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Morning Headlines: Cleveland Clinic CEO Opposes Obamacare Repeal; Frontier Drops Cleveland Routes

Photo of the Cleveland Clinic's Miller Family Pavillion

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Sept. 26th:

  • LeBron James comments on Trump, the NFL and Kyrie Irving during press conference;
  • Craigslist killer appeals his case before the Ohio Supreme Court;
  • Cleveland abortion clinic challenges restrictions before Ohio Supreme Court;
  • Cleveland Clinic's Cosgrove opposes the latest GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare;
  • Opponents of Ohio's voter roll purges unite before the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Budget airline Frontier drops six routes from Cleveland Hopkins;
  • Youngstown sheriff's deputy fired after hospitalizing inmate;

LeBron James comments on Trump, the NFL, and Kyrie Irving during press conference
Speaking for the first time since losing in the NBA Finals, Cavs star LeBron James discussed a range of topics during a free-wheeling, 45-minute news conference at Cavs Media Day on Monday. On President Trump, who touched off a storm of protests across the NFL for saying owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem, James said, "He doesn't understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United State for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement.” On former teammate Kyrie Irving, who demanded a trade and was dealt to Boston, James said he had every intention of relinquishing leadership of the franchise to Irving if and when the time came. And James said he’d like to have former Miami teammate Dwyane Wade on the Cavs, after Wade’s contract buyout this week from Chicago. And, James concluded that he stands by previous comments that he’d like to finish his career in Cleveland.

Craigslist killer appeals his case before the Ohio Supreme Court
An Akron man convicted of killing three down-and-out men lured by fake Craigslist job offers is questioning the strength of the evidence against him. Lawyers for Richard Beasley say it doesn't make sense that someone would go to such lengths to rob destitute men with little or no money. Prosecutors say Beasley's motives were so callous and depraved they befuddle the average citizen. The Ohio Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today for and against Beasley's death sentence. The 58-year-old Beasley was convicted of partnering with a teenage boy in 2011 to lure victims with promises of jobs on a southeastern Ohio farm. The job offers were posted on Craigslist. Beasley also says extensive pretrial publicity prevented him from getting a fair trial in Summit County.

Cleveland abortion clinic challenges abortion restrictions before Ohio Supreme Court
The Ohio Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over whether a Cleveland abortion clinic has the legal right to proceed with its challenge of several abortion restrictions placed into a 2013 state budget bill. Preterm of Cleveland needs to be granted standing to sue over the budget amendments, which it argues violate Ohio's single-subject rule. Disputed provisions include a prohibition on public hospitals providing emergency backup under required transfer agreements and a requirement that clinics check for a fetal heartbeat before conducting an abortion. The 8th District Court of Appeals in Cuyahoga County ruled last year that Preterm had been injured by the amendments and so had standing, reversing a trial court. Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine has appealed to the state's high court.

Cleveland Clinic's Cosgrove voices opposition to latest GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare
The Cleveland Clinic's chief executive says he's opposed to the GOP health bill in the U.S. Senate because he believes it will burden hospitals, throw people off insurance, and fail to address the rising cost of health care. Dr. Toby Cosgrove said Monday he is concerned that revisions made to the bill Sunday didn't give doctors and insurers enough time to assess the impact of the proposed legislation. He says a bipartisan effort is needed. The GOP's last-ditch legislative push to scrap President Barack Obama's health care law would eliminate Obama's expansion of Medicaid and give block grants to states. The Cleveland Clinic is among the largest health systems in the country. Cosgrove has been a consistent critic of Republican efforts to repeal Obama's health reforms the past few months.

Opponents of Ohio's voter roll purges unite before the U.S. Supreme Court
Opponents are lining up to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out Ohio's system for removing inactive voters from the rolls. The briefs Monday argue the system is illegal. They came from 12 other states and the District of Columbia; 27 black congressional representatives; 17 former Justice Department officials; 36 former and current county election administrators; and Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. The American Civil Liberties Union and New York-based public advocacy group Demos say the procedures violate the National Voter Registration Act. They sued and won in lower court. The state has appealed. Ohio's rules target registered voters who fail to vote in a two-year period for eventual removal from registration rolls, even if they haven't moved and remain eligible. Ohio argues maintaining up-to-date voter rolls helps ensure election security.

Budget airline Frontier drops six routes from Cleveland Hopkins
Frontier Airlines is dropping six routes from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The budget airline will no longer offer flights to San Diego, San Franciso, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Charlotte and Houston. The San Diego route was only a few months old. It was widely celebrated as the first nonstop flight from Cleveland Hopkins to San Diego in nearly a decade. Cleveland.com reports the rollbacks are partly due to aggressive competition between budget airlines like Frontier and legacy airlines like United. Frontier's remaining 13 destinations from Cleveland include new service to Miami, as well as Las Vegas, Cancun, Denver, and Tampa.

Youngstown sheriff's deputy fired after hospitalizing inmate
A northeast Ohio sheriff says a deputy accused of a confrontation with an inmate that hospitalized an inmate has been fired. Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said Monday that Deputy Zachary Pasko has been on paid administrative leave since the confrontation July 10. Greene says the sheriff's office reviewed surveillance video and believes Pasko used excessive force against the inmate. The sheriff says the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation also is investigating. Greene previously suspended the 29-year-old deputy for two weeks after he got into a fight in November at a bar in Boardman while off-duty. Pasko could not be reached for comment Monday. His phone number isn't listed publicly. Authorities haven't released details about the confrontation or how the inmate was injured.