Login | September 02, 2014

The Daily Legal News, Youngstown Ohio, Mahoning County Ohio

The Daily Legal News

 

Daily Legal News Subscriptions

Business


Annuity vs. stock

Dear Mr. Berko: I have a large certificate of deposit coming due next month, which I could renew at less than 1 percent. When I told the banker that I'd like a higher rate of return, I was introduced to a specialist who aggressively tried to sell an equity-indexed annuity. He said that it guarantees 5 percent income and that I coul ... (full story)


Nuns' garden yields food for northwest Ohio pantry

Nuns' garden yields food for northwest Ohio pantry

SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — Somewhere in a Sylvania garden carrots grow in winter, tomatoes plants stand four feet high, and giant cabbage heads spring up from the earth at the start of Ohio's growing season.
What causes the perpetual sprouting of healthy crops? It's not some super grow fertilizer.
It's the Sisters of St. Fra ... (full story)


Merck and Zogenix

Dear Mr. Berko: My broker wants me to sell my 600 shares of Merck because he believes that the company will be sued by people who have consumed beef cattle that were fed with Merck's Zilmax. The literature says this drug produces bad side effects on cattle, and it could produce dangerous thalidomide-like effects on people who eat m ... (full story)


Ohio Bankers League event encourages dialogue on current banking issues

Recently, the Ohio Bankers League hosted what is quickly becoming one of its most popular annual events, the 2014 Regulator Roundtable.
The event is an opportunity for bankers from around the state to hear directly from consumer compliance examiners working for the major banking regulation authorities.
This year the event was ... (full story)


State


Father of student: fatal flight was to see sights

Father of student: fatal flight was to see sights

CLEVELAND (AP) — A small rented airplane crashed and burned shortly after takeoff Monday, killing four college students who were taking a sightseeing flight around Cleveland after their first day of classes.
The four men were students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Three were members of the varsity wrestl ... (full story)


Threats to governor are not public record

Threats to governor are not public record

The Ohio Supreme Court last Tuesday denied a request from a central Ohio media outlet asking the court to order a state agency to release information about threats made against the governor.
Threats to the governor qualify under Ohio’s public records law as security records, which are exempt from disclosure, the court rule ... (full story)


Bill would ban state from entering into federal housing agreements for illegal immigrants

State Rep. John Adams, R-Sidney, has introduced a bill into the Ohio General Assembly designed to target the “illegal immigration crisis.”
House Bill 605 would prohibit state agencies from signing an agreement with the federal government to provide temporary housing for aliens who are not legally present in the Unite ... (full story)


Court vacates convictions of gang member charged as adult

A divided panel of judges in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion reversing the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and vacating a defendant’s convictions for taking part in a conspiracy.
The majority ruled that the district court failed to properly instruct the ... (full story)



