LeBron James is taking his talents back to northeastern Ohio - for one night in December.
James -Â who grew up in Akron and left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat before the 2010-2011 NBA season -Â will lead a group of NBA players in an exhibition game at the University of Akron's Rhodes Arena on December 1, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Joining James will be fellow superstars Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Carmello Anthony, plus two of the college draftees who the Cavaliers hope will return them to the NBA heights they enjoyed during James' reign in Cleveland, No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, the Beacon Journal reported.
Akron will be the first stop in the group's "Homecoming Tour," which also includes New Orleans on December 4, Chicago on December 7 and East Rutherford, New Jersey, on December 11, according to the report.
The games will be streamed live on Google+, which is sponsoring the tour, according to Business Insider. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to charity.
The tour will fill some of the free time the four NBA superstars have because of the current lockout, which has delayed the start of the season and may force its cancellation.
They seem to be spending plenty of time together recently, including attending Saturday night's big USC-Oregon college football game in Eugene, Oregon, according to a report in The Oregonian.
And Anthony, at least, plans to get involved with some presidential politics in December. He'll be among a number of current and former NBA players appearing in the "First Ever Obama Classic," a fundraiser game for the president's re-election bid, to be held December 12 in Washington.
[Updated 3:31 p.m. ET] A grey wolf and a monkey were still on the loose 19 hours after authorities began hunting down animals released from a farm outside Zanesville, Ohio, a local sheriff told reporters Wednesday.
"We have 48 animals that are dead and those were animals that were released or got out of dens,"Â said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. Authorities were able to save six animals, which are being transported to the Columbus zoo, he said.
The animals were among 56 exotic animals released Tuesday from Terry Thompson's farm outside Zanesville.
Thompson, 62, was found dead and authorities were waiting on the results of an autopsy, Lutz said. But he added that preliminary investigations indicated Thompson released his animals and then died from a self-inflicted wound. He had pried open cages and left the farm's fences open.
Animals that had to be put down around the owner's 78-area property in eastern Ohio include 18 tigers, nine lions, six black bears, three mountain lions and two baboons, Lutz said.
Flashing signs on the highways in eastern Ohio warned motorists Wednesday: "Caution. Exotic animals."
Schools shuttered and some frightened residents said they were keeping to their homes as sheriff's deputies hunted lions, tigers, leopards and grizzly bears that escaped from a preserve after the death of the owner.
Lutz said his deputies, who found themselves in a volatile situation, had to shoot some of the animals at close range. A Bengal tiger was put down after it got agitated from a tranquilizer shot.
"We are not talking about your normal everyday house cat or dog," Lutz said. "These are 300-pound Bengal tigers that we have had to put down. "When we got here, obviously, public safety was my number one concern. We could not have animals running loose in this county."See CNN's latest coverage
Former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Orlando Brown was found dead in his home Friday morning, Baltimore police said. He was 40, according to the NFL's website.
Authorities said there was no sign of trauma or foul play.
Brown, nicknamed "Zeus," retired in 2005 and lived in Baltimore, where he was involved in the franchising of restaurants, according to NFL.com.
While he was with the Browns inÂ December 1999, a flag thrown by an official struck him in the eye and led to Brown suing the league.
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Nurses strike: Almost 23,000 nurses at hospitals in northern and central California won't report to work on Thursday as they stage a one-day strike to protest concessions demanded by hospitals that the nurses say will hurt their role as patient advocates and cut their health and pension benefits.
The strike by members of theÂ California Nurses Association/National Nurses United targets hospitals operated by Sutter Health and Kaiser Permanente as well as Children's Hospital in Oakland.
Among their grievances, theÂ nurses say job concessions sought by Sutter Health would require them to report to work when ill, endangering patient health, according to a statement on the union's website.
At Kaiser, nurses are striking in sympathy with co-workers who face cuts in their health coverage and retirement plans, the nurses' union says.
Complaints at Children's Hospital include cuts to health care plans that would make it too expensive for nurses to bring their own kids to Children's for treatment, according to the union statement.
Obama jobs speech: President Barack Obama head to Cincinnati on Thursday to pitch his $447 billion jobs bill â€“ a combination of infrastructure spending, tax cuts and aid to state and local governments.
He'll speak with the Brent Spence Bridge as a backdrop. The span across the Ohio River carries one of the country's major trucking routes, but it is in need of $2.4 billion in repairs, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The bridge links the constituencies of the top two Republicans in Congress - House Speaker John Boehner's district is on the Ohio side while Kentucky is home of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and winning Ohio's 18 electoral votes in 2012 could be pivotal to Obama's re-election.
