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Morning Headlines: Rover Dumps Petroleum-Contaminated Water; Cleveland Police Get Dirt Bikes

Cleanup of the Tuscarawas River wetlands spill
OHIO EPA
Earlier this year, the Rover Pipeline spilled more than two million gallons of drilling fluid into wetlands near Richland County.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, October 16th:

  • Tamir Rice's mother criticizes Councilman Reed's acceptance of rank-and-file police endorsement;
  • State denies Cleveland mayor's attempt to block charter school sponsor;
  • Rover Pipeline dumps petroleum-contaminated water into wetlands;
  • Donald Trump, Jr. and Elizabeth Warren to make fundraiser appearances in Ohio;
  • Sherrod Brown gets UAW endorsement;
  • Cleveland police forms dirt bike unit to chase down illegal riders;
  • Kasich criticizes Trumpcare subsidy cuts on 'Meet the Press';
  • White nationalist's visit to University of Cincinnati expected to draw protesters;
  • Sisters hospitalized after Akron house fire have died;
  • Confederate monument will be moved to private property after sparking controversy;
  • Cleveland officer who punched unarmed man gets fired;

Tamir Rice's mother criticizes Councilman Reed's acceptance of rank-and-file police endorsement
The mother of Tamir Rice will appear at a press conference today to respond to a Cleveland police union’s endorsement of Councilman Zack Reed for mayor. Samaria Rice said in a release that the endorsement from rank and file officers represents “opposition to civil rights enforcement and police reform.” Reed tells Cleveland.com the endorsement will not deter him from creating a better police force if elected mayor. It’s been almost three years since a Cleveland officer shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice after mistaking a BB gun for a firearm.

State denies Cleveland mayor's attempt to block charter school sponsor
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s attempt to impose higher standards on the city’s charter schools and their sponsors has been denied by the state. Since 2012, Jackson’s Transformation Alliance has been allowed to make recommendations to the state about who can start and oversee charter schools in the city. But the Ohio Department of Education has denied the panel’s recommendation to block a controversial school sponsor. St. Aloysius Orphanage has been criticized by Jackson for ignoring parts of the city’s school improvement plan. They operate 12 schools in Cleveland.

Rover Pipeline dumps petroleum-contaminated water into wetlands
Environmental regulators in Michigan have issued a violation notice to the Rover Pipeline project. The pipeline was found discharging water containing petroleum into wetlands just northwest of Ann Arbor. Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality was investigating water runoff after residents complained about a gasoline smell and noticed water spilling into the wetlands. Rover has until Wednesday to say how it plans to fix the issue. Rover faced violations in Ohio for releasing thousands of gallons of drill slurry into a Stark County area over the summer.

Donald Trump, Jr. and Elizabeth Warren to make fundraiser appearances in Ohio
Two political figures from opposite sides of the aisle will be making fundraiser appearances in Cleveland this month. Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne next week. Coyne is a lifelong Democrat who switched parties last year and has been a prominent supporter of Trump. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will appear at two private fundraisers for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Friday. Brown is running against Treasurer Josh Mandel, who has criticized Brown for frequently voting with Warren.

Sherrod Brown gets UAW endorsement
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown has landed the endorsement of the United Auto Workers a year after Ohio Democrats saw a series of labor unions abandon their Senate candidate for his Republican opponent. Democratic ex-Gov. Ted Strickland saw several big labor unions — including the Teamsters, International Union of Operating Engineers and the United Mine Workers — shift their past support from him to Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman during the last cycle. The UAW's support sets up Brown for a repeat showdown with Republican rival Josh Mandel, the Ohio state treasurer, on the issue for the 2008 auto industry bailout.

Cleveland police forms dirt bike unit to chase down illegal riders
The Cleveland police department has added dirt bikes to its fleet to combat unlicensed riders on city streets. WEWS-TV reports the department now has its own dirt bike unit with three multi-purpose off-road bikes. The unit will be able to issue citations to dirt bike riders who do not have proper licenses or have improper equipment. The department is planning on adding three more dirt bikes to its unit next year.

Kasich criticizes Trumpcare subsidy cuts on 'Meet the Press'
Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump's move last week to cut subsidies to health insurers will ultimately hurt people who won't be able to afford coverage. Kasich appeared Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." Ohio is one of the states that expanded Medicaid coverage under President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, leading to more than 700,000 Ohioans obtaining health insurance. Subsidies to insurers help reduce the cost some people pay for health care. Kasich has been critical of fellow Republicans' unsuccessful efforts in Congress to repeal and replace the ACA. Kasich on Sunday criticized congressional Democrats as well for "walking away from the table" and not seeking a compromise after the last failed repeal effort. Kasich was noncommittal when asked about running for president in 2020.

White nationalist's visit to University of Cincinnati expected to draw protesters
A group of activists, community leaders and students is planning to protest when white nationalist Richard Spencer speaks on the University of Cincinnati campus. School officials announced Friday that Spencer would be allowed to hold an event at some point after an attorney for Spencer's associates said they would sue the school and Ohio State University if they did not meet a deadline that day for renting event space. Ohio State said Friday it couldn't accommodate Spencer on his requested Nov. 15 date for safety reasons but will decide whether viable alternatives exist by the end of this week.

Sisters hospitalized after Akron house fire have died
Two sisters hospitalized in critical condition after a house fire in Akron have died. The girls have been identified as 12-year-old Jada Snowden and 5-year-old Kymera Cody. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office says the girls died Saturday at Akron Children's Hospital after the fire late Thursday night in west Akron. Officials have not said how the fire started. A neighbor called 911 after hearing what sounded like an explosion. The home had no working smoke detectors.

Confederate monument will be moved to private property after sparking controversy
Township officials say a small monument honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that sparked debate and its removal in August from its original location will be publicly displayed on private property owned by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Some Franklin Township residents became angry when they learned the marker along a highway was removed by city crews in Franklin, which controlled the location. It was removed after deadly violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The city later returned the marker to the township, about 40 miles north of Cincinnati, and paid for damage incurred during its removal.

Cleveland officer who punched unarmed man gets fired
A police officer who punched an unarmed man more than a dozen times during a traffic stop outside Cleveland has been fired for use of excessive force and other rule violations. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Gail said Officer Michael Amiott was dismissed for the Aug. 12 arrest of 25-year-old Richard Hubbard III. Dashcam video shows Amiott wrestling Hubbard to the ground within seconds of ordering him to "face away." Amiott had been suspended for 45 days without pay after an internal hearing in August and was fired two days before he would have been allowed to return. Gail said she received other complaints about Amiott's behavior after he was suspended.