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Cleveland or Dallas? GOP convention recommendation is coming today
Other morning headlines; Pipeline reverals; Scranton Flats; fracking sentencing; highway funding; casino revenue; holiday traffic; prison maggots; Brennan murder; potato salad; Indians; Cavs

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M.L. Schultze
RNC Chairman Priebus praised Cleveland's spirit and facilities, but the big question is money.
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In The Region:
  • GOP may announce today whether Cleveland gets its convention
  • Pipeline wants to reverse course
  • Scranton Flats opens
  • Youngstown fracking employee pleads guilty
  • Brown stumps for highway funding
  • Casino revenues are down for another month
  • Troopers' holiday tally
  • Bond set for Brennan murder suspects
  • Private contractor warned over maggots in Ohio prison food
  • Akron's energy efficiency plan
  • Alice Cooper gets  nostalgic at White Castle
  • Potato salad cache/cash
  • Yanks beat Bourn-less Indians
  • Cavaliers make nice with LeBron
  • GOP may announce today whether Cleveland gets its convention
    A Republican National Committee panel is expected to recommend today whether Cleveland or Dallas should host its 2016 presidential convention.

    The Republicans' site selection committee is meet today to review the two cities' bids. The full 168-member RNC would then meet to ratify the choice next month.

    Paying for the convention remained the top criterion for the 12-member site selection committee. The previous two GOP conventions have sapped party dollars during election years.

    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has insisted the host city not leave the central party picking up the tab, which is expected to be around $60 million.

    Pipeline wants to reverse course
    One of the longest west-to-east pipelines in country wants reverse course and transport natural gas from Ohio back west. The 1,700- mile Rockies Express Pipeline runs from Colorado to eastern Ohio, and has been sending gas from the West to the Midwest.

    The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the pipeline owners have filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change the flow and the move by is seen as a sign that shale deposits in Ohio are starting to pay off.

    Scranton Flats opens
    The Metroparks and Canalway Partners celebrated the opening yesterday of another section of a bike trail in the Flats, the Scranton Flats path along the west bank of the Cuyahoga River. The project cost about $9 million. It’s part of a plan to connect Cleveland by bike and hiking trails, and eventually link up with the Towpath trail, which now goes as far south as Zoar.

    Youngstown fracking employee pleads guilty
    Another of the Youngstown-area men accused of violating the Clean Water Act by dumping thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a storm sewer has been sentenced to three years of probation. Mark Goff also is to perform 300 hours of community service.

    Goff of Newton Falls was an employee of Hardrock Excavating and pleaded guilty in April to emptying the waste from storage tanks nine times.

    The dumping happened in late 2012 and early 2013 at the direction of the owner of the company, Ben Lupo. The cleanup cost $3 million. Another employee, Michael Guesman got the same sentence as Goff. And Lupo is to be sentenced Aug. 5, and is expected to face a hefty fine as well as prison time.

    The Youngstown Vindicator is reporting that Lupo’s company, D&L Energy, was sold to Resource Land Holdings in June for nearly $21 million.

    Brown stumps for highway funding
    U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown continues to stump Ohio, pushing for Congress pass a six-year transportation bill to shore up highways and bridges. The Democrat was in Mahoning County Monday near the site of a nearly $6 million construction site on Interstate 680. Congress is considering just a six-month $8 billion extension of the highway funding.

    The last extension, in 2012, was for two years, and Brown says highway projects require a longer-term commitment of funding.

    Casino revenues are down for another month
    Ohio’s monthly casino revenues are down again compared to last year. This marks the fourth month in a row. For June, revenues were down to $63.6 million. In June of 2013, they were about $5 million higher, according to figures released Monday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

    The decrease this year has been blamed on a bitterly cold winter and the increase in the number of the state’s racinos – a combination of horse tracks and electronic slot machines.

    Ohio gets a 33 percent gross revenue tax on the casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. The money goes to counties, school districts, host cities and others.

    Troopers' holiday tally
    State troopers arrested nearly 750 people for impaired driving over the three-day holiday weekend. They arrested 318 more on drug-related charges, and issued nearly 9,000 tickets for seatbelt violations and aggressive driving, following a promised crackdown. Twelve people died in 11 crashes over the holiday. That was double a year ago, though last year was not a three-day weekend.

    Bond set for Brennan murder suspects
    A Cleveland Heights judge set bond at $1 million for three of the four young men accused of murdering popular restaurant owner Jim Brennan.

    The aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping cases against brothers Brandon and Darien Jones and Devonne Turner are going to the Cuyahoga County grand jury. Devonne Turner’s brother, Paul, is facing two counts of obstructing justice and of tampering with evidence for allegedly hiding the gun used in the crime. He’s being held on $500,000 bond.  

    Private contractor warned over maggots in Ohio prison food
    The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has confirmed that it found food and serving equipment contaminated with live maggots at two of its prisons. 

    The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that maggots were found in food and service equipment at the Trumbull Correctional Institution on June 24 and at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville on June 30. The contaminated food was not served to inmates. The state has a $110 million contract with Aramark Correctional Services to provide the food, and says it has made it clear that it takes the allegations seriously.  Aramark has had similar problems in Michigan.

    Akron's energy efficiency plan
    Akron City Council approved spending nearly $900,000 more Monday to pay for an energy-efficiency project for City Hall, CitiCenter and the Stubbs Justice Center. The total cost of the project is expected to be about $5 million, and the city has estimated it should save about $200,000 in utility bills a year.

    Alice Cooper gets  nostalgic at White Castle
    Shock rocker Alice Cooper loves White Castle sliders. In fact, he’s such a fan that he showed up at the company headquarters in Columbus yesterday to be inducted into the restaurant's Craver Hall of Fame.

    The Columbus Dispatch ( ) reports that the 66-year-old rock hall of famer  — whose real name is Vincent Furnier — told about 250 people at the headquarters stories about his father sharing White Castle burgers with him when he was a kid.

    Potato salad cache
    A Columbus man, Zack “Danger” Brown wanted make potato salad. So, as a joke, he used a Kickstarter campaign to asked for $10.

    The campaign went viral. Six days later, he’s raised $35,000, and the campaign still has more than three weeks to go. Brown now plans to host a potato-salad party for – well – the internet. And he’s looking for recipes.

    Yanks beat Bourn-less Indians 
    The New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 last night in the first of a four-game series. The Indians were playing without center fielder Michael Bourn, who could miss one month with a strained left hamstring. Bourn has had issues with his hamstring all season.

    Cavaliers make nice with LeBron
    The Cleveland Cavaliers have removed from their website a scathing letter to fans by owner Dan Gilbert after LeBron James headed to Miami as a free agent four years ago. The NBA fined Gilbert $100,000 for his comments about James.

    James has forgone the final two-year option of his contract with Miami, and the Cavs are among the teams making a big push for the Akron native. 


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