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Morning Headlines: ODOT, FirstEnergy prep for winter storm; SeaWorld makes bid for Cedar Fair

A plow truck in a winter storm.
THE CITY OF AKRON
Preparations are underway in the region for a major winter storm that’s rolling in on Wednesday. High-profile vehicles, like commercial trucks and mobile homes, are prohibited from using the Ohio Turnpike Wednesday through Friday at noon.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, February 2:

  • ODOT, FirstEnergy prep for winter storm
  • SeaWorld makes bid for Cedar Fair amusement parks
  • Granite firm container blast attributed to fuel inside
  • Hood enters race for governor
  • Justice Department won't reopen probe into Tamir Rice death
  • Ohio refers 27 election fraud cases involving 2020 votes
  • Rock Hall announces 2022 nominees

ODOT, FirstEnergy prep for winter storm
(WKSU) -- Preparations are underway for the major winter storm that’s rolling in Wednesday. ODOT says it has more than 166,000 tons of salt on hand and employees are ready to work 12-hour shifts. However, ODOT says freezing rain forecasted means they’re unable to pre-treat highways because it will wash away. Flooding may also be a concern. High-profile vehicles, like commercial trucks and mobile homes, are prohibited from using the Ohio Turnpike Wednesday through Friday at noon. FirstEnergy says it’s also preparing for widespread power outages because of heavy snow and ice. You can find the latest weather alerts and school closings here.

SeaWorld makes bid for Cedar Fair amusement parks
(AP) — The owner of Cedar Point and Kings Island says it’s mulling a takeover bid from SeaWorld Entertainment. Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment said Tuesday that it’s reviewing the unsolicited bid, reportedly worth $3.4 billion. Orlando-based SeaWorld owns more than a dozen theme parks and water parks in four states. It operated SeaWorld Ohio in Aurora until 2007. Just over two years ago, Cedar Fair rejected a $4 billion offer from rival Six Flags.

Granite firm container blast attributed to fuel inside
(AP) — Authorities say the fatal explosion of a storage container at a Tallmadge granite business appears to have been caused by some kind of fuel inside the container. Jacob Williams, 25, of Cuyahoga Falls was killed in the Monday blast in the parking lot of Korkan Granite. Officials said two employees apparently were using a torch to remove ice blocking access to the container. One woman was taken to a hospital and the other was treated at the scene.

Hood enters race for governor
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Conservative former state representative Ron Hood is running for governor, with fellow far-right former representative Candice Keller as his running mate. Both back the expansion of gun rights and oppose all abortions, are strong supporters of former President Trump, and have spread disinformation about COVID and vaccines. There are two strongly Trump-focused teams in the GOP primary already: former Congressman Jim Renacci and central Ohio farmer and businessman Joe Blystone. Both are running as critics of COVID actions and other policies of incumbent Mike DeWine, but are behind him in fundraising. With Hood, Renacci, and Blystone all in the race, they could end up splitting the anti-DeWine votes in the May primary.

Justice Department won't reopen probe into Tamir Rice death
(AP) — The Justice Department says it will not reopen the federal investigation into the 2014 death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot to death by Cleveland police. The family had asked federal prosecutors to take a fresh look at the case, sending four letters to top officials and meeting with them last October. But the department's Civil Rights Division says there is not enough evidence to open a federal probe.

Ohio refers 27 election fraud cases involving 2020 votes
(AP) — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says a routine review of potential voter fraud has identified 62 new potential cases. He referred the cases to local prosecutors or the Ohio attorney general’s office Tuesday. Of those, 31 are non-citizens who registered to vote but did not cast a ballot. The other 31 may have cast illegal ballots, including 27 in the 2020 general election. LaRose emphasized that is a tiny fraction of nearly 6 million votes cast.

Rock Hall announces 2022 nominees
(Ideastream Public Media) -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2022 nominees. Seven out of the 17 acts are making their debut on the ballot, including Beck, Eminem, Carly Simon, and A Tribe Called Quest. Other nominees are Devo, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, Fela Kuti, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Lionel Richie, MC5, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, and Dionne Warwick. An international group of over 1,000 voters will narrow this roster of artists down to about a half dozen who are due to be inducted this fall.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.
Jon Nungesser is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media.