EditorialController Object
(
    [layout] => application
    [view] => main
    [controller_method] => main
    [registry] => Array
        (
            [logged_in_user] => 
            [records] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [id] => 11103
                            [headline] => Annuity vs. stock
                            [body] => Dear Mr. Berko: I have a large certificate of deposit coming due next month, which I could renew at less than 1 percent. When I told the banker that I'd like a higher rate of return, I was introduced to a specialist who aggressively tried to sell an equity-indexed annuity. He said that it guarantees 5 percent income and that I could never lose a penny. I am 73 and have Social Security and a fair pension, but an extra 4 percent a year would be very welcome on that $250,000 CD. Please look at this annuity enclosure and tell me what you think. The banker spent a good hour explaining the annuity's advantages. And I don't want to be in the stock market, because I am afraid it will fall. I just have a mutual fund in my retirement account and 476 shares of Johnson & Johnson. I own Johnson & Johnson stock because I worked for the company for 28 years before retiring in 2002. -- BT, Syracuse, N.Y.
Dear BT: Don't be a sucker. Before you purchase an annuity that's overripe with fees, please review the following six points, which I doubt the salesman discussed with you. Then consider the suggested investment alternatives, which I'm certain the salesman did not discuss with you. If you still prefer the annuity, then do it and "be happy," as Bobby McFerrin would sing.
1) Do you know that the sales commission on this equity-indexed annuity would be 7.5 percent? This slithering bankster would usurp an $18,750 gross commission. Good Lord, Charlie Ford, last month, a family I know purchased a lovely lakefront home; the commission was 3 percent, and the real estate agent had over six weeks of work involved.
2) Were you told that the yearly costs to maintain the annuity would be 4.1 percent of your principal? That would include mortality charges, insurance costs, selling and administrative expenses, commissions, management fees, fees for investment advisers, plus a plethora of other expenses (mailing, accounting, records). These costs would be necessary to keep your annuity ticking and the confusing quarterly reports and unreadable 580-page prospectuses flowing.
3) Were you told that the 4.1 percent ($10,250) annual cost would be deducted from your principal each year? Assume the value of your equity-indexed annuity were to remain flat for 12 months. Were you told the insurer would subtract $10,250 from your $250,000 principal, making it worth $239,750?
4) Were you told that in order for the mutual funds in your equity-indexed annuity to net you 5 percent in any one year, the value of the mutual funds would have to gain 9.1 percent (9.1 percent appreciation minus the 4.1 percent fees) that year? There may be thousands of annuities competing for your money, but I don't know of a single one that has earned 9.1 percent annually in each of the past 10 years.
5) Do you know that annuity payouts never increase, that they're etched in stone?
6) Early-surrender penalties would be 11 percent of your principal for the first several years.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-$103.61) yields 2.7 percent, has increased its dividends for over 35 consecutive years and may do so for the next 35 years. But there are many good issues like JNJ.
Have you heard of a company that some folks call AT&T (T-$34.60)? T has been in business for a little while, and it yields 5.3 percent. T has a long history of annually rising revenues and dividends, in recessions, lousy markets, bank crises and terrible economic times. Have you heard of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-B-$84.19), yielding 4.1 percent, the revenues of which are bigger than Exxon Mobil's, or Kinder Morgan (KMI-$40.17), a company with one of the largest pipelines in the world, yielding 4.2 percent, or W.P. Carey (WPC-$68.73), an international real estate investment trust yielding 5.6 percent that has grown its annual dividend year after year, or GlaxoSmithKline (GSK-$48.28), a huge pharmaceutical company yielding 5.3 percent? There are many other excellent, high-quality issues with attractive and growing dividends. And there are many excellent lower-quality issues with modestly safe 8 to 12 percent dividends that you can also consider.
Those banksters and annuity salesmen are financial pimps. Now you know why a trusting, caring money manager can be worth his/her weight in diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at mjberko@yahoo.com. To find out more about Malcolm Berko and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
[teaser] => [byline] => [section] => Business [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 0000-00-00 [ap] => N [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-09-02 [created_at] => 2014-09-02 10:10:26 ) [1] => Array ( [id] => 11028 [headline] => Nuns' garden yields food for northwest Ohio pantry [body] => SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — Somewhere in a Sylvania garden carrots grow in winter, tomatoes plants stand four feet high, and giant cabbage heads spring up from the earth at the start of Ohio's growing season.
