Lawmakers react to federal budget deal
Northeast Ohio lawmakers are reacting to Thursday’s passage of the federal budget deal. Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Niles voted in favor of the agreement.
“Although this budget agreement is not perfect, I do believe this is the type of compromise that can move our nation forward,” Ryan said.
Republican Congressman Jim Rennaci of Wadsworth echoed Ryan’s sentiments in his support of the deal.
“Though the budget agreement is far from perfect, it is certainly a step in the right direction as it forces Congress to move forward with the appropriations process,” Rennaci said.
In a statement, Ryan also said he was disappointed the budget doesn’t include an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.
That lack of benefits is the reason Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Warrensville Heights voted against the bill. She was the only Ohio Democrat to do so. Ohio Republican Congressmen Jim Jordan, Steve Chabot and Brad Wenstrup voted against it.
Summa lays off more workers
Nearly two dozen managers at Summa Health System are now off the job after yet another round of layoffs at Summit County’s largest employer.
The Beacon Journal reports 14 other management jobs will be left vacant.
This is the third wave of workforce reductions this year. Fifty-eight workers were laid off in September, and 54 employees lost their jobs in January. The company has said the layoffs are the result of the federal health care reform, and are part of a 10-year performance improvement plan.
No guns found inside SUV of man shot by Cleveland police
Cleveland police say they found no weapons inside the SUV driven by a man who was shot twice by an officer earlier this week.
Burglary suspect Xavier Hempstead was shot twice in the neck and shoulder after Detective Robert Miles says Hempstead pointed a gun at him when he approached the vehicle. After Hempsted was shot, he sped off. The Plain Dealer reports, when police located his SUV, they found no weapons inside.
Hempstead was treated for his injuries and is now in custody. So far, no charges have been filed. Miles has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard practice.
Two children dead after home invasion, fire
Two children are dead after a fire started during a home invasion on Cleveland’s East side.
The Plain Dealer reports that a man forced his way into a Kipling Avenue apartment and allegedly started a fire that killed two young girls, ages two and seven, sleeping in a nearby bedroom. Their aunt who was home at the time told investigators the man shut her in a bathroom. Arson and homicide units are investigating.
Landowners accuse state of delaying compensation
Lawyers representing several dozen landowners near Ohio's largest inland lake are once again accusing the state of delaying compensation for flooding losses.
At issue is how fast the Department of Natural Resources has responded to an order by the Ohio Supreme Court to compensate nearly 90 landowners near Grand Lake St. Marys, a 20-square-mile lake between Dayton and Toledo.
The state said earlier this year it met two court-ordered deadlines to speed up compensation.
Attorneys for the landowners, almost all farmers, said in a filing with the court that the state is revoking previous good faith financial offers and saying it will make newer and lower offers.
Lawyers ask for mercy for condemned killer
Lawyers for a condemned Ohio inmate who raped and killed a pregnant woman say mercy is warranted because of the defendant's chaotic and abusive childhood and the failure of his original attorneys to work hard enough on his behalf.
Dennis McGuire is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1989 murder. His new attorneys argued for clemency before the Ohio Parole Board Thursday in Columbus.
The state plans to use a never-tried lethal injection process on the 53-year-old McGuire, with the specific chemicals to be announced two weeks before the execution.
Case against man charged in deadly Cleveland fire in jury's hands
The case of a man charged in a 2005 Cleveland fire that killed a woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover is now in the hands of the jury.
Closing arguments ended yesterday in the case against 29-year-old Antun Lewis.
It is the second time Lewis has been tried for the crime. He won a new trial based on unreliable prosecution testimony from jailhouse informants. Lewis could face life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say Lewis was upset over a drug debt and dumped gasoline to set what became Cleveland's deadliest house fire.
Public memorial set for Ohio's first black House majority leader
A public memorial service has been set for former Ohio lawmaker William L. Mallory.
Mallory was the state's first black House majority leader and longest-serving in its history.
He died Tuesday after a brief illness at the age of 82 at a Cincinnati hospice surrounded by his family.
The service celebrating Mallory's life has been set for 10 a.m. on Dec. 22 at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
Mallory is survived by his wife and six grown children, who include former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and Hamilton County judges William Jr. and Dwane Mallory.
Son Dale Mallory is in the Legislature, son Joe was a Forest Park vice mayor and daughter Leslie Denise works for the Ohio Lottery.
Their father's funeral and burial will be private.
Mercy killing convict asks for clemency
The Massillon man convicted of shooting and killing his wife as she lay debilitated in a hospital bed will seek clemency from the governor.
John Wise is expected to appeal to Governor John Kasich after he is sentenced today. Wise shot his wife at Akron General Medical Center back in August of 2012 following an aneurysm. He said the shooting was a mercy killing done out of love. Mercy is not a defense to murder in Ohio.
He faces up to life in prison, but the prosecutor recommended a six-year term.
Lucasville riot inmate speaks out over lawsuit
An inmate convicted for his role in the deadly 1993 Lucasville riot says he decided to sue for the right to conduct in-person media interviews after exhausting internal appeals.
Siddique Abdullah Hasan says he and other prisoners reached that conclusion after unsuccessful requests and hunger strikes. Hasan, who is on death row, told The Associated Press Thursday in a phone call that face-to-face interviews are preferable to letters or calls and can be more revealing.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is suing the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on behalf of several reporters and inmates.
Cleveland traffic delay expected
A traffic delay can be expected starting this morning in downtown Cleveland. Two southbound lanes on E. 9th Street at Euclid Avenue are closed. They will remain shut down for the next eight months for a building rehabilitation project.
Harrie Larlahm training sites for adults with disabilities to close
Two vocational training sites for adults with developmental disabilities will close their doors at the end of the year.
Hattie Larlham’s Hattie’s Café and Gifts in Hudson has been open since 2006, and offers employees a chance to gain work experience that will help them obtain future employment.
Representatives of the Twinsburg-based nonprofit tell the Beacon Journal they simply weren’t breaking even. A second location in the Stubbs Justice Center in Akron is also closing. Four other cafes in Akron, and one in Cleveland will remain open.
Prisons director pushing for more reentry programs
The director of Ohio’s prison system wants more money to go toward reentry programs and community alternatives to the state housing inmates.
Gary Mohr told the Plain Dealer on Thursday that he will also try to reopen some prison units that have been closed in the past few years because of a rising prison population.
The number of inmates is expected to grow to an all-time high 51,000 next June. That’s 12,000 over capacity. Mohr says the increase is the result of more people being convicted on drug charges.
Five arrested in synthetic drug bust
The owners of a chain of retail stores specializing in drug and smoking paraphernalia are among five people facing charges for the sale of synthetic drugs.
Sean and Sherry Lightner own 11 shops known as the Twilight Boutique, and control Twilight Corp. in Grafton in Lorain County. Federal investigators say they sold a product that was designed to mimic an illegal drug— typically sold under the names Spice or K2.