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Legislation would allow for new types of materials in sewer, water line replacement

An adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. has outlined a case for the passage of House Bill 417.
The proposed legislation would ensure that all proven and acceptable piping materials are included in bids for water and wastewater utility service improvement projects.
“When we think of ... (full story)


Go For the Food: Buffalo, New York's chicken wings

Go For the Food: Buffalo, New York's chicken wings

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Credit for the classic Buffalo wing goes to Teressa Bellissimo, who developed the dish in the kitchen of the Anchor Bar in 1964. Fifty years later, the Main Street eatery remains a must-see for countless culinary visitors.
But there's no need to confine yourself to one place if you're winging your way ... (full story)


National


Whitehall man's home nonprofit radio station

Whitehall man's home nonprofit radio station

WHITEHALL, Mich. (AP) — For the last three months, John Alan has spent the majority of his time at home, throwing electricity into the air.
Among corn fields and trees of Whitehall is a house that sits on top of a hill, secluded from the average passer-by. Inside the house — which Alan and his wife purchased almost t ... (full story)


State


Justice Pfeifer shares view on parole

Darby Scarberry, an inmate in the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion, filed a claim alleging that the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (“OAPA”) violated his constitutional rights by denying his parole application based upon a report that falsely stated that he used a knife in a robbery and raped the victim.
Whil ... (full story)


Maximum sentence upheld for man with long criminal record

A panel of judges in the 9th District Court of Appeals recently affirmed the judgment of the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, which sentenced a defendant to a maximum prison term after he violated the terms of his community control.
Mark Fernandez was indicted in July 2012 on one count of third-degree felony robbery.
Foll ... (full story)