What causes the perpetual sprouting of healthy crops? It's not some super grow fertilizer.
It's the Sisters of St. Francis.
Sister Jeremias Stinson, superintendent of environmental stewardship, and Sister Grace Ellen Urban, assistant superintendent of environmental stewardship, cultivate an outdoor garden and polyhouse, a plastic covered greenhouse, year-long on the Motherhouse Grounds. Both gardens are next the Alverno Studio and near the Rosary Care Center.
The harvested crops benefit the Helping Hands of St. Louis in Toledo. Helping Hands uses the produce for its pantry, where it is given to families for their weekly groceries and where the produce goes into meals cooked in its soup kitchen.
"We take for granted that we can walk into a store and purchase food. A lot of people cannot do that," said Paul Cook, Helping Hands director of facilities. The outreach center located is open to all. It provides clothing, informational support on applying for social services, and help with daily life activities including hygiene.
In the beginning, 1992, there was just the Back Garden, a 4,500-square-foot plot of land dedicated to growing foods for those in need. As the effort grew the two sisters recognized that "hunger is not seasonal." In 2006 a polyhouse was constructed, featuring solar energy to heat the inside and water that runs through underground pipes. In turn the water heats the soil and voilà, sown seeds grow in the fall and winter.
Last winter it was 46 degrees below zero with wind chill outside. But in the polyhouse it was 72 degrees and the soil was 70 degrees. The warm temperatures allow the sisters to get a jump start on the growing season.
"People stop by and say '?gosh those cabbage heads are huge'?," both sisters said about comments from visitors. But the trick was growing them in two-gallon sized containers inside the polyhouse before transplanting them to the Back Garden in the spring.
Inside the lush Back Garden the sisters walk through rows of green peppers, hot yellow peppers, small strawberry plants, lush zucchini plants with spreading vines, and a row of potato plants. The first giant potato was dug up from the ground on Thursday.
In one corner a peach tree stood, leaves fluttering in the wispy wind. Nearby, an apple tree bearing fruit, and a tangle of twisted grape vines.
This year alone the two women have plucked from the fertile garden 124 pounds of tomatoes, 201 peppers, 26 cabbages, 50 cucumbers, 86 squash, 16 beets, and 101 hot peppers.
"We aren't food suppliers. We can't feed the masses. But, for us to show up on a weekly basis to the soup kitchen with baskets of food, it gives them courage and lets them know we are thinking of them everyday," Sister Jeremias said.
Inside their humble workshop, that was once a garage, is a wall lined with pitchforks, rakes, and shovels in large and small sizes. The two women have been working together tending the Motherhouse Grounds in terms of horticulture and forestry needs since 1990.
Their garden effort is not only a benefit to a local organization, it is also a model for other gardeners and farmers, proving that crops can flourish in the off-season, during Ohio's frigid winters. Franciscans in Milwaukee and New York have stopped by the grounds to learn about the 12-month growing season.
Sister Jeremias said it also shares information with and is recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture regarding their findings. The two record data on what methods were used and the outcomes.
"This is a live experiment. We are changing the concept. You can do this in your backyard and it can become a sustainable food source," Sister Jeremias said. The two welcome visitors to learn about their growing methods and techniques.
[teaser] => [byline] => NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
The (Toledo) Blade [section] => Business [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 2014-10-02 [ap] => Y [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-08-25 [created_at] => 2014-08-25 14:53:35 ) [2] => Array ( [id] => 11039 [headline] => Merck and Zogenix [body] => Dear Mr. Berko: My broker wants me to sell my 600 shares of Merck because he believes that the company will be sued by people who have consumed beef cattle that were fed with Merck's Zilmax. The literature says this drug produces bad side effects on cattle, and it could produce dangerous thalidomide-like effects on people who eat meat tainted with this drug. He says this suit could crash the stock. He wants me to buy 20,000 shares of Zogenix with the money from the sale of Merck. Zogenix is a small specialty drug company. His research department believes that it has a sensational narcotic that is a new formulation of hydrocodone. He says that this pain drug will "enormously boost" sales and profits and that the stock should increase in price to $6 or $7 a share in the next six months. He also says that Zogenix's research department is partnering with a big drug company on a "special research project" and that this big drug company may make an offer and buy all the shares of Zogenix at $9 to $11 a share. He would charge us only $1,375 to sell 600 Merck shares and buy 20,000 Zogenix shares. Does this sound good to you? -- SG, Boca Raton, Fla.
