their parents' credit or debit cards. Retailers who use the lottery as a draw and receive commissions also are concerned.

    Ohio school considers creationism curriculum
    A civil rights group is asking a southwest Ohio school district to abandon proposed policies that teach creationism in the classroom. A staff attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, called the plans unconstitutional and said they were threatening to religious freedom. The school board discussed the proposal Thursday. 

    The board will have a second reading in two weeks, and then take a vote. The Board says that teaching "controversial issues" in a dispassionate manner can help students think critically, explore all sides of an issue and reach their own decisions. The Springboro School Board previously weighed the matter in 2011 but abandoned the idea amid public pressure.

    Charles Ramsey statue unveiled in Kentucky 
    He’s been promised hamburgers for life at more than a dozen Cleveland-area restaurants.  McDonalds’s has also reached out to thank Internet sensation Charles Ramsey with a year’s worth of burgers. And now a Kentucky lawyer is unveiling a statue of the Seymour Ave. resident who helped rescue three missing women on May 6th. Lawyer Eric Conn in Stanville, Kentucky commissioned the work from an unnamed sculptor.  But a press release notes the artist saying the most difficult part was, “sculpting Ramsey’s unique hair style.”  The unveiling will take place this afternoon in Kentucky.

    Marijuana measure approved for signatures
    A proposed constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana and certain uses of hemp has cleared Ohio's ballot board. The panel's approval Thursday sends the issue into its signature-gathering phase, with a 2014 vote most likely. The deadline for this fall's ballot is July 6. The Ohio Cannibis Rights Amendment would establish a commission to regulate the use of medical marijuana and permit Ohioans to grow hemp for uses including paper, clothing, food and as a building material. Three previous marijuana-related issues have been cleared by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine since 2011 but stalled.

    Cuyahoga Falls man with a dozen DUI’s gets prison time  
    Authorities say a 70-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of his 12th drunken-driving charge. A judge in Summit County sentenced Edward South of Cuyahoga Falls on Thursday. The most recent conviction happened after South crashed into a pole on Dec. 26 and walked away from the scene. Police tracked him to a family member's home and apprehended him there. He was convicted in May of two felonies for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, along with a specification and an enhanced penalty for having five prior offenses in the past 20 years. South has racked up a dozen drunken-driving convictions in the past 25 years.

    Indians beat Boston on Francona’s return to Fenway
    The Indians stomped Boston, 12-3, last night. Indians manager Terry Francona waved to the crowd and patted his heart on his first return to Fenway since he left the Red Sox. The Indians scored six runs in the sixth to take a 12-3 lead. It was the first time in nine years that the Indians scored 12 runs without hitting a homer. The four-game series in Boston continues tonight.




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