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                            [headline] => Legislation would allow for new types of materials in sewer, water line replacement
[body] => An adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. has outlined a case for the passage of House Bill 417.
The proposed legislation would ensure that all proven and acceptable piping materials are included in bids for water and wastewater utility service improvement projects.
“When we think of crumbling infrastructure, we generally picture decaying roads, bridges and tunnels — things we can easily see and feel,” Bonner Cohen said.
“But a crisis every bit as serious, and every bit as expensive, is playing out beneath our feet, and the problem is hardly unique to Ohio. In a 2010 report, the U.S. Conference of Mayors predicted that over the next 20 years, $3.28 trillion will have to be spent rehabilitating the nation’s water and wastewater systems.”
Cohen said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that underground pipes account for roughly 60 percent, or $2.28 trillion, of that total.
“The most visible sign of the crisis beneath our feet are water-main breaks, of which North America has 300,000 every year,” he said.
“If leaking, corroded water pipes are not replaced in a timely manner, they will continue to deteriorate, creating pathways for harmful bacteria to enter water systems. As such, there are serious public health concerns that are tied to decaying underground water pipes.”
Water systems are capital-intensive operations and Cohen said putting off pipe replacements racks up the eventual cost.
“With the debt-ridden federal government, through its woefully-underfunded State Revolving Funds program, no longer in a position to provide meaningful financial assistance, state and local governments are left to their own devices in addressing their underground water infrastructure problems,” he said.
“The first thing they can do is remove barriers that limit competition in bidding on infrastructure projects.”
Many local governments have not updated their procurement specifications to account for improvements in technology that could reduce the cost of upgrading underground water networks.
Cohen said when competition is limited by antiquated procurement procedures, costs of repair and replacement rise and quality suffers.
“Some of the exclusionary provisions in procurement specifications may have made sense at the time they were adopted, but they have been overtaken by advances in technology,” he said.
“This is where HB 417 comes in.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Thompson, R-Marietta, would revise state law to provide that all applicable materials could be included in bids for water infrastructure upgrades.
The measure would require certain governmental agencies, when contracting for water or wastewater utility service improvement projects, to procure only piping material that meets the current recognized standards issued by ASTM International and the American Water Works Association, or their successor organizations.
Cohen said HB 417 does not favor one product over another.
“It allows them to compete on a level playing field in the spirit of ‘may the best technology win,’” he said.
If the bill is enacted, governmental agencies would be required to make certain considerations regarding piping material, such as considering the material to be suitable for a project only if its use is commensurate with sound engineering practices and the project requirements.
In sponsor testimony for HB 417, Thompson said Cleveland has an ordinance on the books that dates back to 1937 that specifies the materials that are allowable in constructing a service pipe.
“The materials vary depending on the diameter and placement of the pipe within the water system, but the materials are generally limited to lead, copper, brass, wrought iron or steel,” he said, adding that the ordinance allows for use of other materials if special, written permission is granted.
“I may not represent Cuyahoga County but I am fairly certain they would welcome an option that could replace lead when installing new pipes, especially given the new material advancements that have come about since the referenced ordinance’s inception prior to World War II.”
Thompson noted that Marietta’s water and sewer connections ordinance limits the materials available for both water piping and sewer piping.
While both Cleveland and Marietta allow for other approved, acceptable or specially-permitted material, the lawmaker said those materials might not be treated equally during a competitive bidding process.
“It would be much easier for the administrator in charge of a water or wastewater project to select a bid for one of the pre-approved materials, rather than to go through the process of getting special approval, special permission or special acceptance for a new material,” he said.
Cohen urged lawmakers to support HB 417.
“Once written off as a Rust Belt state whose best days were behind it, Ohio is now in the midst of a remarkable economic recovery thanks to the shale revolution that is making the Buckeye State an energy powerhouse,” he said.
“Just as Ohio is taking advantage of the technologies that are making it a leading oil and gas producer, it can also avail itself of the technologies best suited to rehabilitate its underground water networks. By doing something as simple and sensible as opening up procurement procedures to fair competition, Ohioans can be ensured of ready access to clean, reliable and affordable water in their homes, schools and businesses for generations to come.”
HB 417 is co-sponsored by Republican Reps. John Becker, Gerald Stebelton, Kristina Roegner, Wes Retherford, Robert Sprague, John Adams, Terry Boose, Ron Hood and Ron Young.
The bill is before the House Public Utilities committee.
Copyright © 2014 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved
[teaser] => [byline] => TIFFANY L. PARKS
Special to the Legal News [section] => Business [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-18 [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] => 11062 [headline] => Go For the Food: Buffalo, New York's chicken wings [body] => BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Credit for the classic Buffalo wing goes to Teressa Bellissimo, who developed the dish in the kitchen of the Anchor Bar in 1964. Fifty years later, the Main Street eatery remains a must-see for countless culinary visitors.
But there's no need to confine yourself to one place if you're winging your way to New York's second-largest city; the fiery finger food is a staple at virtually every pizza joint and pub you'll visit.
The fun is that no two wings are quite the same.
Anchor Bar wings sizzle in the deep fryer until crispy. They they're tossed in a bowl with a mixture of butter and cayenne pepper sauce — Frank's RedHot is the preferred brand — just before they are served alongside celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping.
"They're the original, that's the bottom line," said Drew Cerza, who was proclaimed Buffalo's "wing king" after starting the wing festival in 2002.
A trip to Duff's Famous Wings in suburban Amherst offers a different twist on the classic.
While the Anchor Bar serves up a crispy wing, Duff's offers a softer, saucier version.
"They cover the wings after they sauce them and it really allows the sauce to penetrate the skin of the wing," Cerza said.
Watch out for the heat here: "The mild is medium, medium's hot, hot's extra hot and extra hot," said Cerza, "will kill you."
Another option, where attention to detail is the theme, comes from the Bar Bill Tavern, just south of Buffalo in East Aurora.
The secret here — the sauce is applied to every deep-fried wing individually with a paint brush just before serving.
"They never go in a bucket," explained bar manager Joe Morcelle. "When you start shaking wings, it starts breaking up the crispiness."
The individual treatment also ensures the sauce gets into every nook and cranny, Morcelle said. And while most places pile the wings on a plate, the Bar Bill arranges them precisely this way: the five drums on the left, five flats on the right, fanned out to form a circle with the celery and blue cheese in the middle.
"You eat with your eyes," Morcelle said (though you'll still need plenty of napkins for your fingers).
Circling back to the city, another of the "wing king's" favorites is found at La Nova Pizzeria, which has perfected a barbecue wing cooked over charcoal, complete with grill marks.
"They put them on the grill but they keep moving them," Cerza said. "You've got to keep moving them and you can't burn them. It's very tricky. It's an art."
The city also hosts a National Buffalo Wing Festival every Labor Day weekend. The event took its inspiration from the silver screen: When Bill Murray's character in the 2001 movie "Osmosis Jones" set out for the National Buffalo Wing Festival — there was no such thing in real life.
The festival doesn't confine its offerings to the usual. Along with the traditional hot, medium and mild varieties, past offerings have included lime cilantro and chipotle garlic wings, and even a meatless alternative featuring hummus dip and breaded green beans.
A couple of rules if it's a true "Buffalo wing" (and not simply chicken wings) you want: They must be deep-fried, not baked or grilled, have at least a few shakes of hot sauce — and for goodness sake, no breading.
Warns Cerza: "In Buffalo, if you get caught breading a chicken wing it's a misdemeanor."
[teaser] => [byline] => CAROLYN THOMPSON
Associated Press

