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Browns fire Chudzinski after one season
Other headlines: Portage County hospital latest to seek merger; Large-scale dog breeders need license starting Jan.1  
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Portage County hospital latest to seek merger
  • Large-scale dog breeders need license starting Jan.1  
  • Portune may challenge FitzGerald 
  • State updates drunken driver registry
  • Gas prices on the rise
  • Browns fire Chudzinski after sad season
    The Browns are starting over -  again. 

    On the heals of a 4 -12 season and Sunday’s 20-7 loss to Pittsburgh, the Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one year on the job.

    Chudzinski was the fourth coach in six years for the Browns.

     

    Portage County hospital latest to seek merger
    Another local hospital is prepping for a merger, in a year of consolidation in the healthcare industry.

    Robinson Memorial Hospital in Portage County will transition from County owned to non-profit status on New Year’s Day.

    The switch allows the hospital to seek new deals with other partners.

    The Akron Beacon Journal reports Robinson is in talks with several unspecified partners, and that a deal could be reached by mid-January.

    Summa Health System finalized a $250 million deal with HealthSpan Partners, part of Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners, for a minority ownership stake in the Akron-area health system. 

    Akron General Health System is in talks to be acquired by a partnership between for-profit national hospital chain Community Health Systems of Tennessee and the Cleveland Clinic.

    Cleveland's University Hospitals is set to take over two suburban medical centers.

    University Hospitals received final approval from government regulators this past week to complete the deal to take control of Parma Community General Hospital and EMH Healthcare in Elyria beginning on Jan. 1.

    University Hospitals has 18,000 employees at 10 hospitals and 20 outpatient health centers in the Cleveland area.

     

    Large-scale dog breeders need license starting Jan.1  
    A new set of regulations meant to crack down on puppy mills in Ohio will take effect in the new year.

    Dog breeders who produce at least nine litters and at least 60 dogs in a year will need to get a state license

    Those who buy from breeders and sell to pet stores must also get a license.

    The law also sets standards for housing and care of puppies and dogs that include making sure kennels are clean and properly ventilated.

    The Columbus Dispatch reports that legislation regulating puppy mills has been seven years in the making.

    The Ohio Department of Agriculture says 300 people have identified themselves as high-volume breeders. The department has about 100 license applications in progress.


    Portune may challenge FitzGerald 
    A southwest Ohio Democrat is set to announce whether he'll make a run for Ohio governor.

    Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune says he will reveal his decision this afternoon.

    Portune could set up a Democratic primary against Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

    A primary would be an expensive proposition as Democrats aim to take back the governor's office from Republican John Kasich.

    Portune has spent the last two decades as either a Cincinnati city councilman or Hamilton County commissioner.

     

    State updates drunken driver registry
    Ohio's public safety department is expanding its online registry of repeat drunken-drivers.

    The registry includes drivers who have five or more DUI convictions in the past two decades.

    The change comes after reports that the registry contained information from courts in only about half of Ohio's counties.

    The list contains 5,300 names compared with about 400 before the update.

    A spokeswoman for the State Highway Patrol says the new list is a more up-to-date and complete.

    The public safety department is no longer relying on local courts to supply the information and instead is compiling the list from electronic records.

     

    Former card dealer sues Cleveland casino
    A former card dealer is suing Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino for allegedly failing to respond to claims of sexual harassment.

    Barbara Holtz had worked at the casino for just over year when she was fired in April for being rude to customers, according to the Plain Dealer.

    Holtz claims she was repeatedly harassed by a high-roller patron, and when she complained, Horseshoe did nothing to prevent the abuse. 

    A casino employee in Cincinnati and two others have been indicted on charges accusing them in a cheating scheme.

    The indictment say the employee misused a rewards program at Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino that allowed the two others to essentially gamble for free.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the employee used fake names to create 18 rewards program cards for her boyfriend and another man.

    A casino internal audit uncovered the scheme.

    Gas prices on the rise
    Ohio gas prices have shot back up to end 2013.

    The average this morning is $3.40 for a gallon of regular gas.

    That's up cents 14 cents from last week.

    The national average Monday was $3.31, up 6 cents from last week.

    The Ohio average is 23 cents higher than a month ago, and 3 cents higher than this time last year.

    The lowest average gas price in the state Monday was $3.36 in the Youngtown area.

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