Stolen evidence, a school open on snow days and $27.5M awarded to professor in lawsuit: News Around Your Area

Rebecca Reis | Web Editor Published:

Here are today's headlines from around Northeast Ohio, including a Sheriff's Captain arrested from stealing money from an evidence room, a school keeping its doors open during snow days and a Tri-C professor awarded a record $27.5 million in asbestos-related lawsuit.

CANCER: John Panza, a Tri-C English professor and drummer in rock trio Blaka Watra, and his wife were awarded $27.5 million in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court last month in a suit against Kelsey-Hayes Co. for his mesothelioma which was acquired from their asbestos brake pads, according to The Plain Dealer. Panza's father worked at the Eaton Airflex brake company, and Panza was exposed to the asbestos dust on his father's clothes. The win is the largest of it's kind for mesothelioma cases in Ohio, with the second largest at $6.4 million. Panza's has already lost his right lung, and he said the cancer is almost certainly going to spread to his left lung. Click here to read more at Cleveland.com.

HEROIN: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine hosted a forum to discuss the heroin epidemic in Ohio at the Akron Summit County Library on Tuesday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The panel included several local leaders in law enforcement and drug treatment, and drew more than 100 people to the forum. The forum discussed ways to decrease the demand of heroin, including addiction treatment and education. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.

SNOW DAYS: Tom Acker, a pastor and school administrator at St. Joseph Parish and School in Randolph Township, says the school will remain open for an "opportunity day" even when other area schools close, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The day will still be counted as a calamity day, but the school will be open to all students — including public school students — and continue teaching for any children who want to attend. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.

SMOKING: Ohio has failed its smoking cessation report card in the American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control Report for the fifth year in a row, according to the Plain Dealer. The report states that Ohio has two "F's" for coverage for cessation programs by state insurance and tobacco control and prevention funding, one "D" for tax rates on cigarettes and one "A" for smokefree air. Only about $6.3 million has been allocated for Ohio tobacco cessation programs for 2014, which is less than 5 percent of the CDC recommendation for Ohio. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.

STOLEN EVIDENCE: Capt. Michael J. Jackson of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 in cash from the department's evidence room, according to The Plain Dealer. According to the the 12-count grand jury indictment, Jackson altered records to reflect the money he was taking. Jackson is facing charges of grand theft, theft in office and tampering with records. Click here to read more at Cleveland.com.

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