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Morning Headlines: UA to close its Confucius Institute; Fireworks legalized on some holidays

A series of pictures on a diorama showcasing the Confucius Institute at the University of Akron.
CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE - UNIVERSITY OF AKRON
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The University of Akron says federal restrictions enacted under the Trump Administration last year means it will have to close its Confucius Institute by next June. Many similar institutes nationwide have closed over the past couple of years as tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 9:

  • UA to close its Confucius Institute
  • Fireworks will be legal on some holidays
  • Consumer advocates: New facts demand fresh FirstEnergy audit
  • Officials tout Cleveland’s Innovation District
  • Ohio to pay $17.5 million to inmate paralyzed after takedown
  • Several injured in weekend gun violence
  • Alert issued after overdose spike
  • Gas prices increase

UA to close its Confucius Institute
(WKSU) -- The University of Akron says federal restrictions enacted under the Trump Administration last year means it will have to close its Confucius Institute by next June. The National Defense Authorization Act restricts access to Department of Defense research funding if a university hosts a program sponsored by the Chinese government. In a statement, Akron said since opening its Confucius Institute in 2008, tens of thousands of K-12 students and community members have learned about Chinese culture and language. Officials also said Akron remains committed to international outreach and collaboration. Many similar institutes nationwide have closed over the past couple of years as tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated.

Fireworks legalized on some holidays
(AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill into law allowing Ohio residents to set off fireworks on certain holidays. The move closes a long-exploited loophole in Ohio law, which formerly allowed residents to purchase fireworks in the state but not set them off. The bill also allows local communities to restrict or ban the use of fireworks. The law limits days for setting off fireworks to several holidays including New Year's Day, Memorial Day Weekend, days on and around July 4, and others. DeWine vetoed a similar measure in July.

Consumer advocates: New facts demand fresh FirstEnergy audit
(AP) — Consumer advocates are asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to reopen one of its audits of Akron-based FirstEnergy. It comes after new evidence showed the first review didn’t look at whether money the company has admitted funneling into a $60 million bribery scheme came from customers. The Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council seek a supplemental audit by the commission. A filing posted Monday said the review also should consider a recently discovered text exchange in which since-fired FirstEnergy executives discussed favors delivered to the company by then-PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo.

Officials tout Cleveland’s Innovation District
(Ideastream Public Media) - State and local officials are touting the early success of the Cleveland Innovation District. The state-sponsored partnership between the city's three major health systems and two universities seeks to turn Cleveland into an economic hub for healthcare innovation. During an update Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine said Cleveland Clinic has filled 300 new positions in fields such as research, education, supply chain, and information technology. At University Hospitals, officials have opened up 15 new research positions and began construction of a center that will focus on new treatments and therapies for cancer patients. Case Western Reserve University officials say they have secured 50% of funding for new biomedical research in cancer, including early detection of prostate cancer and new 3D ultrasound technology. The Innovation District is expected to create 20,000 new jobs, raise $3 billion for new research and have another $3 billion in economic impact over the next decade.

Ohio to pay $17.5 million to inmate paralyzed after takedown
(AP) — The state has agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by an Ohio inmate paralyzed during a takedown by prison guards. Former prisoner Seth Fletcher was serving a two-year sentence at Chillicothe Correctional Institution in southern Ohio last year when his attorney says he was tackled, handcuffed, and dropped by guards. The 21-year-old Fletcher was left paralyzed from the chest down with a spinal cord injury.

Several injured in weekend gun violence
(Cleveland.com) -- Gun violence flared this weekend in Akron and Canton. Cleveland.com reports three teens were wounded when dozens of shots were fired into a West Akron home. The group had gathered for a memorial to Kyree Young, a high-school football star shot and killed in July. A shooting in Canton ended with both victims dropped off in the Cleveland Clinic's Mercy Hospital parking deck. One man was treated and released and a woman remains in unknown condition.

Alert issued after overdose spike
(WKSU) -- Cuyahoga County’s medical examiner has issued a public health alert following 12 overdose deaths over the weekend. Dr. Thomas Gilson says officials are conducting forensic testing to determine what drug or drugs are responsible for the recent spike. Gilson says the county is on pace to set a record of 700 overdose deaths this year.

Gas prices increase
(WKSU) -- Gas prices in Ohio and the rest of the nation are climbing as demand increases. AAA says Ohio’s average is at $3.31 a gallon, up nearly 15 cents from last week. However, Ohio is one of 20 states below the national average of $3.42 a gallon, the highest since 2014.