Morning Headlines: United Way Offers Free Tax Help; Dimora Challenges Corruption Conviction

Jan 29, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Jan. 29:

  • Dimora challenges handling of corruption case;
  • Perry police encourage random acts of kindness in wake of teen suicides;
  • United Way offers free tax help;
  • Republican lawmaker says a vote on proposal to save nuclear plants is unlikely;
  • Attorneys for death row inmate cite drug abuse in defense;
  • Massillon police investigate double shooting;
  • Rate of opioid prescriptions at Dayton VA falls to 11 percent;
  • Ohio State University raises funds to help low-income students;

Dimora challenges handling of corruption case
Former Cuyahoga County commissioner Jimmy Dimora is challenging the way the government is handling his corruption case. Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison after being found guilty of racketeering and other corruption charges in 2012. A federal appeals court upheld the convictions and the case never made it to the Supreme Court. Dimora argues the definition of an “official act” given to jurors in his 2012 conviction was overly broad and influenced the guilty verdict. He cites the definition used in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction was overturned.

Perry police encourage random acts of kindness in wake of teen suicides
Law enforcement in Stark County are promoting acts of kindness in response to recent teen suicides. Six students at Perry Local Schools have taken their own lives this school year. Township police challenged residents via Facebook over the weekend to be kind to each other, greet strangers and engage in random acts of kindness. There are also several community meetings and awareness events planned in the coming weeks.

United Way offers free tax help
United Way of Summit County is offering free income tax help to low and moderate income workers. Starting today, those with a household income lower than $60,000 can get free one-on-one tax help with an IRS-certified volunteer. Help sessions are at Akron’s Financial Empowerment Center on Kenmore Blvd.

Republican lawmaker says a vote on proposal to save nuclear plants is unlikely
A state lawmaker says there are no plans to hold more hearings on a proposal to increase electrical bills to help keep Ohio's two nuclear power plants operating. Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has been pushing for the financial rescue that it says is needed to keep the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo and the Perry plant near Cleveland operating. The legislation would give FirstEnergy's plants an extra $180 million a year. Republican Sen. Bill Beagle leads the Senate Public Utilities Committee. He says he doesn't anticipate taking up a vote on the plan. A FirstEnergy executive said earlier this week that the plants will likely close without a financial rescue. The company has been saying the plants can't compete with cheaper natural gas plants in the current market.

Attorneys for death row inmate cite drug abuse in defense
Attorneys trying to stop the execution of a condemned Ohio killer in less than three weeks are drawing parallels between the state's opioid crisis and their client's drug abuse. Lawyers for death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts say his life spiraled out of control after he was inappropriately prescribed painkillers for a work injury in the mid-1990s. Tibbetts is scheduled to die Feb. 13 for killing a Cincinnati man in 1997.

Massillon police investigate double shooting
Police in Massillon are investigating a double shooting. A woman called 911 to report her husband, 33-year-old Dustin Woods had been shot while standing outside a detached building behind their residence Saturday. The detached building was the home of William McCullough, 73, who rented the residence from Woods. McCullough shot himself during a standoff with SWAT officers. The shootings are under investigation.

Rate of opioid prescriptions at Dayton VA falls to 11 percent
The opioid prescribing rate at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center fell by more than 40 percent since 2012, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The department's data showed 11 percent of prescriptions at the Dayton VA were for opioids last year, compared with 20 percent in 2012. The VA's overall prescribing rate dropped 41 percent since an opioid reduction initiative launched five years ago. The department has turned to alternative methods for pain relief, including medical massages, hypnosis and non-opiate pain medication.

Ohio State University raises funds to help low-income students
Ohio State University has reached its goal of raising $100 million to help needy students earlier than expected. The Columbus Dispatch reports university president Michael Drake announced that the institution would meet its fundraising commitment when it gives out an additional $40 million in the 2018-19 school year. Ohio State committed to investing $100 million in aid for low-income students by 2020. Drake says the next aid package will cover tuition for about 3,500 students.