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Cuyahoga prosecutors aren't saying if they've offered a deal to accused Cleveland kidnapper
  • Other noon news: Hiring confidence is up, Lordstown shutdown, the Browns and Flying J


    Web Editor
    M.L. Schultze
    Ariel Castro is facing 977 counts of kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder.
    Courtesy of WKSU
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    In The Region:
  • Castro is reportedly considering a plea deal
  • Mid-market companies are hiring
  • Lordstown shutdown extended
  • Big days for the Browns and Pilot Flying J
  • Castro is reportedly considering a plea deal
    Cuyahoga County prosecutors are not commenting on WKYC’s report that they’ve offered a plea deal to Ariel Castro, which he may accept in a formal court appearance tomorrow.

    Castro is accused of imprisoning three women in his west-side Cleveland home for a decade. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were freed in early May. Castro has been held on $8 million bond since then on hundreds of kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder charges.

    Ohio’s speedy trial law requires Castro be tried by Aug. 5 unless he waives that – something routinely done in complicated cases. But lawyers for the 52-year-old have said they’ll push for the speedy trial unless prosecutors do not press for the death penalty connected to allegations that Castro forced one of the women to repeatedly miscarry. Until now, prosecutors have not ruled the death penalty out.

    Any deal would likely require that Castro spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Mid-market companies are hiring
    The companies in the middle are increasingly confident about where America’s economy is heading.

    A new survey by Ohio State University asks about hiring, revenue, investment and confidence at what’s known as mid-market companies – those with annual revenues of  $10 million to $1 billion. The results say revenue and hiring are up at those companies -- more than in the overall economy -- and that 70 percent of new jobs this year could be at those companies.

    Lordstown shutdown extended
    GM is extending the annual shutdown of its Lordstown plant in order to cut the supply of the Chevrolet Cruze.

    The plant typically shuts down for maintenance in July – and did so this year. But the company has now announced another shutdown starting Aug. 26 to "align the product with market demands."

    Cruze hit an all-time sales record in June – selling nearly 33,000 of the compact cars. Overall, it has sold nearly 265,000 of the cars this year, and it is ramping up production of a diesel model.

    Big days for the Browns and Pilot Flying J
    The Cleveland Browns have officially opened their training camp, the same day lawyers for team owner Jimmy Haslam are back in court trying to get a judge to consolidate all the lawsuits filed by trucking companies against his Pilot Flying J company. Pilot has admitted it duped small trucking companies out of promised fuel rebates, and has offered to repay them -- plus 6 percent annual interest. Some of the companies say they should get punitive damages as well. Meanwhile, a federal criminal fraud investigation continues.

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