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Morning Headlines: CEO Behind Issue 2 Wants Debate With Pharma; Free Cleveland Orchestra Tickets

Yes on Issue 2 and No on Issue 2 logos

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 28th:

  • Indiana steel company invests in Ohio;
  • Federal judge narrows scope of lawsuit in fatal shooting by Akron officer;
  • University of Akron moves to increase international student enrollment;
  • Youngstown schools reverse downward enrollment trend;
  • Cleveland Orchestra will hand out 1,000 free tickets to gala fundraiser;
  • Cleveland drops in metro economy rankings;
  • Cleveland is training officers to file crime reports from field;
  • Wade makes it official, signs with Cleveland;
  • Man behind prescription drug price ballot initiative wants debate with drugmaker;

Indiana steel company invests in Ohio
U.S. Steel is partnering with a Japanese steelmaker to build a $400 million finishing line in Ohio. The Pittsburgh-based company and Kobe Steel will build the new line in Leipsic, the home of PRO-TEC Coating Co. an hour south of Toledo. The Northwest Indiana Times reports the continuous galvanizing line is expected to produce up to 500,000 tons of advanced high-strength steels each year for the automotive industry. U.S. Steel has not said why it is investing in Ohio rather than its existing Indiana facilities.

Federal judge narrows scope of lawsuit in fatal shooting by Akron officer
A federal judge is dismissing some claims in a lawsuit filed by the family of Akron resident Raupheal Thomas, who was shot and killed by an Akron police officer in 2014. Thomas was armed. U.S. District Judge John Adams wrote that a jury should decide if Thomas’ Fourth Amendment right against search and seizure was violated. Officers were responding to reports of men casing the neighborhood and tried to arrest Thomas, but he reportedly became confrontational. Thomas, 29, was taken to Akron General Medical Center, where he died about an hour later. Police Sgt. Joseph Danzy, who was an officer at the time, fired the two shots that killed Thomas and was placed on administrative leave. In his opinion, Adams wrote the illegal “stop and frisk” claim from the family should go to trial.

University of Akron moves to increase international student enrollment
The University of Akron is hoping to boost international student enrollment. University President Matthew J. Wilson announced the creation of the school’s International Center on Wednesday. The center will be located in Buchtel Hall, combining academic services and immigration services for international students under the same roof. The university has about 1,100 international students as well as 60 visiting scholars.

Youngstown schools reverse downward enrollment trend
The Youngstown City School District has turned around a downward trend in student enrollment. Vindy.com reports the district has added about 200 students since last year, including preschool students. The district typically loses as many students in a given year. The total count for 2017, as of the third week of school, is 5,487 students from preschool to 12th grade. CEO Krish Mohip said parents feel their children are safer in Youngstown schools, and are attracted to technology and foreign language initiatives.

Cleveland Orchestra will hand out 1,000 free tickets to gala fundraiser
The Cleveland Orchestra is handing out 1,000 free tickets on a first-come, first-served basis to its Oct. 7 gala concert. The annual fundraiser concert supports the orchestra’s outreach and education programs, including free tickets for under-18s and steep discounts for college students. The free gala tickets are being made possible through a partnership with the Cleveland Foundation. The Cleveland Orchestra is celebrating its 100th season this year. Tickets will be released starting this Saturday, Sept. 30 and can be ordered online using the promo code “GALA,” or picked up in person at Severance Hall.

Cleveland drops in metro economy rankings
Cleveland has fallen behind Cincinnati and Columbus to become the third-largest metropolitan economy in Ohio, according to newly-released data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Cincinnati and Columbus now rank 28th and 29th, respectively, in the U.S. Cleveland had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $129.4 billion last year, while Cincininati and Columbus were in the low $130 billions. Across the rest of Ohio, metro economies either stagnated or declined due to lower oil prices and slowing manufacturing growth. While Akron’s economy is only about a third the size of Cleveland’s, the city’s economy had the fastest growth rate in Ohio.

Cleveland is training officers to file crime reports from field
Cleveland police say they hope to have all officers trained by the end of the year to file reports from their in-car computers in an effort to increase the time spent patrolling streets and decrease time filling out paperwork at the station. Cleveland.com reports the field-based reporting system is a mandated part of a 2015 settlement that the city reached with the Justice Department to reform the police force. In a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, police officials say about 120 of the city's 1,400 officers are currently trained to use the system. Officials say the system will also improve crime tracking.

Wade makes it official, signs with Cleveland
Wade signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday to reunite with friend LeBron James, with whom he went to four NBA Finals and won two championships in Miami. Wade's deal was finalized quickly after he cleared waivers, which he had to do after getting a buyout from the Chicago Bulls over the weekend. The Cavaliers have been to the last three NBA Finals; add the Miami years in there, and James has been to the title round in seven consecutive seasons. Wade hasn't played a June game since 2014. He's hoping that changes in 2018.

Man behind prescription drug price ballot initiative wants debate with drugmaker
The man behind a fall ballot initiative in Ohio aimed at trimming the prices government pays for prescription drugs said on Wednesday he'd be willing to debate any pharmaceutical industry CEO on the measure. Michael Weinstein, CEO of the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told reporters he wants a match-up of "principals" to address voters' questions about Issue 2, the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act. The measure would keep state entities from paying more for drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays. Weinstein accused opponents of misleading voters by downplaying connections to the pharmaceutical industry and failing to transparently report how much the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, gives to its backing organizations. Weinstein, whose organization is underwriting the yes campaign, said "dark money" flowing from the pharmaceutical industry is difficult to trace.