[section] => Business [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-18 [purge_date] => 2014-10-18 [ap] => Y [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-09-02 [created_at] => 2014-09-02 10:10:25 ) [2] => Array ( [id] => 11164 [headline] => Whitehall man's home nonprofit radio station [body] => WHITEHALL, Mich. (AP) — For the last three months, John Alan has spent the majority of his time at home, throwing electricity into the air.
Among corn fields and trees of Whitehall is a house that sits on top of a hill, secluded from the average passer-by. Inside the house — which Alan and his wife purchased almost three years ago — is enough equipment to duplicate a control room at NASA, according to The Muskegon Chronicle.
Through this venue, the Whitehall resident runs a nonprofit radio station that pumps numerous songs and melodies through the airways.
"On Sunday afternoons, I had my mother drive me around so I could stare at towers," says Alan, who found his calling before he could drive. "I was fascinated by the radio. At age 15, I lied about my age to get my first job in radio."
In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the first batch of LPFM radio stations, limiting them to 100 watts. At the possibility of running one of only 500 of these LPFM stations in the country, Alan began planning.
"A friend of mine got a station in that first batch when I was living in Texas at that time," Alan said. "I made up my mind that if (the FCC) ever opened another window, I was going to get it."
After waiting two years for that window, Alan got his wish. He began investing in equipment and searched for the place that would be perfect to launch Real Gold Radio 98.9 FM.
Then Alan and his wife came across that house on a hill.
Today, the house looks just as modest as the day they came across it — except for the 96-foot tower that stands next to it. Held down by 55 tons of concrete, the tower is connected to the house through several wires that help project music across the White Lake area in a 20-mile radius.
However, it takes more than one person to man a radio station. So, Alan reached out to Jim Cox after receiving an FCC license.
Having been involved with radio in some capacity for 38 years, Cox was six years retired when he got the call. The Norton Shores resident was eager to get back in front of a microphone, and admittedly he had become tired of sitting at the window, watching trees grow.
On the first day back, Cox hit the ground running and fell back into the groove of things. As the host of the morning show portion for Real Gold Radio, Cox is on air from 7-10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
As the on-air personality that greets residents in the early hours, Cox plays music for three hours and interviews guests that range from the mayor of Whitehall to an Elvis impersonator.
The rediscovery of being heard from miles around has been a fountain of youth to the retiree.
"It's been one great thing after another," Cox said, smiling. "After I retired, I never thought I would be on the radio again, so it's been a huge pleasure."
While it's the computer that runs the station for most of the day, it still requires a lot of upkeep.
Take a step inside the secluded room, and the temperature changes significantly. Because of the heat that emanates from the equipment, there is an air conditioner that is left on at a constant 74 degrees.
The sound-insulated room might be the smallest in the house, but it requires the most electricity. With a gold-leaf paint job and a spackle texture that looks like oatmeal, Alan and Cox are never alone when the door shuts. They are joined by a picture of Roy Orbison that hangs on the wall, as well as a Johnny Cash action figure imprisoned in his plastic box.
Since he works from home, Alan spends eight to 12 hours a day working on the computers, maintaining the equipment and changing the music. Some days he works into the night for so long his nights turn into mornings.
The work is nothing, though, since it's a passion Alan has had since his mother drove him around in search of radio towers as a teenager.
"I built this room from nothing to what it is, from the wiring to the audio equipment," Alan said. "Music is my soul, it speaks to me. Music makes me laugh, it makes me cry."
Before officially launching on May 26, Real Gold Radio streamed online for nine years.
When Alan first began streaming online, the music was mostly pulled from the 1950s and '60s periods. Since then, it has progressed to include a lot more '70s and early '80s music.
Approaching 8,000 songs at their disposal, Alan said they plan on expanding even more. With a power increase to 200 watts in mind, the station could serve a wider outreach.
The future holds anything for Real Gold Radio as it has found solid footing in the three months of existence. Alan admits business is good and the response has been great, but said they can keep improving the sound to make it more in tune with what people want to hear.
"We want to be a local connection because all radio stations are corporately owned now," Alan said. "So, we want to get away from that now. No glamor, just music."
[teaser] => [byline] => TONY WITTKOWSKI
