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John "Couchburner" Denning
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Ohio governor: House gas tax proposal 'doesn't cut it'

Mar 20, 2019 -- 11:58am

(AP) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is continuing his push-back against lawmakers' attempts to shrink his proposed gas tax, saying the current House version "doesn't cut it."
 
     DeWine, a Republican, has proposed raising $1.2 billion through an 18-cent gas tax increase, adjusting it annually for inflation. The House reduced that to 10.7 cents per gallon over two years.
 
     The Senate is expected to announce its own proposal as soon as this week. Republican State Senate President Larry Obhof (AWB'-hawf) has expressed skepticism at DeWine's original proposal.
 
     DeWine on Wednesday once again called his proposal a "bare minimum" to keep up with needed repairs to roads and bridges. He said he's optimistic the legislative proposals will "get better."

Judge weighs in on lollipop lawsuit between candy rivals

Mar 20, 2019 -- 11:52am

(AP) - A federal judge is siding with the makers of Dum-Dums lollipops in its lawsuit against a rival candy maker.
 
     A preliminary injunction handed down in Ohio says Tootsie Roll Industries must at least temporarily stop using its new packaging for its Charms mini-pop lollipops.
 
     Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co. is suing Tootsie Roll because it says the Chicago-based company's new mini-pops packaging too closely resembles the Dum-Dums packaging.
 
     Tootsie Roll disputes those claims. A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with Tootsie Roll.
 
     The judge says in a decision issued last week that Tootsie Roll is using packaging nearly identical to the Dum-Dums packaging, right down to the red bag and white lettering.
 
     The Blade reports Spangler believes the packaging is so similar that customers would easily confuse the two products.
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Fire at Pearl Coffee in Akron

Mar 20, 2019 -- 11:48am

Akron Fire Department responded to a fire at a business on Broadway earlier this morning. Firefighters arrived on scene just before 11 am at Pearl Coffee on Broadway. Authorities say a small fire in the scrubber room was under control quickly. South Broadway going north was closed at Thornton . There were no reported injuries.

2 homes shot up in Akron

Mar 20, 2019 -- 11:28am

Akron police investigating a shooting which occurred around 7 o'clock last night in the area of Raymond Street and Vernon Odom Boulevard. When officers arrived on scene they spoke with several residents in the area and found two homes that were struck by bullets, 711 and 715 Raymond Street. NO injuries were reported. The suspect was described as a black male, 5'10”, and was wearing a gray sweatsuit. He was last seen running away from the scene. Anyone with information, call APD at 330-375-2490.

Motorcycle passenger killed in crash in Cuyahoga Falls

Mar 20, 2019 -- 11:03am

Police in Cuyahoga Falls are investigating a fatal crash which occurred yesterday afternoon. Police and fire responded to the intersection of State Road and Highbridge Road around 3:30 pm. The accident involved a motorcycle and an SUV. Police say the motorcycle driver was transported to the hospital. The female passenger on the bike died at the scene. The driver of the SUV was not injured. The crash is being investigated by the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, the Summit County Metro Crash Team and the Summit County Medical Examiner.

Ohio receiving national attention

Mar 20, 2019 -- 10:42am

President Donald Trump visits Ohio today, his first visit back to the buckeye state since last year's midterm election campaign. Trump will visit a tank manufacturing plant in Lima and later at a fundraising event at a country club in Jackson Township.

 

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will headline an Ohio Democratic Party fundraising dinner. The state party announced yesterday that Pelosi will speak at the annual “legacy dinner” in Columbus on May 17. Dinner tickets start at $250 each. The venue will be announced later.

Ohio police vice unit disbanded in wake of investigations

Mar 20, 2019 -- 10:26am

(AP) - Ohio's capital city is disbanding its police vice unit in the wake of internal and FBI investigations and recent charges against an officer alleging he forced two women to have sex with them under threat of an arrest.
 
     Interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the news on Twitter Tuesday night in a posting that said remaining officers will be assigned to other departments. Three of the vice unit's 10 officers are currently under suspension.
 
     Quinlan said that vice-related crimes, now under the Narcotics division, will be handled differently and with a more community-based approach.
 
     The unit came under scrutiny last year when vice officers arrested adult film actress Stormy Daniels at a Columbus strip club. An investigation determined the arrest was improper.
 

Trump back in Ohio

Mar 20, 2019 -- 10:18am

(AP) - President Donald Trump is returning to Ohio, the state that foretold his 2016 victory and serves as the linchpin of his re-election effort.
 
