Anti-abortion groups, Republicans sue over Medicaid expansion
Anti-abortion groups and six Republican lawmakers in Ohio are suing the state over a move to fund an expansion of the Medicaid health program.
Governor John Kasich's administration brought the funding request to the state's Controlling Board, bypassing the full Legislature. The seven-member panel cleared the expansion money on Monday.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday with the Ohio Supreme Court by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law argues the board violated the Legislature's intent by approving the expansion dollars.
Kasich officials have said the board has the authority to grant the request.
Cuyahoga County college savings plan approved
A plan to give every kindergartener in Cuyahoga County a $100 college savings account is a go. County Council voted last night to fund County Executive Ed FitzGerald’s plan.
The council’s three Republican members all voted against it, saying it would be ineffective and cost too much to administer. Council President C. Ellen Connally said council would give the program a three year trial period before reevaluating.
It will cost about $2 million and would fulfill the county charter's mandate that it establish a post-secondary scholarship program.
Medina superintendent to repay $4,000
The state auditor says Medina’s embattled school superintendent must repay about $4,000 for questionable expenses including gift cards and travel upgrades.
The findings announced Tuesday against Randy Stepp left unresolved the issue of $172,00 paid by Medina schools for his college loans. That matter is pending before the U.S. Department of Education.
Stepp, who was put on paid leave, has sued the board for defamation. The district has challenged that claim.
Blue Angels to perform at Cleveland National Air Show
A military jet demonstration team is expected to perform at two Ohio air shows next summer, a year after federal budget cuts halted such flying acts.
The Navy’s Blue Angels will perform at the 2014 Cleveland National Air Show, tentatively scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
In southwest Ohio, the Blue Angels will also perform at the Dayton Vectren Air Show, which drew smaller crowds this year after the appearance by the Air Force Thunderbirds was cancelled and marred by the death of a wing walker and pilot in a crash.
6,000 properties demolished through AG's program
Attorney General Mike DeWine says about 6,000 properties around Ohio have been demolished in the past two years under a program targeting abandoned and blighted homes.
The Demolition Grant Program announced in February 2012 is meant to help with neighborhood revitalization. It funds demolitions using money from a national settlement with major mortgage servicers.
DeWine says nearly $30 million has been reimbursed for demolitions. That includes more than 2,500 demolitions in northeast Ohio's Cuyahoga County. DeWine's office had allocated $75 million for demolition grants. Counties have until May to use their allocations.
Federal grant money coming to Northeast Ohio for job creation
Nearly two million dollars of federal grant money will be pouring into northeast Ohio to help create jobs and attract foreign investors.
The grant was part of the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor’s ‘Make it in America’ challenge. Team NEO and several other groups joined forces and won the funding that will be used to help up to 25 local biomedical, automotive and advanced energy companies commercialize new products and create jobs.
The Plain Dealer reports Team NEO plans to identify a pool of companies interested in the program, and then select the ones that will receive assistance.
Speed camera lawsuit granted class action status
A judge in southwest Ohio has granted class action status to a lawsuit challenging use of cameras for speeding enforcement in a village near Cincinnati.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman on Tuesday ruled that the original lawsuit can be expanded to all drivers who paid speeding tickets received over the six months before he ordered a halt to Elmwood Place's use of speeding cameras in March. It's estimated that will total about 10,000 drivers, seeking refunds of nearly $2 million in fines and other charges.
Instant lottery ticket sales down
A slump in instant lottery ticket sales is keeping the Ohio Lottery’s overall sales from growing.
The Plain Dealer reports that overall sales were up nearly one percent over September of last year. Online games like Pick 3 and Powerball rose more than 15 percent.
But instant tickets took an 11 percent plunge. The lottery is already looking at ways to get instant players to spend more. A record 30 dollar ticket will go on sale after the first of the year, with 5 ten million dollar prizes, and 35 one million dollar prizes.
Top games were Pick 3, Keno, Powerball and Mega Millions.
Former credit union executive held without bond
A former Northeast Ohio credit union executive-turned fugitive will be held without bond throughout his criminal case.
The ruling came Monday against former Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union CEO Alex Spirikaitis, who the Plain Dealer reports will not challenge the ruling. Federal prosecutors have filed paperwork to seize his 1 million dollar Solon home. Spirikaitis had been on the run since July—after federal investigators said he forged financial documents and falsely reported more than 16 million dollars in assets.
He was caught Monday in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland.
Suarez Corporation added to indictment
The company whose owner is accused of making illegal political campaign contributions has now been indicted.
The Beacon Journal reports that the Suarez Corporation of North Canton—owned by Ben Suarez—could now face potential fines and civil penalties. Suarez and his company’s Chief Financial Officer, Michael Giorgio, are accused of reimbursing workers for contributing a total of more than 200 thousand dollars to Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s U.S. Senate run and Congressman Jim Renacci’s campaign.
They’re also accused of pressuring employees to not cooperate with investigators, and not providing financial documents. Mandel and Renacci both returned the money after the donations came into question.
Akron residents chosen for free CDL training
Nearly 50 Akron residents will have the chance to receive free training for a commercial driver’s license, and a chance at a trucking job with the city once that license is obtained. City officials drew the names out of about 650 eligible applicants. Those people will be contacted by the end of this week.
The first training program will start in the middle of November. Another will start in the spring.
Those who complete the program will then be eligible for trucking jobs the city anticipates needing for its sewer overhaul project. The jobs have not yet been posted.