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Shipping freighter stuck in frozen Lake Erie freed after five days
Other headlines: Families drop lawsuit against Whirlpool, Vigil organized to honor Tamir Rice, Prison population not growing as rapidly projected in Ohio

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Morning headlines for Monday, Feb. 23, 2015
  • New law will help adoptees access birth records 
  • Ohio prison population not growing as rapidly projected 
  • Ohio gas averaging $2.33 
  • Vigil remembers Tamir Rice on 3-month anniversary of shooting
  • Families drop lawsuit against Whirlpool
  • Shipping freighter stuck in frozen Lake Erie freed after five days
    A 767-foot freighter trapped in Lake Erie ice for five days near a northeast Ohio city is headed back to Wisconsin after it was freed by a Canadian Coast Guard ship. The Arthur M. Anderson cargo ship got caught Tuesday about seven miles northwest of Conneaut. The Canadian ice cutter Griffon cleared a path through eight to 10 feet of ice to free the freighter Saturday. A Canadian Coast Guard spokeswoman says 10 people are on board the freighter. 

    New law will help adoptees access birth records 
    Many adopted Ohioans will find it easier to get their birth certificates under a state law taking effect next month. It allows individuals adopted between January 1, 1964, and September 18, 1996, to request their adoption files from the Ohio Department of Health's Bureau of Vital Statistics. The Dayton Daily News reports this will give about 400,000 adoptees easier access to documents that may provide medical history information. Birth certificates before and after the two dates are already public records. But a 1996 change to Ohio law was not made retroactive to include adoptees born between those two dates and largely left them having to petition courts for birth certificate access. Birth parents from that 32-year period have until March 19 to have their names removed from the records.

    Ohio prison population not growing as rapidly projected 
    Ohio's prison population isn't growing as rapidly as officials expected, though it still has thousands more inmates than its system was designed to accommodate. Ohio had just under 50,600 prisoners in January, nearly 1,000 fewer inmates than expected last summer. State officials had estimated Ohio would have more than 53,000 prisoners by 2019, well above the roughly 38,600-inmate capacity. A prisons spokeswoman says growth has been slower than projected because of a decrease in violent crime and legislative and funding changes that encourage prison alternatives, such as community-based corrections programs.

    Ohio gas averaging $2.33 a gallon
    The cost for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio is averaging $2.33 in today's survey from auto club AAA and its partners. That's up about a nickel from a week ago. Ohio price is about 42 cents higher than a month ago, but $1.14 less than last year at this time. The national average today is $2.30 per gallon. Analysts attribute the increased prices at the pump to a jump in crude oil prices last month and labor strikes at several refineries.

    Vigil remembers Tamir Rice on 3-month anniversary of shooting
    Groups in northeast Ohio gathered for a protest and evening vigil to honor the 12-year-old boy who was holding a pellet gun when he was fatally shot by police three months ago. WKYC-TV reports dozens attended the snowy candlelight vigil held Sunday for 12-year-old Tamir Rice near the Cleveland recreation center where he was fatally wounded. Tamir had a pellet gun when police responded to a Nov. 22 call about someone with a firearm near the center. About a dozen protesters temporarily blocked traffic outside a police station before the vigil. The boy's family has filed a lawsuit against the city, the officer who shot Tamir, another officer and emergency dispatchers. The city of Cleveland in January announced the Cuyahoga County sheriff's office would investigate the shooting.

    Families drop lawsuit against Whirlpool
    Families whose children have been among dozens sickened in a northern Ohio cancer cluster have dropped their federal lawsuit against Whirlpool Corp. The families asked this past week to drop the suit linking Whirlpool's washing machine factory in Clyde to the cancer cases. An attorney involved in the case says the owners of contaminated land once owned by Whirlpool plan to continue with their part of the lawsuit. Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool has maintained from the beginning the allegations aren't based on scientific or medical fact. The company says it's pleased the suit is being dropped. The lawsuit filed by the families in 2013 said that a suspected cancer-causing chemical came from the factory near where 35 children have been diagnosed with cancer and three have died since the mid-1990s.

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