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Published by: The Delphos Herald on Dec 05, 2012
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Obituaries 2State/Local 3Politics 4Community 5Sports 6-7Business 7Classifieds 8Television 9World briefs 10
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
50¢ dailyDelphos, Ohio
Telling The Tri-County’s Story Since 1869
Jays down Cougars in girlsaction, p6Workers repair tested toys forgifts, p3
Foundation doles out record $320,000 in grants
BY NANCY SPENCERnspencer@delphosherald.com
DELPHOS — The Arnold C.Dienstberger Foundation surpassedits record-breaking $305,000 grantpresentation from last year Tuesdayevening during ceremonies at TheDelphos Club.Twenty-nine recipients sharedin $320,000, including $45,000each to St. John’s and Delphos Cityschools.This was the 15th annual dis-tribution of money raised frominvestments held by the not-for-profit foundation headquartered inDelphos.Former foundation presidentRick Miller presided over the dis-tribution with President Nick Clark,Treasurer Doug Harter, AssistantTreasurer Lonnie Miller, SecretaryJerry Gilden, Past-president BillMassa and Trustees John Nominaand Doris Neumeier doling outchecks.Recipients included:
• St. John’s Schools, $45,000,
accepted by Business Manager TedHanf. Hanf said the funds would beused for technology upgrades.
• Community Health
Professionals, $5,000, accepted byNikki DuVall who said the moneywill be used to assist patients withhome health and hospice care.
• Delphos City Schools, $45,000,
accepted by Interim SuperintendentFrank Sukup. He said the moneywould be used for technologyupgrades.
• Delphos City Parks, $22,000,
accepted by Safety Service DirectorGreg Berquist, who said the moneywill be used for the second phase of repairs to the swimming pool.
• Delphos Canal Days
Committee, $1,000, accepted byCanal Days Committee Chair DanaSteinbrenner, who said the fundswill be used for children’s activitiesduring the 2013 event.
• Delphos Area Chamber of 
Commerce, $10,000, acceptedby Chamber Executive DirectorJennifer Moenter, who said the fundswill used for a fourth welcome signat the north edge of town.
• Marbletown Festival
Committee, $1,000, accepted bycommittee member Jim Knebel. Hesaid the money would be used forfestival costs with proceeds to helpinstall restrooms at Garfield Park.
• Delphos Ministerial Association,
$4,000, accepted by the Rev. DavidHowell. The association assiststransients with food and lodgingwith a Good Samaritan Fund. Rev.Howell explained the money wouldbe put in that fund.
• Delphos Community Christmas
Project, $7,000, accepted by KarenEdelbrock. The project assistedmore than 400 children with toysand clothing for the holidays lastyear.
• Delphos Stadium Club,
$30,000, accepted by Trustee JohnNomina. He said the funds wouldbe used for further improvements atStadium Park, including a lightingproject at the football stadium.
• St. Vincent de Paul Society,
$5,000, accepted by Ralph Lauser.He said the grant helps provideassistance to residents for rent, utili-ties, food and prescriptions.
• Athletic Track Boosters, $5,000,
accepted by Bob Ebbeskotte. Hesaid the track will need resurfacedin the future and the grant will helpwith that.
• Delphos Habitat for Humanity,
$5,000, accepted by Rev. Howell,saying the money was an importantpiece of the future of the seventhHabitat home in Delphos.
• Delphos Canal Commission,
$15,000, accepted by TrusteeMarilyn Wagner. She said themoney would be used for a newfurnace for the museum building.
• Delphos Museum of Postal
History, $15,000, accepted byCurator Gary Levitt, who said thefunds would be used for the opera-tion of the museum.
• Delphos Optimists Club,
$5,000, accepted by member JayMetzner, who said the funds wouldbe used for the club’s youth proj-ects.
• Delphos Police Department,
$15,000, accepted by Chief KyleFittro. He said the grant will be usedfor several projects.
• Delphos Kiwanis Club, $9,000,
accepted by members CindyMetzger and Jim Fortener. Fortenersaid the funds will be used forupcoming projects.
