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Portman calls for more money for ex-offender programs
Other headlines: Browns to announce plans for stadium upgrade; Austintown gets racino windfall

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Browns to announce plans for stadium upgrade
  • Austintown gets racino windfall
  • Jury in Sandusky calls for death penalty 
  • Portman calls for more money for ex-offender programs
    U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is introducing legislation today to reauthorize a bill that helps newly released inmates adjust to civilian life.

    The Second Chance Act provides money to programs aimed at helping people avoid returning to prison.

    Portman says the recidivism rate in the U.S. is alarmingly high.

    He says, “Spending on corrections and prisons has soared, in fact it’s growing faster than any other item in state budgets with the exception of Medicaid, and we’re not getting a very good return on that investment.”

    Portman says the recidivism rate in Ohio has dropped in recent years, but is still too high at around 29 percent.

    Since its passage in 2008 the Second Chance Act has authorized $250 million in grants to programs nationwide to help former offenders. 

    Browns to announce plans for stadium upgrade 
    The Cleveland Browns are expected to unveil plans for upgrading FirstEnergy Stadium.

    A press conference has been called for 2:15 today.

    The NFL last month approved $62.5 million in funding for improvements to the home of the Browns.

    The total renovation, which includes new scoreboards and sound systems, is expected to cost around $120 million according to Browns CEO Joe Banner.

    Austintown gets racino windfall 
    Officials in northeastern Ohio say they're going to use the first $1 million payment from a proposed racino to pay off a new communications system.

    Austintown township trustees got the money Tuesday from the owner of the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. It's under construction and set to open next fall.

    The Youngstown Vindicator reports that in addition to receiving the $1 million this year and next year, the township will receive $500,000 every year after that as long as the racino is open.

    Officials say the money enables the township to focus on improving and growing infrastructure.

    Penn National Gaming got permission to relocate an existing race track in suburban Columbus to Austintown, near Youngtown. The track will also feature slot-machine gaming.

    Jury in Sandusky calls for death penalty
    Jurors are recommending the death penalty for a northern Ohio man convicted in the deaths of a woman and her two young children just over a year ago.

    The jury in Sandusky came back with its decision Tuesday, a week after finding 42-year-old Curtis Clinton guilty of aggravated murder and rape. A judge will decide Thursday whether to accept the jury's recommendation.

    Clinton denied killing 23-year-old Heather Jackson, her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son at a Sandusky home. They were killed in September 2012.

    Police officers said that they found the children's bodies behind boxes in a utility closet and that the woman's body was under a mattress.

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