Morning Headlines: Cleveland Hampers Medical Marijuana Businesses; Akron Becomes a Purple Heart City
Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, October 31st:
- Akron sues for cleanup cost of deadly plane crash;
- State auditor says justice O'Neill should resign before running for governor;
- Cleveland zoning changes prevent sale of medical marijuana in most of the city;
- Unlocked door at Cuyahoga County Board of Elections was likely defective;
- Akron becomes a Purple Heart City;
- Cleveland Athletic Club renovation gets a tax deal;
- Progressive says it will add 900 jobs;
- Man killed at Massillon construction site;
- Convicted killer granted parole in Portage County;
- Prison doctor says condemned killer can partially sit up during execution;
Akron sues for cleanup cost of deadly plane crash
The city of Akron is suing over the cost to clean up a 2015 plane crash. A corporate jet leased by a Florida company crashed in the Ellet neighborhood, killing all nine on board. The suit filed Monday seeks $18,284 plus interest. That includes the cost of cleanup, damage to city property, and even a portable toilet rental for cleanup crews. A city spokeswoman tells the Beacon Journal the crash released jet fuel and hazardous materials, which cost the Akron Fire Department several thousand dollars to clean up. An investigation showed the pilots were reckless and the crew was not properly trained.
State auditor says justice O'Neill should resign before running for governor
A GOP state official is calling on Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill to resign if he wants to run for governor next year. O’Neill announced his Democratic bid for governor on Sunday, saying he would step down from the bench before the filing deadline in February. But state auditor Dave Yost via Twitter says O’Neill should leave his post immediately. The Columbus Dispatch reports O’Neill says he is not legally a candidate until his petition to run is filed. Yost disagrees, saying O’Neill’s early campaign promises, which include a $15 -an-hour minimum wage and marijuana legalization, could affect the justice’s ability to be impartial.
Cleveland zoning changes prevent sale of medical marijuana in most of the city
New zoning requirements passed by Cleveland City Council will prevent the sale of medical marijuana in most of the city. Cleveland.com reports the new ordinance makes about 95 percent of the city off-limits to medical marijuana dispensaries. At least one council member expressed concern that the ordinance would deny access to people who can’t travel far to get medical marijuana. The state will start accepting applications for dispensary licenses on Friday. Up to five licenses will be awarded in Cuyahoga County.
Unlocked door at Cuyahoga County Board of Elections was likely defective
The Cuyahoga County sheriff’s office has found that a rear door at the county’s Board of Elections was most likely defective. Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich said he found the door unlocked and unattended when he went to cast an early ballot ahead of September's primary. The sheriff’s report says the door was improperly secured to the frame but there was no evidence of criminal activity. The report also says the case will be closed unless there’s new evidence.
Akron becomes a Purple Heart City
The city of Akron has decided to designate itself a Purple Heart City. The declaration approved by city council Monday recognizes the city’s veterans and support programs for veterans. The Beacon Journal reports the declaration does not directly “boost services or funding for veterans.” Rather, the designation is meant to honor local heroes and raise awareness of veteran’s issues. Akron will receive a Purple Heart flag to display prominently in the city.
Cleveland Athletic Club renovation gets a tax deal
The Cleveland Athletic Club building is one step closer to being renovated. City Council yesterday approved a deal to finance the project through new tax revenues generated by the renovation. Cleveland.com reports the deal, which borrows against future property tax increases, only includes taxes that would go to the city. The $62 million project would convert the vacant building into residential and retail space. The state has already promised $5 million in preservation tax credits for the renovation. Crews are expected to break ground in the coming weeks.
Progressive says it will add 900 jobs
Northeast Ohio-based insurer Progressive plans to add about 900 jobs with a $30 million expansion in Highland Heights. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 12-year tax credit for nearly $63 million in new annual payroll for the Mayfield-based company, which employs about 9,000 locally. In exchange, Progressive agrees to maintain the operations for at least 15 years.
Man killed at Massillon construction site
A man has been killed at a museum construction site in Massillon after he was pinned underneath the wheel of a semi truck. The Repository reports 76-year-old Robert Halter was either loading or fastening chains on a semitrailer at the Massillon Museum site Monday when the driver pulled away and struck him. Officials say Halter had been at the construction site delivering equipment so demolition could begin.
Convicted killer granted parole in Portage County
A Portage County man who has served nearly three decades in prison for a 1988 murder will be granted parole over the objections of two men who say he's responsible for them being wrongfully imprisoned in the case. The Ohio Parole Board heard those arguments before deciding that 50-year-old Troy Busta will be released from custody April 1. Busta was convicted of killing Connie Nardi, of Randolph Township. Nardi's mother and Portage County prosecutors supported Busta's latest bid for parole. It was opposed by Bob Gondor and Randy Resh, who were convicted in 1990 after Busta implicated them as accomplices. They were freed in 2007 and argued that Busta hasn't accepted full responsibility for the slaying. Busta's attorney thanked the board and declined to comment further.
Prison doctor says condemned killer can partially sit up during execution
A doctor working for Ohio's prison system says it would be reasonable to allow a condemned killer with health problems to partially sit up during his execution next month. Dr. James McWeeney said death row inmate Alva Campbell became agitated when officials tried lowering him to a normal execution position in a test. Campbell is scheduled to die Nov. 15 for fatally shooting teenager Charles Dials during a 1997 carjacking.