• Delphos Rotary Club, $10,000,
accepted by member Andy North,explaining the funds would beused to bring the 2013 Concert inthe Park series to Stadium Park
Gomer to remember Shelmadine’s Santa
BY NANCY SPENCERnspencer@delphosherald.com
GOMER — The Villageof Gomer will resur-rect the tradition of BobShelmadine’s Christmasfrom 1-5 p.m. Sunday.Shelmadine’s home,which is located acrossfrom Gomer United Churchof Christ, was built in the1800s and owned by rela-tives of the family.Never married,Shelmadine lived alone andcollected and repaired toyseach year to be given tochildren around Gomer, inGomer School and in Lima.His house was filled withtoys from the floor to the ceil-ing. A small pathway snakedaround the four rooms.Adults in Gomer donatedtoys for Shelmadine’s liveli-hood and they would drivehim around to children’shomes. He always gave asmall brown sack to eachgood little girl and boy.Hundreds of adults todayremember “Santa” and thesack of treats.Shelmadine was alsoa Gomer reporter for TheLima News and was featuredby Easter Straker on WIMAradio shows.Today, the home is theGomer Welsh CommunityMuseum, which hadmany pictures of whatShelmadine’s house lookedlike during those 30 years,his original Santa suit andsome older toys.The Welsh Society of Gomer will try to refill thehouse with toys and providea small sack to everyonewho visits from 1-5 p.m.Sunday.Parking is available acrossthe street at the church.
Pictured from left are Carla (Lewis) Olds, Linda (Renner)Whittington, Bob “Santa” Shelmadine, Kyle Lewis, Lyle Lewis andAllan Renner (deceased). (Photos submitted)Shelmadine, left, appeared on the Easter Straker radio show during histime as Santa.
Partly cloudyThursday withhighs in themid 40s. A 30percent chanceof rain show-ers after midnight. Lows inthe upper 30s. See page 2.
Jays, Jefferson sell-ing pre-sale cage tickets
The St. John’s and Jeffersonathletic department are sellingpre-sale basketball tickets.St. John’s is selling pre-saletickets for its home-openerversus Crestview (6:30 p.m.JV tip Friday) and roadgame Saturday at Elida (6p.m.) until 3:30 p.m. and 1p.m., respectively, Fridayin the high school office.Student prices are $4and adults $6; all tick-ets at the doors are $6.It is also still sellingadult and student general-admission season tickets.The Jefferson AthleticDepartment is selling pre-sale tickets to its boys roadgames at Fort Recovery (6p.m. Friday) and Perry (6p.m. Saturday), as well as itsgirls road game Thursday atColumbus Grove (6 p.m.)and home game versusKalida (1 p.m. Saturday).Adult tickets are $5and students $4. All tick-ets at the gates are $6.
Herald offersfree job seminar
Jim Perry, former Delphosresident, and The DelphosHerald are offering a freeseminar for job-seekers andpeople who wish to pur-sue new endeavors from8-11 a.m. Saturday at theEagles Lodge in Delphos.“Getting Over the Wall”is a 3-hour intensive seminardesigned to get candidatespast hidden objections thatare preventing them fromgetting an opportunity tomeet with decision-makers.Though there is nocharge for the program, pre-registration is essential inorder to assure availability of handouts; space is limited.To attend, RSVP to NancySpencer at nspencer@delpho-sherald.com or call 419-695-0015, ext. 134. Leave a mes-sage, including the numberand names of participants.
