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Ohio EPA: Unacceptable lead levels in Chagrin Falls school drinking water
Top headlines: Cleveland police union launches fundraising campaign to support fired officers; Escaped Ohio teen found more than 100 miles from Cleveland behavioral health center; Cleveland Hopkins maintenance foreman fired after incursion
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and MICHAEL BRATTON


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Water fountains have been shut off at the elementary school, and the district has brought in bottled water for students and staff for the time being.
Courtesy of Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools
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In The Region:
Morning headlines for Friday, January 29, 2016:

  • Ohio EPA: Unacceptable lead levels in Chagrin Falls school drinking water
  • Cleveland police union launches fundraising campaign to support fired officers
  • Escaped teen convicted in murder case found more than 100 miles from Cleveland behavioral health center
  • Cleveland Hopkins maintenance foreman fired after snow plows almost collide with jet
  • Federal agents stumble upon alleged cockfighting ring in Youngstown
  • U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan calls for the resignation of Ohio EPA director after lead contamination scandal
  • U.S. Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld backs effort restore gun control regulation to Ohio’s cities
  • Ohio Senator receives backlash after questioning female opponent’s ability to dutifully serve while raising young children
  • Kent State, Akron basketball game moves to February 19 for ESPNU primetime broadcast
  • Ohio EPA: Unacceptable lead levels in Chagrin Falls school drinking water
    New information shows that students at a Chagrin Falls school may have been exposed to lead-tainted water. A press release from Gurney Elementary says the building may have corroded water lines that are contributing to the potential lead exposure. The Ohio EPA tested the school’s water back in August and has been investigating possible lead contamination for months. The district has shut off water fountains and is providing bottled water for students and staff for the time being. The district will test Gurney’s water again next week.

    Cleveland police union launches fundraising campaign to support fired officers
    The union representing six fired Cleveland police officers has launched an online fundraising campaign to help them pay expenses. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association started the $100,000 GoFundMe campaign after the six officers were fired this week for their role in a massive police chase and shooting. Union president Steve Loomis says the money will be divided among the six officers to help pay everyday expenses while their firings are appealed. Six officers were fired and six more suspended for putting themselves in danger while shooting 137 rounds at two unarmed drivers in 2012. In one day, more than 200 people have contributed a total of nearly $26,000.

    Escaped teen convicted in murder case found more than 100 miles from Cleveland behavioral health center
    A teen serving time in her step-father's killing has been found after she escaped during a Zumba class. The Ohio Department of Youth Services says 17-year-old Ashley Smith was found Thursday evening by police at a McDonald's in Marion. The agency says she had been in a supervised class on Wednesday at a Cleveland recreation center when she ran away. The girl has been in a behavioral health center since 2014 after she was sentenced to five years.

    Cleveland Hopkins maintenance foreman fired after snow plows almost collide with jet
    A crew foreman has been fired after snow plows last week nearly collided with a jet taking off at Cleveland Hopkins airport. Cleveland.com reports that Clyde Dunham, a 13-year veteran of the maintenance staff, led a team of three plow drivers onto a runway moments before a Spirit Airlines jet lifted off. No one was injured. Airport officials are still deciding whether the other drivers will face discipline. Dunham told officials that he became disoriented shortly after midnight on January 17th despite warning lights of an active runway.

    Federal agents stumble upon alleged cockfighting ring in Youngstown
    Federal agents looking for an escaped man in Youngstown say they came across dozens of chickens that they suspect were part of a cockfighting ring. Authorities say about 20 live chickens and two dozen dead ones were found inside a vacant home on Tuesday. The Vindicator reports investigators also found a ledger listing the birds and wagers on their fights. U.S. Marshals found the chickens while looking for a man who they say escaped from police custody. The marshals found the man Wednesday night.

    U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan calls for the resignation of Ohio EPA director after lead contamination scandal
    A Northeast Ohio congressman is calling for the ouster of the head of the state EPA over delays in notifying residents of a town suffering from lead-contaminated drinking water. The Youngstown Vindicator reports that U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles says long delays in warning residents of Sebring was “playing Russian roulette” with people’s health. Ryan is calling for the resignation Ohio EPA director Craig Butler, and for Congress to concentrate on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. The Ohio EPA says it was following Ohio law when it told Sebring officials to notify residents of elevated lead levels in the water last fall. Those notifications came last week.

    U.S. Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld backs effort restore gun control regulation to Ohio’s cities
    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld is backing an effort to restore control over guns to Ohio cities. On Thursday, the Cincinnati councilman said he's joining forces with gun control groups to push a fall ballot measure that would amend Ohio's Constitution to restore home-rule rights to cities so they can pass and enforce their own gun laws. The effort seeks to reverse the effects of a 2006 state law that pre-empted local gun laws, such as concealed-weapon or assault-rifle bans. He says the ballot effort will go forward whether or not he wins the Democratic nomination in March.

    Ohio Senator receives backlash after questioning female opponent’s ability to dutifully serve while raising young children
    A long-time Republican state lawmaker from northeast Ohio is drawing criticism for questioning his female primary opponent's interest in serving in the Legislature while she is raising young children. While on America's Work Force radio show last week, state Sen. Tom Patton noted his opponent, Jennifer Herold, was a 30-year-old mother of two. He then questioned whether anyone told her that she'd have to spend three nights a week in Columbus. Later in the program, he referred to Herold as "sweetie." Patton, who's term-limited in the Senate, is seeking the 7th House District seat. Both he and Herold are from Strongsville. In a Thursday statement, Herold said Patton crossed the line. Patton tells Cleveland.com in a statement that his comments "appear to have been misunderstood."

    Kent State, Akron basketball game moves to February 19 for ESPNU prime time broadcast
    Fans who enjoy the Kent State, Akron rivalry will soon be able to enjoy it on the national stage. The men’s basketball teams will face off in an ESPNU broadcast on Friday, Feb. 19 at 6:00 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for the following day but was chosen in a wildcard selection for a prime time spot. The matchup will mark the 31st consecutive time that the game is televised, which is the longest streak in MAC history. The 15-4 Golden Flashes currently lead the MAC East and the Zips are in second.

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