Ohio News

Man arrested in death of missing Utah student Mackenzie Lueck

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:48

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities are filing murder and kidnapping charges in the death of a Utah college student who disappeared 11 days ago.

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown said 31-year-old Ayoola A. Ajayi will be charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck.

Police say Ajayi met Lueck at a park where she was last seen after taking a Lyft from the airport at 3 a.m.

Brown says burned evidence, including Lueck's things and her remains, was found at his home. The home was searched on Wednesday and Thursday and Ajayi was the man previously identified as a person of interest.

It wasn't immediately clear if Ajayi had an attorney. He has not returned previous messages from The Associated Press.

Categories: Ohio News

Jimmy Carter suggests Trump is an illegitimate president because Russian interference got him elected

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:23

ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter said Friday he believes President Donald Trump actually lost the 2016 election and is president only because of Russian interference.

Carter made the comments during a discussion on human rights at a resort in Leesburg, Virginia, without offering any evidence for his statements.

"There is no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election," Carter said. "And I think the interference, though not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didn't actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf."

The U.S. intelligence community asserted in a 2017 report that Russia had worked to help Trump during the election and to undermine the candidacy of Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

But the intelligence agencies did not assess whether that interference had affected the election or contributed to Trump's victory, and no evidence has emerged that votes were changed improperly.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report identified two criminal schemes by Russia to interfere in the election: the hacking of Democratic email accounts and a social media campaign to spread disinformation online and sway public opinion.

But Mueller's report did not establish that Russia conspired with any Trump associates in those efforts.

Categories: Ohio News

Pike County sheriff indicted on 16 charges after allegations he stole money from drug busts

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 10:54

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader has been indicted on 16 charges after he was accused of stealing money from drug busts to support his gambling addiction.

The anonymous complaint filed against Reader alleges he kept cash from cases in a safe that only he had access.

The accuser also told the auditor's office that the sheriff took money from other deputies and owed money to local business owners.

Ohio State Auditor Keith Faber announced the grand jury presented Reader with seven charges of conflict of interest, four charges of theft in office, two charges of thefts, one charge each of tampering with evidence, tampering with records and securing writing by description.

“This has been a long and intensive investigation with unfortunate and very serious results. It is our job to hold public officials accountable and root out fraud, waste, and abuse in our communities. We do not take these charges lightly and recognize that no one is above the law. While this is a major step toward seeking justice, our team is fully prepared to present these findings to a jury as this matter moves forward. I’d like to commend everyone who worked on this case for the immense amount of effort and detail that has been dedicated to the investigation.”

In late 2018, Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk requested a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement regarding the indictment of Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader:

“This will have no impact on the Wagner capital murder cases, as Sheriff Reader was not the primary witness for any issue of fact or law. Ohio sheriffs act with integrity and honor, and this rare occurrence does not reflect the excellent work they do daily throughout their counties.”

Categories: Ohio News

Authorities seize enough fentanyl to ‘take out an entire city’ in Dayton

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 09:31

An investigation into drug trafficking has led to the seizure of a large amount of fentanyl and the arrest of a Dayton man.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, a drug task force arrested 21-year-old Roman Garcia on Thursday.

Authorities arrested Garcia after he found evidence he was allegedly involved in narcotics trafficking.

Agents searched two residences and located a large amount of fentanyl and three firearms.

“Fentanyl is the nuclear bomb of drugs, and the task force just captured one that could take out an entire city,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “This is interagency cooperation at its best.”

Garcia is facing a charge of possession with intent to distribute 400 or more grams of fentanyl.

Categories: Ohio News

Georgia Peach Truck touring central Ohio this weekend

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 08:48

People in Lancaster lined up to get a taste of something sweet, a fruit that made it's journey all the way from Georgia.

The Georgia Peach Truck is touring central Ohio Friday and Saturday.

"They're a lot fresher, juicier, best-tasting peaches I've ever had honestly," says Caren Miller.

The peaches are sold only by the 25-pound box for $42. Some people walked away with as many as five boxes, with plenty to share.

"I freeze them, use them throughout the year for peach pie or cobbler," Miller said.

Bob Ritchie, who came early with his wife, says he can't wait for her to make his favorite jam.

"I love her jam and peach pies she does a pretty good job," Ritchie said.

