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Morning Headlines: Ohio Hospitals Feel Nationwide IV Bag Shortage; O'Neill Issues Apology

photo of IV bags

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, November 20th:

  • Defunct landfill to be sealed;
  • Nationwide IV bag shortage affects Ohio hospitals;
  • Bill O'Neill issues apology for Facebook post;
  • Record flooding hits Tuscarawas County;
  • Report shows Northeast Ohio's economy grew nearly 50 percent since 1990;
  • Youngstown Schools CEO faces scrutiny for possible conflict of interest;
  • Ohio lawmaker proposes cutting funding to cities that use traffic cameras;
  • Poultry company uses cameras to catch potential inhumane violations;
  • Needle exchange in Columbus hands out more than 1.5 million needles;

Defunct landfill to be sealed
The Ohio EPA is sealing an out-of-use landfill near Alliance. The Canton Repository reports the Central Waste Landfill has not accepted solid waste since it filed for bankruptcy five years ago. The landfill went into receivership after failing to close within a year. A local contractor will cover the landfill with soil and clay before applying a synthetic cap. An Ohio EPA spokesman says the area will be monitored for toxic runoff and explosive methane gas for at least 30 years.  A Smith Township trustee says the property will likely remain vacant.

Nationwide IV bag shortage affects Ohio hospitals
Northeast Ohio hospitals are reacting to a nationwide shortage of IV bags.  The Beacon Journal reports some nurses at the Cleveland Clinic are instead giving drugs by syringe. Summa Health says it’s changing vendors and placing larger orders. So far, Western Reserve Hospital and Akron Children’s Hospital say they’re not experiencing a shortage but are watching supplies closely. The American Hospital Association has called for more transparency from pharmaceutical companies on where products like IV bags are made. While recovery efforts in Puerto Rico have contributed to the shortage, federal regulators say the bags have been hard to get since 2014.

Bill O'Neill issues apology for Facebook post
An Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate has issued another apology on Facebook after a post Friday outlining his sexual history with women drew widespread condemnation. Bill O'Neill's latest post Sunday morning says he admits he was wrong and that he was headed to church to "get right with God." He apologized to his two daughters and two sisters and says he realizes he's hurt family, friends and strangers with his "insensitive remarks," while damaging the national debate on sexual harassment and abuse. O'Neill deleted his original post from Friday that he says was intended to be a defense of Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who critics say should resign after a woman accused him of groping her. O'Neill also apologized Saturday on Facebook.

Record flooding hits Tuscarawas County
Tuscarawas County saw record flooding on Saturday. The Times Reporter reports the 3.08 inches of rain recorded Saturday in New Philadelphia broke the record of 1.96 inches set for the date in 1993. U.S. Geological Survey data showed the Tuscarawas River rose from 2 feet to more than 8 feet in fewer than 18 hours Saturday.

Report shows Northeast Ohio's economy grew nearly 50 percent since 1990
A new report shows since 1990, Northeast Ohio’s GRP – or Gross Regional Product – has grown by nearly half. The report from Team NEO shows declines in manufacturing were offset by growth in a variety of other sectors, including healthcare and finance. But a spokesman tells Cleveland.com manufacturing is still the second largest sector in the region and is expected to grow about 10 percent in the next 10 years. Healthcare is expected to rise nearly 11 percent over the next decade. The report also shows unemployment continues to rise each year. The findings cover 18 counties.

Youngstown Schools CEO faces scrutiny for possible conflict of interest
The Youngstown City School District is facing scrutiny for a possible conflict of interest. The Vindicator reports district CEO Krish Mohip recently worked as a paid consultant for Curriculum Associates, the partner of a company that received $261,914 from the district. Last year, Mohip contracted for an afterschool program developed by Curriculum Associates. Mohip tells the Vindicator he didn’t know the company was affiliated with Education Research and Development Institute, for which he consulted as recently as August. Mohip also says he did not benefit financially from contracting with the affiliated company.

Ohio lawmaker proposes cutting funding to cities that use traffic cameras
An Ohio lawmaker wants to test the theory that traffic cameras are meant to prevent crashes and not boost municipal budgets by cutting funding to cities that use them. State Rep. Bill Seitz introduced a bill that would offset revenue cities earn from cameras by reducing the same amount from its state funding. House Bill 410 would also move all civil traffic violations to municipal court and leave cities on the hook for court costs regardless of outcome. Some violations are currently handled by an administrative hearing officer. The Ohio Municipal League says the bill could tie the hands of cities and towns with limited law enforcement resources. Dayton plans to reinstall the cameras. Akron and other cities are considering whether to implement camera programs.

Poultry company uses cameras to catch potential inhumane violations
A poultry company in western North Carolina says it has installed cameras in the plant where live birds are present after a federal report found 33 inhumane violations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found the violations at Case Farms' plant in Morganton, including birds being run over, kicked by an employee and dipped in a scalder while still alive. Case Farms, which has more than 3,200 employees and 475 grower farms, has had 26 additional complaints at its plants in Ohio.

Needle exchange in Columbus hands out more than 1.5 million needles
Officials say more than 1.5 million free needles have been handed out to 3,000 drug users in Columbus as health advocates work to stop the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases. The Columbus Dispatch reports the Safe Point syringe access program administered by Equitas Health has been busy since it began operating in January 2016 with its two centers at near capacity. Advocates are seeking to prevent new HIV and hepatitis C infections spread by drug users sharing needles. Participants can obtain 150 syringes every two weeks and are assessed on their needle use at each visit and whether they have access to naloxone, an opioid reversal drug used to treat overdose victims.