Dear SG: Do you know that Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard would charge you less than $18 for the entire transaction? Anyway, how did a chump like you come to own 600 shares of Merck (MRK-$58)? This broker of yours is part of the army of flimflam artists who ooze from fancy multistory office buildings on Maggot Mile in downtown Boca Raton; he certainly has an overactive imagination and a silver tongue.
The newly formulated opioid, called Zohydro ER, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last February, causing the share price of Zogenix (ZGNX-$1.33) to rise over $5. However, a union of influential consumer groups, drug and alcohol prevention types, froufrou do-gooders, and drug treatment facilitators petitioned the FDA to reverse its approval. They and a phalanx of attorneys general from 28 states claimed that Zohydro ER, the only extended-release (12 hours) man-made opiate, would be too easy to abuse. And they're right as light because its 50-milligram dose is five times the strength of current immediate-release hydrocodone pills. So the FDA's "nanny" committee voted 12-2 against approval. Committee members noted that opioids caused 17,000 deaths in 2012 and were concerned Zohydro ER would be easy to overdose on and increase the addiction rate among our young. (Perhaps the FDA should outlaw booze, which in 2012 was linked to over 75,000 deaths.) Still, many of us know people for whom Zohydro ER would be a godsend. The FDA's denial, to protect the well-being of a few abusers, is senseless when there are many users whose lives could be pain-free and tolerable. Forget ZGNX.
Thalidomide?! What a blast of bunk! This flimflammer ought to have his tongue roasted. Merck's Zilmax is in the beta-agonist class of drugs and used to treat asthma. Back in 2006, feedlots began to mix Zilmax with cattle feed several weeks (corn was too expensive and needed for ethanol) before the cattle were consigned to the slaughterhouse. Zilmax ($160 million in 2012 revenues) promotes the growth of lean muscle instead of fat and adds about 30 pounds to an animal's final weight. Though some studies show that Zilmax has no side effects, other studies have detailed multiple and severe reactions. And though Zilmax is not considered toxic to humans, I recall commercials during the 1940s, '50s and '60s in which doctors recommended smoking as a healthy activity. Corporate advertising has seldom been applauded for full disclosure.
There are no lawsuits against MRK with respect to Zilmax (though you can't trust a tort lawyer), and other pharmaceutical companies are selling similarly laced additives. I try to avoid genetically modified food, though I doubt MRK is as duplicitous as the tobacco companies, and I trust MRK's research. And I'd not sell the stock, as growing revenues, earnings and dividends should move MRK's shares higher during the next few years.
Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at mjberko@yahoo.com. To find out more about Malcolm Berko and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
[teaser] => [byline] => MALCOLM BERKO [section] => Business [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 2014-10-02 [ap] => Y [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-08-25 [created_at] => 2014-08-25 14:53:35 ) [3] => Array ( [id] => 11013 [headline] => Ohio Bankers League event encourages dialogue on current banking issues [body] => Recently, the Ohio Bankers League hosted what is quickly becoming one of its most popular annual events, the 2014 Regulator Roundtable.
The event is an opportunity for bankers from around the state to hear directly from consumer compliance examiners working for the major banking regulation authorities.
This year the event was held at the Fawcett Center as the OBL saw its largest turnout ever for the roundtable, according to organization officials.
During the question-and-answer segment, leaders from community banks and thrifts were given the opportunity to speak directly to representatives from the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency.
The range of issues highlighted a sea of evolving regulations and even technology solutions that local banks have to deal with on a constant basis.
From fair lending practices to flood insurance to simple things like overdraft fees, the general consensus was that the banking industry is going through a period of intense change but it is one in which cooperation is the name of the game.
“Certainly where we come in is events like these,” said Mike Adelman, president of the OBL. “Let’s get the parties together, let’s have a dialogue, let’s see where we can’t maybe inject some logic into the process.”
An ongoing conversation is paramount to streamlining the banking industry, according to Adelman.
“We do want it to be a partnership,” he said. “We’re just so appreciative that (the regulators) are willing to come to the table and share their insights and be accessible and address the questions that are on bankers’ minds because it is critical that we have those lines of communication going.”
