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Morning Headlines: Cordray to Announce Governor Bid; Akron Seeks to Keep Golf Championship Local

Richard Cordray

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, December 5th:

  • Akron wants to let a Pittsburgh startup lease cell tower space;
  • Council resolution urges PGA to keep Bridgestone Invitational in Akron;
  • Cordray to announce bid for governor today;
  • Hunters check 73,000 deer over week-long gun hunting season;
  • Federal judge ends lawsuit over media access to convicted prison rioters;
  • Man arrested in fatal shooting of Salvation Army worker;
  • Sandra O'Brien reprises bid for Ohio state treasurer;
  • Electric utility rate hikes draw criticism from environmental groups;
  • North Royalton Army Sgt. killed in snowboarding accident;

Akron wants to let a Pittsburgh startup lease cell tower space
The city of Akron is considering a plan to raise money by selling the rights to lease space on its cell phone towers. The plan would give Pittsburgh-based startup EIP Communications, LLC exclusive rights to lease space on 13 city-owned properties to companies like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. The Beacon Journal reports the city needs to approve the deal by year’s end because more than half of the $11 million deal has already been spent. The rest of the money is expected to go to the city’s depleted rainy day fund. City officials say they’re hoping to prevent a bond rating downgrade, which would make it harder for the city to borrow money.

Council resolution urges PGA to keep Bridgestone Invitational in Akron
Akron is trying to keep its annual golf championship. Mayor Dan Horrigan and City Council approved a resolution Monday to urge PGA officials to keep the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron. The resolution came after Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp. failed so far to renew its sponsorship for next year. The Firestone Country Club has hosted the pro golf event for the last 65 years. Cleveland.com reports the tournament generates about $25 million each year for the greater Akron community.

Cordray to announce bid for governor today
Former consumer watchdog Richard Cordray is preparing to join a crowded governor's race in Ohio. The 58-year-old Democrat will make the long-anticipated announcement today in his hometown of Grove City. He's viewed as among Democrats' strongest contenders to seize a critical swing state from Republicans next year. Cordray resigned last month as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the last major Obama-era holdouts in the Trump administration. He's also been Ohio's attorney general and treasurer. Cordray joins a Democratic field that includes five candidates.

Hunters check 73,000 deer over week-long gun hunting season
State officials say hunters checked nearly 73,000 white-tailed deer during Ohio's weeklong deer-gun hunting season. That’s up from last year’s nearly 67,000 deer checked over the weeklong period. Hunters will have two more days of deer-gun season on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. The state says Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries.

Federal judge ends lawsuit over media access to convicted prison rioters
A judge has ended a lawsuit in which inmates and reporters challenged a ban on face-to-face media interviews with prisoners convicted for their roles in Ohio's deadly 1993 prison riot. Federal Judge Edmund Sargus says the state prison system has clarified the media policies that were criticized in the 2013 lawsuit by the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Sargus ruled that he's satisfied with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's update of their policy. The lawsuit said the former system was inconsistent, especially when the backgrounds of other high-security prisoners granted access to reporters are reviewed. The 11-day siege left one guard and nine inmates dead.

Man arrested in fatal shooting of Salvation Army worker
A man accused of fatally shooting a Salvation Army worker has been arrested. The worker was going out to collect money at one of the charity's kettles in Cleveland. The shooter tried to get away by carjacking four vehicles before he was arrested. A judge on Monday ordered that William Jones, 27, be held on a $5 million bond on aggravated murder and other charges. Police said Jared Plesec, 21,  was in his Salvation Army uniform and leaving the lobby of his apartment complex Saturday when Jones shot him in the head at close range. Police have not released a motive for the shooting. Cleveland City Council voted Monday to name a section of Grovewood Avenue in Collinwood in memory of Plesec.

Sandra O'Brien reprises bid for Ohio state treasurer
Republican Sandra O'Brien is mounting a repeat run for Ohio state treasurer 11 years after defeating an incumbent treasurer in her party's primary and losing to Democrat Richard Cordray in the general election. O'Brien will be competing against state Rep. Robert Sprague from Findlay in the primary. The winner of the GOP primary will go on to face Democrat Rob Richardson, an attorney from Cincinnati, in the general election.

Electric utility rate hikes draw criticism from environmental groups
Environmental groups objecting to a utility's electricity rate increases have appealed state regulators' approval of that plan to the Ohio Supreme Court. The increases total more than $600 million over three years. The Ohio Environmental Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center have appealed last year's ruling by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  The groups say the commission's ruling amounts to a bailout of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. and the subsidy for old and expensive plants provides no benefits to customers. The PUCO estimates that an average household would see monthly bills increase $36 a year.

North Royalton Army Sgt. killed in snowboarding accident
An Army soldier from North Royalton was killed in a snowboarding accident in Colorado. Sgt. Collin Zak, 23, was found unresponsive Saturday morning after hitting a tree on while snowboarding at a ski resort. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Zak was a rifleman who was stationed at Colorado's Fort Carson.