The peaches are only able to be purchased with a credit card. There is no need to pre-order, just show up at any of the locations listed on the website.

On Saturday, The Georgia Peach Truck will be set up in Columbus, Marysville, Dublin, Westerville and Pickerington.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus Zoo offering free admission to military personnel, their families June 29 - July 7

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 08:39

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is admitting military personnel – both past and present – and their families for free during the 4th of July holiday week.

The zoo is hosting "Military Free Dayz" from June 29 through July 7 "to honor members of the military and the sacrifices made to serve our country."

Active or non-active military personnel and their immediate family can receive free admission to when they show a military ID or proof of service.

Categories: Ohio News

Police: 15-year-old killed during robbery, 2nd boy charged

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 05:31

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say they have charged another teenager in the death of a 15-year-old boy shot while the two were allegedly trying to rob a woman at gunpoint.

Cincinnati police say charges of murder and aggravated robbery were brought against another boy, also 15, Thursday in the death of Jordan Lara.

Authorities allege the two boys were robbing a woman around 5 a.m. Saturday when she fired at the boys, striking Lara. Lara was transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died Tuesday.

Police say the second boy was charged after consultation with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's office and the police homicide unit.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio zoo to open Pride of Africa exhibit

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 05:25

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio zoo has been putting the finishing touches on a new exhibit set to open this weekend.

The Akron Zoo is scheduled to open its Pride of Africa exhibit Saturday. It's part of a $17 million construction project that also includes a new Wild Asia area. That exhibit is scheduled to open next year.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Pride of Africa exhibit was initially set to open June 1. But Akron Zoo President Doug Piekarz says rains this year set back construction efforts.

One of the enclosures in the exhibit will educate guests about efforts to monitor and protect African lions in Kenya.

The zoo will rotate its two lion prides in the outdoor space that includes observation areas where zoo visitors can safely view the lions.

Categories: Ohio News

Indiana archbishop defends firing of teacher in gay marriage

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 05:21

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis archbishop said Thursday that his orders for two Catholic high schools in the city to fire gay teachers were about upholding church teaching on marriage and not about sexual orientation.

Archbishop Charles Thompson said during a news conference that he didn't seek out information about the marriages involving the teachers but had to respond to what he called a "public situation" of Catholic school employees not following church doctrine.

Cathedral High School leaders announced Sunday that they were terminating the teacher's contract to avoid a split with the archdiocese that would cost the school its nonprofit status and its ability to have Mass celebrated on campus. That decision came just days after Thompson issued a decree saying the archdiocese would no longer recognize Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School as Catholic because it insisted on keeping a teacher who's in a same-sex marriage.

"This is not a witch hunt, we don't go looking for these situations," Thompson said. "When they are brought to my attention ... it is my responsibility, my duty, to oversee the living of the faith, especially for our ministerial witnesses."

The archdiocese requires all teachers, guidance counselors and administrators at Catholic schools to sign employment contracts that acknowledge they are considered ministers who must follow church teaching.

Thompson's actions have sparked online protest petitions and social media debate. More than 100 Cathedral students and other opponents of Thompson's actions held a prayer protest later Thursday outside the archdiocesan offices near downtown Indianapolis.

Thompson maintained Thursday that he wasn't focusing on same-sex marriages while overlooking school employees living together or who were divorced and remarried without receiving a church annulment. He said church leaders would help the employees take steps toward living according to Catholic teachings.

"It is about the living situation, it's not the orientation," Thompson said. "We would do the same thing if it was someone cohabitating."

Both Cathedral and Brebeuf are affiliated with religious orders and not directly run by the archdiocese. Archdiocesan-operated Roncalli High School of Indianapolis has fired or suspended two female guidance counselors in the past year because they're in same-sex marriages. The women have filed federal employment discrimination complaints and have said they intend to file lawsuits.

All three schools receive significant funding through Indiana's private school voucher program. Cathedral, for instance, received about $1.1 million last school year in voucher funding for about one-fifth of its 1,100 students, according to a state education department report.

The Republican-dominated Indiana House in February rejected a proposal from a Democratic legislator and Roncalli graduate to block voucher money from going to private schools that discriminate against gay employees and students.