Taiwan arms: China warned the United States Thursday that a multi-billion dollar arms sales to Taiwan will create "severe obstacles" between Beijing and Washington, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
"The wrongdoing by the U.S. side will inevitably undermine bilateral relations as well as exchanges and cooperation in military and security areas," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said, according to Xinhua. Zhang summoned U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke to lodge a protest.
The $5.3 billion arms package includes upgrades to Taiwan's F-16 fighter fleet, a five-year extension of F-16 pilot training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and spare parts for the upkeep of three different planes used by the Taiwanese, according to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The deal is part of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
High school students chanted "pass this bill" to a rousing speech Tuesday by President Barack Obama touting his $447 billion jobs plan, while senior administration officials said the push for Congress to approve the legislation would last months.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, meanwhile, opened the door to Obama's proposal getting passed in pieces, rather than as a single package.
"If Congress were to send a portion of the American Jobs Act, the president would, of course, not veto it," Carney told reporters. "He would sign it and then he would return to press the Congress to get the rest of the job done."
The plan unveiled last week and presented to Congress on Monday calls for targeted tax cuts, infrastructure spending and new job training assistance that would be paid for by ending tax loopholes for corporations and American families earning more than $250,000 a year.FULL STORY
Ohio Gov. John Kasich reduced the charges against a mother who lied about her residency to send her children to school in another district, saying the punishment didn't fit the crime.
Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted in January of two felony counts of tampering with records for using her parents' address so she could send her daughters to Copley-Fairlawn City Schools without paying tuition. She lived in public housing in Akron at the time and said she didn't want to leave her daughters home alone after school.
Williams-Bolar, a teacher's aide, served nine days in jail after receiving a five-year suspended sentence. In her appeal for clemency, she claimed that the felony convictions would prevent her from obtaining a teacher's license.
In a rare departure from a recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board, Kasich reduced her convictions to two misdemeanor counts of tampering with records, saying the punishment seemed excessive.
"No one should interpret this as a pass; it's a second chance," Kasich said in a statement. "The penalty could exclude her from certain economic opportunities for the rest of her life. So, today I've reduced those felony convictions to what I think are the more appropriate first-degree misdemeanors."
The Ohio Parole Board unanimously recommended against clemency for a mother who lied about her residency so her children could attend school tuition-free in another district.
Kelley Williams-Bolar admitted in a July hearing that she was wrong to enroll her two daughters in the Copley-Fairlawn school district from under her father's address while she lived in subsidized housing in Akron. She claimed she did so because she did not want to leave her daughters home alone after school while she was attending classes at The University of Akron, fearing for their safety after a 2006 burglary.
The eight-panel board concluded that she could have investigated other options, such as looking at other districts, asking friends or neighbors to babysit, or actually moving into her parents' home. Instead, she chose "a pattern of deceitful behavior," the Board wrote in its clemency report, released Friday.
"Ms. Williams-Bolar was faced with a no more difficult situation than any other working parent who must ensure that their children are safe during, before and after school hours in their absence," it said in its ruling. "Most parents find legitimate and legal options to address this issue. Ms. Williams-Bolar's only response was to be deceitful."
The recommendation goes on to Gov. John Kasich, who expressed sympathy for Williams-Bolar earlier this year after her sentencing.
"Although we are disappointed with the Parole Board's recommendation, we remain confident that justice will ultimately prevail," Williams-Bolar's lawyer, David Singleton, said. "The Governor, not the Parole Board, has the last word on Kelley's clemency petition."
An Ohio jury recommended death Wednesday for convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell in the murders of 11 women.
Relatives of the victims gasped and hugged each other as Judge Dick Ambrose announced the first verdict for victim Tonya Carmichael. The courtroom erupted into applause after Sowell, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, left the courtroom.
The final decision rests with Ambrose, who scheduled a hearing Friday to impose the sentence.
Sowell, who frowned as the verdicts were read, was convicted in July of 11 counts of aggravated murder more than 70 other charges, including abusing corpses and kidnapping.
As part of the sentencing hearing, Sowell made a statement on Monday without being under oath or facing cross-examination from prosecutors.
Sowell was visibly agitated and occasionally tearful as he recounted claims of childhood abuse - both physical and sexual.
Sowell said his childhood "was like a war," with his mother and grandmother constantly arguing, yelling and "whopping" the children.
He did not elaborate on the crimes for which he was convicted.
"I don't know what happened, it's not typical of me," Sowell said. "I can't explain it and I know it's not a lot, but it's all I can give."
Sowell's convictions ended a saga that began in October 2009 with the discovery of the first two victims' remains inside Sowell's home. He eventually was accused of killing at least 11 women ranging in age from 25 to 52.
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Waves threaten plant: Workers in China were repairing a dike damaged by huge waves from Tropical Storm Muifa in an effort to protect a petrochemical plant, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Waves as high as 65 feet (20 meters) broke through the dike in Dailan, Xinhua reported, citing military personnel working on the repair. Officials fear a toxic spill could occur if sea water reaches the plant.