     Trump's visit Wednesday marks his first trip to Ohio since last year's midterm election campaign, when Ohio was a rare bright spot for Republicans in the upper Midwest. Relying on a victory in the state, Trump's campaign is mindful of warning signs that Ohio can hardly be taken for granted in 2020.
 
     No state may better illustrate the re-aligning effects of Trump's candidacy and presidency than Ohio. Traditionally Democratic-leaning working-class voters have swung heavily toward the GOP, and moderate Republicans in populous suburban counties have shifted away from Trump.
 
     Trump visit to Lima and Canton mark his 10th trip to the state since taking office.

House Speaker Pelosi to headline Ohio Democrats' dinner

Mar 20, 2019 -- 10:18am

(AP) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (puh-LOH'-see) will headline an Ohio Democratic Party fundraising dinner.
 
     The state party announced Tuesday that the California Democrat will speak at the annual "legacy dinner" in Columbus on May 17.
 
     The Democrats' statement came the day before Republican President Donald Trump's scheduled visit Wednesday to the Army Tank Plant in Lima (LEYE'-muh), Ohio.
 
     State Chairman David Pepper says as Democrats gear up for 2020, Pelosi is showing "what it means to stand up to this president and make him respect the people's House."
 
     Trump decisively carried Ohio in 2016, after Democrat Barack Obama won Ohio twice.
 
     Dinner tickets start at $250 each. The venue will be announced later.

Man who filed wrong form can run for city office

Mar 20, 2019 -- 10:04am

 Ohio's secretary of state says a Strongsville man can run for city council even though he filed the wrong paperwork with the county board of elections.
 
     Secretary of State Frank LaRose made the ruling March 6 in a letter to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, saying Tim Zvoncheck, a Republican, can run for city council in Strongsville. Cleveland.com reports LaRose says the man provided all the necessary and correct information to run for council despite filling out the wrong petition form.
 
     The board accepted the ruling last week. The elections board sought LaRose's input after it tied when voting Feb. 12 whether to accept or reject Zvoncheck's candidate petition.
 
     Kelly Kosek, a Democrat now holding the Ward 3 Strongsville council seat, will face Zvoncheck in the November election.
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Analysis: Ohio revenue running $700M behind estimates

Mar 20, 2019 -- 10:01am

(AP) - The head of Ohio's legislative analysis division says its estimates for state revenue over the next couple of years are below those of Gov. Mike DeWine.
 
     Mark Flanders is director of the state Legislative Service Commission. His testimony prepared for the House Finance Committee Tuesday indicated LCS's estimates are almost $200 million below DeWine's for the rest of this year.
 
     LCS estimates $347 million less for next year and $161 million less in 2021, for a total of about $700 million.
 
     The budget proposed last week by DeWine, a Republican, calls for nearly $70 billion in state spending over two years.
 
     DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney says the governor used conservative revenue estimates to draft his budget. Tierney says estimates will be updated based on monthly revenue reports.

Ohio's statewide tornado drill

Mar 20, 2019 -- 8:04am

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service conducted its annual statewide tornado drill this morning at 9:50 am. It's part of Ohio's severe weather awareness week, which runs from March 17 to March 23. Ohio's peak tornado season is typically April through June, but they can occur during any month. Last year, there were 18 tornadoes in the state, with the majority happening in April. That was down from the 24 tornadoes in 2016 and 39 in 2017.

The Ohio committee for Severe Weather Awareness advises Ohioans to know the difference between a tornado watch and warning, and in the event of a warning to DUCK. A tornado watch means a tornado is possible. Stay tuned to your local radio station or television for weather updates. Know where you'll shelter, if necessary. A tornado warning means a tornado is happening or imminent and you should take shelter, or DUCK immediately. DUCK stands for Down to the lowest level, Under something sturdy, Cover your head and Keep in shelter until the storm has passed.

Former Judge Ordered to Repay Stolen Money

Mar 19, 2019 -- 5:18pm

 

A disgraced former judge who admitted in Federal Court that she ripped-off money from a dead client is now on the hook for repayment of every dime she took. A judge in Mahoning County Probate Court has ordered Diane Caraballo to repay nearly 209-Thousand dollars…money that was stolen from the estate of a former client for whom she had written a Last Will. The judge this week gave her 30 days to start arranging her payments in restitution. Caraballo and her husband both previously pled guilty in Cleveland Federal Court – where she returns in June to learn her sentence for her crimes.