Gina Fleming, the Indianapolis archdiocese's schools superintendent, pointed out that the voucher money isn't directed to the schools by state officials.

"It is the family that receives those voucher dollars to help pay for their tuition, their education and formation in our schools," she said.

Categories: Ohio News

Fugitive 'attack squirrel' owner arrested in Alabama chase

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 05:19

KILLEN, Ala. — An Alabama man who denied feeding methamphetamine to a so-called "attack squirrel" he considered a pet has been arrested on new charges.

The Limestone County Sheriff's Office tweeted that 35-year-old Mickey Paulk was caught Thursday night following a chase in which he rammed an investigator's vehicle. Authorities had been seeking Paulk on multiple felony warrants unrelated to the squirrel he named "Deeznutz," which was made infamous after police said they were warned about a meth-fueled squirrel that had been trained to attack.

BREAKING: Mickey Paulk has been arrested. LCSO narcotics investigators were conducting surveillance at America’s Best Value Inn in Killen, AL when Paulk left on a stolen motorcycle. After a brief pursuit, Paulk rammed an investigator vehicle and was arrested. pic.twitter.com/3E3N0SsXU5

— Limestone Sheriff (@LimestoneCoSO) June 28, 2019

Paulk told The Associated Press last week that he was working on a plan for turning himself in to authorities.

The sheriff's office said narcotics investigators caught up with him while surveilling a motel in Killen. They spotted Paulk leaving on a stolen motorcycle and chased him down.

Paulk has been booked into the Lauderdale County Jail on charges of attempting to elude, criminal mischief, receiving stolen property and felon in possession of a pistol after it was discovered he had a .45-caliber handgun in his waistband.

It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

As for Deeznutz, authorities say he couldn't be tested for meth and has been released.

Categories: Ohio News

'One Day At a Time' rescued from cancellation by Pop TV

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 05:17

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There are more days ahead for "One Day at a Time."

The CBS Corp.-owned cable channel Pop TV says Thursday it's greenlighted a new season of the reboot canceled by Netflix.

In a statement, Pop TV President Brad Schwartz called the series both "culturally significant" and funny.

The original 1975-84 sitcom about a single white mom was reimagined with a Latino family at its center, a TV rarity.

Justina Machado stars as Penelope Alvarez, a Cuban American parent and military veteran, with Rita Moreno playing her mother, Lydia.

"One Day at a Time" was dropped by Netflix earlier this year after three seasons, prompting an outcry from fans. The streaming service said not enough people watched the show to justify renewing it.

Famed producer Norman Lear, who co-created the original series and is executive producer on the remake, said he was "heartbroken" when it was canceled.

"Today, I'm overwhelmed with joy to know the Alvarez family will live on," Lear said in a statement.

Pop TV says the new 13-episode season is planned for 2020.

Categories: Ohio News

Prosecutors seek life sentence in Charlottesville car attack

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 05:03

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — To federal prosecutors, James Alex Fields Jr. is a callous, hate-filled young man who saw a group of people protesting against white nationalists and decided to kill them. But to Fields' lawyers, he is a troubled 22-year-old with a history of mental illness who deserves some measure of leniency.

A federal judge will decide Friday whether Fields should get life in prison or a sentence of something less than that for killing one anti-racism protester and injuring dozens more in 2017 when he deliberately drove his car into the crowd that had gathered to demonstrate against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The case stirred racial tensions around the country.

In March, Fields pleaded guilty to 29 out of 30 federal hate crimes in a plea deal with prosecutors that took a possible death sentence off the table. As part of the agreement, both prosecutors and Fields' lawyers agreed that federal sentencing guidelines call for a life sentence.

But in a sentencing memo filed in court last week, Fields' lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski to consider sentencing Fields to a period "less than life."

"No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people. But this Court should find that retribution has limits," his attorneys wrote.

Even if Urbanski were to hand down a shorter sentence, Fields has almost no hope of ever getting out of prison.

He also faces a separate sentence on state charges for murdering anti-racism protester Heather Heyer and injuring more than 30 others in the incident. A jury has recommended a sentence of life, plus 419 years. A sentencing hearing on the state charges is set for July 15.

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said he believes there is little chance the judge will give Fields anything less than life.