But change is incremental, he said, and events like the roundtable allow bankers and regulators to zero in on the smaller issues that may make a big difference in the future.
One of the biggest topics highlighted last week was the sheer amount of data and information that banks have to deal with today.
Wire transfers and overdraft fees, for instance, prompted conversations about automated monitoring systems at community banks.
“The landscape has changed,” said Chris Saunders, consumer compliance functional examiner in charge for Huntington National Bank and the OCC. “For a long time, community banks said they didn’t have high-risk customers.”
Today, banks need to monitor activity from overdrafts to matters of national security and that means that more and more banks need to switch to automated monitoring systems.
“It tends to be that there has been a lot of activity and a lot of financial transactions tied with different terrorist groups that have occurred via wire transfers,” Adelman explained. “Now it might be completely legitimate ... but the banks are really working hard to make sure that they know who they are doing business with.”
According to Adelman, the banks’ ability to cope with large amounts of information is where the role of a trade association like the OBL comes into play.
And while the conversation started out addressing the consumer as a risk that banks need to closely monitor, both regulators and bankers recognized a shift in the industry toward protecting the consumer.
“After all, you’re an institution first and foremost there to serve your customer,” said Jeff Quayle, who moderated the event and serves as general counsel for the OBL.
But it was clear that, on many issues, an ethical debate has been going on for quite some time.
“Is it unfair for a $5 overdraft to cause a $25 or $35 fee?” Saunders asked. “How many charges in a day are unfair? I don’t have the answers to these questions.”
A banker in the audience noted that the inverse would not be fair either, or for a thousand dollar overdraft to cause a five dollar fee.
“The people who write the rules don’t think that way,” Saunders answered. “They think along the mindset of the consumer.”
John George, senior compliance examiner for the FDIC, added that overdraft fees should not cost people money.
Instead, banks are held responsible for educating their customers about their processes and for monitoring activity through reliable automated systems.
“Manual monitoring doesn’t work,” said George.
In the end, however, it seems that some banking procedures will remain rife with complication.
Shawn Keller, president of the Citizens Bank of DeGraff, closed the session by asking one last question: When will banks be able to simplify disclosures to the consumer?
Specifically, he addressed mortgage paperwork, which he referred to as a stack of paper that the average consumer never reads.
Keller asked if a two-sided summary page could be on the horizon.
“Don’t hold your breath,” George answered.
Saunders agreed: “I don’t think they will ever solve that problem.”
However, in spite of all the changing rules and procedures, Adelman remained optimistic.
“It’s been an exciting year for the banking industry with the merger and acquisition activity going on with still some uncertainty in the state and national economies, but over all the bankers are really upbeat,” he said. “Despite the regulations that they’re working with, they’ll find a way to make it all work.”
Copyright © 2014 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved
[teaser] => [byline] => ANNIE YAMSON
Special to the Legal News [section] => Business [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 0000-00-00 [ap] => N [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-08-25 [created_at] => 2014-08-25 14:53:34 ) [4] => Array ( [id] => 11084 [headline] => Father of student: fatal flight was to see sights [body] => CLEVELAND (AP) — A small rented airplane crashed and burned shortly after takeoff Monday, killing four college students who were taking a sightseeing flight around Cleveland after their first day of classes.
The four men were students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Three were members of the varsity wrestling team.
The wrestlers were identified as 20-year-old Lucas Marcelli of Massillon, Ohio; 18-year-old Abraham Pishevar of Rockville, Maryland; and 18-year-old John Hill of St. Simons, Georgia. The fourth student was the pilot, 20-year-old William Felten of Saginaw, Michigan.
Marcelli and Felten were sophomores and Pishevar and Hill were freshman.
The plane appeared to be trying to return to the airport when it crashed, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board. He said investigators expect to file a preliminary report next week, but the full investigation could take a year to complete.
Bryan Marcelli of Massillon in northeastern Ohio said his son Lucas and the three other students planned to go up, take a look around and come right back to the same airport. He said Lucas was a hard-working student but not a risk taker.
"If he wasn't my son, I'd want my son to be around him, because he was such a positive influence," Marcelli said. "I don't know anybody that doesn't like him."
