Brennan's accused killers in court today
Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson says police have full confessions from the two pairs of brothers accused of killing a popular restaurant owner and community leader in the Cedar Lee area.
The four – Brandon and Darien Jones and Devon and Paul Turner – are expected to make their first appearance in Cleveland Heights Municipal Court today on charges of aggravated murder and robbery.
They’re accused of trying to hold up Jim Brennan while Brennan’s Colony restaurant was closed a week ago. Brandon Jones worked at the restaurant for about a month.
Why won't gay marriage, right-to-work, medical marijuana be on November's budget?
Every hot-button state issue that advocates had hoped to get onto the November ballot has fallen short of getting the required number of voter signatures. That includes gay marriage, marijuana, voter rights and right to work. Most of the groups are saying they’ll make another attempt next year, and that poll numbers suggest they have a good chance.
Quinnipiac polls, for example, show strong support for legalizing medical marijuana use and that 50 percent of voters now approve of gay marriage.
AP is reporting the groups pushing for the voter referendums say Ohio’s GOP Legislature made it tougher to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The changes include forcing a delay in collecting more signatures and prohibiting resubmission of petitions that have valid signatures if the overall petitions were invalidated.
Cleveland connection to African American museum
A Cleveland company has been chosen as part of the team constructing the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says Northstar Contracting has been awarded the $41 million contract to construct a curtain wall exterior for the museum. The company says on its website that the bronze and glass facade will hang from the top of the museum with no intermediate support.
The museum is to open in 2016.
Ohio gas prices continue below the national average
Ohio gas prices have gone down again and remain below the national average.
The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.56 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX. That's 7 cents cheaper than a week ago, but notably higher than the average of about $3.38 per gallon at this time last year.
Monday's national average was about $3.66 per gallon, down 2 cents from a week ago.
GE's big incentives
The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that GE is getting a roughly $51 million tax break from Ohio to build a new global operations center in Cincinnati. That makes it the most expensive credit since 2003, when the state started tracking the credits.
The $90 million U.S. Global Operations Center is expected to create 1,400 new jobs and – with transfers -- 2,000 people are expected to work there.
Indiana guardsman asks for lighter Ohio sentence
An attorney for an Indiana National Guardsman who pleaded guilty to having homemade explosive devices in his vehicle in Ohio is seeking time served plus 18 months of house arrest.
The government says Andrew Boguslawski had nine unregistered bombs in his car and four devices that could be converted into bombs when state police stopped him in January for doing speeding on Interstate 70.
Defense attorney Scott Nolder said in a federal court filing Thursday that Boguslawski is not a threat and that the sentence would allow him to be fully rehabilitated. Boguslawski faces 10 years in prison under federal guidelines at his Aug. 8 sentencing.
Speed camera challenge fails for now
A challenge of speed cameras in Cleveland and East Cleveland has lost one round in state court. Local civil rights groups were asking for an injunction to block the cameras, citing an appeals court ruling that Cleveland’s appeals process for the tickets violated the separation of powers. The groups maintain the cameras are heavily concentrated in minority neighborhoods. But a Cuyahoga County judge said the appeal was improperly filed – though it could be refiled.
Casino revenue tally is due this afternoon
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will release its monthly revenue figures for Ohio's four voter-approved casinos this afternoon.
The casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo have drawn more than $346 million so far this year, and figures were up slightly for May from April. But the state’s racinos – combinations of horse tracks and electronic slot parlors – appear to be gaining on the casinos.
The state collects about one-third in taxes and distributes the money to Ohio's 88 counties, as well as school districts and host cities and others.
Baby injured when Youngstown fireworks go awry
A 4-month-old baby in Youngstown was critically burned by fireworks Friday night, and is in Akron Children’s Hospital. According to the Youngstown Vindicator, the baby girl was in her playpen on the front porch while neighbors were setting off fireworks. Another child kicked over a lit firework, which hit the playpen.
And the theme-park winner is...
Theme Park Insider has released its annual ranking of theme parks worldwide, and Tokyo DisneySea took three of the eight slots, including best theme park overall. Kings Island near Cincinnati won best new attraction for a ride called Banshee – as in “screaming like a …"
Wooster retires three monkeys
The College of Wooster is sending its last three capuchin monkeys to the Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Florida. The Beacon Journal is reporting that the three -- Alex, Jake and Gizmo – have been with Wooster for about three decades. They’ll join 200 other New World monkeys in retirement at the sanctuary. Each of the monkeys is about 30 -- and two have diabetes.
LeBron, Z, a plane ... but no public plan
The Associated Press is reporting that that LeBron James will meet with Miami Heat President Pat Riley this week before making a decision about where to play next season.
James opted out of his contract with the Heat last month. His agent met with several teams last week, including Cleveland, where he spent his first seven NBA seasons.
Meanwhile, former Cleveland Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas reportedly flew to Florida over the weekend on Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s plane – leading to more speculation that James may be coming home to Northeast Ohio. Ilgauskas is close to James, and James attended the Cavs ceremony in March to retire Ilgauskas’ jersey.
Indian Brantley is an all-star and campaigning heats up for Kluber
Michael Brantley is a member of the American League All-Star team and the Indians are campaigning to have Corey Kluber join him. Kluber is one of five candidates in the “AL for the Final Vote,” an online contest that runs through Thursday. Kluber was the winning pitcher versus Kansas City Sunday, going 8.1 innings and allowing just 1 run, and striking out 10.
The Indians open a series against New York Yankees tonight with both teams trying to get to – or remain at -- .500. New York is 43-43; Cleveland is 42-44.
Reds writer, pitcher Brosnan dies
Author and Cincinnati World Series pitcher Jim Brosnan has died. He was 84.
In 1961, Brosnan pitched three times in the Reds' five-game loss to the New York Yankees in the World Series. By then, he was already well-known for his 1960 book, “The Long Season” – a locker-room insider account that set the scene for Jim Bouton's much more controversial "Ball Four" a decade later.
Brosnan later wrote children's sports books and magazine articles.