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Morning Headlines: Akron Police Chief Finalist Withdraws; Lordstown Motors Execs Sold Stock Before Bad Earnings Report

An Akron police SUV in front of a police building.
THE CITY OF AKRON
One of the four finalists in Akron's search for a new police chief has withdrawn. Eric Hawkins says he will remain police chief in Albany, New York. Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said he remains confident that the city will select a highly qualified chief in the coming weeks.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 22:

  • Akron police chief finalist withdraws
  • Lordstown Motors execs sold stock before bad earnings report
  • Heat a factor in death of Hudson resident at Grand Canyon
  • Ohio’s 8 largest schools want changes in state budget
  • Form UA track star Clayton Murphy makes U.S. Olympic team
  • Civil rights lawyer sworn in as new Akron council member
  • Ohio’s economy is struggling to recover from the pandemic
  • Ohio led the nation in foreclosures in May
  • Man's trial in 8 slayings set for April after brother's plea
  • Local organizers add concerts to Bridgestone Senior Player’s Championship week

Akron police chief finalist withdraws
One of the four finalists in Akron's search for a new police chief has withdrawn. Eric Hawkins says he will remain police chief in Albany, New York. Hawkins was the only minority finalist. The remaining candidates are Portland, Ore. deputy chief Chris Davis, Steve Mylett, chief of Bellevue Police in Washington State, and Joseph Sullivan, a retired deputy commissioner in Philadelphia. Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said he remains confident that the city will select a highly qualified chief in the coming weeks.

Lordstown Motors execs sold stock before bad earnings report
There’s more trouble for electric vehicle start-up Lordstown Motors. The Wall Street Journal reports five executives, including its former chief financial officer and its current president, sold more than $8 million in stock ahead of its quarterly financial report in March, which included a net loss of $100 million in 2020. The company declined to comment on Monday, however officials issued a statement last week, saying each of those transactions were made for reasons unrelated to the performance of the company or viability of the Endurance truck. Last week, two top executives, including its founder and CEO Steve Burns, resigned, and the company found itself walking back statements it had firm, binding orders.

Heat a factor in death of Hudson resident at Grand Canyon
A Hudson resident on a backpacking trip at the Grand Canyon has died of a suspected heat-related illness. Park officials said Monday that 53-year-old Michelle Meder died over the weekend while hiking down a rocky, strenuous trail amid a heatwave. The U.S. West has been enduring a heatwave with triple-digit temperatures in many locations. The temperature at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon hit 115 degrees on Sunday, tying the previous record for the day. The park is working with the local medical examiner's office on an exact cause of death.

Ohio’s 8 largest schools want changes in state budget
Leaders of Ohio’s eight largest school districts are urging lawmakers to keep in mind the impact on students as the House and Senate work on reconciling their two versions of the state budget. Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and co-chair of the Ohio 8 coalition, urged lawmakers to include a bipartisan school funding formula overhaul in the final budget. The overhaul was included in the House budget, but not in the Senate's. The group also says lawmakers need to keep the Step Up to Quality preschool program, which the Senate’s budget cuts, but want to scrap new school transportation mandates. And they don’t want changes in charter school funding to impact public school dollars.

Form UA track star Clayton Murphy makes U.S. Olympic team
Former University of Akron track star Clayton Murphy is heading to Tokyo. Murphy won the 800-meter finals Monday in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. He finished just two-tenths of a second off his bronze medal time in Brazil in 2016. While at Akron, Murphy won 12 Mid-American Conference titles and two NCAA titles. He made headlines last year after announcing he was cutting ties with his alma mater after the school eliminated the men’s cross-country program.

Civil rights lawyer sworn in as new Akron council member
A civil rights lawyer is the newest member of Akron City Council. Nancy Holland was one of 17 people who sought to fill the vacancy left by the death last month of Ward 1 Councilman Rich Swirsky. She currently serves on the Children Services Board of Summit County, Summit County Council’s Special Committee on Racism as a Public Crisis, and the Akron Civil Rights Commission.

Ohio’s economy is struggling to recover from the pandemic
Unemployment data for May shows Ohio’s economy is still struggling to recover from the pandemic. Ohio's unemployment rate climbed to 5% from 4.7% in April. Employers cut nearly 15,000 jobs and the number of unemployed rose by 5,000 workers. The labor force, made up of the people with a job or looking for work, shrank by nearly 220,000 workers in May. Ohio needs about 300,000 more jobs to get back to where it was before the pandemic.

Ohio led the nation in foreclosures in May
Foreclosures were up in Ohio in May, jumping 96% over the previous month, according to RealtyTrac. That was the highest rise in the nation. The Cleveland area had the third-highest rate of foreclosure activity in the nation in May, with 39 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, sheriff's sale, or bank repossession. Stark County had 29 foreclosures in May and Summit had 17. The rise comes as a foreclosure moratorium for federally backed loans is set to expire on June 30.

Man's trial in 8 slayings set for April after brother's plea
A trial is scheduled for next April for a man who along with his brother and parents was charged in the slayings of eight people from another Pike County family. George Wagner IV has pleaded not guilty in the 2016 slayings of seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family. His 28-year-old brother pleaded guilty two months ago and agreed to cooperate against the other defendants, under a deal to help spare them all potential death sentences. The brothers' parents have pleaded not guilty.

Local organizers add concerts to Bridgestone Senior Player’s Championship week
The PGA Bridgestone Senior Players Championship is this week at Akron's Firestone Country Club, and organizers are upping the fun outside the tournament. There are four concerts planned, beginning Tuesday with country singer Jake Owen at the Hoban High School Football Stadium. The other three concerts are free and will be on the Firestone Country Club grounds, and include Northeast Ohio honky-tonk band The Shootouts on Saturday and a performance by the Akron Symphony Orchestra on Sunday. The tournament gets underway Wednesday, with eight past champions in the field, including Jerry Kelly and Jim Furyk.