Cass Street residents maysee relief from stale water
BY NANCY SPENCERnspencer@delphosherald.com
DELPHOS — Residentson South Cass Street maysee some relief from poorwater quality. Delphos SafetyService Director Greg Berquistinformed council Mondayhe had heard from a lawyerinvolved in helping the city toget a right-of-way on Bungeproperty to install a water loopthat will provide clean waterto residents at the end of thewater line on Cass Street.Residents have been attend-ing city council meetings on aregular basis hoping to getthe matter resolved. Residentshave been experiencing dis-colored water which affectslaundry and drinkability.Council passed on emer-gency measure an ordinanceauthorizing the transfer of more than $1 million to vari-ous funds for loan repaymentsfor the water and wastewa-ter plants. Auditor TomJettinghoff asked the ordi-nance be passed so he couldclose his books in a timelymanner this month.The MaintenanceDepartment is looking to hirean assistant foreman fromwithin the current workforce.Council heard on secondreading an ordinance with anapproved a salary range of $1,766.60-$1,850.54 per bi-weekly pay period. If the jobis not filled from within byJune 30, the position will beeliminated.To be eligible, the appli-cant must have a valid pes-ticide license and a Class IIWastewater Collection ormust obtain them within oneyear of the appointment toassistant foreman. They mustalso be willing to obtain addi-tional licensing at the requestof the city.Council passed on thirdreading a resolution forBerquist to enter into a contractwith Peterson Construction fora Phase II of Water TreatmentPlant By-Pass ImprovementProject on Monday.Phase II includes bid-ding ($3,500), construc-tion administration ($3,000)and construction observa-tion ($4,300). Total con-struction is estimated to cost$247,000, with a CommunityDevelopment Block Grantcovering $194,500.Berquist told council thereis a bottleneck between theclearwells and the water plantand the improvements wouldincrease the city’s capacity toprovide water.The clearwells are usedfor chlorine contact for waterbefore it is moved to theupground tanks for distribu-tion. The clearwells are cur-rently connected so water hasto go through all three beforebecoming available to moveto the tanks. Part of the proj-ect will also include separat-ing the clearwells so they canbe used individually as well.This will also make it pos-sible to put more water intothe tanks in a shorter periodof time.
TUMC Bazaar today
Mark Miller hands off donated pies to Pam Vincent for the annual Trinity UnitedMethodist Church Bazaar, which begins today with the General Store opening at 2p.m. Dinner will be served from 4-6:30 p.m. There have been 150 pies donated for thedinner. Proceeds benefits both the church and United Methodist Church Women’sprojects. (Delphos Herald/Stephanie Groves)
Homes listed for People’s Choicein ‘Spirit of Christmas” contest
Homeowners participating in the BettyHonigford “Spirit of Christmas” HouseDecorating Contest are reminded to havetheir decorations lit from 6-11 p.m. Thursdayfor judging.Homes in the running for People’s Choiceinclude: 501 East Third St., 1331 Rose AnnaSt., 400 Short St., 477 South Main St., 508W. Second St., 669 Leonard Ave., 603 W.Second St., 14595 Landeck Road, 1006Carolyn Drive, 406 E. 5th St., 1321 Krieft St.,1245 N. Washington St., 610 N. Franklin St.,415 W. 4th St., 626 N. Bredeick St. and 827N. Franklin St.Voting for People’s Choice will take placethrough Dec. 14.How to vote: Write the address of the par-ticipant on an index card and place it in a jarfor votes at the Delphos Municipal Building.(Index cards are provided at the city build-ing); text Meghan the address of participantat 567-376-9719; or call Bev (419-695-8470)or Meghan (567-376-9719) with address of participant.
See GRANTS, page 2
2 The Herald Wednesday, December 5, 2012
For The Record
The Delphos Herald(USPS 1525 8000) is publisheddaily except Sundays, Tuesdaysand Holidays.By carrier in Delphos andarea towns, or by rural motorroute where available $1.48 perweek. By mail in Allen, VanWert, or Putnam County, $97per year. Outside these counties$110 per year.Entered in the post officein Delphos, Ohio 45833 asPeriodicals, postage paid atDelphos, Ohio.No mail subscriptions willbe accepted in towns or villag-es where The Delphos Heraldpaper carriers or motor routesprovide daily home delivery for$1.48 per week.405 North Main St.TELEPHONE 695-0015Office Hours8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.POSTMASTER:Send address changesto THE DAILY HERALD,405 N. Main St.Delphos, Ohio 45833
The DelphosHerald
Vol. 143 No. 124
Nancy Spencer, editorRay Geary, general managerDelphos Herald Inc.Don Hemple, advertising manager
Tiffany Brantley
,circulation manager
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WEATHER FORECASTTri-countyThe Associated PressTONIGHT:
Mostlyclear. Lows in the mid 20s.Southeast winds 5 to 10mph.
