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Morning Headlines: Turner Turns Down VP Ask from Green Party

Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner

Nina Turner is not bolting the Democratic Party.  Turner, a former Cleveland councilwoman and state senator announced last night she’s rejected an offer to be the Green Party ticket’s vice presidential candidate.  She told Cleveland.com in a telephone interview last night that she’s going to keep fighting for the party even though she’s disappointed.  Turner supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, leaving her post as one of the top officials in Ohio’s Democratic Party.  She says at this point, she’s still not prepared to endorse Hillary Clinton.

Online Ohio charter ordered to turn over records
A judge has ordered an online Ohio charter school to turn over its attendance records to the state.  The Ohio Department of Education has been trying to audit the school to determine if enough of ECOT’s 15-thousand students are participating in classes to deserve the more the $108 million in state funding it’s gotten.  Cleveland.com reports the judge gave ECOT until today to comply with her order.  A spokesman for the school tells Cleveland.com it will comply as soon as its can but also lashed out at the Education Department for its own incompetence and not knowing how to do an audit.

Ohio Libertarians take case to U.S. Suprme Court
Ohio Libertarians are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court in a long-running dispute over the party's access to the ballot. The Libertarian Party has accused a member of Secretary of State Jon Husted’s staff and others of being part of a scheme to selectively enforce the state's election law.  The party also claimed Ohio's rules for minor political parties violate its equal protection rights by denying Libertarians the chance to participate in a primary election. A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court rejected the party's challenge Friday. A Husted spokesman calls the lawsuit "frivolous."

One candidate running in September special congressional primary
Although there is only one candidate on the ballot, Ohio will hold a special primary Sept. 13 for a Democrat to challenge recently elected Republican U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson in former House Speaker John Boehner's home district. Secretary of State Jon Husted on Monday announced details of the primary while also urging the Legislature to change the state law making the special vote necessary because of ballot timing issues. Steven Fought, a former congressional staffer from Toledo, was the only Democrat to file for the special ballot last week after nominee Corey Foister abruptly withdrew from the race. Davidson won a June 7 special election to complete Boehner's term.

Federal judge to hear arguments on Planned Parenthood funding
A federal judge is weighing whether to continue blocking an Ohio law that diverts public money from Planned Parenthood. U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett is scheduled to hear arguments today in Cincinnati on the merits of the law and whether it should remain on hold. The law was set to take effect in May, though a temporary order suspends it from taking effect until Friday.

Final impact study on Rover Pipeline released
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has filed its final environmental impact study on the proposed Rover Pipeline.  The Canton Rep reports the study finds that while the dual 42-inch pipelines will have a negative impact on the environment, that harm would be reduced to acceptable levels by following all appropriate laws and regulations, along with recommendations within the study.  The natural gas pipeline would cross parts of Stark, Tuscarawas and Carroll Counties.  Rover wants to complete the pipeline by November of next year.

Cleveland Clinic tops for heart care, again
Top honors once again for Cleveland Clinic in a survey of the nation’s hospitals.  US News and World Reports once again ranks Cleveland Clinic as number one in heart care.  That’s the 22nd year in a row for that recognition.  However, the survey also found the Clinic moving up in overall quality.  Its overall ranking was number two in the U.S.  That’s up from number five last year.  The Mayo Clinic ranks number one.  Cleveland Clinic CEO Tobey Cosgrove tells Cleveland.com the number one heart care ranking, once again, is a recognition that speaks to the experience and quality of the Cleveland Clinic's cardiac team." As to  the overall No. 2 he says he doesn’t think most people in Cleveland recognize the quality of the organization that’s here.

Lightning strike closes memorial on Lake Erie
A lightning strike has closed the observation deck at the top of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. The lightning damaged the control system for the tower's elevator Saturday afternoon.  The National Park Service's superintendent for the facility tells the Toledo Blade the tower will remain closed until the elevator system is examined, tested, and determined to be safe.  She says the tower has systems to handle the frequent lightning strikes it receives but this was "a really strong strike." The memorial commemorates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's leading an American fleet to victory over the British during the War of 1812.

Mean Streak's ride almost over
It’s the end of the line for one of Cedar Point’s signature roller coasters.  The amusement park has announced the 25-year-old Mean Streak will be taken out of service in mid-September.  When it opened in 1991, it broke the record for the tallest lift and longest drop for a wooden rollercoaster.  Cedar Point says some 26 million passengers have taken a ride on the Mean Streak, but the Beacon-Journal reports  more recently, riders have favored the park’s newer coasters the offered a ride that was less jostling.

Indians lose to the Twins
The lowly twins hammered the first place Indians 12-5 last night in Celeveland.  All-Star Danny Salazar Salazar (11-4) lost for the first time since May 22. The right-hander allowed three homers and was charged with six runs in two innings, the shortest outing of his career.

Another Tribe trade
The Indians have acquired outfielder Brandon Guyer from Tampa Bay for two minor leaguers.  Guyer, a right-handed hitter, is batting .241 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 63 games. The 30-year-old played all three outfield positions with the Rays this season. He spent most of June on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.  Cleveland, which is currently leading the AL Central has made a number of moves in the past week in preparation for post-season play.