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Investigation Continues; Gov. Kasich Says the Fair Tragedy May Have Been an Unavoidable AccidentInvestigation Continues; Gov. Kasich Says the Fair Tragedy May Have Been an Unavoidable Accident

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:41:22 +0000

State investigators are continuing to examine the Ohio State Fair ride that broke apart, killing one person and leaving seven others injured. Gov. John Kasich isn’t ruling out the possibility that this may have been an unavoidable accident. The air was full of the typical sounds of the Ohio State Fair , except for the eerie absence of the rides as they stood still. All rides are shut down as the State Highway Patrol carries out its investigation into the “Fire Ball” a giant pendulum that swings riders up to 40 feet into the air. Gov. John Kasich says it’s too soon to know what happened, adding that people always know there’s an element of risk when going on an amusement ride. “The ability for human beings to avoid an accident if that’s what is ultimately determined that this was simply an accident. You got to talk to the big guy upstairs to figure that one out because that’s a hard one to figure out, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure this place is safe,” Kasich said.


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Summit County Fair Director Is Confident in Ride Safety HereSummit County Fair Director Is Confident in Ride Safety Here

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:38:43 +0000

Summit County Fair Director Howard Call says he is confident in the safety of attendees at his fair. A ride accident at the Ohio State Fair killed one and injured seven others. yesterday As with the state fair, rides here are inspected daily under state law, and Call says those at the Summit fair have been accident-free for 24 years. And there’s a key difference between rides at the Ohio State Fair and the Summit County Fair. “Here, we just have regular riding devices. We do not have ‘spectaculars’ such as rides at the Ohio State Fair. But, every ride still goes through the same treatment of being inspected and operated prior to any public person entering the ride.” 44,000 people will attend the fair, with about 14,000 people going on rides. It remains open until Sunday.


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Ohio Has More Executions Scheduled Than Any Other State In the Next Three YearsOhio Has More Executions Scheduled Than Any Other State In the Next Three Years

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:27:30 +0000

An outspoken critic of the death penalty says -- though yesterday’s lethal injection of Ronald Phillips was problem-free -- he worries that won’t be the case with the more than two-dozen executions scheduled over the next three years. Ohio Public Defender Tim Young says no other state has as many executions set out as far into the future as Ohio has. And because the three drug mixture the state used for the first time with Ronald Phillips includes midazolam , he’s very concerned about problematic executions ahead. “We’ll have another one of those. The science on midazolam being involved in this is so clear, it is simply a matter of time,” he said. Philips was the first killer to be executed in Ohio since the 2014 lethal injection of Dennis McGuire, who gasped and choked for several minutes before he died. The state prisons department said it concluded McGuire’s execution was humane, though the state did change its drugs going forward.


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Stanley Ford Is Now Accused of Setting Three Fires That Killed Nine People In His Akron NeighborhoodStanley Ford Is Now Accused of Setting Three Fires That Killed Nine People In His Akron Neighborhood

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:14:08 +0000

The Summit County grand jury has indicted Stanley Ford on 29 counts -- with more possible – in a string of arsons on Akron’s west side that left nine people dead. Ford was initially arrested in connection with a house fire in May that killed seven people – five of them children. Investigators say evidence then linked him to a fire last year that killed two people, plus an unrelated car fire. All of them were within a block of Ford’s home. One of last year’s victims, Lindell Lewis, was an Akron native and retired brickmason. His son, Jordon, says his father was a laid back person who often endured arguments with Stanley Ford. “He always taught us '"try to talk things out. You don’t have the get into a confrontation.’ That’s why it took me by so much of a surprise. He was a nice guy. Very nice; and I’m not just saying that to say that. He did things for people that we thought he shouldn’t have but – that was a friend of his.” Lewis says he’s grateful that neighbors of his late father


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Trump's Transgender Dictate Confuses Ohio SenatorsTrump's Transgender Dictate Confuses Ohio Senators

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:26:56 +0000

Both of Ohio’s U.S. senators expressed surprise at President Trump’s announcement today that he will bar transgender people from serving in the military. Trump made his surprise declaration in a series of Twitter posts, saying the military can’t afford what he claimed are the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” that comes with transgender people. Democrat Sherrod Brown called that ungrounded. “I have deep respect of course and gratitude for anyone who volunteers to serve in our military and we should not turn anyone away who volunteers to serve our country. The president’s wrong.” Trump said he made the decision after consulting with unnamed general and experts. That confused Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman. “My understanding was that Secretary of Defense Mattis had just put in place a couple months ago a six-month policy review on this and by the end of the year we were going to get the input from the military. And I think we should let the military decide this.” President


