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Early voting hours reduced for fall 2014
Other headlines: Cold weather boosts FirstEnergy's sales; Cleveland woos 2016 national convention

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Cold weather boosts FirstEnergy's sales
  • Cleveland woos 2016 national convention
  • Officials look to block Asian carp Ohio routes
  • Cleveland woos 2016 national convention
    Cleveland is poised to make its bid to host a national political convention in the next presidential year. 

    Cuyahoga County Council is expected to vote today whether to allocate $5.0 million dollars to lure the Republicans or Democrats to the north coast in 2016. 

    County Executive Ed FitzGerald says a national convention could attract as many as 35,000 visitors to the city with a nearly $200 million economic impact.

    Half of the $5 million would go to a task force formed last week to woo a convention, and the other $2.5 million would go to increased law enforcement if the city wins. 

    Cleveland is competing with Columbus and Cincinnati to bring a convention to the swing state of Ohio.

    Cold weather boosts FirstEnergy's sales
    Cold weather boosted sales at Akron based FirstEnergy during the final months of 2013.  

    The company’s fourth quarter earnings released today show a 3 percent increase in residential sales and a 6 percent jump in industrial electricity use due to the harsh winter. 

    Net income rose to $142 million for the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2012 when the utility lost $148 million. But FirstEnergy’s overall earnings for the year dropped by about half, from $770 million in 2012 to $392 million last year,

    President and CEO Anthony Alexander told investors not to worry, saying FirstEnergy “took a series of decisive actions” in 2013. 

    Those actions include a four-year $4.2 billion upgrade of the company’s transmission lines, and the purchase of a power plant in West Virginia.

    Early voting hours reduced for fall 2014
    Ohio voters will get two Saturdays and no Sundays to vote early in the statewide election this fall under a schedule set by the state's elections chief.

    Secretary of State Jon Husted announced the times today. The Republican says his directive reflects a proposal from the bipartisan Ohio Association of Election Officials.

    Local boards would not be open for voting after 5 p.m. on weekdays and would be closed on Sundays — a change from previous years.

    Husted has asked state lawmakers for the past three years to put the hours and days for early voting into law. The Legislature has not adopted any plan.

    Lacking legislation, Husted said he used the blueprint hours from the Republicans and Democrats who run local elections in Ohio's 88 counties.

    Officials look to block Asian carp Ohio routes
    Wildlife officials in Ohio are taking steps to prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes through a southern route. 

    The Akron Beacon Journal reports that this week the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visited one of four potential pathways the fish could take north from the Ohio River. 

    The Army Corps identified the four points in its extensive report on the Asian Carp released earlier this year. 

    While officials on Monday visited a farm near Lodi that straddles the two watersheds, plans are in the works to address a possible route for the fish through to the Ohio & Erie Canal in the Akron.

    There’s no threat right now, but over the next five to ten years Asian Carp are expected to infiltrate the Ohio River system and put Lake Erie’s $7 billion fishing industry at risk.

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