Partlycloudy. Highs in the mid 40s.South winds 5 to 10 mph.
 Mostly cloudy through mid-night, then cloudy with a 30percent chance of rain show-ers after midnight. Not ascool. Lows in the upper 30s.South winds 5 to 10 mph.
Rain likely.Highs in the lower 50s. Southwinds 5 to 10 mph. Chanceof rain 70 percent.
Rainlikely. Lows in the lower 40s.Chance of rain 60 percent.
Mostlycloudy with a 40 percentchance of rain. Highs in theupper 40s.
 Mostly cloudy with a 30percent chance of light rain.Lows in the upper 30s.
Cloudy witha 50 percent chance of rain.Highs in the upper 40s.
Rainlikely. Lows in the lower 40s.Chance of rain 60 percent.
Cloudy witha 50 percent chance of rain.Highs in the upper 40s.
 Cloudy with a 50 percentchance of rain or snow. Lowsin the lower 30s.
Mostlycloudy with a 40 percentchance of rain or snow. Highsin the lower 40s.
Texas murder suspectsurrenders after escape
By TERRY WALLACEThe Associated Press
DALLAS — A capi-tal murder suspect stole adeputy’s gun, fled a Dallashospital and held police atbay for nearly two hoursTuesday night before sur-rendering peacefully andreturning to the hospital,officials said.Franklin B. Davis, 30,of Carrollton, surrenderedshortly before 11 p.m.Tuesday and was returnedto Parkland MemorialHospital, the same hospitalfrom which he’d escapedabout 8:30 p.m. whilereceiving treatment, DallasCounty sheriff’s spokes-woman Carmen Castrosaid.Castro said she did notknow what kind of treat-ment Davis was receiving.Dallas police tacticalsquad officers surroundedthe 30-year-old Carrolltonman about 9 p.m. after hesought refuge in a van abouta mile from the hospital,Castro said. Negotiationsfinally resolved the standoff peacefully, she said.Castro said the deputywas not injured in the inci-dent at the hospital, butshe said she had no otherdetails.Davis is awaiting trial inthe death of Shania Gray,a 16-year-old sophomoreat Hebron High School inCarrollton. Her body wasfound Sept. 8 along a forkof the Trinity River. She hadbeen shot and strangled.Davis already had beencharged with four countsof sexually assaulting Graywhen he allegedly took Grayfrom her school. Police havesaid Davis confessed to kill-ing the girl. Police say hedid so to prevent Gray fromtestifying against him in asexual assault case.Family and friends hadsaid that when she waskilled Gray’s family was inthe process of moving fromone Dallas suburb to anoth-er so her father could becloser to work. Neighbors inMesquite, the eastern sub-urb where the family livedfor years, described Gray asfriendly and caring.According to relativesand an affidavit releasedby Carrollton police, Davisposed as a teenage boy onthe Facebook social mediapage and bought a new cell-phone to contact Gray andget information about thesexual assault case.The two exchanged textmessages, though Carrolltonpolice spokesman JonStovall said he didn’t knowhow many.Davis told Carrolltonpolice Gray was surprised tosee him when he pulled upto her outside her school butgot into his car because hewanted to discuss the case.He told police and severaltelevision stations that hedrove her to an area near theTrinity River and shot hertwice. He then stepped onher neck until she stoppedbreathing, the affidavit said.Her body was found twodays later.
Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon
By BASSEM MROUEThe Associated Press
TRIPOLI, Lebanon —Gunmen loyal to oppositesides in neighboring Syria’scivil war battled today in thestreets of a northern Lebanesecity where two days of clash-es have killed at least sixpeople and wounded morethan 50, officials said.The Lebanese army fannedout in the city of Tripoli in anattempt to calm the fighting,with soldiers patrolling thestreets in armored personnelcarriers and manning check-points. Authorities closedmajor roads because of sniperfire.The fighting comes ata time of deep uncertaintyin Syria, with rebels fight-ing government troops nearAssad’s seat of power inDamascus.In Brussels, U.S. Secretaryof State Hillary RodhamClinton reiterated concernsthat “an increasingly desper-ate Assad regime might turnto chemical weapons” or losecontrol of them to militantgroups.She also said NATO’sdecision on Tuesday to sendPatriot missiles to Turkey’ssouthern border with Syriasends a message that Ankarais backed by its allies. Themissiles are intended only fordefensive purposes, she said.Turkish Foreign MinisterAhmet Davutoglu was quotedtoday in the Turkish newspa-per Sabah as saying that Syriahas about 700 missiles, someof them long-range.“At this very momentwe know where those mis-siles are, how they are beingstored, whose hands they arein,” he said.U.N. Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon today alsourged Syria’s regime againstusing its stockpile of chemi-cal weapons, warning of “huge consequences” if Assad resorts to such weap-ons of mass destruction.“I again urge in the stron-gest possible terms that theymust not consider using thiskind of deadly weapons of mass destruction,” Ban toldThe Associated Press, speak-ing on the sidelines of a cli-mate conference in Qatar.Syria has been carefulnot to confirm that it haschemical weapons, but theregime insists it would neveruse them against the Syrianpeople.Ban also suggested that hewould not favor an asylumdeal for the Syrian leader as away to end the country’s civilwar and cautioned that theUnited Nations doesn’t allowanyone “impunity.” Assadhas vowed to “live and die”in Syria, but as the violencegrinds on there is speculationthat he might seek asylum.The Syrian crisis hasspilled over into Turkey,Israel and Jordan over thepast 20 months, but Lebanonis particularly vulnerable togetting sucked into the con-flict. The countries share acomplex web of politicaland sectarian ties and rival-ries that are easily enflamed.Lebanon, a country plaguedby decades of strife, has beenon edge since the uprisingin Syria began, and deadlyclashes between pro- andanti-Assad Lebanese groupshave erupted more than adozen times.Tensions in Tripoli havebeen mounting since lastweek, when reports emergedthat some 17 Lebanese Sunnifighters were killed insideSyria, apparently after they joined the rebellion againstAssad. The bodies of some of the men were later shown onSyrian state TV.Today, Syrian AmbassadorAli Abdul Karim Ali toldLebanese Foreign MinisterAdnan Mansour thatDamascus has agreed torepatriate the men’s bodies.Lebanon’s National NewsAgency said the countrieswould soon discuss how tohand over the bodies.Anti-Syrian politicians inLebanon have criticized thegovernment, which is led bythe Shiite Hezbollah group,for what they call a lack of effort to get the bodies back.Hezbollah supports Assad,whose regime is dominatedby the president’s Alawitesect — an offshoot of ShiiteIslam.The fighting in Tripoli pitsthe Sunni neighborhood of Bab Tabbaneh, which sup-ports Syria’s predominantlySunni rebels, against theadjacent Alawite neighbor-hood of Jabal Mohsen, whichsupports Assad.
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Dec.5, the 340th day of 2012.There are 26 days left in theyear.
Today’s Highlight inHistory:
On Dec. 5, 1962, the UnitedStates and the Soviet Unionannounced a bilateral spaceagreement on exchangingweather data from satellites,mapping Earth’s geomagneticfield and cooperating in theexperimental relay of com-munications.
On this date:
In 1776, the first scholas-tic fraternity in America, PhiBeta Kappa, was organizedat the College of William andMary in Williamsburg, Va.In 1782, the eighth presi-dent of the United States,Martin Van Buren, was born inKinderhook, N.Y.; he was thefirst chief executive to be bornafter American independence.
(Continued from page 1)
next summer.
• Delphos Public Library,
$14,000, accepted by LibraryBoard member Ron Elwer,who said the money was ear-marked the Fist Edition build-ing and technology.
• Delphos Public Library
(Children’s area), $1,000, alsoaccepted by board memberElwer.
• CWU Interfaith Thrift
Shop, $10,000, accepted byBecky Strayer. Strayer said themoney will help with socialservices to the community.