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Canton Parks Commission Awaits Contract Specifics on HOF Parking ProposalCanton Parks Commission Awaits Contract Specifics on HOF Parking Proposal

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:39:40 +0000

The Canton Park Commission is expected to decide soon on whether some of the city’s Stadium Park will be converted into parking for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame Village developers presented their parking-lot plan to the Canton Park Commission last week. The Hall will pay for the work to be done, but the city will retain ownership of the property. The Commissioners requested a draft contract for review. Asked if the proposed temporary conversion might become something more, Parks Director Derek Gordon says: “unlikely.” “Well I mean, we haven’t really been approached with anything beyond this proposal." Gordon also says a decision either way will not to affect this year’s Hall of Fame festivities and Stadium Park traffic will be handled same as always. “Anybody can still walk in there, bike in there, if they choose. But the roadway itself is still closed to everything except busses, and I think, shuttles through there.” The 2017 Prof Football Hall of Fame festivities begin


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Gov. Kasich Orders Rides Closed at the Ohio State FairGov. Kasich Orders Rides Closed at the Ohio State Fair

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:05:55 +0000

Gov. John Kasich calls it the worst tragedy in the history of the Ohio State Fair. One person was killed and seven were injured, three of them critically, in a catastrophic ride malfunction. All rides were shut down shortly after 7:20 p.m., after a malfunction on the Fireball, which spins and swings riders 40 feet into the air. A Columbus fire battalion chief said a row of seats snapped off. The ride had been inspected by the four-person inspection team, led by Michael Vartorella. “We take this job very serious, and when we have a tragedy like this, it hits everybody, it hits us really hard,” he said. Rain had delayed some inspections, and 11 of the more than 70 rides weren’t operating when the fair opened Wednesday. The fair will be open but Gov. John Kasich ordered all rides closed pending re-inspection. The state highway patrol is investigating.


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Shuffle: 'DEVO Obsessos' Get Weird In Cleveland Shuffle: 'DEVO Obsessos' Get Weird In Cleveland

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:33:53 +0000

You can expect to see red dome hats and yellow jumpsuits in Northeast Ohio this weekend. Fans of the iconic Akron new wave band DEVO have their annual convention at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom. For this week’s Shuffle, DEVO superfan Michael Pilmer talks about the 'DEVOtional' fan convention that he co-founded 17 years ago. A Stow native, Pilmer, who runs a website under the moniker " DEVO Obsesso ," discovered the band in 1980 with the hit song "Whip It." "They were the first band I ever heard that ... warned me about trusting authority and religion all these things that I had been wondering about as a kid." While living in North Carolina, he tried to connect with old friends in Ohio. On a whim, he decided to see if any of the members of DEVO were in an Akron phone book. He reached Bob Casale's dad, who gave him Casale's number in California. "I talked to his wife and left a message. Weeks passed; [Casale] got back to me. I mentioned to him my girlfriend and I were coming to L.A.


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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Mary Taylor Says Family Comes Before PoliticsGOP Gubernatorial Candidate Mary Taylor Says Family Comes Before Politics

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 06:02:39 +0000

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor of Green says she’s still in the race for governor next year, though over the weekend she missed the largest statewide party event before the May primary. All four Republican candidates for governor were on the program to speak at the GOP state dinner , but as Mary Taylor was to take the stage, it was announced that she couldn’t be there. Taylor says she was traveling with her son. “I have always placed my family as the highest priority, and it’s hard to pick and choose at times, but this was something that had been planned for a long time.” But Taylor says no one should infer from this that she’s dropping out. “I’m in this race to win, and it’s ‘governor or broke’, how about that? Isn’t that what you say? It’s ‘governor or broke.’” Taylor would face a four-way primary against Congressman Jim Renacci, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine.


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Will the GOP Healthcare Package Add up or Amount to Spit in the Ocean?Will the GOP Healthcare Package Add up or Amount to Spit in the Ocean?