Lucas Marcelli graduated from Jackson High School in Massillon and twice qualified for Ohio's state wrestling tournament.
Abraham "Abe" Pishevar recently graduated from Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Maryland. High school classmate Cam Giarraputo said Pishevar never boasted about his wrestling accomplishments.
"He was always modest, never a show-off," Giarraputo said.
Case Western Reserve is one of the world's top research universities. The campus sprawls across a large portion of Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood in a mix of stately stone and brick buildings and distinctive modern structures. Students on campus gathered Tuesday afternoon in Veale Center, one of the school's athletic facilities, to talk and to console each other.
The university's wrestling coach, Mark Hawald, said no coach is ever prepared to deal with the sudden death of young athletes.
"We're just coping and mourning and figuring how we can move on from losing three of our teammates, three of our brothers, three of our family," Hawald said.
Case Western Reserve will work closely with the men's roommates and friends, university President Barbara Snyder said in a statement.
There are no indications why the single-engine Cessna 172R crashed so soon after takeoff Monday night from Cuyahoga County Regional Airport in suburban Richmond Heights. The plane crashed in nearby Willoughby Hills.
An Ohio State Highway Patrol official said the plane had been rented by Felten for four hours and that he did not file a flight plan.
Residents who live near the airport rushed to the crash site and found the plane engulfed in flames. Mark Gerald, 45, told Northeast Ohio Media Group that he was sitting on his front porch and could hear a plane engine struggling. He said the plane exploded as he and neighbors ran toward it. The four men were trapped inside the wreckage.
"It was too hot," he said. "The whole fuselage was involved."
William Honaker, 18, said he was driving in the area when he saw a "ball of light" and realized a plane was on fire.
Honaker said he also tried to approach the aircraft, but onlookers warned him to stop.
"(The plane) was so mangled," Honaker said. "I didn't want to look at it anymore, to be honest."
[teaser] => [byline] => MARK GILLISPIE
Associated Press [section] => State [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 2014-10-02 [ap] => Y [front_page] => Y [export_date] => 2014-09-02 [created_at] => 2014-09-02 10:10:25 ) [5] => Array ( [id] => 11083 [headline] => Threats to governor are not public record [body] => The Ohio Supreme Court last Tuesday denied a request from a central Ohio media outlet asking the court to order a state agency to release information about threats made against the governor.
Threats to the governor qualify under Ohio’s public records law as security records, which are exempt from disclosure, the court ruled in a unanimous decision.
Plunderbund Media had asked the Ohio Department of Public Safety in an August 2012 public-records request for the number of investigations into threats made to Gov. John Kasich conducted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and for copies of final investigation reports. The department denied the request, stating that the documents were not required to be disclosed because they are security records.
Following a few months of ongoing communications, Plunderbund filed a request with the Ohio Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to force the public safety department to release the records.
In Tuesday’s per curiam opinion, the court explained that “security records” are in part defined in the public records act as “[a]ny record that contains information directly used for protecting or maintaining the security of a public office against attack, interference, or sabotage.”
While Plunderbund had argued that the definition only includes records created to protect the physical facilities of the governor’s office, the court disagreed.
“[A] public office cannot function without the employees and agents who work in that office, and records ‘directly used for protecting or maintaining the security of a public office’ must inevitably include those that are directly used for protecting and maintaining the security of the employees and other officers of that office,” the opinion stated.
In this case, several experts submitted affidavits stating that investigative reports of threats to the governor contain information used to protect and maintain the security of the governor’s office. The experts included John Born, the current director of the public safety department, as well as the Highway Patrol’s superintendent, Ohio Homeland Security’s executive director, and a patrol staff lieutenant who is part of the governor’s security team.
Based on the testimony from these officials, the court determined that records about threats to the highest official in Ohio’s executive branch are security records because they are used to protect the governor, his staff, and family and to maintain the secure functioning of his office. As security records, the information is exempt from disclosure, the court concluded.
