Wind farm proponents reviewing options
Backers of a proposed wind farm on Lake Erie say are reviewing their options after the project failed to receive major funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. LEEDCo, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, in February submitted its plan to the DOE to install six turbines off Cleveland’s shore. The DOE announced yesterday that off shore wind projects in New Jersey, Virginia, and Oregon each won $47 million in funding. LEEDCo will receive $3 million to continue its planning. In a statement LEEDCo President Lorry Wagner says the group will “evaluate other options for moving the project forward.”
Homes evacuated after shale well leak
Residents who live near a shale well being drilled in Southeast Ohio’s Morgan County who were evacuated on Sunday are still not back in their homes. The Columbus Dispatch reports residents were told to leave after the fracking well began leaking drilling fluid - sometimes called "mud"— gushing at a rate of about 10 gallons per minute. Seven people from three homes south of McConnelsville were evacuated because of the danger of an explosion from the escaping natural gas. The U.S. EPA says drillers came across a pocket of unexpected natural gas, which caused over pressurization and failure at the well head. At least 330 barrels of oil and water have been collected during the ongoing cleanup process.
Ohioans urged to stay current on measles, mumps vaccines
Ohio health officials tracking measles and mumps outbreaks are urging state residents to stay up-to-date on immunizations to prevent illnesses from spreading. Health agencies have confirmed 328 mumps cases in central Ohio. Forty-four cases of measles spread over six counties in Ohio have been confirmed according to the Ohio Board of Health. The cases are mostly among Amish communities in Knox and surrounding counties. Suspected cases of measles reported this week in Hudson and Parma have not yet been confirmed. The Department of Health says the spread of such diseases can accelerate when people gather in large groups.
Missing boater's body found on beach
A body found on a beach along Lake Erie is one of two Ohio men who had been missing since their boat capsized east of Toledo about three weeks ago. The coroner's office in Lucas County today confirmed the death of 32-year-old Bryan Huff of Rossford. He was one of four people on the boat that was reported missing a day after they went out fishing April 16. Their capsized boat was found the next day along with the bodies of a teenage girl and a 33-year-old woman. The other man who was on the boat remains missing and is presumed dead.
Ohio Senate passes bill to freeze renewable energy standards
The Ohio Senate early this morning passed a bill to freeze the state’s renewable energy standards. Debate on the issue continued past midnight. The controversial bill will freeze for two years requirements that utilities in Ohio produce increasing amounts of energy through renewable means such as wind and solar. The bill also freezes energy efficiency standards while lawmakers study the requirements in place since 2008. The measure passed overnight originally contained a permanent freeze of the green energy standards, but that provision was removed at the insistence of Gov. John Kasich. The freeze has been pushed by utility FirstEnergy. Critics include environmentalists, consumer advocates, and the Ohio Manufacturers Association. The bill now heads to the House were its likely to pass.
Ohio leads nation in metal thefts
Ohio leads the nation in one unenviable metric: metal theft. A report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that Ohio had more than 41 hundred claims of metal theft—nearly all of them copper—from 2011 through 2013. It had about 14 hundred last year alone. Those numbers make up about 11 percent of the entire U.S. total. The Insurance Institute told the Columbus Dispatch it's unsure why Ohio's numbers are so much larger than other states. Metal theft is estimated to cost American businesses $1 billion every year.
Casino profits fall in April
Profits at Ohio's four casinos dropped in April. The numbers released today show April revenues for each casino were down from March, and compared with the same month last year. Cincinnati's April revenues had the steepest drop, falling by 17 percent in April. Each casino's April revenues were down between 2 and 6 percent from last April's numbers. All four casinos had seen big revenue jumps in March following winter slumps.
YSU employee unions support Tressel
Each of Youngstown State University's faculty, staff and police unions gave Jim Tressel their stamp of approval yesterday. The Youngstown Business Journal reports that the four employees groups endorsed Tressel to be the next president of the university. The YSU chapter of the Ohio Education Association, along with the YSU Fraternal Order of Police, the Association of Classified Employees, and the Association of Professional Administrative Staff, believe Tressel is the most qualified for the job. Tressel could find out today where he’s headed. The YSU Board of Trustees will begin deliberations this morning and are expected to make a decision quickly. The board of trustees at the University of Akron have scheduled an executive session for today where Tressel is also a finalist for the presidency.
Cleveland Council considering lakefront development
Cleveland's City Council is considering legislation that would allow the next steps in the lakefront development plan to move forward. The Plain Dealer reports that Council considered legislation Wednesday that would authorize the Director of Port Control to enter an option to lease agreement with a new company that would build about 1,000 apartments, along with commercial, retail and restaurant space on 21 acres of the lakefront. This would all be taking place in the Voinovich parking lot area off the East 9th Street Pier, the skate park north of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, land north of First Energy Stadium, and in a green space between the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock Hall.
