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Morning Headlines: New Poll Shows Trump, Clinton Lead Their Parties Among Likely Presidential Voters

Top headlines: Security officer stabbed, severely injured at Akron’s St. Thomas Hospital; Akron’s First Energy reports fourth quarter losses, higher net earnings overall; Cleveland police arrest three people in connection to Monday shooting

  • New poll shows Trump, Clinton lead their parties among likely presidential voters 
  • Security officer stabbed, severely injured at Akron’s St. Thomas Hospital
  • Akron’s First Energy reports fourth quarter losses, higher net earnings overall
  • Cleveland police arrest three people in connection to Monday shooting
  • Former Browns player charged with stealing more $100,000 to pay gambling debts, personal expenses
  • Macedonia police warn community members of aggressive “alpha male” coyote
  • Early voting begins today for Ohio’s March presidential primary
  • Ohio lawmaker proposes limits on use of traffic cameras in small communities
  • New bill aims to ensure equal access to school facilities for students of different religions
  • Ohio Senate candidate gets endorsement from former presidential contender Mike Huckabee

New poll shows Trump, Clinton lead their parties among likely presidential voters
A new poll by Quinnipiac University shows that Donald Trump continues to be the top choice among Republican voters nationwide. Trump has 39 percent of the vote, his highest ratings so far. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz sit at 19 and 18 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has six percent of the vote among Republicans. Hillary Clinton leads as the number one choice for Democrats with 44 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is in a close second with 42 percent.

Security officer stabbed, severely injured at Akron’s St. Thomas Hospital
A security officer at Akron’s St. Thomas Hospital was seriously injured after being stabbed by a psychiatric patient last night. Akron police say a 33-year-old Andrew Wallace, who was being transported to the facility, took out a knife and stabbed the unarmed 54-year-old officer who works on the psychiatric floor. The officer underwent surgery for stab wounds to his neck and abdomen and reportedly lost lots of blood. The suspect is in custody. Names have not yet been released.

Akron’s First Energy reports fourth quarter losses, higher net earnings overall
Akron-based First Energy has released its 2015 fourth quarter earnings and the news is two-fold. The energy company reports that it lost $226 million in its fourth quarter, which ended on Dec. 31. For the full fiscal year, however, First Energy improved its overall earnings to $578 million. That’s up significantly from 2014 when the company had a net income of about $300 million. First Energy expects to bring in at least $305 million for its first quarter earnings this year.

Cleveland police arrest three people in connection to Monday shooting
Cleveland police have arrested three people in connection with a shooting in the city’s Warehouse District. It happened Monday night at Krush Clothing. Police say they caught a man with a backpack full of money, but it’s not clear if the money was from the store. They also found several guns. The SWAT team responded to the shooting after conflicting reports of a hostage situation. No one was injured and an investigation is continuing.

Former Browns player charged with stealing more $100,000 to pay gambling debts, personal expenses
A former Browns player who had roles with two inner-city Cleveland organizations has been charged in federal court with stealing more than $100,000 from them to pay gambling debts and personal expenses. Reggie Rucker was charged Tuesday by information, which signals that he intends to plead guilty. The 68-year-old from Warrensville Heights is accused of stealing the money from Amer-I-Can Cleveland and Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, which tries to resolve conflicts between feuding street gangs. Court documents say Rucker withdrew $48,000 from ATMs at casinos in Las Vegas, Tampa, Florida, and Cleveland and used $65,000 to pay Las Vegas gambling debts.

Macedonia police warn community members of aggressive “alpha male” coyote
Police in a Summit County community are warning residents to protect pets from a particularly aggressive coyote in the neighborhood. Police in Macedonia say an “alpha male” coyote is vigorously defending his territory this breeding season and is blamed in the deaths of several pets. Authorities tell residents to break up their routine by altering the times you take pets out because coyotes will watch for patterns of behavior. They also recommend hazing coyotes by doing things like yelling and waving arms, using noisemakers, throwing sticks and other small objects. The city is also ­encouraging bow hunters to take aim at coyotes while hunting in Macedonia.

Early voting begins today for Ohio’s March presidential primary
Early voting begins today in Ohio for the March 15 primary. Residents can vote by mail or in person over the course of four weeks, including two Saturdays and a Sunday. You'll have fewer days to vote early this year compared to 2012. That's because a Republican-backed law passed in 2014 trimmed the early voting period from 35 days to typically 28 days. The law got rid of days people could both register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time. Residents statewide will get more time to vote early on certain weekends thanks to deal reached in a legal dispute.

Ohio lawmaker proposes limits on use of traffic cameras in small communities
An Ohio lawmaker has proposed legislation to limit small communities' use of traffic cameras, including the number of tickets issued and revenue raised from them. State Sen. Tom Patton of Strongsville has introduced legislation that would bar a community from raising more than 30 percent of its annual revenue from issuing camera tickets and restrict how many tickets it could give. The bill would block traffic camera use by communities that have 200 or fewer residents or don't have fire departments or emergency medical services agencies.

New bill aims to ensure equal access to school facilities for students of different religions
An Ohio bill seeks to ensure that public school students who want to express their religious viewpoints can get the same access to school facilities as secular student groups. A House committee is set to vote on the measure today. The bill also would remove a provision in law that lets school districts limit the exercise or expression of religion to lunch periods or other non-instructional time periods. Students could engage in religious expression before, during, and after school hours to the same extent that a student may take part in secular activities at such times. The bill also would prohibit schools from disallowing religious expression in class assignments.

Ohio Senate candidate gets endorsement from former presidential contender Mike Huckabee
Former Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee has endorsed an anti-abortion activist who's trying to unseat a state senator who serves Medina, Ashland and Richland counties. In a video, the former Arkansas governor says Republican Janet Folger Porter's campaign is a champion "for faith, family and for freedom." Porter, of Hinckley, heads the group Faith2Action that has pushed for the passage of the so-called heartbeat bill, which would ban most abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat. Porter faces Republican Sen. Larry Obhof in the March 15 primary for the 22nd Senate District.