Development Group Halts Request for State Money for Browns Practice Facility in Columbus
Top headlines: Officials confirm case of tuberculosis at Akron’s North High School; Annual Taste of Hudson food festival canceled; Second teen arrested for alleged involvement in the death of a Kent State freshman
Morning headlines for Friday, February 12, 2016:
Development group halts request for the state to pay for Browns practice facility in Columbus
A Columbus development group plans to stop pushing a request for the state to help pay $5 million to build a practice facility for the Cleveland Browns at Ohio State University so the team can move its summer training camp. The idea has drawn backlash in Cleveland. In a column for The Columbus Dispatch, the Columbus Partnership's leader says planners envisioned a multiuse facility under a request meant to be collaborative, not pitting Columbus against another Ohio community. The Browns have said they'll conduct the 2016 training camp at their Berea facility but confirmed plans to eventually have camp at a new facility in Columbus.
Second teen arrested for alleged involvement in the death of a Kent State freshman
A second teen has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the shooting death of a Kent State University freshman. Marquis Grier, 17, of Massillon has been charged in juvenile court with delinquency by aggravated murder in the off campus shooting Sunday that killed Nicholas Massa of Westlake. Ty Kremling, also 17, of Stow has also been charged and prosecutors want him to be tried as an adult.
Officials confirm case of tuberculosis at Akron’s North High School
Summit County health officials have confirmed that a person associated with an Akron high school has tuberculosis. The Beacon Journal reports that privacy laws prevent revealing any information on the patient other than they are part of the North High School community. TB is contagious, but health officials say it cannot be spread through casual contact.
Annual "Taste of Hudson" food festival canceled
Officials in Hudson have announced that a popular late-summer tradition is no more…at least for 2016. Organizers of the annual Taste of Hudson food festival say they’re cancelling in order to review goals and objectives for future events. Planners also cite executive director Andy Malitz’s retirement as another reason for the cancelation. The event normally welcomes more than 15 local restaurants and features live bands and entertainment. The Taste of Hudson’s organizing committee says it’s “fully committed to bringing the festival back in 2017.”
Westlake police officer cleared of all charges in police brutality case
A suburban Cleveland police officer accused of beating up a man has been acquitted of all charges in U.S. District Court. A jury returned its verdict Thursday in the trial of Westlake police detective Robert Toth. He was indicted after being accused of beating up a suspect, falsifying a police report and lying to FBI agents in 2014. Toth testified that he punched the suspect once to ward off an attack. Prosecutors say he punched and kicked the man and drove him to a cemetery where he wrapped a seatbelt around his neck and threatened to put him in the ground.
Potentially harmful bacteria discovered in Columbus government office
State officials say a potentially harmful bacterium has been found in a government skyscraper in Columbus. The state Department of Administrative Services says test results show Legionella bacteria was discovered in a men's shower at the Rhodes State Office Tower. The area in the basement has since been closed off. Legionella bacteria are transmitted through drinking water. Though usually harmless, elevated levels can make people sick with a severe type of pneumonia.
Ohio lawmaker proposes bill to require voters to be locked-in to a political party upon registration
Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would lock-in voters to a particular party when they register. Cleveland.com reports that Southwest Ohio Republican John Becker introduced a bill this week that he says would prevent the “shenanigans” of voters switching parties to influence primary outcomes. The bill would prevent major and minor parties from registering new members within 30 days of a primary. Becker points to an effort by Ohio Republicans in 2008 to influence the Democratic primary by switching parties.
Regulators shut down nuclear reactors in Ohio and Pennsylvania for repairs
Two nuclear reactors in Ohio and Pennsylvania are shut down for repairs. The Plain Dealer reports that FirstEnergy's reactor in Perry east of Cleveland was shut down earlier this week. Automated valves in high-pressure steam lines at the reactor opened, sending scalding steam to a condenser, which turns the steam into water. Officials say a plant near Pittsburgh that powers the regional grid was closed last week. Federal nuclear regulators found that the reactor's operators knew automated valves had responded to false temperature and pressure signals and that the condenser's water would continue heating up until the reactor was shut down.
Congress approves permanent ban on the taxing of Internet access
Congress has approved a permanent ban on state and local governments from taxing Internet access. President Barack Obama plans to sign the measure, which will force Ohio and 6 other states currently collecting millions in access taxes to halt those efforts. Senator Sherrod Brown complained the measure's language on currency manipulation is weak.