• Delphos Boy Scouts,
$500, accepted by Scouts JasonDitto and Kevin Kramer, whosaid the group uses the fundsfor camp.
• Delphos Girl Scouts,
$500, accepted by Girl ScoutLeader Kelly North. She saidthe money would be used forsummer camp and other activ-ities.
• Delphos Cub Scouts,
$500, accepted by PackmasterJohn Radler. He said the fundswould help with Scout awardsand camp.
• The Delphos Fire Assoc.,
$300, accepted by memberDana Steinbrenner. The asso-ciation assists Delphos Fireand Rescue with training.
• Delphos Fire and Rescue,
$6,400, accepted by Fire Chief Dave McNeal, who said thefunds will be used for trainingfor fire and EMS personnel.
• Delphos Senior Citizen
Center Inc., $25,000 acceptedby Director Joyce Hale, whosaid the money will be used tocontinue providing services tothe community.
• Community Unity, $2,000,
accepted by Bob Ulm, statingthe funds help local peopledeal with difficult times.The DienstbergerFoundation was startedwith the sale of the DelphosMemorial and Sarah Janenursing homes by ArnoldC. Dienstberger to VancrestHealth Care in Van Wert.The proceeds were investedand each year since 1998,the foundation has spread thewealth to local charities, orga-nizations and schools. In thefirst year, the foundation gaveaway $72,000 in grants.
Delphos weather
High temperature Tuesdayin Delphos was 62 degrees,low was 41. Rainfall wasrecorded at .17 inch. High ayear ago today was 45, lowwas 33. Record high for todayis 69, set in 2001. Record lowis -2, set in 1997.
Egyptian protesters clashwith sticks and stones
CAIRO — Supporters andopponents of Egyptian lead-er Mohammed Morsi peltedeach other with rocks andfought with sticks outside thepresidential palace in Cairotoday, as a new round of pro-tests deepened the country’spolitical crisis.The opposition is demand-ing Morsi rescind decreesgiving him near unrestrictedpowers and shelve a dis-puted draft constitution thatthe president’s Islamist alliespassed hurriedly last week.The dueling demonstra-tions and violence are part of a political crisis that has leftthe country divided into twocamps: Morsi, his MuslimBrotherhood and their ultra-conservative Islamist allies,versus an opposition madeup of youth groups, liberalparties and large sectors of the public. Both sides havedug in their heels, signaling aprotracted standoff.The clashes began whenthousands of Islamist sup-porters of Morsi descendedon the area around the palacewhere some 300 of his oppo-nents were staging a sit-in.The Islamists, members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood,chased the protesters awayfrom their location outsidethe palace’s main gate andtore down their tents. Theprotesters scattered in sidestreets where they chantedanti-Morsi slogans.At least 100,000 opposi-tion supporters rallied out-side the palace on Tuesday,the latest of a series of massprotests against the president.Also Tuesday, smaller pro-tests were staged by the oppo-sition elsewhere in Cairo andacross much of Egypt.No casualties were imme-diately reported but witness-es reported blood streamingdown the faces of several pro-testers.
