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Deep freeze on Lake Erie creates water shortage
Other morning headlines: FitzGerald set to name new running mate soon; Calls to reduce electricity consumption lifted

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
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  • Deep freeze on Lake Erie creates water shortage
  • FitzGerald set to name new running mate soon
  • Calls to reduce electricity consumption lifted
  • Ohio AG sues five car dealers
  • Pre-trial today for Cleveland sex offender charged with three murders
  • Weather closures cost Ohio base millions 
  • Deep freeze on Lake Erie creates water shortage
    Lorain and Medina county officials have lifted a restrictions on water use amid a shortage that affected hundreds of thousands of residents. Ice blocked intake valves pulling water from Lake Erie, which became more frozen in below-zero temperatures this week, affecting some 200,000 people primarily in Lorain and Medina counties. Avon Lake's mayor pleaded for people also to refrain from doing laundry or taking showers. Through the night, crews in Lorain County worked to install six temporary water pumps out in Lake Erie with lines that are running back to the water treatment plant. Medina remains under a boil alert. 

    FitzGerald set to name new running mate soon
    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald says he will be naming his new running mate soon. FitzGerald, who is Cuyahoga County Executive, held a small campaign event near Dayton Wednesday. FitzGerald said his naming of a new running mate was “imminent.” He must file 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters by Feb. 5 to make the primary, and he needs a running mate to get those signatures. , Before Christmas, FitzGerald parted ways with running mate state Sen. Eric Kearney because of revelations that Kearney and his small publishing company were linked to nearly $1 million in unpaid taxes and penalties. 

    Calls to reduce electricity consumption lifted
    The call for consumers to reduce electricity use because of cold-induced strain on the electric grid system has been lifted. PJM Interconnection, the electric grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states including Ohio, said Wednesday that consumers can now return to normal use levels of electricity. PJM said it broke the record for peak winter electricity use twice on Tuesday. The previous peak was nearly 140,000 megawatts in 2007. A megawatt is enough to provide power for about 1,000 homes.

    Ohio AG sues five car dealers
    Ohio’s attorney general has filed lawsuits against five used car dealers, accusing them of selling vehicles and failing to deliver titles to the new owners. The dealers include The Car Shack in Akron, Auto Bahn in Cleveland and Y-Town Auto Sales in Youngstown. Attorney General Mike DeWine is seeking more than $32,000 in reimbursements and asking courts to fine the dealerships $25,000 for each violation.

    Pre-trial today for Cleveland sex offender charged with three murders
    A sex offender suspected of killing three Cleveland women is due back in court for a pretrial hearing as his attorneys fight a possible death sentence. Thirty-six-year-old Michael Madison is charged with killing the women and leaving their bodies in trash bags in a rundown East Cleveland neighborhood. He has pleaded not guilty. A pretrial hearing is scheduled this morning in Cleveland. Defense attorneys want the judge to rule out the death penalty. The prosecutor decided after a review to seek the death penalty based on the three homicides and the risk he says Madison poses to the public. 

    Weather closures cost Ohio base millions
    Closing for two days in the past month because of bad weather has cost Ohio's largest military base more than $6 million in payroll. The Dayton Daily News ( ) reports that the closure days at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton cost the military more than $3.3 million per day — including about $2.1 million for civilian workers and $1.2 million for military personnel. The base provided the numbers at the newspaper's request. Base spokesman Daryl Mayer said it was all about safety. Dangerously cold weather shut down schools, colleges and some businesses in the area earlier this week. The base closed Monday for the second time since Dec. 6. Base officials said some of the employees worked from home.
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