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Swing state poll: Kasich leads in Ohio but unknown elsewhere
Top headlines: Funeral services set for former Cleveland Congressman Stokes; University of Akron boosts scholarships by $700,000
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and CORY YORK


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Morning headlines for Thursday, August 20, 2015:

  • Swing state poll: Kasich leads in Ohio but unknown elsewhere
  • Funeral services set for former Cleveland Congressman
  • University of Akron boosts scholarships by $700,000
  • Fatal stabbing at Chapel Hill Mall
  • Ohio meets goal for purchasing goods from minority businesses
  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce opposes marijuana legalization plan
  • Number of uninsured people in Ohio cut in half since 2012
  • $500,000 in grants coming to Akron
  • Planned Parenthood targets Ohio Sen. Portman in TV ad
  • Ohio Ed. Dept. creates independent charter school panel
  • Federal grant to fight heroin addiction for 13 Ohio counties  
  • Veteran asks Ohio's high court if he can keep his pet ducks
  • Swing state poll: Kasich leads in Ohio but unknown elsewhere
    A new Quinnipiac University poll out this morning shows Ohio Gov. John Kasich leading the GOP presidential field in Ohio...including frontrunner Donald Trump by six points, 27 percent to 21 percent. But that's where the good news ends for Kasich. Kasich is still widely unknown in the swing states Florida and Pennsylvania where he is in 10th place. More than half the voters surveyed in those states don't know enough about Kasich to have an opinion.

    Funeral services set for former Cleveland Congressman
    Funeral services will be next week for former Cleveland Congressman Louis Stokes, who died Tuesday at age 90. Stokes will lie in state for a public viewing in the Cleveland City Hall rotunda on Monday, followed by a public appreciation at 5:45 p.m.. His funeral is Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. 

    University of Akron boosts scholarships by $700,000
    The University of Akron, after a tumultuous period of cost cutting and lay-offs, is boosting scholarships for athletes. The Plain Dealer reports the university plans to spend up to $700,000 this year on wooing athletes to the school’s sports program. Akron has the biggest sports budget in the MAC, spending $32 million last year. The university eliminated its baseball program as part of $40 million in cuts last month.

    Fatal stabbing at Chapel Hill Mall
    Akron police are investigating a fatal stabbing at Chapel Hill Mall. Police say a 35-year-old man was stabbed in the parking lot around 8:00 last night. The victim ran into the mall to escape and collapsed near the Finish Line store. Police are unsure what caused the stabbing and are asking anyone with information to contact police.

    Ohio meets goal for purchasing goods from minority businesses
    A first for Ohio, the state's met its goal for purchasing goods and services from minority-owned businesses. A report due today shows Ohio purchased 19 percent of eligible goods and services from minority-owned businesses in fiscal year 2015. The results exceeded the 15 percent target Ohio set for itself in 1980 to ensure fair purchasing practices. The Associated Press received a copy of the report in advance. About 17 percent was specifically set aside for minority businesses. The remaining 2 percent came through open market contracts. Spending on the goods and services came to $228.5 million.

    Ohio Chamber of Commerce opposes marijuana legalization plan
    The Ohio Chamber of Commerce says it's strongly opposed to a marijuana legalization plan on the November ballot and will join a coalition seeking to get voters to defeat it. The chamber says that the pot proposal known as Issue 3 would cause uncertainty for businesses who drug test employees. The group is also concerned about the effects it could have on workplace safety and employee productivity. The group ResponsibleOhio, which backs Issue 3, said that employers could still maintain their rights to establish drug-free policies. The chamber endorsed Issue 2, a measure that seeks to ban monopolies from being added to the Ohio Constitution. It's already backed Issue 1, which would overhaul the way Ohio draws state legislative districts.

    Number of uninsured people in Ohio cut in half since 2012
    A new survey shows that Ohio's uninsured rates for children and adults have been cut by half since 2012. According to the 2015 Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey, The number of uninsured Ohioans has fallen to 8.7 percent. And just 2 percent of Ohio children lack health coverage, down from 4.7 percent three years ago. The survey examines access to health care along with characteristics of the state's Medicaid and non-Medicaid populations. State officials say the numbers are encouraging in the wake of Medicaid expansion and fears that employers might stop offering health coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.

    $500,000 in grants coming to Akron
    The GAR Foundation has announced a $500,000 in new grants for the Akron area. The new fund targets economically "distressed" areas, including downtown Akron. The grants will help finance real estate projects in the Akron and Barberton census tracts, like revamping vacant buildings or underutilized properties. The Targeted Loan Fund is the largest of $2 million in grants to area organizations this quarter.

    Planned Parenthood targets Ohio Sen. Portman in TV ad
    Planned Parenthood's political arm is targeting Ohio Sen. Rob Portman in a television ad. The 30-second ad airing statewide attacks the Republican senator for supporting the effort to shutdown the agency and seeks to link him to a potential showdown over the organization's funding next month. That's when Congress returns from summer recess and considers legislation keeping government agencies open after their budgets expire Oct. 1. The Koch Brothers, meanwhile, have invested $1.4 million in a TV ad against Portman's likely 2016 Democratic opponent, Ted Strickland.

    Ohio Ed. Dept. creates independent charter school panel
    The state education department is creating a panel to help make charter school sponsors more accountable. Ohio Superintendent Richard Ross says the independent panel will help develop a system that measures charter school sponsors on students' academic performance as well as to make sure they're implementing quality practices and following the law. The state's charter school system has come under sharp scrutiny after a state education official admitted he left out some failing charter schools from reports on their sponsors because including the failures might mask the success of other schools.

    Federal grant to fight heroin addiction for 13 Ohio counties  
    The federal government has awarded $265,000 in grants to fight heroin and prescription painkiller abuse in 13 Ohio counties. The money will help counties designated as Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. They include Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Mahoning and Warren counties.

    Veteran asks Ohio's high court if he can keep his pet ducks
    A military veteran is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to decide if he can defy local law and keep pet ducks that he says help relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. A state appeals court in June upheld Darin Welker's earlier conviction on a minor misdemeanor for violating a ban on keeping farm animals inside the village limits of West Lafayette in Coshocton County.

     
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