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Morning Headlines: Kucinich to Enter Governor Race; Renacci Would Consider Senate Bid if Trump Asks

form U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich stands at a podium
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Jan. 9:

  • Renacci would 'strongly consider' senate bid if Trump asks;
  • Jack Cleveland Casino revenue falls;
  • Akron mayor lays off cabinet members to save money;
  • FERC throws out request for coal-fired and nuclear subsidies;
  • Deputy, inmate injured in jail brawl;
  • Kucinich poised to enter gubernatorial race;
  • Jack Casino offering free blackjack dealer classes;
  • Melting snow and ice could cause flooding;
  • State bans sale of invasive plant species;

Renacci would 'strongly consider' senate bid if Trump asks
Jim Renacci’s campaign says the Republican gubernatorial candidate would “strongly consider” switching to the U.S. Senate race if asked to do so by President Trump. Republican state treasurer Josh Mandel was considered a front runner until he dropped out of the race on Friday. Mandel’s exit prompted Cleveland business owner and fellow candidate Mike Gibbons to pour millions of dollars into his own campaign. A spokesman for Gibbons’ campaign says he will stay in the race even if Renacci decides to enter.

Jack Cleveland Casino revenue falls
Annual revenue for Cleveland’s downtown casino is continuing to fall. Jack Cleveland posted a 1 percent drop in revenue from 2016 to 2017. Revenue has dropped 16 percent since 2013. But Jack’s other locations in Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo have increased the amount they have left over after paying winners. The other locations had about $200 million dollars in revenue last year. Casino revenue statewide increased to $70 million dollars last year.

Akron mayor lays off cabinet members to save money
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan is laying off three members of his cabinet amid revenue shortfalls. Horrigan told staff in an email he will lay off advisors on education, communications and community relations. The Beacon Journal reports Horrigan made the decision after income tax collections came in below estimates. Only modest gains are expected this year. The payroll cuts are expected to save the city more than $400,000 annually.

FERC throws out request for coal-fired and nuclear subsidies
Federal energy officials are delaying a decision on whether to award subsidies to coal-fired and nuclear power plants. FirstEnergy and others have asked the government for help in competing with cheaper power from natural gas and wind farms. The case was opened in September at the request of the Trump administration. FERC threw out the case on Monday. Traditional utilities have argued the aging plants provide a stable baseload for the power grid. Critics call the proposed subsidies a bailout at the expense of utility customers.

Deputy, inmate injured in jail brawl
Police say a sheriff's deputy and a juvenile inmate suffered cuts during a fight at a youth jail in Cleveland. Officers quickly responded to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center late Monday after a report of a disturbance. A county spokeswoman says 12 inmates were involved. Five were taken to an adult jail and will be housed away from the general population. Seven remain at the juvenile jail but have also been separated from other inmates. One inmate was treated at the scene for cuts. A deputy was taken to a hospital for treatment. The cause of the fight is unclear.

Kucinich poised to enter gubernatorial race
Former Cleveland mayor and Congressman Dennis Kucinich filed paperwork Monday indicating plans to join the race to become Ohio's next governor. The outspoken liberal Democrat's filing with the Ohio Secretary of State's office designated a treasurer for the Kucinich for Ohio campaign. Kucinich, now 71, was elected mayor of Cleveland 40 years ago and ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004 and 2008. He would join a crowded Democratic field with half a dozen other candidates, including former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray.

Jack Casino offering free blackjack dealer classes
Cleveland’s Jack Casino is offering free lessons for would-be black jack dealers. The 7-week Table Games Training Academy classes are open to adults who can pass a basic math test. After the course, participants can audition for a job as a part-time dealer.

Melting snow and ice could cause flooding
The warm weather this week could cause problems for Northeast Ohio’s flood prone waterways. The rain, snow, and melting ice are expected to swell creeks and rivers later this week as temperatures reach into the mid-fifties on Thursday. The National Weather Service is keeping eyes on ice jams that will clog melting runoff. Widespread flooding could be in the forecast for later this week.

State bans sale of invasive plant species
Ohio has banned the sale of more than three dozen invasive plant species under new rules that took effect Sunday. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state now prohibits the sale of destructive species including certain types of honeysuckles, autumn olive shrubs and Bradford pear trees. Officials say the plants can spread aggressively and choke out others in wild spaces, forests and parks, and along highways. They also can lower property values and prompt seemingly endless battles to contain them. Officials now will look for the prohibited species during regular inspections of garden centers and nurseries.

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.