Groundbreaking ceremony for new Akron hotel
A groundbreaking ceremony for the first new hotel in downtown Akron in decades is set for tomorrow. The Beacon Journal reports that Developer Joel Testa plans to break ground for the 10-story, 146-room Marriott in a private ceremony Friday evening. It's been almost four years since Testa publicly announced his plans for the hotel. It will be built beside the Northside Lofts on the north edge of downtown Akron and is expected to cost about $20 million. Testa Development also built the Northside Lofts. The last new hotel in downtown Akron was the Hilton Inn, back in 1980. Another development group is planning another downtown hotel across from the John S. Knight convention center.
Trial date set for Steubenville Superintendent
judge has set a trial date for an eastern Ohio school superintendent charged with trying to thwart investigations into alleged crimes, including the rape of a 16-year-old girl. Steubenville Superintendent Mike McVey has pleaded not guilty to charges including obstructing justice and tampering with evidence. Special judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove set an Oct. 18 trial date Tuesday for McVey in Jefferson County court. McVey is accused of hampering the investigation of the West Virginia girl raped in August 2012 by two Steubenville high school football players, as well as an investigation into rumors of a teenage sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the later rape. McVey is on paid administrative leave. A message was left with his attorney.
Joe Biden heading to Cleveland Wednesday
Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Cleveland next week. The Plain Dealer reports Biden will be in town Wednesday to talk about infrastructure investment and the economy. This isn't the first time Biden has made a stop in Ohio shortly after elections. He stopped by a CSX freight hub in North Baltimore following the November 2013 elections, attended a United Autoworkers rally in Toledo a week after the March 2012 primary, and made a stop in Euclid a week after the November 2011 election.
Tea party did not fare well in primary
Ohio's tea party didn't fare well in Tuesday's primary election. The tea party-affiliated Ohio Citizens PAC endorsed 25 candidates for the Ohio House and Senate, according to the Columbus Dispatch. They went 0 for 7 in Senate primaries. Eight of the house candidates won, but that included four incumbents, and a race against a Representative indicted on multiple felonies. The tea party's lackluster performance in Ohio was similar to its performance in other states across the country Tuesday. Tea party backers are still hoping for wins in the two biggest US senate primaries in Kentucky and Mississippi.
Caterer convicted in corruption probe can apply for county contracts
A Cuyahoga County panel says a prominent local catering firm can seek county work, despite being convicted in the Cuyahoga County corruption probe. The Plain Dealer reports that the Cuyahoga County Debarment Review Board will allow Executive Caterers' CEO Harland Diamond and his business to once again receive county contracts. The Board found the county Inspector General's office abused its discretion when it banned Diamond. Diamond admitted to conspiring with ex-Commissioner Jimmy Dimora to fund a birthday party with campaign contributions, to be held at a party center he operated in Mayfield Heights. He received a year of probation, but was banned from county work. Now, Diamond can go through a bidding process for contracts.
Kasich, FitzGerald to focus on economy
Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic rival Ed FitzGerald will focus this fall on Ohio's economic position and how that has hit or benefited workers and businesses in the state. Kasich already launched a series of biographical TV ads emphasizing his blue-collar roots along the Ohio River — albeit on the Pennsylvania side — and his belief that economic prosperity should be shared. The 45-year-old FitzGerald, of Lakewood, is the Cuyahoga County executive, a former FBI agent, prosecutor and mayor. He criticizes the economic comeback celebrated by Kasich as disproportionately benefiting the wealthy. The 61-year-old Kasich, a former congressman and Lehman Brothers managing director, responds directly to the issue in his ads. He says power and wealth don't prevent a person from working to help the less fortunate.
Batchelder will urge indicted State Representative to resign
Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder says he plans to again speak to an indicted state representative about resigning following the lawmaker's failed primary bid. State Rep. Peter Beck of Mason lost his Republican race to real estate developer Paul Zeltwanger. Beck is accused of soliciting and persuading investors to put thousands of dollars into an insolvent software company, stealing money from his accounting firm, and putting investors' money into his political campaign fund. He has denied the allegations.
Shearer's finalizes deal with Snyder's-Lance
Snack food maker Snyder's-Lance plans to sell its Private Brands business and two manufacturing facilities to northeast Ohio based Shearer's Foods LLC. Crain's Cleveland Business reports that Shearer's will get the business and facilities for $430 million. Shearer's is based in Brewster and makes private-label snacks. The plants it will acquire are in Burlington, Iowa and Ontario, Canada.
Canton considered for 2015 NFL draft site
The 2014 NFL draft starts today, but already, the city where the NFL was founded is looking ahead to next year. Canton is on the list of potential cities for the 2015 draft. New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia, Orlando, Chicago and LA are also on the list. The NFL draft has been hosted in New York City since 1965, but there has been discussion recently about new locations.