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Senate panel advancesasbestos lawsuit bill
By JULIE CARR SMYTHThe Associated Press
COLUMBUS — An OhioSenate committee advanced abill Tuesday aimed at curbingduplicate lawsuits over on-the-job asbestos exposure ina state with one of the largestbacklogs of such cases in thenation.The bill cleared the com-mittee along mostly partylines, and the full Senatecould vote on the measureWednesday.The House in Januaryapproved the bill, which pre-serves victims’ rights to suewhen harmed by the powderywhite carcinogen and doesn’tcap the damage awards theycan receive.The legislation wouldrequire workers to divulge allasbestos claims filed by themor on their behalf or face per- jury charges.Proponents say it wouldprevent double-dipping byvictims, who have two sepa-rate ways of pursuing dam-ages: trusts set up by some-times bankrupted companiesto compensate victims orlawsuits against active busi-nesses.But opponents say the billimpedes legitimate claims.They say its passage wouldmake Ohio the first state in thecountry to impose such claimsrestrictions. Similar legisla-tion has been introduced inOklahoma, Louisiana, Texasand West Virginia and in theU.S. House and Senate.Asbestos claims are accel-erating nationwide, and morethan 8,500 U.S. companiesin sectors representing 85percent of the U.S. econo-my are defending asbestos-related claims, according tolegislative analysts. The U.S.Supreme Court has labeled ita crisis.“The problem with the twotracks is that there is a lackof full transparency betweenthem,” says a fact sheet byproponents led by the busi-ness-backed Ohio Alliancefor Civil Justice. “In a law-suit, claimants may tell thecourt about claims alreadymade on trusts. However,they are not obligated to tellthe court if they plan futureclaims to trusts. As a result,the system is rampant withinconsistent claims, fraudand ‘double-dipping’ fromthe trust accounts, and fromlawsuit awards.”Cuyahoga County, hometo Cleveland, had more than5,700 pending cases on itsspecial asbestos docket at theend of September, accordingto information from the OhioSupreme Court. That placesthe county among America’sbusiest asbestos dockets.Cases are also pending inmore than 70 of Ohio’s 88counties.A coalition representingasbestos cancer victims saysthe bill protects corporationsat the expense of victims. Thegroup points out that Ohiohas the eighth highest rateof death in the U.S. fromthe asbestos-related diseasemesothelioma — at least1,356 people since 1999, andpotentially many times thatnumber of actual victims.“This bill is designed togive a handout to the asbestosindustry while robbing dyingcancer victims of their consti-tutional rights,” said AnthonyGallucci, president of theAsbestos Victims Coalition.“The asbestos industry shouldbe held accountable for thethousands of deaths and inju-ries.”Bob Groff of Avon and hisgranddaughter Sarah Groff Edelman both were diagnosedwith mesothelioma after yearsof performing brake work inGroff’s garage. Groff said hisgranddaughter, diagnosed at21, survived through numer-ous painful surgeries.“We need Gov. (John)Kasich and Ohio’s senators tostand up to the corporationsthat have killed thousands of our neighbors and broughtpain and misery to their fami-lies,” Groff said in a coali-tion statement. “Too manyOhio workers have died. Ourelected officials should notlimit justice.”The bill stems from modellegislation developed bythe conservative AmericanLegislative ExchangeCouncil, which has drawnattention for the entree it hasrecently gained at statehousesthrough efforts including opu-lent, corporate-backed con-ferences not always subject tonormal disclosure rules.
Extending middle class tax cuts,protecting middle class families
Ohioans have been hear-ing about the fiscal cliff alot lately. The “cliff” appliesto a January 1st deadlinewhen the law, enacted by abipartisan major-ity of both hous-es of Congress,requires a mixof spending cutsand tax increases.This sudden doseof austerity willput us on a long-term path to bud-get stability, butit will also sendour nation into arecession for thebetter part of nextyear. Fortunately, there is analternative.We can reduce our nation’sdeficit and avoid oner-ous tax increases on middleclass Americans. Last July,the Senate voted to extendtax cuts for 99 percent of Ohioans—the working fami-lies and the middle class taxpayers who need relief themost. Yet today, this bill thatends tax cuts for Americansmaking over $250,000 stilllanguishes in the House of Representatives.Middle class Ohioanshave always worked hardand played by the rules—now it’s time that the wealthi-est Americans paid their fairshare too. That means it’salso time for the House of Representatives to act.The Middle Class Tax CutAct would extend middleclass tax cuts for the 99 per-cent of Ohio families, and allAmericans making less than$250,000 per year. Under thebill, Ohio households wouldsave an average of $1,400 ontheir taxes each year.The legislation would