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Morning Headlines: Akron Commuters Face New Traffic Challenges with Start of Work Week

photo of I-76

  The start of the new work week brings a whole host of changes for Akron drivers.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the Ohio Department of Transportation is prepared to set up new lane and ramp closures which could be in place for months… mostly on I-76.  The busiest spot is expected to be where I-76, I-77 and Route 8 all come together wither ODOT is removing three bridges.  Closures will also affect traffic along I-76 in Barberton and Norton and Route 8 in Stow and Cuyahoga Falls.  The projects are part of a half-billion dollars worth of work scheduled for Summit County over the next five years.

A new pride celebration
Cleveland LGBTQ leaders are moving ahead with a new event to replace the Cleveland Pride Parade and Festival which was cancelled last week.  Phyllis Harris, executive director of the LGBT Community Center made the announcement on Facebook this weekend about a new event to take place on August 13th.  The goal is to promote visibility and celebrate Northeast Ohio’s LGBTQ community.  The head of the group organizing this year’s Cleveland Pride Parade blamed security concerns for their decision to cancel.

Cleveland officer hurt in chase
A Cleveland Police officer was hurt after three Cleveland police cruisers crashed while following suspects wanted in a shooting.  It happened around five yesterday evening  as officers were following suspects after a shooting inside a home. WEWS-TV reports one officer suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized. Police say two 17-year-olds boys have been arrested and are facing charges of felonious assault and grand theft auto.

Strickland campaigns in Southwest Ohio
The Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio plans to highlight an Ohio River bridge as an example of national infrastructure needs.  Former Gov. Ted Strickland will be near the Brent Spence Bridge that connects Cincinnati and northern Kentucky today to discuss his plan to invest in such infrastructure. The bridge is considered functionally obsolete, but plans to take action on it have faltered over lack of agreement on funding. Meanwhile, incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman plans to be in suburban Columbus with Attorney General Mike DeWine at a Worthington community conversation on heroin. Portman championed federal legislation aimed at the nation's deadly drug epidemic, with focus on evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery. It was signed by President Obama last month.

Cedar Point water park reopens
Cedar Point's water park is reopening this morning following a water main break that forced it to shut down over the weekend. The park says a break that affected the main line supplying the water park forced it to shut down early on Saturday. The Soak City water park remained closed yesterday along with two hotels while crews from Sandusky completed repairs to the line.  The water park reopens at 11 a.m. and guests with reservations at Hotel Breakers and Sandcastle Suites Hotel can check in beginning at 4 p.m.

Haslam's pep talk
Brown owner Jimmy Haslam has issued a challenge to his players:  Stop the antics off the field.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports Haslam talked to the team late last week at the request of Coach Hue Jackson.  One of the basic messages:  eliminate all distractions on and off the field.  The pep talk comes as receiver Josh Gordon prepared to return to the team following a series of suspensions and running back Isaiah Crowell stirred up a storm with a controversial social media post after the Dallas police shootings.

Indians sweep A's
Corey Kluber limited Oakland to five hits in seven innings, Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of the A’s with an 8-0 win yesterday. Kluber  struck out seven and walked two. He is 4-1 in his last seven starts.

Tribe looking ahead to playoffs
The Indians have made a few trades signaling the team's seriousness about winning the World Series this year.  Cleveland will send four players, including highly touted outfielder Clint Frazier, to the Yankees in exchange for Andrew Miller, one of baseball's best set-up men. The Indians have been lacking a quality reliever in the seventh and eighth innings, and Miller fills that void.  The Indians are also close to completing a deal for Milwaukee All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy. With a 4 1/2 game lead in the AL Central, the Indians feel these moves can help them win their first World Series since 1948.

Ohio officials cited for underpaying for OSU luxury box seats
The Ohio Ethics Commission says four elected Columbus officials paid less than they should have to watch an Ohio State football game in a luxury suite with a lobbyist.  The Columbus Dispatch reports the commission determined Mayor Andrew Ginther, Councilman Shannon Hardin, former Councilwoman Michelle Mills and Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Eileen Paley paid $250 to watch the Buckeyes at the 2014 Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.  The commission says the trip was worth nearly $700 and has ordered the city to pay the difference.  The suite belonged to food vendor Centerplate, awarded a contract at a Columbus-area convention center days earlier.  Ginther called the allegations "baseless." The others didn't immediately respond to messages.