"The bottom line is this is a historically significant act of violence that the government has an obligation to condemn through the strongest punishment possible, and I think the judge is very conscious of the facts and the significance surrounding this terrible case of domestic terrorism," Levin said.

The "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12, 2017, drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Fields drove from his home in Maumee, Ohio, to attend the rally.

Hundreds of counterprotesters showed up to demonstrate against the white nationalists.

President Donald Trump sparked controversy when he blamed the violence at the rally on "both sides," a statement critics saw as a refusal to condemn racism.

Fields' lawyers are hoping the judge will take into account his troubled childhood and mental health issues when handing down his sentence.

During Fields' state trial, a psychologist testified for the defense that Fields had inexplicable volatile outbursts as a young child, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 6 and was later diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder.

In a sentencing memo, defense attorneys said Fields was raised by a paraplegic single mother and suffered "trauma" knowing that his Jewish grandfather had murdered his grandmother before taking his own life.

Prosecutors, however, said Fields has a long history of racist and anti-Semitic behavior and has shown no remorse for his crimes. They said Fields, a self-avowed white supremacist, admired Adolf Hitler and even kept a picture of the Nazi leader on his bedside table.

Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, said she would like to see Fields imprisoned for life.

"I don't necessarily want to see him out and about again because I think it sends the wrong message," Bro told The Associated Press. "I'm hoping that justice is served, but I'm also hoping he can get some help."

Categories: Ohio News

Biden lands 2020 endorsement from Atlanta Mayor Bottoms

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 03:37

The mayor of Atlanta is endorsing Democrat Joe Biden for president in 2020, providing crucial support from a high-profile black female political leader.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke to The Associated Press ahead of her scheduled Friday announcement. Bottoms says her decision came down to Biden's experience and her belief the former vice president is the candidate best positioned to beat President Donald Trump.

"For me, it was most important that we have a president who doesn't have to walk in the door and figure out where the light switch is, that we have somebody who can lead on Day One," said Bottoms, who attended Thursday night's debate as a guest of Biden's wife, Jill.

The endorsement comes the morning after a powerful exchange between Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, the only black woman in the campaign. Harris sharply criticized Biden for his comments about working with segregationists and his past opposition to busing.

Bottoms, 49, dismissed concerns about Biden's remarks earlier this month, when he told supporters that the Senate "got things done" with "civility" when segregationists roamed the halls of Congress. Some critics saw his statement and subsequent responses as racially offensive and tone deaf from someone seeking to lead the modern Democratic Party.

"The larger context was that you have to work across the aisle with people you don't like, people you don't agree with," Bottoms said. "I do it each and every day as mayor of Atlanta in a red state."

Bottoms added that Biden's work on civil rights issues and his progressive resume demonstrate his commitment and that the remarks were blown out of proportion.

"My position is, if his explanation was good enough for John Lewis, then it's good enough for me," Bottoms added, referring to the Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was among Biden's defenders after the controversy.

Bottoms is the latest in a string of black elected officials to back Biden. Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is Biden's campaign co-chairman. Biden also leads the 2020 field in CBC endorsements, though other members of the caucus are also backing candidates including Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the other black candidate in the diverse field .

Booker and Harris campaigned for Bottoms during her hard-fought 2017 mayoral bid. In the end, while Bottoms said she respected both candidates, she felt that Biden wins the electability argument and that it is important the Democratic Party begin to coalesce around a candidate early.

"In 2016, we had a candidate who went limping into the general election," Bottoms said. "That would be catastrophic for Democrats to do that going into 2020."

Categories: Ohio News

Tommy's Diner celebrates 30th Anniversary serving central Ohio

Channel 10 news - Fri, 06/28/2019 - 03:23

For Tommy Pappas, that "family" extends beyond his wife, children and grandchildren. At Tommy's Diner, customers say they feel like family from the moment they walk in the door.

"I love it," says George Wolf who has been eating at Tommy's for the past 20 years. "It's like going to Cheers," he adds, referencing the 80s sitcom with the famous tagline 'where everybody knows your name.'

"I just absolutely love the people here and the family," Wolf says.

"My mother came in here on chicken Tuesday and he (Tommy)would always give my mom a hug. I don't know if she liked the chicken or Tommy giving her a hug," Wolf adds with a hearty laugh.

