Morning Headlines: Akron Mayor Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings
Morning Headlines from WKSU News
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has kicked off a series of town hall meetings across the city. The Akron Beacon Journal reports about 40 people turned out for the first event at the Helen Arnold Community Learning Center. Questions and comments touched on, among other things, the city’s ongoing sewer project, the need for more bike lanes and the future of the underused Innerbelt highway. Horrigan says the redevelopment of the road, which will take some time, is expected to get underway next month. Horrigan, the city’s first new mayor in nearly three decades, took office in January.
Cleveland teachers union talks strike
The union representing Cleveland’s teachers is beginning to talk about a strike in the fall. Cleveland.com is reporting that the union is asking its members to authorize a strike in the fall. The Cleveland Teachers Union is also calling for a rejection of the contract recommended by a federal mediator. Union President David Quolke tells Cleveland.com the contract does not fix some of the union’s concerns with the improvement plan for the district passed by the state legislature four year ago. The website reports the school board unanimously rejected the contract proposal last night, says it’s also had issues with the federal recommendations.
State seeks money from two defunct charters
The state is looking to get back a hundred thousand dollars from two defunct charter schools, one of them in Akron. Auditor Dave Yost’s office tells Cleveland.com that New Frontier Academy, which shut down last year, owes the Department of Education more than 47-thousand dollars for overpayments. A spokesman for the Auditor says the matter will be referred to the county proscutor’s office if the money is not repaid. The other charter which received an overpayment is in Toledo. It closed two years ago.
More sex assault kits tested
Forensic scientists have tested hundreds more sexual assault kits for DNA this spring under an initiative to check for evidence from a backlog of previously untested kits in Ohio. The state Attorney General's office says law enforcement agencies submitted over 13,700 kits. Testing has been completed on about three-quarters of those. The office says the testing led to over 3,800 hits in a DNA index system and several hundred indictments of suspects. Attorney General Mike DeWine launched the testing initiative five years ago. Legislation that took effect last year mandated that any remaining untested sexual assault kits associated with crimes be submitted by law enforcement agencies to a crime laboratory by March of this year. Rape kits from new cases are required to be submitted within a month after investigators determine a crime occurred.
Ohio Highway Patrol pushes hotline
The state Highway Patrol hopes to boost public use of its hotline through a new ad blitz encouraging Ohioans to dial #677 to report crime tips and crashes. That replaced the old 877-7-PATROL number four years ago. A patrol spokesman says the number of calls to the line declined in recent years and plateaued around 2,500 calls per month. A highway patrol spokesman says there are things that people could or should be reporting but aren't. Officials say travelers could call to request help or report an impaired driver or suspected drug activity or human trafficking, for example. Money seized in drug cases is being used to fund ads for the hotline on some digital billboards, at fuel pumps and in newspapers.
State lawmakers to vote on override of local pet store ordinance
Ohio senators are considering a bill that would override local ordinances that regulate pet stores. The Senate Ways and Means Committee added the idea to an unrelated tax measure last week and could vote on the bill today. The provision seeks to trump regulations set by cities. The bill's amendment says regulating pet stores is an issue of general Ohio interest that requires statewide regulation. The Grove City council voted in March to require pet stores to purchase animals from shelters and rescue groups. The ordinance would block stores from getting animals from high-volume breeders, which critics say are often "puppy mills" that treat animals poorly. It's slated to take effect next year. Toledo has a similar ordinance.
Cincinnati considers immigrant ID cards
A resolution authorizing a photo ID card for immigrants, the homeless and others that would be accepted by police and other municipal agencies is set for a vote today by the Cincinnati city council. The executive director of a religious coalition that has worked with the mayor's office on the proposal says applicants would be required to show some identification to get a card. Margaret Fox, of the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, says those who can't afford the $15 cost of a card could receive financial assistance. Fox and city officials say the photo IDs would help immigrants and others feel more a part of the community.
Goodyear's new line
Goodyear has unveiled a new performance line, but this one’s not for your car. Crain’s Cleveland Business is reporting that Goodyear Licensed Products has released a line of shoes. It’s being rolled out as the Goodyear Performance Collection and include five different shoes from high-tops to canvas sneakers, all sporting the company name and logo. They’ll be available later this month through Amazon and retail stores around the country.
Tribe shuts out the Astros
Trevor Bauer pitched seven scoreless innings and Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen completed the four-hitter to help the Indians to a 4-0 win over the Houston Astros last night. Bauer, who started the season in the bullpen, allowed three hits and struck out seven to extend his winning streak to a career-high three games. The tribe has won the last six of its eight games.