Morning Headlines: Ohio Voter Purge Resumes, Fudge Drops House Speaker Bid

Nov 21, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, November 21:

  • Ohio voter purge to continue;
  • CDC warns to throw out romaine lettuce;
  • Gas prices to remain steady for Thanksgiving;
  • County GOP chief: Posting wildfire meme was a mistake;
  • Ohio Democrat says she won't challenge Pelosi for speaker;
  • Ohio group rejects Kasich's plan for toxic algae bloom control;
  • Survey: Cleveland full of bed bugs

Ohio voter purge to continue
The man in charge of Ohio’s elections has ordered the immediate resumption of purging voters from the state’s rolls. Secretary of State Jon Husted Wednesday resumed removing the names of people who haven’t cast a ballot in the past six years and has not contacted the state. The controversial purging was postponed in the period leading up to the recent November midterms. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upheld the practice. A recent study by the A. Philip Randolph Institute showed that the purges disproportionately affect low-income and minority voters. Incoming Secretary of State Frank LaRose was not available for comment but has said he would change the notification process for voter purges.

CDC warns to throw out romaine lettuce, sickens 1 in Ohio
The recent E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce has sickened one person in Ohio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce until the source of the contamination that’s sickened people in 11 states is identified. The bacteria produces a toxin which can cause kidney failure. More than half of the 32 people sickened by the E. coli have been hospitalized. Health officials recommend that any romaine lettuce including packaged greens with romaine should be thrown away even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Gas prices to remain steady for Thanksgiving
Gas prices are expected to remain steady over the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA said the average price for a gallon of regular is $2.39 in Ohio this week, much lower than the national average and down from the price last year. In Akron and Cleveland, gas is as low as $2.19 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. AAA expects the highest volume of Thanksgiving travelers since 2005, with more than 2.2 million Ohioans on the road this week. I-71 is expected to be the busiest, but road work will be suspended for the holiday.

County GOP chief: Posting wildfire meme was a mistake
An eastern Ohio county GOP chairman said he was mistaken in publishing a meme on Facebook that appeared to refer to the California wildfires as "God's Punishment to Liberal California." Columbiana County Republican Party Chairman Dave Johnson said in a statement he didn't intend "any disrespect to the innocent lives" lost but was pointing to policies he believes contributed to the fires. He deleted the meme.

Ohio Democrat says she won't challenge Pelosi for speaker
Cleveland Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has dropped out of the running for House Speaker Tuesday, delivering a blow to efforts to topple Nancy Pelosi. Fudge announced her decision just as Pelosi said she was naming the Ohio congresswoman as incoming chair of a newly revived elections subcommittee that will delve into voting rights access. The move also came the same day Fudge faced questions over her past support for former Cuyahoga County judge Lance Mason, who is now suspected of stabbing his ex-wife. She had been among several officials who wrote letters of support over recent years for Mason.

Ohio group rejects Kasich's plan for toxic algae bloom control
The group that oversees policy in Ohio watersheds has rejected Gov. John Kasich’s plan to control toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. Cleveland.com reports that the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission Wednesday voted against the Governor’s designation of eight Lake Erie watersheds as distressed. That would have set in motion requirements to protect the water against toxic algae blooms. Instead the commission sided with farmers who say the new rules give the state too much control over the application of fertilizers. Nutrient rich runoff from farms is blamed for Erie’s annual algae blooms. Kasich this summer issued an executive order putting tougher controls on farm runoff. A panel of state lawmakers will now review the rules and send them back to the Soil and Water Conservation Commission next year.

Survey: Cleveland full of bed bugs
Ohio is ground zero for bed bug infestations according to a pest control company’s annual survey. Terminix looks at services it provides in 300 U.S. cities and for the second year in a row Cleveland is number one in incidents of the biting pests. Three other Ohio cities made the top ten list including Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton. Philadelphia and L.A. round out the top three.