Here are some of today's top headlines from around the area, including a Northeast Ohio court which will begin live-streaming their hearings, a proposed pipeline extension from Eastern Ohio to Louisiana and a Hudson pastor featured in an HBO documentary on Darwin.
LIVE STREAM: South Euclid Municipal Court will become the first court in the area to live-stream every hearing, thanks to one of many steps taken by Judge Gayle Williams-Byers to improve the technology and transparency of the court, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group. Williams-Byers said the cost to live stream is about $250, the cost of a laptop with a webcam, and comes from the court's computer fund and special-projects fund that uses money from fines and court costs. Streaming will start Feb. 17 during the court's night docket schedule. Click here to read more at Cleveland.com.
FLOODING: Though warm temperatures will seem like a reprieve this week, temperatures near the 50 degree mark will present another problem for Ohio: flooding. According to WKSU, the 9 to 10 inches of snow on the ground will melt into about two inches of water, and will not be able to be absorbed into the frozen ground easily. Flood waters will also have nowhere to go while the rivers are ice clogged and lakes are frozen. Walter Topp, administrator for the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management said that residents living on flood plains should store valuables at higher levels of the house or look into purchasing flood insurance. Click here to read more at WKSU.com.
FORCED LABOR TRIAL: A federal trial begins today in Youngstown against Ashland residents Jordie Callahan and Jessica Hunt, who allegedly held 30-year-old Shannon D. Eckley, who is cognitively impaired, and her 5-year-old daughter in poor conditions in their apartment and forced her to perform chores and run errands for a two year period, according to the Ashland Times-Gazette. Callahan and Hunt, along with Dezerah Silsby and Daniel Brown who have both entered guilty pleas, have been charged with forced labor, and are accused of beating and sexually assaulting Eckley as well as threatening to take her daughter away. Click here to read more at Times-Gazette.com.
PIPELINE: Texas Eastern Transmission LP has planned to build a 76-mile pipeline extension to move natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales of eastern Ohio to the Gulf Coast, as opposed to the traditional movement of gas from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN) Project aims to connect pipe from Kensington in southern Columbiana County to an existing pipeline in Monroe County, passing under Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, belmont and Monroe counties. The pipeline would end in Egan, La., and would allow bidirectional flow. Texas Eastern, along with four other companies, have agreed to transport 550,000 dekatherms a day. One dekatherm is about the amount needed to provide for an average gas-heated house for four days. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.
FOOTBALL HELMETS: A study released Monday from the American Academy of Neurology found that the most commonly used football helmets provide little protection from hits to the side of the head which are often the cause of brain injury, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Though the study found that helmets reduced the risk of skull fractures by 60 to 70 percent and brain tissue bruising by 70 to 80 percent, the helmets only reduced the risk of traumatic brain injury by 20 percent compared to not wearing a helmet at all. The study also stated that the Riddell 360 helmet provided the most protection against closed-head injury of all the helmets tested. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.
"QUESTIONING DARWIN": Hudson pastor Joe Coffey of Christ Community Chapel is one of the prominently featured voices on the side of creationism in a new documentary "Questioning Darwin" currently showing on HBO, according to Akron Beacon Journal. The documentary traces Darwin's own beliefs while comparing them to people who reject natural selection, and filmmaker Antony Thomas said Coffey was articulate and challenging and "asked questions that even Darwin couldn't answer." The film also features Tim Schofield, Christ Community's executive director of ministry teams. Though staff at Christ Community said they were disappointed in the film that some of the churches in the film were portrayed in a bad light, Christ Community was treated fairly in the documentary. The film next airs on HBO Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. CLick here to read more at Ohio.com.