The Fujia chemical plant produces paraxylene, a carcinogenic chemical used in making polyester film and fabrics, Xinhua reported.
Dangerous heat: Most of Oklahoma and parts of Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are under excessive heat warnings Monday as the heat indices in those areas could reach 110 degrees.
The National Weather Service warned against most outdoor activities, saying life-threatening situations could develop, especially if proper hydration isn't practiced.
Some areas may get limited relief from thunderstorms, forecasters said, but they also warned the dangerous heat may not break until midweek for other areas.
LeBron's bikeathon: Miami Heat star LeBron James is headed back to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, on Monday, this time to lead a 2.6-mile bike ride through the cityâ€™s streets as part of his â€śWheels for Educationâ€ť initiative.
James and 20 high school students will pedal from the University of Akron to East High School where hundreds of students in the program will await them.
The bike ride will be the first event since the program underwent a name change from the King for Kids Bike-A-Thon. The initiative strives to improve the academic success of third-graders from single-parent households.
â€śWe felt it was time to change the Bikeathon to something that could be more educational at the same time,â€ť James told the Akron Beacon Journal. â€śWe feel great about it.â€ť
Seven people, including an 11-year-old, were fatally shot in a small Ohio town Sunday in a rampage that ended when police killed the suspected gunman, authorities said.
Copley Township Police Chief Michael MierÂ told CNN affiliate WJW that the shooting began after an argument in a residence.
Lindy McCrady, who lives near the shootings, said aÂ woman ran to her house and told her,Â "somebody had shot her husband point blank in the head. ... And then she started screaming, 'My son, my son, my 11-year-old son.' "FULL STORY
An Ohio jury on Friday found Anthony Sowell guilty in connection with the aggravated murders, kidnappings and sexual assaults of 11 women in Cleveland between 2007 and 2009.
The jury took less than three days to convict Sowell, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 85 counts, among them, murder, abuse of a corpse, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
Sowell turned and offered his hands to a sheriff's deputy to be handcuffed as Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose read the first guilty verdict for the aggravated murder of Tonia Carmichael with a sexual motivation. In the gallery, Carmichael's mother and daughter hugged each other as the verdict was read.
The judge took nearly an hour to read all the verdicts. The jurors found him guilty on 84 counts, with the sole not guilty verdict coming on an aggravated robbery charge.
Investigators discovered the remains of the 11 women - ages 25 to 52 - in Sowell's home beginning in October 2009. Since then, other women have come forward alleging that Sowell attacked them.
Police believe the women were easy prey for Sowell, a convicted sex offender who served 15 years for the attempted rape of a woman in 1989. Most of the women had struggled with drug addiction at some point and court records showing that many resorted to stealing and prostitution to support their habits.
With the conviction, Sowell faces the death penalty. Prosecutors received a report from an expert working with the defense, claiming Sowell suffers from several mental illnesses, including obsessive compulsiveness and post traumatic stress disorder, according to CNN affiliate WOIO.Defense rests in case of accused Ohio serial killer
Ohio - the Cradle of Coaches, the birthplace of the NFL and the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame - is known for making football history, but baseball and sports history are expected to be made Saturday night in Dayton.
When the Dayton Dragons' game against South Bend becomes official in the fifth inning, the minor-league team will set the record for consecutive sellouts by a professional sports team with an astounding 815.
The Class A Midwest League team will break the record held by the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, who sold out 814 straight games from 1977 to 1995.
The Dragons have sold all 8,000-plus seats for every game since the Cincinnati Reds farm team arrived and Fifth Third Field opened 11Â˝ seasons ago. In the first three years of the streak, the entire season sold out before Opening Day, according to the Dayton Daily News.
That's more than 6.5 million tickets sold in a town where the unemployment rate stood at 9.3% in May and was above 10% as recently as February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These are some committed fans. The streak even endured a 24-game home losing streak last season.
"It's the whole atmosphere," season ticket holder Mike Belcher explained to CNN affiliate WDTN. "Dayton Dragon games have the full entertainment package. It is not just a baseball game."
Police and wildlife officers in Canton, Ohio, were still looking Tuesday for a mountain lion reportedly seen roaming the area on Independence Day.
The first panicky call about the big predator came in about 4:45 p.m. Monday, Canton police Capt. David Kurzinsky said.
Stark County sheriff's deputies joined the search after sightings came in from outside the city, and an Ohio State Highway Patrol plane was employed, Kurzinsky said. They didn't find anything.
"We don't believe it's a hoax, but right now none of our officers are seeing what (callers) are seeing," he said.
Calls continued to come in Tuesday. They seemed to indicate that the animal is moving east, toward the town of Louisville.
