Morning Headlines: Second Bacterial Meningitis Death Reported; Cleveland Opens Warming Centers

Dec 27, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, December 27:

  • Cleveland officer's son stabs drug dealer in front of father;
  • Convenience store customer gunned down attempting to subdue robber;
  • Man tries to rob Akron convenience store with fake gun;
  • Cleveland opens warming centers;
  • FBI looks into Summit Country transit executive;
  • Columbus hits record homicides in more than 20 years;
  • Summa Health and Western Reserve Hospital Partners reach settlement;
  • Canton loses two snow plows to fire;
  • Bacterial meningitis kills second Tuscarawas County resident;
  • Fire departments receive state grants for radio communications;

Cleveland officer's son stabs drug dealer in front of father
The son of a Cleveland police officer says he was being robbed by a drug dealer on Christmas when he stabbed the man in the neck as his father looked on. The officer's 24-year-old son told investigators he had planned to buy marijuana from the other man, who instead attacked him and demanded that he repay a $500 debt. reports that the man followed the officer's son into his house Monday night to retrieve the money. A police report says the officer was ordering the man to leave when his son grabbed a steak knife and stabbed the man. The man fled and was driven to a hospital for treatment. No charges have been filed.

Convenience store customer gunned down attempting to subdue robber
Police say a customer at an Akron convenience store was gunned down as he tried to subdue a robber. Police say the gunman had stolen cash and was fleeing the store in the Firestone Park area Tuesday afternoon when the customer confronted him in the parking lot. Investigators say the customer tried to spray the man with mace or pepper spray before the robber fatally shot him and ran off. Police continue to search for the shooter. No names have been released.

Man tries to rob Akron convenience store with fake gun
Police say a man who tried and failed to rob an Akron convenience store with a fake gun made from pieces of furniture has been charged with robbery. Akron police say Jeffrey Derringer, 48, walked into a local Circle K store Monday afternoon waving what appeared to be a rifle and demanding cash. An employee realized the rifle was a fake and subdued Derringer with the help of three customers until police arrived.

Cleveland opens warming centers
Cleveland has created four makeshift warming centers as temperatures have fallen into the single digits. The recreation centers of Zelma Watson George, Collinwood, Michael Zone and Lonnie Burton will remain open today, and officials will decide if the facilities are still needed tomorrow. It is the first time this winter season that the city has opened its warming centers. A Wind Chill Advisory remains in effect until 11 a.m. Wednesday.

FBI looks into Summit Country transit executive
The FBI has contacted Summit County’s public transit system about allegations against its executive director and former board president. Metro Regional Transit Authority Executive Director Richard Enty is on paid leave and former board member Saundra Foster resigned her position earlier this year after the board filed a complaint against both of them with the Ohio Ethics Commission. The Beacon Journal reports Enty has been accused of loaning Foster money for car repairs and buying her an automatic car starter last year at the same time she was helping to negotiate his new three-year contract.  Enty also has been accused of confronting an employee who had filed a complaint against him. The board has hired a third party to investigate.

Columbus hits record homicides in more than 20 years
Ohio's capital city has set a grim record with its 140th homicide this year, passing the previous high of 139 logged in 1991. Columbus' 2017 tally tied and then passed that mark with the deaths of a 57-year-old woman on Monday and a 37-year-old man shot through a door to his apartment early Tuesday. Police Chief Kim Jacobs has attributed the increase in homicides in part to more illegal guns on the street and the opioid epidemic.

Summa Health and Western Reserve Hospital Partners reach settlement
After a long legal dispute, Summa Health and Western Reserve Hospital Partners have settled. The two parties have agreed that Summa will sell its interest in Western Reserve Hospitals to a third-party investor. Summa will also sell the facility housing Western Reserve Hospital to the hospital shareholders. In a release, the two parties say the agreement resolves all outstanding litigation. Financial details of the settlement have not been released.

Canton loses two snow plows to fire
City workers in Canton will have a tougher time keeping the roads clear after a fire destroyed two snow plows. The two trucks were used by city crews to clear roads and spread salt during the winter months. Each of the two trucks was valued at $60,000 . A third truck also suffered $10,000-worth of damage. It’s not clear what started the fire, but early signs point to an electrical issue in one of the trucks. Meanwhile, the city is waiting on two new trucks to be delivered in about a month's time.

Bacterial meningitis kills second Tuscarawas County resident
A Tuscarawas County resident has died after contracting bacterial meningitis. It’s the second case in less than two weeks. The county health department said in a release there is no relationship between the two cases. This latest death was a staff member at Dundee Elementary School. Bacterial meningitis typically gets confused with the flu. The health department is reminding parents about available vaccines for meningitis.

Fire departments receive state grants for radio communications
The state has issued its annual grants to Ohio’s fire departments for Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems, or MARCS. The grants help offset the cost of radio equipment that lets fire departments communicate with each other and other agencies. Three million dollars this year will be distributed among 165 fire departments in nine counties, including Portage, Stark and Wayne. In Northeast Ohio, the largest grant recipients included Canal Fulton, Louisville, and Lawrence Township, who each received $50,000 .