In 1989, Tommy Pappas along with his wife Kathy invested their last penny ito opening Tommy's Diner on West Broad Street. Their two sons Louie and Michael pitched in as well.

"Boys started in the dining room," Kathy Pappas told WBNS Morning anchor Angela An. "Every spring break, Christmas break, summers," she adds.

Walking into Tommy's Diner is like taking a walk back in time. Memorabilia from the 50s line the walls, but so do photos of Tommy smiling with local celebrities, politicians, and long-time customers. Many people say this Franklinton landmark is known to be a place where "business" gets done. But it's also a place where generations of families have passed through.

"I got people coming, they say - Tommy, you remember me? I'm Jack's grandson and this is MY son," Tommy says with a chuckle.

Tommy says he's grateful to customers who have keep his diner open for 30 years. It's not easy in a part of Franklinton that has seen revitalization efforts come and go. But Tommy says hard work, loyalty, and just being himself is what may have be the secrets behind his success.

"I don't play no golf, I'm not fishing, this is what I do," says Pappas, who has since passed the family business to his two sons. "This is where my friends are, these are the people I know. It's not just work, have a good time."

To honor 30 years, Tommy was recently invited by the Columbus Clippers to throw out the first pitch at Huntington Park. On July 2nd, the diner will offer throwback prices to 1989 for 8 selected items on the menu.

Tommy's Diner MenuTommy's 30th Anniversary Menu (WBNS 10TV)

Dolly Conkle says she loves the place so much, she and Wolf plan to get married at Tommy's this August.

"When you walk in , you feel like you're the only person they know, the only person that is special," she says.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus ticket tax going into effect starting Monday

Channel 10 news - Thu, 06/27/2019 - 20:28

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Starting in July 1, anyone who buys a ticket to a sporting event at Nationwide Arena or any other entertainment venue or museum — except college athletics — will pay an extra 5 percent.

Columbus City Council voted unanimously to approve the ticket tax in December. The money is designated to help fund local arts programs.

Nationwide Arena must use 80 percent of its money collected to pay for building repairs. The extra 20 percent will help the arts community.

Categories: Ohio News

First responders push state for funding in treating PTSD

Channel 10 news - Thu, 06/27/2019 - 20:06

COLUMBUS, Ohio — First responders see and deal with life and death situations every single day.

A policy written into the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation budget would have allowed those first responders compensation for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, but that policy was pulled out of the budget.

"Sixteen years ago, I was at a house fire that we responded to. Seven of us should have died, one did,” said one Cincinnati firefighter.

While the other firefighters weren't physically injured that day, they still carry wounds.

“They will end up suffering in silence because people can't see a physical injury," he said.

Now, the firefighters are pushing for the right to be able to file a worker’s compensation claim to get help for post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Something of this scope, this magnitude of policy change, just has to be vetted. It's more important to get it right than to get it rushed,” said State Senator Jay Hottinger.

The budget is due June 30 and Hottinger said there isn't enough time to introduce new policies.

“It's a major policy shift from covering physical injuries to now covering injuries that is not a physical injury,” he said.

Hottinger said the policy right now doesn't define what trauma causes PTSD. He says lawmakers need to take time to iron out some of those details.

Michael Weinman from the Fraternal Order of Police is still hopeful lawmakers can work out an agreement to get first responders the mental health help they need.

“What you have is officers committing suicide while we sit around and wait for something we've already talked about for eight years,” he said. “This is an on the job injury, just like breaking your ankle when you are jumping the fence. That's the way it needs to be treated.”

The Ohio Senate has already passed the budget with coverage for PTSD. The Ohio House and Senate are expected to meet in a conference committee to see if they can work out the differences between the bills.

Categories: Ohio News

Dr. Strauss victims recall experiences in hearing for Ohio House bill

Channel 10 news - Thu, 06/27/2019 - 19:53

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Inside Ohio's state capital Thursday, five men shared one similar story that was difficult to tell.

"It's difficult to talk about this in detail," Roger Beedon said after a long deep breath.

From the mid-80s to the early 90s, while athletes at The Ohio State University, the men say they were sexually assaulted by team doctor Dr. Richard Strauss. One by one, they spoke their truth. Some of their words too graphic for publication. They talked about physicals and how Strauss would grope them in his attempt to get the athletes aroused.