The Muskegon Chronicle [section] => National [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-18 [purge_date] => 2014-10-18 [ap] => Y [front_page] => N [export_date] => 2014-09-10 [created_at] => 2014-09-10 07:31:24 ) [3] => Array ( [id] => 11168 [headline] => Justice Pfeifer shares view on parole [body] => Darby Scarberry, an inmate in the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion, filed a claim alleging that the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (“OAPA”) violated his constitutional rights by denying his parole application based upon a report that falsely stated that he used a knife in a robbery and raped the victim.
While that claim was very recent, his case actually began all the way back on Dec. 18, 1983. It was on that day that Scarberry committed rape. Six months later he was convicted and sentenced to a term of 10 to 25 years.
Now let’s jump ahead to Dec. 1 and 2, 2009. Scarberry, while out of prison on parole, committed two theft offenses at the same gas station in Lima, Ohio. On Jan. 7, 2010, Scarberry pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of petty theft for the 2009 offenses.
Three days later, Parole Officer Philip Rader prepared a violation report recommending revocation of Scarberry’s parole. According to Scarberry, the Rader report falsely accused him of raping a gas-station attendant at knifepoint during one of the December 2009 petty thefts.
In February, the OAPA ruled that Scarberry had violated the conditions of his parole. The report containing the OAPA’s findings made no mention of a knife being used or a rape being committed during the December 2009 offenses.
Scarberry alleged that he first became aware of the Rader report more than a year later, in May 2011. Upon learning of the report, Scarberry filed a grievance with the OAPA seeking to have his parole revocation readdressed, but an OAPA regional administrator rejected the complaint.
On Jan. 25, 2013, upon completion of Scarberry’s 36-month re-incarceration, the OAPA conducted a parole hearing and denied Scarberry’s request for early release.
After his complaint to the OAPA was unsuccessful, Scarberry filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the court of appeals. In this context, a writ of habeas corpus is employed to bring a person before a court to ensure that the person’s imprisonment is not illegal.
But the court of appeals issued a judgment denying his complaint on the grounds that Scarberry had no constitutional right to early release. After that, his case came before us – the Supreme Court of Ohio – for a final review.
We ultimately affirmed the court of appeals dismissal for three reasons. First, in Scarberry’s case, a writ of habeas corpus is not the appropriate remedy to address his complaint. The revocation of parole implicates constitutional liberty interests, such that the parolee is entitled to certain due-process protections, among them the right to a hearing. Thus, the remedy for an alleged due-process violation is a new hearing, not immediate release from confinement.
Scarberry made clear that the relief he was seeking was a new parole hearing, not immediate release. However, prior court decisions have established that habeas corpus applies only if the person filing the case is entitled to immediate release from confinement.
Except in extreme circumstances involving unreasonable delay, which Scarberry did not allege, habeas is the wrong remedy to challenge alleged due-process violations at a parole hearing.
Scarberry’s second problem: he did not establish a right to a new early-release hearing.
Scarberry’s complaint concerned two distinct actions by the OAPA. In February 2010, the board revoked his parole. And in January 2013, the board denied him early release. Scarberry wasn’t asking the court to order a new revocation hearing. Rather, he was asking the court “to order an evidentiary hearing and then issue a writ of habeas corpus ordering” another release hearing before the Parole Board to determine his suitability for release.
However, there is no legal basis for our court to order a new hearing to consider early release. The decision to grant or deny early release is wholly discretionary, and a prisoner has no “expectancy of parole upon which he can base his due process claims.” Therefore, Scarberry could not demonstrate a clear legal duty on the part of the OAPA to conduct a second hearing.
Finally, and perhaps most fundamentally, we affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment because the Rader report does not accuse Scarberry of committing rape in 2009. Therefore, he could not establish a due-process violation.
Scarberry claimed that the Rader violation report accuses him of using a knife and committing a rape in 2009. Scarberry objected to the following sentence: “Due to the nature of the offender’s underlying offense, in which he went into a gas station and robbed it at knife point, and then proceeded to rape the cashier, his parole was revoked as a result.”
The warden of the North Central Correctional Complex – where Scarberry was incarcerated – contended that the sentence refers to the 1983 rape offense, not to the 2009 offense. Scarberry countered that Rader could not have been referring to the 1983 incident, because that rape occurred in a Lawson’s Food and Deli, not a gas station, and did not involve a knife.
