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Morning Headlines: Ohio House Speaker to Resign; UH Fertility Center Names New Director

photo of Ohio Statehouse

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 11:

  • House Speaker Rosenberger to resign amid federal investigation;
  • University Hospitals fertility center names new director;
  • Cleveland City Council calls on police chief to reopen mini-stations;
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigns for Cordray;
  • Democratic candidates for governor hold final debate ahead of May primary;
  • Trump nominates Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Pam Barker to Northern District court;
  • Family of man fatally shot outside Cleveland bowling alley sues;
  • Father of Parkland shooting victim voices support for changes to Ohio's gun laws;
  • Ohio casinos report record high revenues in March;

House Speaker Rosenberger to resign amid federal investigation
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is resigning amid talk of an FBI investigation into his activities. The 36-year-old term-limited Republican from Clarksville said while he believes all of his actions as speaker have been "ethical and lawful," he understands the inquiry could take some time to resolve. The FBI has declined to confirm or deny that Rosenberger is being investigated. He’s been criticized for his lavish lifestyle, which includes traveling around the world and staying in a luxury downtown Columbus condo owned by a wealthy Republican donor. His resignation takes effect May 1, and his second-in-command, Kirk Schuring of Canton, will be interim speaker.

University Hospitals fertility center names new director
A Cleveland fertility center has named a new director after an equipment failure last month destroyed more than 4,000 of eggs and embryos. University Hospitals has confirmed Dr. James Liu will take over the fertility lab at Ahuja Medical Center. Liu currently chairs the hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology department. He will take over for Dr. James Goldfarb, who has led the fertility clinic since 2011. UH says Goldfarb will stay on as a patient care coordinator at the clinic.

Cleveland City Council calls on police chief to reopen mini-stations
Members of Cleveland City Council are again calling on the city’s police chief to reopen mini police stations to make neighborhoods safer. A letter signed by 12 council members was delivered to Chief Calvin Williams on Tuesday. Council members in 2016 criticized the reopening of a downtown mini-station because it did not include plans to open other neighborhood offices. The mini-stations were created in the ‘90s to better monitor crime in neighborhoods. The stations were closed in 2005 to balance the city budget.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigns for Cordray
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is hitting the campaign trail with Democratic candidate for governor, Richard Cordray. Warren will appear at stops in Cincinnati and Columbus on Friday. Warren created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where Cordray served as director. Warren is the latest star power to campaign for gubernatorial candidates. Singer Dave Matthews performs a concert at the Agora in Cleveland on April 20 for Dennis Kucinich, while Youngstown native and Modern Family actor Ed O’Neill has endorsed Joe Schiavoni in a video.

Democratic candidates for governor hold final debate ahead of May primary
The four Democratic candidates for governor debated last night at Miami University’s Middletown regional campus. Former Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich cited his tough stance on gun control to appeal to young voters, while former federal consumer protection chief Richard Cordray said he had taken on powerful financial institutions. State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, 38, the youngest of the four candidates, said he would be a fighter with fresh approaches. Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill called for legalizing marijuana and building more state mental health hospitals, both moves that he said would help with the state's opioid crisis.

Trump nominates Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Pam Barker to Northern District court
President Donald Trump has nominated a Cuyahoga County judge to a spot on the federal bench in Cleveland. Common Pleas Judge Pam Barker was appointed to the county bench in 2011 and was elected twice after. Ohio’s U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown recommended the Bay Village Republican for the job and praised the nomination. Barker still needs confirmation from the U.S. Senate.

Family of man fatally shot outside Cleveland bowling alley sues
The family of a man fatally shot outside a Cleveland bowling alley by a police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the officer and the bowling alley. In January, Thomas Yatsko, 21, was shot to death at the Corner Alley in University Circle. Two shots were fired by Cleveland police Sgt. Dean Graziolli. The victim’s family says Graziolli used excessive force and failed to provide medical attention. The lawsuit claims Yatsko was trying to find a way home and was unarmed. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Father of Parkland shooting victim voices support for changes to Ohio's gun laws
The father of a girl killed in the Parkland, Fla. school massacre has joined Gov. John Kasich in supporting bipartisan changes to Ohio's gun laws. Fred Guttenberg appeared briefly with Kasich Tuesday as lawmakers heard initial testimony on the Republican governor's proposal.  Guttenberg's daughter Jaime was among 17 people killed in the February shooting. The proposal pushed by Kasich includes a so-called "red flag" law that enables family members, guardians or police to ask judges to use a restraining order to temporarily strip gun rights from people who show warning signs of violence.

Ohio casinos report record high revenues in March
The take at Ohio’s casinos and racinos surged in March. The Ohio Casino Commission reports revenue hit record highs at Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park with more than $23 million spent there. Jack Thistledown Racino in North Randall had a five year high last month, while Jack Cleveland Casino saw its best numbers since 2014. Overall Ohio’s gaming industry saw an 8 percent jump in March compared to the previous year, and the best combined take since the casinos opened in 2012.

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.