Shawn Daily, a former wrestler, said the doctor would even shower with them.

"We'd go back to our lockers and the gymnastics team would finish their practice and go in the shower and [Strauss] would get undressed and go shower again," he said.

Dan Ritchie says he went in for a shoulder injury and ended up getting his penis examined even after he says he told Strauss that a previous injury was no longer causing him pain. He says Strauss fondled him excessively. When he left the room, Ritchie says he left the team and his scholarship behind.

"What Dr. Strauss took from me that day was my dignity, my peace-of-mind and a chance to thrive in a sport that made me who I am," he said.

The men were speaking to the House Civil Justice Committee on a hearing for House Bill 249. If passed, it would change the statute of limitations and allow victims of Dr. Strauss to sue Ohio State for negligence.

All men testified Strauss' behaviors were common knowledge.

"It absolutely was common knowledge," Mike Flusche said. "I was in the locker room when athletes were talking to coaches."

Many of the men say they've dealt with depression, anxiety and PTSD.

"Trust has been an issue in my life," Mike Schyck said. "Relationships have been an issue."

It's why they say they needed to say something because, for so many years, they couldn't say anything. They hope HB 249 will change that.

"We victims feel HB 249 is the only way to make sure this never happens again," Beedon said.

Categories: Ohio News

House sends $4.6B border aid bill to Trump

Channel 10 news - Thu, 06/27/2019 - 19:22

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday to send President Donald Trump a bipartisan, Senate-drafted, $4.6 billion measure to care for migrant refugees detained at the southern border.

The emergency legislation, required to ease overcrowded, often harsh conditions at U.S. holding facilities for migrants seeking asylum, mostly from Central American nations like Honduras and El Salvador, passed by a bipartisan 305-102 vote. Trump has indicated he'll sign it into law.

"A great job done by all!" Trump tweeted from his overseas trip.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reluctantly brought the Senate bill to a vote by after her plan to further strengthen rules for treatment of migrant refugees ran into intractable opposition from Republican lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence. Many moderate Democrats split with Pelosi as well, undercutting her earlier efforts, which faded shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would swiftly reject them.

The legislation contains more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services. It rejects an administration request for additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds, however, and contains provisions designed to prevent federal immigration agents from going after immigrants living in the country illegally who seek to care for unaccompanied children.

The funding is urgently needed to prevent the humanitarian emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border from worsening. The government had warned that money would run out in a matter of days.

The Senate bill passed Wednesday by an 84-8 vote, with Democrats there pleased with the deal they cut with Republicans controlling the chamber.

The measure was initially only reluctantly accepted by the White House — which complained about elimination of the request for detention beds for immigrants facing removal from the U.S. — but GOP support grew after the measure presented an opportunity to outmaneuver Pelosi. Just seven Republicans opposed the bill.

"We could have done so much better," Pelosi said in a floor speech. Earlier, Pelosi pushed a plan to ping-pong the Senate-passed bill right back across the Capitol with provisions requiring more stringent care requirements for detained migrant families and other steps. But confronted with splintering unity in the Democratic rank and file and intractable opposition from McConnell, Pelosi changed course.

Pence and Pelosi had an hour-long conversation on the legislation Thursday as the White House and Republicans kept pounding the message that the only way forward on the long-sought legislation was to pass the Senate bill.

Pence's chief of staff Marc Short described the call as friendly and productive. Pelosi, a devout Catholic, appealed to Pence's sense of faith.

Pelosi presented an effective case that House Democrats wanted more, Short said, but the vice president stressed that with the bipartisan vote in Senate and funding running out, now was not the time to be reopening the bill.

The leaders of the House Progressive Caucus, which includes almost half of House Democrats, immediately issued a statement calling the Senate bill — which had the backing of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. — "entirely insufficient to protect vulnerable children in our care."

"Standing up for human rights requires more than providing money," said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.

In all, 95 Democrats opposed the bill, including a slew of prominent Pelosi allies like Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and other authors of the alternative House approach. Pelosi told members to vote their conscience.

Thursday's outcome was a victory for McConnell, who vowed that the GOP-held Senate would kill any "partisan" House changes that the Democratic-controlled House passed, and he appeared to hold a strong hand. All sides agreed that Congress wouldn't leave for its Independence Day recess until the measure was passed in some form.