Jane Scott, who broke down stereotypes, barriers and ceilings as a rock 'n' roll journalist, has died at 92, her former newspaper announced.
"You can't underestimate the importance of Jane Scott. When it comes to music, when it comes to journalism - she invented rock criticism. It was her life and she lived it," Michael Heaton, a former colleague at The Cleveland Plain Dealer, told CNN affiliate WJW-TV.
The Plain Dealer saidÂ Scott's first day working there was March 24, 1952, three days after the world's first rock concert - the Moondog Coronation Ball put on by radio legend Alan Freed at the Cleveland Arena.
What do you do with one of the world's most endangered insects? Throw it in a hole with a dead animal, of course.
That's exactly what about 35 scientists, foresters and volunteers did this week with 150 pairs of American burying beetles in Ohio's Wayne National Forest, said Bob Merz, director of the Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation at the St. Louis Zoo.
Six people, including four children, were killed in an early morning house fire in Warren, Ohio, on Thursday, according to local media reports.
The four children were found on the second floor of the home and the two adults were on the first, CNN affliate WYTV-TV in Youngstown reported.
Warren Fire Chief Ken Nussle said flames were shooting up to 30 feet in the air when firefighters arrived, according to the Warren Tribune Chronicle.
Nussle said no working smoke detectors were found in the home, according to WYTV.
State fire marshal's investigators were on the scene, Nussle told WYTV. The names of the victims had not been released.
Nussle told WYTV he thinks the fire was the deadliest in the history of the city of 49,000 people.
When the Dallas Mavericks finished off the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, the happiness in Dallas may have been eclipsed in only one place, Cleveland, the city that Heat star LeBron James left to take his talents to South Beach.
CNN affiliate WOIO-TV in Cleveland had a one-word headline on its sports page under a picture of James holding up his Heat jersey: "LOSER!"
"LeBron James still has no rings,"Â the site's story began.
Cleveland.com quickly jumped on James' failure to bring a championship to Miami, something he promised would happen multiple times when he and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh joined Heat superstar Dwayne Wade in Miami.
A tout from President Obama wasn't enough to keep a Toledo, Ohio, restaurant in business.
New Chet's Restaurant, which has been serving home-cookedÂ meals since 1973, will close Sunday, a little more than a week after the president mentioned the eatery during an appearance at a nearby Chrysler Jeep plant.
Obama was in Toledo to talk about the success of the auto industry bailouts, which helped keep Chrysler in business.
"This plant indirectly supports hundreds of other jobs right here in Toledo. After all, without you, who'd eat at Chet's, or Inky's, or Rudy's," the president said last Friday.
The current level of business from the Jeep plant doesn't measure up to what it once was Chet's owner, Richard Lawrence, told CNN affiliate WTVG.
"When they were going full blast, it was wonderful, but when they opened, closed, and closed the shifts, it never came back. We used to deliver $500 a week in food, now $100," he said.
But another piece of government legislation may have been the biggest hit on Chet's business - a 2006 state law banning smoking in public places.
For years, women across America have dealt with glass ceilings. But now, women in Ohio have a new problem - glass floors.
A $105 million courthouse opened in Franklin County, Ohio, on Monday, but the builders seemed to have forgotten one thing - the bottom of the stairs, reports affiliate 10TV. The staircase is made of glass.
Dress wearers need to avoid taking the stairs, according to Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch, who wears dresses under her robes almost every day.
"I wear dresses because that's my personal choice," Lynch told 10TV. "When you stand under the stairwell, you can see right up through them.â€ť
She speculates that men, who didnâ€™t take half the population into account, designed the stairs.
Attorney Lori Johnson was startled by the transparent stairs. She worries not only about stares, but also how many cell phones have cameras attached.
â€śThe next thing you know, youâ€™re on the internet,â€ť Johnson said, according to 10TV. â€śIt sounds like a lawsuit in the making.â€ť
While security guards warn women about taking the stairs, it seems most are just hoping people will be mature about the situation.
"They hope people will be mature? That's not a solution," Lynch said to 10TV. "If we had mature people that didn't violate the law, we wouldn't have this building."
The New York Jets wide receiver is picking up the college tuition tabs of 100 Cleveland high school students, according to The Washington Post. Edwards is keeping a promise he made to the students in the â€śAdvance 100â€ť program in 2008, when they were in the eighth grade. The former Cleveland Brown, in an apparent reference to LeBron James, tweeted over the weekend, "As the 2nd most hated man in Clev & a man of my word, today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland years ago." Edwardsâ€™ arrangement with the students required each to complete 15 hours of community service and maintain a 3.5 GPA, in addition to demonstrating good conduct and avoiding unexcused absences. The students' tuitions are estimated to cost about $1 million.