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Morning Headlines: Kucinich Calls for AR-15 Ban; Akron School Board Fills Vacated Seat

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Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 20:

  • Historic Medina building collapses, no injuries reported;
  • Kucinich calls for statewide AR-15 ban;
  • Smucker's recalls canned dog food brands;
  • U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan launches venture capital tour of the Midwest;
  • Kentucky files suit against Cardinal Health for its role in the opioid crisis;
  • Wind energy faces regulatory tug-of-war in competing proposals;
  • State casino regulators create new fee structure to license games;
  • Cleveland Metroparks gets state funds to purchase wetlands;
  • Akron School Board appoints new member to fill vacated seat;
  • Judge intervenes to keep water flowing to mobile home park;

Historic Medina building collapses, no injuries reported
A historic building has collapsed in Medina, leading officials to close nearby businesses until it is stabilized or torn down. The back canopy of the three-story building collapsed Sunday during the town's Ice Festival. Residents called to report the damage Monday morning as the back walls on the building's first floor caved in. The building was not occupied at the time, and no injuries were reported. The official cause of the collapse has not been determined, but firefighters say the building had a water leak that may have caused the wooden beams to rot. Built in 1873, the building currently houses the Gardener’s Cottage gift shop.

Kucinich calls for statewide AR-15 ban
Democratic candidate for governor Dennis Kucinich is calling for a statewide ban on AR-15-style semiautomatic weapons. During a rally yesterday, running mate and Akron councilwoman Tara Samples says she would to lead an effort to help communities pass resolutions that put pressure on state lawmakers to create stricter gun laws. 

Smucker's recalls canned dog food brands
Traces of a lethal drug used to euthanize animals has prompted a recall of Orville-based J. M. Smucker Company’s dog food brands. Smucker's has recalled shipments of its Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy brands. The FDA says preliminary tests of the product showed low levels of pentobartibal. CNN reports the amount of the drug found in Smucker’s canned dog food products is too low to hurt animals. Smucker's is offering refunds or replacements.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan launches venture capital tour of the Midwest
Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is planning to take venture capitalists through Midwestern cities to figure out how to get more investment dollars flowing to companies there. The four-city tour beginning tomorrow will include stops in Akron, Detroit, Flint and South Bend. Venture capitalists will meet with local business leaders and elected officials to learn about investment opportunities.

Kentucky files suit against Cardinal Health for its role in the opioid crisis
Kentucky's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Cincinnati-based Cardinal Health. Andy Beshear accuses the company of distributing millions of prescription opioid doses into a state struggling with drug overdose deaths. It's the third opioid-related lawsuit filed by Beshear's office since last November. The latest lawsuit accuses Cardinal Health of using misleading business practices to funnel huge volumes of highly addictive prescription drugs into the state. It claims the company failed to report suspiciously large shipments to state and federal authorities. Cardinal Health called the lawsuit "baseless."

Wind energy faces regulatory tug-of-war in competing proposals
Wind energy in Ohio is at a crossroads. Two opposing proposals — one easing restrictions limiting new wind farms and another adding more hurdles— are being pitched to state lawmakers and regulators. New large-scale wind projects came to a halt in 2014 when lawmakers required turbines to be at least a quarter-mile from the nearest property line. Republican State Sen. Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls is sponsoring a bill to ease those restrictions and let counties have the final say on whether to approve wind farms. On the flip side, a state regulatory board is proposing a change that would force wind developers to get more property owners' approval before constructing turbines.

State casino regulators create new fee structure to license games
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has new rules for skill-based games. The guidelines create three skill game categories with new application and licensing fees based on the type of game. The commission estimates the fees could raise about $500,000 annually. The commission plans to hold seminars before it begins collecting registration and license applications on April 23.

Cleveland Metroparks gets state funds to purchase wetlands
The Ohio EPA has awarded Cleveland Metroparks more than $4 million to purchase 73 acres of land including wetlands and streams. The property in the village of Bentleyville includes more than 20 acres of wetlands, and more than 50 acres of forests. Cleveland Metroparks expects to close the deal by the end of next year and add the property to its South Chagrin Reservation.

Akron School Board appoints new member to fill vacated seat
The Akron School Board has named its newest member. Morgan Lasher, a partner at an Akron-based marketing firm will fill the seat left vacant by John Otterman. Otterman resigned last month after police found him passed out from a suspected drug overdose. 57 candidates applied for the post. Lasher will be sworn in today.

Judge intervenes to keep water flowing to mobile home park
A judge has issued a temporary restraining order to stop a Stark County village from cutting off water to residents of a mobile home park. The Repository reports the village of Malvern was about to stop water service at Sandy Creek Estates Mobile Home Park because those responsible for the bill allowed the past due amount to grow to more than $15,000. The Carroll County Municipal Court has created an escrow account for tenants to make rent payments. It also created a new water service account.