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GOP seeks records from FitzGerald
Columbus — The Ohio Republican Party is taking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald to court, trying to force him to release key-card data showing when he enters and leaves county buildings and parking facilities as the Cuyahoga County executive.
The filing July 9 asks the Ohio Supreme Court to compel the data’s release as public record.
A FitzGerald campaign spokeswoman calls it a political stunt and says Republicans and Gov. John Kasich should focus on real issues that matter to residents.
Democrats have suggested FitzGerald’s refusal to provide the records is similar to the Kasich administration’s decision to block release of records detailing threats against the governor, because both involve a government leader’s security.
The Supreme Court is weighing a challenge brought by a Democratic-leaning political blog over the threat records.
— Associated Press

Browns will have live ‘dawg’ mascot
Berea — The Cleveland Browns are going to have a live, barking, panting mascot when they take the field this fall.
Kevin Griffin, the Browns vice president of fan experience and marketing, tells a Cleveland radio station that the team will have a bullmastiff named Swagger leading the players onto the field at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that for years, the team has had just costumed canines roaming the sidelines, playing to the raucous fan section known as the Dawg Pound.
A few other NFL teams feature live mascots, including the Seattle Seahawks (Taima the hawk), the Denver Broncos (a white Arabian horse named Thunder II) and the Baltimore Ravens (ravens named Rise and Conquer).
— Associated Press

Akron, union push new Goodyear plant
AKRON — Local union leaders are working with Akron and surrounding Summit County to persuade Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to build its new $500 million plant in Northeast Ohio and bring potentially hundreds more jobs to the area where the company was founded.
After Goodyear announced plans in May for a state-of-the-art factory to make about 6 million tires annually, Akron’s mayor sent a letter to Goodyear’s CEO, City Council passed a resolution on the issue, and the local union made no secret of its willingness to do what it can to make the facility a reality in the Akron area.
“We’ve let Goodyear know that pretty much anything it would take to land that facility here, we’re willing to make happen,” Jack Hefner, president of United Steelworkers Local 2, said. “To do nothing, you get nothing. If they don’t build it here, it certainly won’t be from a lack of trying.”
Goodyear has said it would consider sites in both North and South America for what will be its first new plant in the Americas since 1990. It likely won’t discuss the locations under consideration until a choice is announced early next year, company spokesman Keith Price said.
— Associated Press

Giant limestone coach sent for rehab
Columbus — An 8,000-pound limestone sculpture of a sofa has been removed from its spot in a trendy Columbus neighborhood, after becoming a favored perch for homeless nappers.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the giant couch was removed from the Short North Arts District July 11. It’s being sent back to Akron artist Robert Huff for a six-month refurbishment.
Plans are for it to return to the city as the centerpiece of the Columbus Cultural Arts Center’s sculpture garden. Its current site on High Street will continue as a small park.
A Short North civic leader said homeless activity surrounding the sculpture wasn’t contributing to the Short North’s vitality.
A resident who formerly slept on the couch when he was homeless said he saw the structure as a refuge, but not a home.
— Associated Press

Man arrested for threatening copter
Cincinnati — Police in Cincinnati say a man was arrested after driving to a hospital and threatening to shoot down a medical helicopter the next time it flew over his property.
Police say 56-year-old Leonard Pflanz drove to Mercy West Hospital on July 13, yelled at the University of Cincinnati Health Air Care pilot and threatened to shoot down the aircraft.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Pflanz was arrested and charged with a felony count of disrupting public service, and misdemeanor counts of misconduct at an emergency and aggravated menacing. Jail records didn’t say whether he had an attorney.
The helicopter apparently flew over the man’s property en route to the hospital early July 13. Authorities say Pflanz drove to the hospital, got out of his vehicle and began yelling at the pilot.
— Associated Press

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