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Morning Headlines: ECOT Will Close After Losing Sponsor; Kucinich to Announce Running Mate

photo of ECOT sign

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Jan. 19:

  • Kucinich to announce running mate;
  • Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow to close after losing sponsor;
  • Authorities say brawl at Cleveland juvenile jail was planned;
  • Columbus beats out Cleveland in short list for Amazon second headquarters;
  • Kent State denies request for white nationalists to speak on campus;
  • Family sues Strongsville officer who shot unarmed man to death;
  • Kasich creates agency to promote self-driving vehicles;

Kucinich to announce running mate
Democratic candidate for governor Dennis Kucinich is expected to announce a running mate Friday. The announcement comes just two days after Kucinich formally announced he would enter the Democratic race. Kucinich will make the announcement during a noon campaign appearance in downtown Akron. Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples invited Kucinich to speak at her church on High St. The Beacon Journal reports Mosley-Samples would not confirm or deny if she's being considered as a potential running mate. Kucinich is up against four other Democrats who have already announced running mates.

Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow to close after losing sponsor
One of the nation's largest online charter schools is closing abruptly, leaving families of the roughly 12,000 Ohio students from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow scrambling to find other schooling options halfway through the academic year. The publicly funded e-school has been running out of money amid a legal dispute with the state. Last night, ECOT's sponsor decided to suspend its contract. ECOT will close today, which already was scheduled as an off day for students to allow teachers to wrap up record-keeping for the semester. ECOT students would have to be accepted by their local public school districts, some of which already started preparing for that scenario, but some families refuse to return to brick-and-mortar schools and instead are considering other Ohio virtual schools or homeschooling. The Ohio Department of Education has an online tool to help affected students and their families find new schools.

Authorities say brawl at Cleveland juvenile jail was planned
Six teenagers have been charged in what authorities believe was a planned riot at a juvenile jail in Cleveland. The inmates, ages 14 and 15, face charges including aggravated rioting. One is also being charged with aggravated menacing for threatening to stab a SWAT officer with shards of glass. The disturbance at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center on Jan. 8 left a sheriff's officer and a juvenile inmate injured with cuts. The cost of the damage to the facility was estimated at $200,000.

Columbus beats out Cleveland in short list for Amazon second headquarters
Columbus is the only Ohio city still in competition for Amazon's multibillion-dollar second headquarters. The online retailer today announced the 20 finalists for a new location. Cleveland and Cincinnati also put in bids for the planned headquarters, but didn't make the cut. 238 cities submitted proposals for the project that the Seattle-based retailer says could lead to a $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs. Gov. John Kasich says the state will see what it can do to help Columbus land the final bid.

Kent State denies request for white nationalists to speak on campus
Kent State University has denied white nationalist Richard Spencer’s request to speak on campus on the anniversary of the May 4th shootings. Spokesman Eric Mansfield in a statement says the timing is not good for Spencer’s visit and that the May 4th period marks “an exceptionally busy time on campus.” Spencer, a leading figure in the white nationalist movement, has sought to speak at universities across the country, leading to lawsuits and battles over the fundamental right to free speech at public universities. Spencer had asked to speak at the May 4th center about excesses of counter-protesters that fought with white nationalists at Charlottesville Virginia and other racist rallies.

Family sues Strongsville officer who shot unarmed man to death
The family of an unarmed man fatally shot by a Strongsville officer in front of his girlfriend and their three children has sued the officer and the city employing him. The estate of Roy Evans Jr. claimed in a federal lawsuit that police supervisors at the scene along I-71 failed to stop officer Jason Miller from rushing toward Evans' immobilized van and opening fire last March. A grand jury cleared Miller of criminal wrongdoing. The shooting occurred after a chase that began with an officer trying to pull over Evans' van for not having its headlights on. An investigation showed Miller shot Evans less than 5 seconds after exiting his cruiser.

Kasich creates agency to promote self-driving vehicles
Gov. John Kasich has created a statewide center to advance Ohio's efforts to become a national leader in autonomous vehicle research and smart road technology. His executive order established DriveOhio one day after aides say he successfully pitched the idea at the Detroit Auto Show. Automakers there are sharing the latest ideas for robotic cars. Kasich notes that Ohio is home to the Transportation Research Center, the continent's largest independent automotive proving ground and the only research and test lab for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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.