The Associated Press
LIMA, Ohio - Union leaders and Republican lawmakers have formed an unlikely alliance in an effort to prevent the closing of the Lima Correctional Institution.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said this week that it will close the 88-year-old prison by July because of its age and size, saving the state about $25 million a year.
Rep. John Willamowski, of Lima, and Sen. Jim Jordan, of Urbana, two of the most conservative Republicans in the Legislature, drew several standing ovations at a union rally Friday.
"The hill's pretty steep, the odds are pretty long, but that doesn't mean we can't fight," Jordan more than 500 people in Memorial Hall.
"It doesn't mean we can't win," he said.
Willamowski said he wants to meet with Gov. Bob Taft Monday, the day the Republican governor plans to introduce his two-year budget proposal.
Craig Bradford, president of the union that represents most of the prison's employees, said he got unexpected support at the rally from Keith Cheney, chairman of the Allen County Republican Party.
Leaders of education, law enforcement and industrial unions also pledged their support.
COLUMBIA DISASTER: LOCAL REACTION
(Complete Columbia coverage at Cincinnati.com)
Tristaters shocked, seek answers
Terrace Park man loses friend on Columbia
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India natives offer special prayers
KIESEWETTER: Another tragedy unfolds on TV
PULFER: Flight: a routine miracle
Enquirer seeking local connections
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Local woman witnessed 'perfect' launch
Ohio astronaut: `Oh, my God'
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Space program must go on, scientists say
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Reading firm makes shuttle fuel tanks
Marine families sundered
Service reductions to go deep
IN THE TRISTATE
Funds for 'Cultural Trust' discussed
UC to charge students for paper
Norwood council must shrink
Obituary: Marjorie Smith, interior decorator
Tristate A.M. Report
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PULFER: Branding doctor
CROWLEY: GOP win should wake up Democrats
HOWARD: Some Good News
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Bumpy road halts approval for housing
Judge allows lawsuit by doctors
GOP lawmakers oppose prison closing
Medina prosecutors want teen to be tried as adult
Retired professor put 'pop' in culture at Bowling Green
Forum urges education support
Three face drug charges after raid near schools
Thousands to lose Medicare eligibility
Judge unseals records in First Amendment dispute over priests
Four killed in crash were part of elite Fort Campbell regiment