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Morning Headlines: House, Senate races to be removed from May primary ballot; Attorneys name FirstEnergy executives who paid bribes in HB6 scandal

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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has ordered county election boards to remove Ohio House and Senate races from the May 3 primary ballot after the Ohio Supreme Court recently rejected a third set of maps. Absentee ballots are supposed to go out by April 5.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, March 24:

  • House, Senate races to be removed from May primary ballot
  • Attorneys name FirstEnergy executives who paid bribes in HB6 scandal
  • Ohio governor makes 1st statewide address in 3 years
  • Newcomer in Ohio governor race told to refund campaign cash
  • Cleveland man sentenced to 4 years for damage during May protests
  • Akron installing 28 speed tables

House, Senate races to be removed from May primary ballot
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has ordered county election boards to remove Ohio House and Senate races from the May 3 primary ballot as the legal fight over redistricting continues. The Ohio Supreme Court recently rejected a third set of maps, and LaRose says the close of business Wednesday was the final deadline for those races. LaRose says if the federal court gets involved in the next few days, a supplemental second ballot could be used – but he says that can create confusion for voters. Lawmakers still haven’t proposed moving the primary or splitting it into two events. Absentee ballots are supposed to go out by April 5.

Attorneys name FirstEnergy executives who paid bribes in HB6 scandal
(AP) -- Attorneys representing investors in utility giant FirstEnergy Corp. say the company’s former chief executive and a top official were behind the payments in an alleged $60 million scheme to get the nuclear bailout law passed. The two attorneys revealed the names in new court documents Wednesday under order from a federal judge. They said former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and senior vice president Michael Dowling were responsible for the company’s role. Both Jones and Dowling were fired by FirstEnergy in 2020. Neither have been criminally charged. An attorney for the former CEO asserted Wednesday that Jones didn't break the law or violate any of FirstEnergy’s policies.

Ohio governor makes 1st statewide address in 3 years
(AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine has given his first State of the State address since the pandemic struck in March 2020. The Republican governor used his hourlong speech Wednesday to promote the state's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, its manufacturing health, and measures to support law enforcement. DeWine also called for more efforts to improve mental health treatment in Ohio and promised measures to invest in Appalachia and improve opportunities for children. DeWine also asked lawmakers to pass priority legislation adding penalties for violent felons and toughening laws on distracted driving. He avoided mention of the state's ongoing bribery scandal and a failure to adopt new legislative maps that could force a new primary date.

Newcomer in Ohio governor race told to refund campaign cash
(AP) — The Ohio Secretary of State’s office says a Republican challenging Gov. Mike DeWine must refund $100,000 in campaign contributions. The office says the money collected by political newcomer Joe Blystone violated limits on cash donations and bans on corporate contributions. The central Ohio farmer has until Friday to respond to the violations. The review of Blystone’s campaign finance reports from 2021 also found missing information about donors and missing or vague details about expenditures and contributors.

Cleveland man sentenced to 4 years for damage during May protests
(Ideastream Public Media) -- A man convicted on robbery and tampering charges associated with the 2020 protests in Cleveland has been sentenced to four years in prison. Photos showed Tandre Buchanan, 24, destroying the window at the Colossal Cupcakes shop on Euclid Avenue and others robbing the store as a result. He was convicted of interference with commerce in a three-day trial last December in federal court. Shop owner Kelly Kandah says she and employees had to lock themselves in the bathroom and hide during the incident. The riots began as a protest against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Akron installing 28 speed tables
(WKSU) -- Akron will install 28 speed tables throughout the city to slow the speed of traffic. Unlike speed bumps, the tables are raised areas on the road with tapered ends and long flat tops. The city says it tested temporary speed tables in two Akron neighborhoods in 2020 and found a 23% reduction in the number of speeders. Installation begins this week and is expected to take nine to twelve weeks, as each table takes a full day to be set in place. They will be removed before winter.

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.
Jon joined the station in September 2012 as a producer. He loves all the things he gets to do at the station; from assisting the news department with stories to meeting the interesting guests on Elevations, every day is a new adventure.