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy recused herself in this case. Judge Michael E. Powell of the 12th District Court of Appeals served as a visiting judge in her place.
Case is cited 2013-0596, State ex rel. Plunderbund Media v. Born, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-3679.
[teaser] => [byline] => KATHLEEN MALONEY
Supreme Court
Public Information Office [section] => State [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 0000-00-00 [ap] => N [front_page] => Y [export_date] => 2014-09-02 [created_at] => 2014-09-02 10:10:25 ) [6] => Array ( [id] => 11049 [headline] => Bill would ban state from entering into federal housing agreements for illegal immigrants [body] => State Rep. John Adams, R-Sidney, has introduced a bill into the Ohio General Assembly designed to target the “illegal immigration crisis.”
House Bill 605 would prohibit state agencies from signing an agreement with the federal government to provide temporary housing for aliens who are not legally present in the United States.
The measure also would make local governments and corporations ineligible to receive state funds, including from the Local Government Fund, if they choose to enter into such an agreement with the federal government.
The bill includes institutions of higher education in its definition of “state agency.”
Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, has joined Adams as a joint sponsor of the proposed legislation. In a recent statement, Adams said HB 605 is about communication between governments and transparency.
“Every day, those crossing our southern border illegally include gang members, individuals from countries like Yemen and Pakistan and those with highly-contagious diseases such as tuberculosis,” he said.
“The federal government needs to communicate with Ohio about the extent of the precautions they are taking with regard to public health and safety.”
Adams said new reports have indicated that 360 illegal immigrants have arrived in Ohio.
“... we know nothing about whether they might be gang members or what health screenings they have received,” he said.
With a recent surge in illegal immigration, the lawmaker said states are facing unprecedented demands on public health and safety resources.
Adams pointed to information from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found 63 percent of reported tuberculosis cases in the U.S. occurred among foreign-born individuals.
He also noted that officials at a border patrol post in Arizona indicated that 16 of the “so-called unaccompanied minors” detained in their sector were members of a gang.
If the measure is enacted, a political subdivision or corporation in violation of the bill would be prohibited from receiving state funds from any source for the duration of the federal agreement.
HB 605 is co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Peter Beck, John Becker, Jim Buchy, Ron Hood, Matt Lynch and Ron Maag.
The bill is awaiting a committee assignment.
Copyright © 2014 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved
[teaser] => [byline] => TIFFANY L. PARKS
Special to Legal News [section] => State [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 0000-00-00 [ap] => N [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-09-02 [created_at] => 2014-09-02 10:10:25 ) [7] => Array ( [id] => 11047 [headline] => Court vacates convictions of gang member charged as adult
[body] => A divided panel of judges in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion reversing the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and vacating a defendant’s convictions for taking part in a conspiracy.
The majority ruled that the district court failed to properly instruct the jury in the trial of Terrance Machen, warranting a reversal.
Machen was indicted by a grand jury for participating in a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act conspiracy for his role in the Youngstown gang, LSP. Machen was alleged to have been one of the founding members of the gang when he was 11 and participated until his indictment when he was 19.
“Under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act, the government may not proceed in federal court against a defendant under the age of 21 for acts that the defendant committed before turning 18, unless the government certifies that certain conditions are met and that federal jurisdiction is appropriate,” wrote Judge Helene White on behalf of the three-judge appellate panel.
The statute specifies that a defendant who took part in a conspiracy that spanned his 18th birthday may be charged as an adult, however, as in Machen’s case, the government is required to make a “threshold showing” that Machen “ratified” his participation in the conspiracy after he turned 18.
“The defendant’s guilt may not be premised on his conduct as a minor,” wrote Judge White, noting that Machen turned 18 on April 18, 2009.
Machen was charged in an indictment that included 42 counts and 23 defendants. He was charged only in the first count, which listed 102 “overt acts” committed by gang members.
The indictment alleged that Machen and several codefendants shot at rival gang members, kicked and punched a person, possessed a .25 caliber handgun, wore a bulletproof vest and possessed marijuana.
