Morning Headlines: Wrong Ballots Mailed in Franklin County; Layoffs at Cleveland Museum of Art
Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, October 8:
- Wrong ballots mailed to many in Franklin County
- Cleveland Museum of Art announces layoffs, furloughs
- Cuyahoga River getting upgrades to better absorb runoff
- Ashtabula River is off of EPA’s “area of concern” list
- Former GOP candidate sues former speaker of the Ohio House
- Ohio’s casinos and racinos post record revenue for September
- MAC season starts with full slate of games Wednesday, Nov. 4
- Indians' Francona underwent surgeries during health scare
Wrong ballots mailed to many in Franklin County
The elections board serving the county that is home to Ohio's capital says voters who received incorrect absentee ballots will receive corrected replacement ballots. The Franklin County Elections Board in Columbus is blaming a malfunction on a high-speed scanner that proofs ballots for accuracy. The board said Wednesday it's still trying to figure out how many of the county's estimated 250,000 absentee ballots were affected. Some ballots had an incorrect congressional race. Others had the correct information but were sent to voters in a different precinct. The board says people with wrong ballots can also consider voting in-person at election board headquarters.
Cleveland Museum of Art announces layoffs, furloughs
The Cleveland Museum of Art has announced furloughs and layoffs to help fill a $6.2 million budget deficit. The museum is laying off 24 employees and cutting hours for all nonunion employees. Director William Griswold says this is in addition to the around 40 employees who voluntarily stepped down for a total of around 10% staff reduction. Griswold also says new donations from trustees have contributed to around $4 million in additional revenue to fill the projected gap in its $50 million annual budget.
Cuyahoga River getting upgrades to better absorb runoff
The Cuyahoga River will become more crooked thanks to a federal grant to add more curves to the river. The Army Corps of Engineers will spend around $15 million to add up to 1.5 miles of curves under a new project to improve the river’s ability to absorb runoff. The project is part of decades-long efforts to improve water quality in the Cuyahoga, which remains on the EPA list of “areas of concern.” The National Park Service says the improvements should benefit fishermen and kayakers in coming years.
Ashtabula River is off of EPA’s “area of concern” list
The Ashtabula River is on its way to being removed from the list of polluted waters. In Cleveland Wednesday, U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said that after millions of dollars of conservation work, the Ashtabula is the first river to be delisted. He says the process will be completed next year. Wheeler says delisting an area of concern requires signoffs from the state, the U.S. EPA and Canada.
Former GOP candidate sues former speaker of the Ohio House
A former Republican candidate for the state legislature is suing the former GOP speaker of the Ohio House for using dark money to run questionable ads against him. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Columbus pastor Bobby Mitchell has filed a $1 million suit against Larry Householder and his associates who are facing federal racketeering charges. Mitchell lost the Republican primary this year after Householder and his PAC financed a series of political ads that Mitchell claims were defamatory and damaged his good name. The FBI has accused Householder of using $60 million from FirstEnergy Corp. to steer primaries and pressure Republicans to back a $1 billion bailout of the state’s two nuclear plants. Besides Mitchell’s civil case and the criminal charges against Householder, Attorney General Dave Yost last month filed a civil lawsuit against the former Speaker and his associates.
Ohio’s casinos and racinos post record revenue for September
Ohio's gambling industry is booming during the pandemic. Cleveland.com reports the state’s casino and racino industry posted its third consecutive month of record revenue of around $164 million in September. That’s up 6% from last September, following monthly records in August and July. The coronavirus shutdown from mid-March through June has cost the industry overall, as revenue of over $1 billion is down nearly 31% from the first nine months of 2019.
MAC season starts with full slate of games Wednesday, Nov. 4
The Mid-American Conference will begin its six-game regular football season with every team in the conference scheduled to play Wednesday, Nov. 4. The MAC will play all weeknight games the first three weeks of the season before shifting to Saturdays the last three weekends. Akron and Kent State face off at Dix Stadium on November 17. The MAC championship game is scheduled for Dec. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit.
Indians' Francona underwent surgeries during health scare
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona has revealed he underwent several surgeries in a four-day span and spent time in intensive care while dealing with major health issues that sidelined him for most of this season. Francona missed 48 of Cleveland’s 62 games during the pandemic-shortened season. He initially underwent an operation for a gastrointestinal problem that had bothered him for a year. That was followed by blood-clotting that required more operations and an extended stay at the Cleveland Clinic. The 61-year-old Francona hopes to manage next season. He's returned to his home in Arizona and hopes to get stronger to come back in 2021.