Despite the erroneous details, however, the sentence in the Rader violation report could only have been referring to the 1983 rape, not the 2009 incident. When the sentence is read in context with the rest of the report, it is plainly clear that the report was describing what happened to Scarberry as a consequence of his arrest for robbing three different gas stations in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 2007. Thus, Scarberry’s interpretation makes no sense.
Moreover, the use of the past tense – his parole “was revoked” – underscores the fact that the report referred to events prior to 2009, since at the time the report was written, Scarberry’s parole had not yet been revoked for the 2009 offenses.
Because the statement in the report was factually accurate, there is nothing to correct, Scarberry’s rights were not violated, and he failed to state a claim for relief.
We therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals by a seven-to-zero vote.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The case referred to is: Scarberry v. Turner, 139 Ohio St.3d 111, 2014-Ohio-1587. Case No. 2013-1228. Decided April 16, 2014. Opinion Per Curiam.
[teaser] => [byline] => PAUL E. PFEIFER
Supreme Court [section] => State [publication_date_aln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_pcln] => 2014-09-18 [publication_date_dln] => 2014-09-18 [purge_date] => 0000-00-00 [ap] => N [front_page] => Y [export_date] => 2014-09-10 [created_at] => 2014-09-10 07:31:24 ) [4] => Array ( [id] => 11144 [headline] => Maximum sentence upheld for man with long criminal record [body] => A panel of judges in the 9th District Court of Appeals recently affirmed the judgment of the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, which sentenced a defendant to a maximum prison term after he violated the terms of his community control.
Mark Fernandez was indicted in July 2012 on one count of third-degree felony robbery.
Following a guilty verdict, the trial court sentenced Fernandez to three years of community control with “intensive supervision.”
Fernandez was also classified as a high risk offender.
At his sentencing hearing, the Medina County court informed Fernandez that he would be sentenced to five years in prison if he violated the terms of his supervision.
The next year, Fernandez failed to report to his probation officer and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
A few months later, he was charged with two community control violations for absconding from supervision and for being charged with theft in Cuyahoga County.
Fernandez was subsequently ordered to serve three years in prison, a sentence which he appealed arguing that the trial court failed to consider the proper sentencing factors and the purposes of felony sentencing.
“Where the trial court does not put on the record its consideration of Sections 2929.11 and 2929.12 of the Ohio Revised Code, it is presumed that the trial court gave proper consideration to those statutes,” wrote Judge Beth Whitmore on behalf of the court of appeals.
According to Fernandez, the record contained no evidence that the trial court considered the statutes, but the appellate panel held that he could not “overcome the presumption” that the trial court did, in fact, comply with the principles and purposes of felony sentencing.
Judge Whitmore noted that Fernandez had admitted his violations of community control at the time of his hearing and that the trial court had notified him that he would be sent to prison for any violations.
Transcripts of the proceedings indicate Fernandez, when asked if he had anything to say, informed the trial court, “You said there was five years hanging over my head. I believe the last time we determined it was three, not five.”
At his plea hearing, it was determined that Fernandez’s maximum sentence would be three years.
The trial court then went on to note that Fernandez had “five active warrants, including a warrant out of Mercer County out of Pennsylvania, out of Ontario, out of Ohio, out of Stark County and Summit County.”
“The court, therefore, was aware that Fernandez had prior convictions, been classified as a high risk offender by the probation department, admitted to two community control violations, absconded from supervision and spent over three months on the run, impermissibly left the state while on community control, had five active warrants covering various counties, including one from out of state, and appeared to show no remorse for his violations,” wrote Judge Whitmore.
The sheer amount of information available to the trial court only served to bolster the presumption that it considered the proper sentencing factors before imposing a maximum penalty, according to the appellate panel.
Fernandez’ sentence is not contrary to law, Judge Whitmore concluded.
In a brief concurring opinion, Presiding Judge Eve Belfance noted that a sentencing judge is not required to make findings or give reasons before imposing a maximum sentence.
“In this case, the record reflects that the trial court had before it and considered information relevant to the trial court’s mandatory considerations under R.C. 2929.11 and 2929.12,” wrote Judge Belfance.
Judge Jennifer Hensal also concurred.
The case is cited State v. Fernandez, 2014-Ohio-3651.
Copyright © 2014 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved
[teaser] => [byline] => ANNIE YAMSON
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