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 05:53:28 +0000

Like the rest of Congress, neither of Ohio’s senators is quite sure how the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act is going to take shape. As M.L. Schultze reports, they clearly have differing perspectives on what the final shape should be. Adding it up Portman has put his name to an amendment that would provide $100 billion dollars to transition people from Medicaid to private insurance. He also backs more money for opioid treatment, and lengthening the time to end Medicaid expansion from three years to six. “All these added up help ensure that these folks have good healthcare options whether it’s under current Medicaid structure of under the Affordable Care options in the private market.” Spitting in the ocean But Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says amendments like Portman’s are being slathered onto a deeply flawed and partisan bill. “I work with Sen. Portman on a lot of issues. I stand though with Gov. Kasich on this, where Gov. Kasich has said these patchwork amendments -



Akron Plans to Bring Back Six Speed Cameras After Ohio Supreme Court DecisionAkron Plans to Bring Back Six Speed Cameras After Ohio Supreme Court Decision

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 05:14:05 +0000

Akron will bring back six school zone-speed cameras after an Ohio Supreme Court decision this morning . The case challenged a state law that requires police officers must be present -- and other conditions met --when the cameras are used. The ruling, which affected about 20 Ohio cities, found those restrictions unconstitutional. But Akron spokeswoman Ellen Lander-Nischt says she expects the legislative attacks on speed cameras will continue. “There seems to be a distaste in the Ohio General Assembly for these speed cameras. They’ve tried various different ways to limit the city’s abilities to utilize these cameras, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try a different tactic.” Akron created the speed camera system after a 10-year-old student died in a hit-and-run accident in 2005. The cameras will go into use at the beginning of the school year.


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Ohio Executes Its First Inmate in 3 1/2 YearsOhio Executes Its First Inmate in 3 1/2 Years

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 05:05:17 +0000

The state of Ohio executed its first death row inmate in more than three years today (Wednesday). Ronald Phillips of Akron was sentenced to die 23 years ago, and the latest 3 ½ year delay in his execution and others followed a legal battle triggered by a questionable lethal injection in 2014. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, this execution seemed to have a very different result. Witnesses described 43-year-old Ronald Phillips as emotional but calm as the state administered a lethal injection, killing the man who raped and murdered 3-year-old Sheila Marie Evans in 1993. Following the execution, Ryan Lang, a reporter with WAKR in Akron, read aloud Phillips’ final statement. “To the Evans family, I’m sorry you had to live so long with my evil actions. All those years I prayed you’d forgive me and find it in your heart to forgive and have mercy on me.” But the notion that Phillips spent years seeking forgiveness from Sheila’s family came as a surprise to her half-sister,


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Trump Promises to Rebuild Youngstown and Be a Great PresidentTrump Promises to Rebuild Youngstown and Be a Great President

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:10:33 +0000

Donald Trump won the highest office in the land in part because of places like Youngstown, Ohio—former Democratic Party strongholds. So on Tuesday, the President came to town. Message Control If President Trump wanted a change of venue from the nation’s capital and national media, he got it. Upwards of 7,500 supports came to the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown to listen to, and cheer, what he had to say. “And now tonight I’m back in the center of the American heartland, far away from the Washington swamp to spend time with thousands of true American patriots.” The Issues It was billed as a campaign rally for 2020 and Mr. Trump used it to go over points he began talking about as a candidate in 2016. Including health care; which headlined his remarks because of the Senate vote to begin debate over repeal. “We’re now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obama Care nightmare. And delivering great healthcare for the American people. We’re going to do that too.” He


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Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down State Restrictions On Local Traffic CamerasOhio Supreme Court Strikes Down State Restrictions On Local Traffic Cameras

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:29:10 +0000

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the right of cities to use traffic cameras without certain restrictions passed by state lawmakers, saying the state law that restricts those cameras is unconstitutional. The court ruled 5-2 in striking three provisions of the law, including requirements that an officer be posted with each camera and that cities conduct traffic studies and awareness campaigns before turning on the cameras. Dayton’s Assistant City Attorney John Musto told the court in January that the law conflicts with local home-rule authority. “The power is provided directly by the (Ohio) Constitution, and as this Court has repeatedly held, the power may not be withdrawn by the General Assembly.” Backers of cameras say they’re safety tools, but lawmakers who pushed for the regulations said they were concerned about the millions in revenue raised by cameras, often in small communities. Most of the more than 20 camera programs in cities were shut down after the law passed in 2014.


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The View From Pluto: Why The Cavs Must Let Kyrie Irving Go The View From Pluto: Why The Cavs Must Let Kyrie Irving Go

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:19:00 +0000

It’s been a tumultuous week for the Cavs. The team that was expected to spend the summer beefing up its roster for another title run is now faced with a star player who wants out and an inexperienced general manager at the helm. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says Kyrie Irving shocked everyone with news that he wants to be traded.