In 2008, the indictment stated that Machen and others followed a cooperating witness to a gas station, where several gang members threatened to harm him.
Machen moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that the indictment only charged him with acts committed before he turned 18. The district court never ruled on that motion and the case went to trial where six defendants were jointly tried: Machen, Dominique Callier, Edward Campbell, Carlton Council, Daquann Hackett and Derrick Johnson.
According to a summary of the proceedings, neither the defense nor the prosecution mentioned ratification at trial, “and neither placed any special significance on establishing the dates that incidents occurred for the purposes of determining Machen’s guilt.”
The government presented evidence that LSP gang members committed drive-by shootings and a Molotov-cocktail bombing.
In April 2010, LSP members severely beat a confidential informant discovered wearing a wire, though no one testified that Machen was present.
Through a number of video and audio recordings, the government also demonstrated that Hackett and Johnson each ran drug houses. Machen did not appear in any of the recordings.
“With respect to Machen in particular, substantial testimony described incidents that plainly occurred before Machen turned 18,” wrote Judge White.
Shawn Jones, a former LSP member, testified that he, Machen, Johnson and Hackett founded the gang in 2003 and that Machen sold drugs and participated in shootings.
Another LSP member testified that Machen sold him his first gun in 2008.
Other evidence, including photos of Machen making gang hand signs and holding guns, were not tied to any specific date.
Only three pieces of evidence connected Machen to LSP after his 18th birthday. His girlfriend and a gang member both testified that Machen was a member of LSP at the time of his indictment in 2011.
Terrance Royal also testified and stated that Machen and four others “jump him into” LSP in 2010.
The jury began deliberation without any instructions regarding the significance of Machen’s age or the government’s burden to establish ratification. A guilty verdict and 110-month prison sentence followed.
On appeal, Machen claimed that the trial court’s failure to even mention ratification was plain error and the appellate panel’s majority agreed.
“Reversal is warranted here,” wrote Judge White. “The law is clear that when the government charges a defendant with participation in an age-of-majority-spanning conspiracy, the government must prove that the defendant ratified his participation in the conspiracy after he turned 18, and the defendant’s liability may not be premised on his conduct as a minor.”
In a case like Machen’s, the appellate panel held that the defendant’s age at the time of his actions is as dispositive of his guilt as the actions themselves.
“Yet, Machen’s jury was not instructed to consider the issue at all,” Judge White noted.
The court of appeals found that a rational jury could have found that Machen ratified his participation in LSP after he turned 18, but “it is far from clear” that the jury would have reached that conclusion with the instruction.
Judge White noted that the majority of the government’s evidence against Machen concerned Machen’s conduct as a minor, but the evidence of Machen’s post-majority conduct was “meager in comparison.”
“The evidence of Machen’s pre-majority conduct was so substantial and the jury was never instructed, or advised in any manner, that it could not base a guilty verdict on these actions and had to find post-majority ratification, it is highly likely that the jury convicted Machen based on his conduct as a minor, in violation both of United States v. Maddox and the FJDA,” wrote Judge White.
Because the district court’s failure to instruct the jury on ratification affected Machen’s substantial rights, the circuit court reversed Machen’s conviction and remanded the case.
Judge Richard Suhrheinrich dissented, arguing that the lack of jury instructions did not cause substantial prejudice. He wrote that he did not see how the error affected Machen’s rights. He contended that there was plenty of evidence to establish ratification and that the jury would have found Machen guilty even with the instruction.
Judge Raymond Kethledge joined Judge White to form the majority and reverse the judgment of the district court.
The case is cited United States v. Machen, Case No. 12-4337.
Copyright © 2014 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved
[teaser] => [byline] => ANNIE YAMSON
Special to the Legal News [section] => State [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-02 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-02 [purge_date] => 0000-00-00 [ap] => N [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-09-02 [created_at] => 2014-09-02 10:10:25 ) ) [number_of_records] => 8 [execution] => 0.025403 ) [authenticate] => Array ( ) )
Array
(
)
Array
(
    [flash] => 
    [sql] => Array
        (
            [0] => SELECT * FROM subscriptions WHERE secure_key = '' AND ip_address = '54.196.252.72'
        )

)
Array
(
    [sven] => nevs
)