alsoextend other tax provisionscritical to the middle class – the American OpportunityTax Credit which helps mid-dle-class families afford col-lege; the Child Tax Creditas it was expanded by theBush Administration; and theEarned Income Tax Credit(EITC), which is a refundablecredit that rewards work andoffers assistance to workingindividuals and families whoearned less than $49,078 in2011. These programs havehistorically had consider-able bipartisansupport. In fact,President Reagancalled the EITC“the best antipov-erty, the best pro-family, the best job creation mea-sure to come outof Congress.”According toa report releasedlast week, failingto extend thesemiddle class taxcuts will have a considerableimpact on Ohio families. Infact, without the extension,a middle-income Ohio fam-ily of four (earning $72,800)could see its income taxesrise by $2,200.Raising taxes on middleclass families won’t just hurtindividual households; itwill also set back our econ-omy and harm job creation.Imposing higher taxes onmiddle class families, duringthese challenging economictimes, means that Ohioanswill spend less at Ohio retail-ers, an industry that employsmore than 563,000 people inour state. A sharp rise inmiddle class taxes could alsoslow economic growth by 1.7percent in Ohio.In addition to passing theMiddle Class Tax Cut Act,we need to take bold but tar-geted steps to reduce the defi-cit. While some of my col-leagues want to balance thebudget by cutting Medicareor raising the retirement agefor Social Security, I believethere are important steps wecan take to reduce the deficitand strengthen our economy.First, we can cut $20 bil-lion in spending by endingtaxpayer-funded subsidies forthe five biggest oil compa-nies which made a record$137 billion in profits lastyear while taxpayers spentbillions giving handouts tothese mega corporations.That’s why I’m fighting topass the Close Big Oil TaxLoopholes Act, which wouldend tax subsidies for big oilcompanies that are reapingprofits while you pay more atthe pump.Next, we can pass theOffshoring Prevention Act—a bill that closes a costly taxloophole that rewards com-panies for moving factoriesoverseas— saving $19.5 bil-lion while increasing employ-ment in the United States.Third, we can save $2.3billion over the years byallowing timely access togeneric prescription drugs.Generic versions of biologicdrugs—the most expensivesubset of drugs on the mar-ket—aren’t available until atleast 12 years after the pat-ent for a brand-name drugis issued. By shortening thiswindow consumers, and thegovernment, can spend lesson drug costs.We can also cut $20 bil-lion in spending over the nextdecade by streamlining thefarm safety net. I helped write,and the Senate passed, a bipar-tisan measure that would con-solidate farm programs, savingmore than $20 billion. Again,the House of Representativeshas failed to consider this mon-ey-saving legislation.Finally, we can save $23billion over ten years by end-ing special tax breaks for WallStreet hedge fund managers.These wealthy hedge fundmanagers can make more than$2 billion each year, yet paya lower tax rate than mostmiddle class Ohioans becauseof a special tax break. If hedgefund managers paid the regu-lar income tax rate, we couldreduce the deficit by $23 bil-lion over the next decade.Deficit reduction willrequire sacrifice, but that sac-rifice must be shared ratherthan placed squarely on thebacks of seniors and middleclass Ohio families. The gov-ernment must work togetherand take a balanced approachto deficit reduction.
Ohio lawyersues mugshotwebsites
TOLEDO (AP) — AnOhio attorney is taking onInternet websites that postmugshots of people who getarrested.Toledo lawyer ScottCiolek filed a class-actionlawsuit against five suchwebsites in Lucas Countythis week. He argues that thesites charge a fee to removephotos — even if an indi-vidual has been found notguilty or the charges weredismissed.The (Toledo) Bladereports the suit names twoplaintiffs and five commer-cial sites that post photos of people who are arrested.Ciolek said more plain-tiffs and defendants could benamed.One man told the news-paper that while his 2011failure-to-disperse chargewas dismissed earlier thisyear, his mug shot remainsonline.Arrest photos are consid-ered public record and areoften published on policeagency websites.
Workers repair testedtoys to donate to kids
COLUMBUS (AP) — Employees with the state Departmentof Commerce will be sewing and repairing stuffed toys to bedonated to children in central Ohio.The toys are left over from testing by a lab in the depart-ment’s industrial compliance division. Commerce DirectorDavid Goodman says employees are donating their lunch hourto stitch up the toys.The laboratory tests samples of stuffed toys to ensure thefiller material is safe and is accurately labeled. The toys arethen set aside until the holiday season. That’s when stateemployees make the necessary repairs so the toys can bedonated.
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