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Morning Headlines: Death Penalty Exception for Serious Mental Illness, Sandusky the Top Coastal City


Here are your morning headlines for Monday, May 20, 2019:

  • Ohio lawmakers consider exception for "serious mental illness" in death penalty cases
  • Bill would reduce sentence in low-level drug cases
  • Cleveland tech start-up owner faces class-action suit
  • Runner dies after collapsing at Cleveland Marathon
  • University of Dayton gets "big" gift
  • Sandusky the top coastal town
  • Indians rout Orioles
  • Cavs announce associate head coach

Ohio lawmakers consider exception for "serious mental illness" in death penalty cases

A bill now in Ohio's Legislature would prevent people convicted of aggravated murder from being sentenced to the death penalty, if they are found to have had a "serious mental illness" at the time of the offense. Republican Rep. Brett Hillyer, a primary sponsor of House Bill 136, says the death penalty should be reserved for only the worst offenders. The bill has bipartisan support and support from mental health advocacy groups, including the Ohio Psychological Association, the Ohio Psychiatric Physician's Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio, according to the Columbus Disptach. 

Bill would reduce sentence in low-level drug cases

A bill designed to reduce low-level drug possessions to misdemeanors and increase penalties for drug dealers is before an Ohio Senate committee.  The legislation is part of a long-running attempt by lawmakers to reduce Ohio's prison population. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony on the bill. Ohio Public Defender Tim Young testified new policies are needed and the state can't "incarcerate" its way out of the drug crisis. He says about 1,600 people are in Ohio prisons for low-level possession. Louis Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, says that group supports the spirit of the bill but thinks the amount of drug doses defined as low-level is too high. Republican House Speaker Larry Householder says he expects the House to come up with its own plan.

Cleveland tech start-up owner faces class-action suit

The owner of Cleveland Tech startup Votem is facing a class-action suit over unpaid wages. Crain’s Cleveland Business reports a group of former employees is suing Pete Martin.  Martin abruptly laid off his staff earlier this year, although Crain’s reports he maintains the company is still operations.  The suit accuses the company of failing to pay wages, provide a 60-day termination notice and failing to be transparent about the company’s health.

Runner dies after collapsing at Cleveland Marathon

A recent graduate of Walsh University and a graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary  died yesterday after collapsing near the finish line at the Cleveland Marathon. The Akron Beacon-Journal reports Taylor Ceepo was treated by University Hospital personnel and taken to UH’s Cleveland Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

University of Dayton gets "big" gift

The University of Dayton has taken delivery of a decommissioned C-130 Hercules Air Force cargo plane for research on cost-effective ways to keep older C-130s flying. The Dayton Daily News reports the University’s Research Institute along with Air Force researchers will test and demonstrate new technologies on the plane. An institute spokeswoman says manufacturers don't make parts for older planes, and there often isn't information on parts or structures that need replacing. Researchers can scan an older aircraft and 3-D print a replacement part using computer-assisted design files. The plane was delivered to the school in sections and will be reassembled on a special concrete pad poured just for the plane.

Sandusky the top coastal town

Sandusky has been selected as the best coastal small town in America by a USA Today reader's survey featuring 20 coastal towns. The Sandusky Register reports  voters nationwide cast ballots in the contest. USA Today says a panel of experts partnered with editors to pick the 20 nominees and the top 10 were determined by popular vote.  USA Today describes Sandusky as offering a revitalized downtown district, plenty of shopping and dining options and lake recreation.

Indians rout Orioles

Shane Bieber struck out a career-high 15 in his first major league complete game and the Indians routed the Orioles 10-nothing.  day after being held to one hit, the Orioles were overmatched against Bieber who gave up five hits, didn't walk anyone and threw 107 pitches. He bounced back from allowing four home runs against the Chicago White Sox in his last start.

Cavs hire associate coach

The Cavs have reached a deal to bring on J.B. Bickerstaff as the team’s associate head coach. Bickerstaff was the head coach at Memphis this past season. In a statement, the Cavs new head coach, John Beilein, said he felt fortunate and excited to have Bickerstaff join the team.

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Andrew joined WKSU News in 2014. He oversees the daily operations of the WKSU news department and its reporters and hosts, coordinates daily coverage, and serves as editor. His commitment is to help foster reporting that marks the best of what public radio has to offer: a mix of first-rate journalism with great storytelling. His responsibilities also include long-term strategic planning for news coverage in Northeast Ohio that serves WKSU’s audience via on-air, online, by social media and through emerging technologies. You can also hear Andrew on-air daily as the local host for Here and Now, Fresh Air, and The World.