 

 

Wheelchair-Bound Woman Struck, Killed by Semi

Mar 19, 2019 -- 4:33pm

 

A woman riding in a motorized wheelchair was run-over and killed by a semi tractor-trailer on Tuesday morning in Warren. Police report that 71-year-old Charlotte Lesher was leaving a supermarket along Elm Road and heading back to her apartment when the incident happened shortly after 7:30AM. The wheelchair was on the top of a loading dock ramp and she was preparing to get to the apartment complex behind the store when she was hit by the trailer as it backed into the dock. She fell from the chair and was run-over by a rear tire on the rig. Police say that no charges will be filed.

 

 

Cop Accused of Sending Thousands of Messages to Women

Mar 19, 2019 -- 2:41pm

 

A 29-year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department is on the wrong side of the law, accused of using department computers to send social media messages to more than two-Thousand women over a relatively short period of time. 58-year-old Police SGT Michael Rybarczyk has been indicted on three counts of unauthorized use of city property and 11 misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution. He has been relieved of duty, pending the outcome of his case in Cuyahoga County Court. He allegedly accessed a law enforcement database to access information, then contacted as many as 23-hundred women between July 20 and December 2 last year…offering up to 100 dollars to some of them in return for sexual favors.

 

 

Suspect Arrested after Area Man’s Death

Mar 19, 2019 -- 2:30pm

 

An elderly man was found stabbed to death in Mansfield on Tuesday morning and the suspect has already been placed under arrest. Police were called to an apartment complex in the 1800 block of Middle-Bellville Road around 8:00AM, arriving to find the body of 90-year-old Omar Brown. He was dead on the scene after being stabbed multiple times. Authorities gathered information on the scene that led to the arrest of 31-year-old Cody Lutz, who was located and taken into custody shortly before the Noon hour in Medina County. Mansfield Police reported that no other suspects are being sought in connection with the murder, but didn’t elaborate on the ongoing investigation.  

 

 

Woman’s Body Found in Massillon

Mar 19, 2019 -- 2:29pm

 

Police in Massillon and the Stark County Coroner’s office are investigating the discovery of a body in an apartment…ending the search for a woman who had previously been reported missing. Police entered the apartment in the 400 block of Wales Road NE on Monday afternoon to find the body of 37-year-old Erin Carney of Massillon. The Coroner’s office reports the remains were in a state of decomposition and that investigators also removed a number of items of evidence from the place in what’s now being termed a “suspicious death.” The autopsy will include toxicology tests in an effort to determine the cause and manner of death. Carney had been reported missing by her family last Saturday and a man who was arrested on an outstanding drug-related warrant eventually gave authorities information leading to the discovery of her body.

 

 

OH Senate Amends DeWine Budget Plan

Mar 19, 2019 -- 2:29pm

 

Members of the Ohio Senate on Tuesday took the wraps off several amendments to the proposed biennial budget that was recently moved through the House…but as yet, lawmakers in the Upper Chamber haven’t made-up their minds about what to do with Governor DeWine’s proposed 18-cent-per-gallon hike in the Gasoline Tax. The House took a switchblade to the planned increase, cutting it back to 10.7 cents per gallon in a plan that would be phased-in over three years. Both the Senate President and the Chairman of the Transportation Committee have already said they have serious concerns about raising the Gas Tax. Governor DeWine chided House members for their version of the planned increase – repeating his position that what he proposed would only allow the Department of Transportation to keep pace with current need. The last time the Ohio Gasoline Tax was raised was in 2005…when the tax was hiked to the current level of 28 cents per gallon.

 

 

Trump to Visit Stark County on Wednesday

Mar 19, 2019 -- 2:28pm

 

President Trump will be visiting Ohio on Wednesday – including a fundraiser in Stark County for his re-election campaign. The White House says that Trump will take a tour and deliver remarks at the Lima Tank Plant in western Ohio – the nation’s last remaining facility producing tanks for the military. The Pentagon had previously announced a 714-Million dollar investment for upgrading the M1 Abrams tanks that are produced here in Ohio. Later in the day, the President will attend the fundraiser at Brookside Country Club in Jackson Township, where some of the proceeds will also benefit the Republican National Committee. Tickets for those attending were not cheap, however, with the prices ranging from as low as 28-hundred dollars to as high as 50-Thousand per person.

 

 

Crunch Alumni Gathering for Reunion Charity Game

Mar 19, 2019 -- 2:27pm

 

Members of the 1994 NPSL Champion Cleveland Crunch are reuniting next month for a 25th anniversary soccer game with other players from the era and Cleveland Force alumni…an event aimed at raising funds for the Max Cure Foundation and the HandsOn Sports Foundation – one in which former Crunch goalkeeper Otto Orf has been deeply involved. The game happens Friday, April 26 at Goodyear Hall on East Market Street. Sponsorships are still available and tickets are on sale now.  

 

 

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