"The United States Senate is not going to pass a border funding bill that cuts the money for ICE and the Department of Defense. It's not going to happen. We already have our compromise," McConnell said. He called the Senate bill "the only game in town."

McConnell said the White House might support making some changes administratively — which have less than the force of law — to address some Democratic concerns.

In fact, Pence agreed that lawmakers would be notified within 24 hours when a child died in custody, said people familiar with his call with Pelosi. The vice president also agreed to the 90-day time limit for migrant children to be housed in influx facilities.

Meanwhile, pressure built on lawmakers whose constituents are upset by accounts of brutal conditions for detained children. And with lawmakers eager to break for the 10-day July 4 recess, internal pressure built on Democrats to wrap it all up quickly.

"The Administration sent its request for emergency funding eight weeks ago, but there was no action," said Sarah Sanders, outgoing White House press secretary. "We have already negotiated a broadly supported bipartisan funding bill. It is time for House Democrats to pass the Senate bill and stop delaying funding to deal with this very real humanitarian crisis."

Lawmakers' sense of urgency to provide humanitarian aid was amplified by recent reports of conditions in a windowless Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, where more than 300 infants and children were being housed. Many were kept there for weeks and were caring for each other in conditions that included inadequate food, water and sanitation.

The Border Patrol reported apprehending nearly 133,000 people last month — including many Central American families — as monthly totals have begun topping 100,000 for the first time since 2007.

At her weekly news conference, Pelosi choked back tears when asked about an Associated Press photo of a migrant father and daughter killed crossing the Rio Grande River as she pushed for stronger protections in a border crisis funding bill.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday she's a "lioness" when it comes to children. She called it a "shame that this should be the face of America around the world."

Categories: Ohio News

Weekend deadline looms for $69 billion Ohio spending plan

Channel 10 news - Thu, 06/27/2019 - 19:11

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio budget that would lower income taxes for individuals, spend more on foster care and boost services benefiting students has approached a weekend deadline with little time to spare.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and fellow Republicans House Speaker Larry Householder and Senate President Larry Obhof met Thursday as negotiations continued over a final version of the $69 billion spending plan.

A key debate is likely between the Senate's proposed 8% personal income tax cut and the House's proposed cut of 6.6%. Obhof put the total sticking points at more than 590, though many of those are minor.

Householder said House lawmakers don't agree with changes the Senate made to health care, tax cuts and school funding. The speaker said he's ready to propose a two-week extension if needed.

"Every minute that passes I'm less optimistic," Householder said.

Obhof said he was "very comfortable" with the tax cut approved by the Senate, especially given positive revenue forecasts.

"If you're able to do the things that the governor and the House and the Senate flagged as priorities for the state but bring in extra money, then that means your tax rate's a little too high," he said.

On Tuesday, the Office of Budget and Management told the House-Senate committee working on the final spending plan that it expects tax revenue for the current fiscal year to beat its projections by $359 million.

DeWine said there's no reason that a deal on the state's next two-year budget can't be reached this weekend. He noted the House and Senate versions passed with broad bipartisan support. In the case of the Senate, the budget passed with a rare unanimous vote.

"We're not far apart. Our ideals are the same. Both bills passed bipartisan basis. Both of them were consistent with my original budget," he said.

The Senate version includes $550 million that DeWine sought to boost educational wraparound services such as mental health counseling, plus $125 million more toward education-related spending, such as private-school scholarships and more money for growing school districts whose funding has been capped.

Like the House plan, the Senate version raises the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, but also adds taxes on vaping products.

Friday's House session was canceled, meaning weekend sessions were likely.

Categories: Ohio News

Democratic debate Part II: Clash of the front-runners

Channel 10 news - Thu, 06/27/2019 - 19:02

MIAMI (AP) — The Democrats' second presidential debate in two nights features most of the 2020 class' strongest competitors — according to early polling, at least — none with more to lose than former Vice President Joe Biden, who has party establishment backing but faces an increasingly restive and liberal base.

The second 10 candidates face each other and the nation Thursday night in a prime-time confrontation sure to underscore differences along lines of race, gender, generation and ideology that are starting to shape the party's winding search for a nominee to take on President Donald Trump.

