Medicaid backers abandon petition effort in Ohio
Written by ANN SANNER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:14

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Supporters of extending Medicaid in Ohio have abandoned an effort that could have put the issue before the swing state's voters, because they say two actions by state officials have made the expansion a reality.

Two key players with the Healthy Ohioans Work coalition said Monday they have withdrawn a petition that was at the heart of their effort. Jon Allison and Sean McGlone filed the paperwork with Ohio's secretary of state Dec. 4.

The group of health advocates, labor groups and others launched their petition effort in September, after state lawmakers balked at the idea of expanding Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled.

The coalition was collecting signatures to force the Legislature to act on Medicaid expansion. Under their petition, if lawmakers passed, amended or took no action the proposal, then they could have sought to get the issue on 2014 ballots.

Ohio trucker dies in Washington crash
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:13

DUPONT, Wash. (AP) — The Washington State Patrol says a fatal, fiery crash on Interstate 5 south of Tacoma was caused by a northbound pickup truck that crossed the median and collided with two southbound trucks.

Trooper Guy Gill says both southbound trucks caught fire Monday. Two people in a box van were able to walk away before it burned.

The driver of a tractor-trailer rig died as the trailer burned. The State Patrol identified that driver late Monday as 59-year-old Dale Weaver of Jamestown, Ohio.

The pickup driver, 61-year-old Kim Heidebrink of Sacramento, Calif., was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center with serious injuries.

Gill says the pickup driver did not appear to be impaired and why he crossed the median remains under investigation.

The mid-morning crash near DuPont backed up southbound I-5 traffic for most of the day and northbound traffic slowed as well. The southbound backup stretched more than 10 miles at times. One southbound lane reopened shortly after noon. Gill said all southbound lanes reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

28-year sentence in Ohio in $100M charity scam
Written by THOMAS J. SHEERAN, Associated Press   
Monday, 16 December 2013 10:54

CLEVELAND (AP) — A judge handed down a 28-year prison sentence Monday to a man convicted of masterminding a $100 million, cross-country Navy veterans charity fraud.

Judge Steven Gall imposed the sentence on the defendant who identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson. Authorities say is Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody.

The Ohio attorney general's office, which handled his trial, asked the judge in a filing last week to sentence him to 41 years in prison. In addition, the prosecution recommended a $6.3 million fine. Judge Steven Gall fined him $6 million.

The defense has asked for a new trial.

Defense attorney Joseph Patituce said after the verdict that ineffective legal representation issues stemming from limited preparation time and his client's erratic cooperation might be a basis for an appeal.

The defense hinted at a CIA covert operation and showed jurors photos of the defendant with President George W. Bush, suggesting Thompson was acting with government sanction.

Police believe two teens shot each other at Ohio robbery
Written by 1 teen dead, another wounded in Ohio robbery   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:12

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say they believe two teenagers in northeast Ohio shot each other during a robbery attempt.

Canton police say a 19-year-old man died, and a 16-year-old boy is hospitalized with life-threatening gunshot wounds.

The dead teen was identified as Michael A. Sibert Jr. He was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting Friday night. The other teen hasn't been identified.

Detectives on Monday determined that that the 16-year-old shot Sibert twice during a robbery attempt at his residence. They say Sibert was able to return fire, shooting the boy in the face.

Police are looking for two other young males who fled the scene. They are believed to have participated in the robbery. One of them might have been shot, too.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Neighbor of slain Ohio girl, 9, held without bond
Written by JOHN COYNE, Associated Press   
Monday, 16 December 2013 10:32

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — A judge has ordered an Ohio man jailed without bond until a hearing next week on charges that he killed a 9-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash bin.

Twenty-four-year-old Jerrod Metsker appeared via video for an arraignment Monday in Wooster, southwest of Akron. A preliminary hearing was set for Dec. 23.

He is charged in the death of Reann Murphy, who authorities said lived across from him in a trailer park in nearby Smithville.

Metsker was arrested Sunday, about 12 hours after deputies found Reann's body in a trash bin near her home.

The girl was last seen Saturday night playing outdoors at the park. Her body was found about five hours after she was reported missing.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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