Next Tuesday, Toledo's major mayoral candidates square-off. 13abc is holding a mayoral debate at Bowsher high school Tuesday, September 8 at 7 pm. The debate is co-sponsored by the City Paper, Toledo.com, the Press Club of Toledo, and Cumulus Radio. The public is encouraged to attend.
ABC World News anchor, Charlie Gibson, announced today he has decided to step down as network anchor. Gibson says he will finish out the year. ABC News president, David Westin, says he and Charlie had been talking about the decision for several weeks and Charlie says the decision is what's best for him. Gibson has anchored World News since May of 2006. Good Morning America co-host, Diane Sawyer, will take over as the next anchor of World News. She will assume the position in January.
After more than a year of work, the Central Avenue bridge is officially open to traffic. Today's opening marks a significant step forward as ODOT continues their $15.5 million construction project on 3 bridges in the Glass City. However, with the opening of the Central Avenue overpass the Auburn Avenue bridge will now be closed. Construction also continues on the Douglas Road bridge project.
Former Ohio congressman James Traficant has been freed from a Minnesota prison after serving 7 years for bribery and racketeering. The 9-term Democrat from Youngstown walked out of a federal prison hospital this morning. He now faces 3 years of probation.
Consruction is under way at the Toledo Zoo for a new bull elephant exhibit. Today, a large crane removed roof beams and crews put up elephant doors and other things. It's all thanks to the capital levy voters passed last year. The new elephant facility opens later this fall, but work continues until 2012. There's also an economical bright side here. The zoo says the construction means work for more than 175 people between February and November.
Two Toledo police officers are cleared in an alleged police beating that gained national attention. In May, a video on YouTube showing 14-year-old Trevor Casey being arrested. Police say he didn't follow orders to stop loitering. When they handcuffed him, they say Casey swung at them and hit an officer. Casey's mother filed a complaint of excessive force against the officers. Now the police chief says an investigation couldn't find enough evidence to prove or disprove the allegations and the case is now closed.
There are new details in the criminal case against the Lucas County sheriff. Sheriff James Telb, Lieutenant Robert McBroom, retired deputy Jay Schmeltz and retired sergeant John Gray are charged in the alleged beating and killing of a prison inmate. Investigators say Carlton Benton died in 2004, after being struck and strangled. Telb and the others have pleaded "not guilty". Today, a judge set their trial for May 2010. If convicted, Telb could spend up to eight years behind bars.
The tide may be turning in the battle against huge wildfires burning in southern California. The weather is giving weary firefighters some help. They've been able to create a perimeter around nearly a quarter of the blaze, largely by removing brush with bulldozers and setting controlled burns. Still, some 13,000 acres have been consumed since yesterday. The fire has burned close to 220 square miles, killed two firefighters and destroyed more than five dozen homes. And today fire officials said the massive blaze was "human-caused".
Hurricane Jimena stormed ashore and continues to pound much of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. However, the storm has significantly weakened since making landfall. Winds are now topping out under 100 miles-per-hour. The major concerns now are driving rains and rough surf. So far, there are no reports of any injuries.
An out of control delivery driver lost control of his van and smashed right through the window of a motorcycle showroom. Police say the driver was speeding. Fortunately, nobody was injured. Several motorcycles were damaged and charges are pending against the driver.
In Indonesia, a powerful earthquake shook the country killing more than 30 people. The quake centered near Java Island initially was reported to have a magnitude of 7.4, but has been downgraded now to 7.0. More than 700 homes and businesses were also badly damaged.
President Obama has talked a lot about the health care reform lately and now the president is considering a major speech about it in the next week or so. The White House says Obama is thinking of throwing more personal weight behind the health care debate. The president wouldn't offer any new proposals, but would be more specific about his top priorities in the reform effort.
The world's biggest drug company is going to be shelling out a record amount of cash following a multi-billion dollar settlement. The Justice Department says the settlement calls for Pfizer to pay $2.3 billion. That includes more than a billion dollar criminal fine, the largest in U.S. history. The settlement stems from allegations made that Pfizer marketed pain reliever Bextra and possibly other products for medical conditions different than their approved use. The Justice Department added that Pfizer is a repeat offender, and have been costing tax payers billions of dollars, and placing the public's health at risk.