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Kasich Signs a Law to Channel Sediment Away from Lake Erie Kasich Signs a Law to Channel Sediment Away from Lake Erie

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:44:15 +0000

Gov. John Kasich chose a deck at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland to sign a new bill aimed at protecting Lake Erie. Senate Bill 2 will expand the power of the Ohio EPA, but it’s also aimed at helping businesses. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Mark Urycki reports. Two years ago, the governor signed S.B 1 to prevent the dumping of dredged river material into Lake Erie. Now Kasich has signed S.B. 2 to help find a market for that sediment. “We want to take care of our environment. We don’t want to worship it but we want to be good stewards of it.” The dumping ban came because the dredged material often contains toxins. But under the new law, the OHIO EPA would analyze and classify it for other uses. Will Friedman of the Cleveland Port Authority says sediment has a lot of potential. “Instead of land-filling sediment as waste or worse yet – dumping it in the lake where it can contaminate the food chain and drinking water – we now harvest and sell much of it as a valuable


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Mandel Senate Seat Challenger Buys Six-Figure Political AdMandel Senate Seat Challenger Buys Six-Figure Political Ad

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:17:26 +0000

A Northeast Ohio businessman regarded as an underdog in the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate has made a six-figure ad buy. In his first ad, Mike Gibbons never mentions Josh Mandel’s name. “We sent them to Washington to repeal Obamacare and cut taxes, that’s what they promised us.” Instead the Cleveland-area business man, who’s challenging Ohio Treasurer Mandel in May’s Republican primary, takes aim at Washington insiders. “But now the career politicians have gone on vacation; do you take the month of August off?” The tone of the ad is similar to the rhetoric Mandel is also using in his campaign . Gibbons faces an uphill battle. Mandel has been endorsed by high-profile Republicans such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rob Portman , as well as the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County, Gibbon’s home county. There’s no word on exactly how much Gibbons is spending on the ads, which will play on cable and digital platforms.


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Ohio Distributes a Million Dollars to Counties to Battle MosquitosOhio Distributes a Million Dollars to Counties to Battle Mosquitos

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:15:16 +0000

The Ohio EPA is distributing a million dollars to 35 counties to battle mosquitos and the diseases they carry. The Tuscarawas County Health Department says its $50,000 grant will be used to monitor and control the insects. The department will survey mosquito populations for diseases like Zika and West Nile. And the grant will also help fund awareness campaigns for pet safety and disease prevention. Health Commissioner Katie Seward says while the county has not confirmed any human cases of West Nile in the past few years, it remains a concern . “Last year, we had two pools in Tuscarawas County that tested positive for West Nile. We also had three West Nile equine cases, and unfortunately they died from the disease. That doesn’t always happen, but we were concerned perhaps it was a more aggressive strain of West Nile.” Seward says cousins to mosquitoes that carry Zika have been spotted in Ohio. She also says the rainy and humid weather might mean an increase in mosquito populations.


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On the Eve of Phillips' Execution, the Bar Association Raises Questions About Ohio's Death PenaltyOn the Eve of Phillips' Execution, the Bar Association Raises Questions About Ohio's Death Penalty

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:08:21 +0000

After hiatus of more than three years, Ohio is set to resume executions at 10 this morning by putting Ronald Phillips of Akron to death. His lawyers filed last-minute arguments that the drug combination Ohio plans to use has a troubling history. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, that’s not the only argument being offered. Ronald Phillips is to be the first die, but more than two dozen other executions are set in Ohio over the next four years. The American Bar Association says it is “deeply concerned” about the state resuming executions because it has yet to address major concerns over accuracy and fairness in death-penalty cases. CLICK HERE for the complete statement from American Bar Association President Linda Klein. The lawyers’ group worked with Ohio on reviews of its death penalty dating back to 2007. The studies found big problems with geographic and racial bias that the bar association says “resulted in inconsistent and unfair administration.” It also says Ohio has inadequate


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Progressive Dems Plan to Protest Gun Sales at the Summit County FairgroundsProgressive Dems Plan to Protest Gun Sales at the Summit County Fairgrounds

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:07:55 +0000

A group advocating for gun control is planning to protest Wednesday at the Summit County Fair to try to stop the fairgrounds from being used throughout the year for private gun shows. Summit County Progressive Democrats have been protesting at the fairgrounds for years, saying such shows around the nation facilitate sales of weapons to customers without background checks. But the group’s Robert Grow says new evidence makes the protests more urgent. He cited an Akron Beacon Journal report that a Cleveland man was arrested for illegally trafficking guns bought from the fairground's gun show. "I think that’s another very good reason for the gun show to be shut down. We now apparently have proof that guns from this gun show have been used in criminal activity.” The protest is expected to begin at 7 p.m.


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