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FitzGerald fails to gain ground against Kasich
Ohio police union backs FitzGerald and other Democratic challengers; Akron Judge steps down from capital murder case over accusations of bias

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Jeff St. Clair
A helicopter pilot was critically injured in the crash yesterday in Belfontaine, Ohio. Buzz saw style blades are swept along the edges of power line right-of-ways to cut back encroaching foliage.
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  • Ohio police union backs FitzGerald and other Democratic challengers
  • Akron Judge steps down from capital murder case over accusations of bias
  • Helicopter tree-trimmer crashes
  • Kasich hedges on support for Common Core
  • Private prison food company under investigation
  • Pro-gay marriage group airs first TV ad
  • Cincinnati hosts foster care extension forum
  • Browns fan could get two years in prison for peeing on Modell's grave
  • McIlroy comes to Akron after British Open win
  • Akron to release more LeBron celebration tickets tonight
  • FitzGerald fails to gain ground against Kasich
    A new poll shows that Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald has gained little ground against Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    The poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut shows Republican Kasich ahead of FitzGerald 48 percent to 36 percent.

    The same poll in May had Kasich leading by a 50-to-35 percent margin.

    The July survey notes that many Ohioans still don't know much about FitzGerald.

    65 percent of voters don't know enough about FitzGerald to form an opinion of him.

    The election is Nov. 4.

    Ohio police union backs FitzGerald and other Democratic challengers
    Ohio's largest police union has endorsed a bipartisan slate of state candidates for the fall elections, including challengers to Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine.

    The 25,000-member Ohio Fraternal Order of Police announced endorsements Tuesday. They include four Democrats: Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald for governor, Cincinnati attorney David Pepper for attorney general, and state Reps. John Patrick Carney and Connie Pillich for auditor and treasurer, respectively.

    The group also backed three Republicans: Secretary of State Jon Husted and Supreme Court Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judith French.

    The FOP cited FitzGerald's support of police during the 2011 collective-bargaining fight as a factor in backing him over Kasich.

    A Kasich campaign spokeswoman says the governor has built a strong partnership with local law enforcement that continues.

    Akron Judge steps down from capital murder case over accusations of bias
    A judge accused of holding a bias against the death penalty has voluntarily stepped down from a capital murder case in Akron.

    Summit County prosecutors had requested Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands be removed from the case of Deshanon Haywood.

    Haywood faces the death penalty if convicted in the execution style shootings of four people during the robbery of a heroin dealer.

    In a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Judge Rowlands denied a bias against the death penalty.

    The case will now be heard by Common Pleas Judge Paul Gallagher.

    Helicopter tree-trimmer crashes
    A tree-trimming helicopter carrying an aerial saw has crashed in western Ohio, injuring the pilot.

    The helicopter crashed Tuesday near Bellefontaine, northwest of Columbus. The cause is unclear.

    The South Carolina company that runs the helicopter tells The Columbus Dispatch the crash critically injured the pilot, a 53-year-old man from New Hampshire.

    Bystanders who witnessed the crash pulled the pilot from the wreckage and he had pain in his limbs.

    The helicopter was clearing trees for a bike path as spectators watched. The helicopter has several blades that hang below it.


    Kasich hedges on support for Common Core
    Gov. John Kasich is walking a fine line in the fight over the Common Core education standards.

    Kasich tells the Columbus Dispatch that he shares a lot of the concerns of two conservative lawmakers who want to do away with the Common core math and languages standards in Ohio.

    Kasich has been a backer of the education initiative in place in 45 states.

    The Common Core was developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers but has drawn scorn from conservatives who say the standards are an overreach of the federal government.

    Private prison food company under investigation
    A legislative committee is hearing more complaints today about the private food vendor that won the contract to feed Ohio prison inmates.

    Reports indicate Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services have repeatedly failed to provide food or run out of it since beginning work last September at Ohio prisons.

    Reports also document several days when Aramark employees simply failed to show up, cases of unauthorized relationships between inmates and Aramark workers, and five reports since January of maggots in food.

    Aramark has called the complaints part of an anti-privatization effort and says it's making steady progress managing operations.


    Pro-gay marriage group airs first TV ad
    A group supporting gay marriage in Ohio is airing its first television ad as a federal appeals court prepares to hear oral arguments on the issue.

    The ad from the Why Marriage Matters Ohio campaign features a gay couple from Ohio who married last October in New York after 50 years together. The two men discuss their long-term relationship in the 30-second spot released today.

    The ad is expected to run for a week in the Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo markets.

    Ohioans approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote.

    The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear two challenges to the Ohio ban on Aug. 6, along with cases from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

    Cincinnati hosts foster care extension forum
    The second of five public forums around Ohio on the issue of whether to extend foster care for young people from the age of 18 to 21 will feature input from state legislators and community leaders.

    The first forum was held in Cleveland earlier this month.

    The forum today in Cincinnati is focusing on what happens when young people leave foster care and how extending that support might help. Currently, foster care covers youths to age 18.

    Federal funding became available to states to expand their foster care services in 2008. Advocates say 26 states have since extended their foster care to age 21 or are in the process of doing that.

    Browns fan could get two years in prison for peeing on Modell's grave
    Maryland authorities plan to prosecute a man for allegedly urinating on the grave of former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell.

    The man, who has been identified only as a Cleveland Browns fan, will be charged with disorderly conduct in a cemetery.

    He could face up to two years in jail and a $500 fine. He posted a video of the incident to YouTube this month.

    Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said the man will not be identified until charges are filed and served.

    Art Modell died in 2012 at the age of 87.


    McIlroy comes to Akron after British Open win
    Rory McIlroy has had his fun with the claret jug. Now it's time to put the British Open trophy away and get back to work.

    McIlroy returns to competition this week at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.

    Competition gets underway Thursday with practice rounds at Firestone Country Club today.

    The 25-year-old Mcllroy from Northern Ireland is one of the favorites this year in a field that includes Tiger Woods and Swedens Henrik Stentson.

    Akron to release more LeBron celebration tickets tonight
    Akron officials say more tickets are being offered this evening for the big LeBron James' homecoming celebration.

    In response to the overwhelming demand the city says more tickets will be available starting at 6:00pm

    Organizers aren't divulging how many tickets are being offered.

    The stadium holds more than 27,000 people.

    It's unclear how much space will be used for the event, which is described as a show rather than a rally or party.


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