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Morning Headlines: Execution of Ailing Killer Postponed; Down Syndrome Abortion Ban Clears Senate

photo of statehouse in Columbus

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, November 16th:

  • Charges dropped against driver assaulted by police officer;
  • Execution of ill death row inmate postponed;
  • Down syndrome abortion ban passes Ohio House;
  • Tape reveals truck stop executives "loved" ripping off customers;
  • Bond set for Cleveland man who shot and wounded two officers;
  • Allegations of inappropriate behavior force another lawmaker to resign;
  • Cuyahoga County considers license plate scanners to catch criminals;
  • Cordray will be out of CFPB by the end of the month;
  • Summa Health gets negative rating from Moody's;
  • Cleveland Indians propose extending players' parking lot;
  • Cleveland RTA considers expanding service to suburban private universities;
  • Budget airline ends Akron-Canton to Las Vegas service;

Charges dropped against driver assaulted by police officer 
A judge has dismissed all charges against an unarmed driver who was punched by a police officer more than a dozen times during a traffic stop in Euclid. Richard Hubbard III was charged with resisting arrest, driving without a license and a traffic signal violation following his August arrest in Euclid. Cellphone video of Hubbard's arrest was viewed millions of times on Facebook and sparked outrage across the country. Euclid Officer Michael Amiott was fired in October for use of excessive force and other rule violations.

Execution of ill death row inmate postponed
Ohio called off the execution of an ailing 69-year-old killer Wednesday after the executioners couldn't find a vein to insert the IV that delivers the lethal drugs. The execution team worked for about 25 minutes to find a vein in Alva Campbell Jr.'s arms or his right lower leg as he lay on a gurney in the death chamber. It was only the third time in modern U.S. history that an execution attempt was halted after the process had begun. Campbell, condemned to die for killing a teenager during a carjacking two decades ago, was promptly given a new execution date by Gov. John Kasich. Campbell is now scheduled to be executed on June 5, 2019. The Ohio ACLU issued a statement calling for a moratorium on executions in Ohio.

Down syndrome abortion ban passes Ohio House
The Ohio Senate has passed a bill banning abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The bill cleared the chamber on Wednesday by a vote of 2012, one day after getting committee approval with a near party-line vote. The legislation would subject doctors who perform abortions in such cases to criminal penalties and potential loss of their medical licenses. Women receiving the abortions would not be punished. Opponents argue the bill would require women to deliver Down syndrome babies who might not have the resources, support or commitment to care for them. The House and Senate must now reconcile their versions.

Tape reveals truck stop executives "loved" ripping off customers
A former truck stop company executive boasted in a secretly recorded conversation that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam "loved it" when the sales team ripped off customers. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the jury in the federal fraud trial of former Pilot Flying J executives and sales representatives heard a recording of former vice president John Freeman saying Haslam was aware of the scheme to deprive trucking customers of the diesel discounts they had negotiated. Pilot, which is controlled by the Haslam family, issued a statement reiterating that "Jimmy Haslam was not aware of any wrongdoing." Haslam hasn't been charged. Tuesday was the sixth day of the trial, which is expected to last at least six weeks.

Bond set for Cleveland man who shot and wounded two officers
A judge has set a $5 million bond for a man accused of wounding two police officers during a shootout at a car dealership outside of Cleveland. Thirty-one-year-old Timmothy Schmidt pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated murder Wednesday in Lake County Common Pleas Court. He was jailed Tuesday after being released from a hospital where he spent nearly seven weeks after being wounded in the shootout with Willoughby Hills police on Sept. 28. Officers had responded to a report of problems involving a customer upset about his bill at a BMW dealership. One officer was shot in the chest and the other in the leg. Both were released from a hospital within a few days.

Allegations of inappropriate behavior force another lawmaker to resign
The second Ohio state lawmaker in a month has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior. First-term Republican state Rep. Wes Goodman, of Cardington, provided no details about the actions that prompted his sudden departure on Wednesday. According to his website, Goodman is a conservative Christian and former congressional campaign staffer to Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan. Veteran Ohio Sen. Clifford Hite, a Republican from Findlay, resigned Oct. 16 after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him.

Cuyahoga County considers license plate scanners to catch criminals
Cuyahoga County is considering installing license plate scanners at intersections to help police find vehicles used during crimes. County Council expects to spend nearly $900,000 to install 18 cameras at locations throughout the county. The cameras are capable of taking one photo per second of vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph. The images are loaded into a searchable database. Alerts are sent to a command center when a license plate for a suspected crime vehicle is detected. The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concerns about the collection and sharing of data on all drivers.

Cordray will be out of CFPB by the end of the month
Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says will leave the agency by the end of the month. The Ohio native is widely believed to be preparing run as a Democratic candidate for governor next year. Corday was appointed in 2013 to head the agency created after the financial crisis that precipitated the great recession. His resignation will give President Donald Trump a chance to appoint his own leader of the powerful agency.

Summa Health gets negative rating from Moody's
Summa Health’s financial outlook has taken a downward turn. Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Summa’s bond rating, calling it a “moderate risk” for investors. The report from Moody’s cites fewer patients and rising debt as reasons for the downgrade. The Beacon Journal reports Summa officials are emphasizing lower-than-expected losses in the wake of its negative financial outlook. The bond rating downgrade will raise interest rates for the health system, costing Summa about $90,000 a year.

Cleveland Indians propose extending players' parking lot
The Cleveland Indians are proposing an extension to the players’ parking lot. The idea was presented to a local developer Wednesday. Cleveland.com reports the new lot would add space for 20 vehicles, to accommodate a total of 70. The project would also include a permanent security structure and new fencing along Carnegie Ave. The $2.7 million project requires approval from the board of Gateway Economic Development Corp. It would be paid for with revenue from the county’s sin tax.

Cleveland RTA considers expanding service to suburban private universities
The Cleveland RTA is looking at expanding its services for college students into the suburbs. Students at Baldwin Wallace University, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College are filling out an online survey about their commuting and public transportation habits. The survey also asks students to weigh in on RTA security and mobile apps. Cleveland.com reports the RTA is considering shuttle services to connect campuses to the nearest rail station. RTA may also expand its U-Pass program, which provides discounted unlimited travel to college students at a handful of schools. New services to the private colleges would begin next fall.

Budget airline ends Akron-Canton to Las Vegas service
Spirit Airlines customers hoping to travel to Las Vegas will now have to drive up to Cleveland. Spirit has ended its nonstop route from Akron-Canton Airport to Las Vegas. The route was only in service for six months. A spokesman tells Cleveland.com the route wasn’t making enough money to be sustainable. Spirit’s service out of Akron-Canton began a year ago. The budget airline is the ninth largest airline in the country.