Biden, who is 76, will stand at center stage, shoulder-to-shoulder with the fellow septuagenarian who is his ideological opposite: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist has pulled his party to the left on key issues, calling for a political revolution that would transform the private health care system into a government-financed one and mandate a redistribution of wealth.

Sanders' appeal relies on emotion, often anger. Biden preaches pragmatism and relative moderation.

And they represent only two of ten views on the stage Thursday night.

The showdown takes place in Florida, a general election battleground that could well determine whether Trump wins a second term next year. In Florida, as in the nation more broadly, immigration has defined much of the political debate.

This week several Democrats visited a facility where hundreds of immigrant children are being held near the debate site.

Thursday night's participants had the benefit of having seen 10 other Democrats the previous night. More than 15 million people watched the first contest, according to Nielsen Fast National Data. The viewership exceeded every presidential primary debate in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

Together, the debates are the first high-profile step in a presidential primary process expected to stretch deep into next year.

The leading candidates, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren who debated Wednesday night, have shown little interest in attacking their Democratic brethren directly at the start of a marathon campaign. But an effort to undermine either Biden or Sanders, from any number of directions, wouldn't be a shock.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Sen. Kamala Harris are among the better known candidates in the next tier. Also on stage: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Michael Bennet of Colorado, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, New York businessman Andrew Yang, California Rep. Eric Swalwell and author and social activist Marianne Williamson.

If nothing else, Thursday's slate highlights the diversity of the Democratic Party's 2020 class.

Buttigieg, a 37-year-old gay former military officer, is four decades younger than Sanders, and has been framing his candidacy as a call for generational change in his party. Harris is the only African American woman to qualify for the presidential debate stage. Any of the three women featured Thursday night would be the first ever elected president.

Yet Biden and Sanders have received far more attention and shown higher standing than their less-experienced rivals. The party will have to decide whether it wants a candidate based on resume over aspiration.

The overall Democratic presidential field is so large that the Democratic National Committee split the candidates into two groupings through a random drawing. Thursday's gathering marks the second wave of the first round.

On Wednesday, Warren stood out — on her own at times — in calling for "fundamental change" across the nation's economy and government to address a widening gap between the rich and the middle class.

"I think of it this way. Who is this economy really working for? It's doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top," Warren declared shortly before raising her hand as one of the only Democrats on stage willing to abolish her own private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan. "Health care is a basic human right, and I will fight for basic human rights."

While Trump is the ultimate target of many Democratic voters, the president wasn't a major feature for most of Wednesday's affair.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was one of the few to attack the Republican president, calling him "the biggest threat to the security of the United States."

Instead of Trump, Democrats leaned into the issue that helped deliver the party the House majority last year: Health care. All supported the concept of providing universal health care, but they differed on how to reach that goal.

That same dynamic will be on display Thursday as well.

Sanders literally wrote the "Medicare for All" plan for universal health care that serves as a rallying cry for many liberals. Biden supports universal health care, but favors a softer approach that would give Americans the choice to join a government-run insurance program known as the "public option."

While the difference may be modest — especially compared to the Republican fight against universal health care coverage of any kind — it has left Biden vulnerable to liberal attacks that he's not willing to embrace bold change.

Indeed, Biden's candidacy represents a throwback of sorts to the values that defined the tenure of President Barack Obama, whom he served as vice president. While some liberals were frustrated that Obama didn't fight for more dramatic change in Washington, Biden often associates himself with a focus on civility and lack of drama from the White House in contrast to Trump's turbulent first term.

In the early months of the 2020 presidential campaign, that has been enough — especially as Democratic voters make clear that their most significant factor in picking a nominee has less to do with ideology than electability. And so far, many believe Biden is best-positioned to deny Trump a second term.

Still, Biden has faced friendly fire from Democrats in recent weeks for his positions on abortion, his record on criminal justice, and his willingness to work with Republicans, even Southern senators who were openly racist.

Trump is spending the night in Asia for trade talks.

He had little to say from afar Wednesday night other than calling the first Democratic debate "BORING!" on social media.

In recent weeks, Trump has focused almost solely on Biden, whom he calls "Sleepy Joe."

Categories: Ohio News


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