Kasich authorizes Ohio Guard to carry weapons at recruitment centers
Gov. John Kasich has authorized personnel at Ohio National Guard recruitment centers to carry weapons following last week's shooting in Tennessee that killed four Marines and a sailor. Major General Mark Bartman, the Adjutant General of Ohio, granted the authorization as part of an update of policies and training requirements for the recruiting centers and a review of all security measures. Bartman says that the governor made it clear action must be taken to protect Guard personnel actively engaged in public recruitment efforts.
Akron-area state senators team up on redistricting plan
Two Northeast Ohio state senators are teaming up in a bipartisan effort to take the politics out of drawing Ohio’s congressional districts. Copley Republican Frank LaRose and Akron Democrat Tom Sawyer are proposing a redistricting plan that mirrors a current resolution to reduce gerrymandering in state legislative districts. A previous effort to reform congressional district lines ran into stiff opposition from Republicans. Republicans hold 12 of Ohio's 16 congressional seats although roughly half of Ohioans vote Democrat.
Poll: Most voters in key states still unfamiliar with Gov. Kasich
The good news for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential hopes is that more voters in some key Electoral College states think favorably of him than unfavorably. The bad news is that most of those voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia have no clue who he is. The results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll in those three states show that 75 percent or more of the voters don’t know enough about Kasich to have a good or bad opinion of him. Of the three, his highest recognition is in Virginia, where 14 percent of those surveyed rated him favorably and 10 percent rated him negatively. The poll also shows Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton with high negatives in the three states. The poll was taken in the 10 days leading up to Kasich’s announcement Tuesday that he’s running for president.
E-coli can still be found in the sand after water is cleared
A new study shows that bacterial contamination can still be found in beach sand after the all-clear’s been given for the water. The Columbus Dispatch reports that researchers in Hawaii tested beaches for E. coli and found that bacteria in the sand remains after it’s dissipated in the water. Sewage overflows, farm runoff, failing home-septic systems and feces from geese and gulls contribute to E. coli problems in Ohio. Thirty-six lakes currently have bacteria advisories, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Cleveland Congresswoman joining President Obama in Africa
Cleveland Congresswoman Marcia Fudge is joining President Barack Obama his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia this week. Fudge says the trip comes at a time when “strong global relations are imperative,” and says she hopes the trip will improve economic growth, democracy and security worldwide. Some human rights advocates are concerned about the stop in Ethiopia, where the government has been sharply criticized for how it has handled political dissent.
Former northeast Ohio doctor appeals sexual imposition conviction
A former northeast Ohio pain doctor has appealed his conviction on charges that he improperly touched female patients. James Bressi, of Hudson was acquitted on 26 of 27 sexual misconduct counts against him and maintained he's innocent. He alleged the complaints were part of a former partner's conspiracy to put him out of practice. His 59-day prison sentence was stayed pending appeal.
Two police officers sue Put-in-Bay and its police chief
Two police officers have filed lawsuits against the Lake Erie island resort town of Put-in-Bay and its police chief accused of blocking an investigation into the officers' sexual assault claims. The suits against Put-in-Bay, Chief Robert Lampela and Ottawa County allege the two officers reported in 2003 they were sexually assaulted by a fellow officer, but Lampela refused to investigate the allegations. Lampela was charged in February with dereliction of duty, falsification and other misdemeanors.
Federal court upholds Canton businessman's conviction
A federal appeals court has upheld Canton businessman Ben Suarez’s conviction for witness tampering. The Canton Repository reports a three-judge panel in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Suarez’s June 2014 conviction. Suarez, 73, began serving 15 months in prison in January. He was found guilty of trying to sway an employee’s testimony in a government investigation into campaign contributions he made to Congressman Jim Renacci and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Prosecutors say Suarez was seeking their help in a consumer fraud case against his company.
Cleveland ends repetitive workplace family benefits or same-sex couples
Cleveland City Council has ended local workplace family benefits for gay couples. The move on Wednesday comes in response the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing same-sex couples marry, making the city benefits unnecessary. Council also introduced legislation to terminate the city’s domestic partner registry altogether.
Former auditor convicted on corruption charges moved to medical facility
Cuyahoga County’s former auditor, who’s serving 22 years in prison for corruption, has been moved to a federal prison with a medical facility. The Plain Dealer reports 65-year-old Frank Russo is now in a minimum-security prison in Massachusetts. It’s unknown exactly why, but Russo had health problems, including diabetes, before he entered prison in 2012. Russo pleaded guilty to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, gifts and trips and exchange for jobs, contracts and political favors.