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Morning Headlines: Agriculture Runoff Continues to Feed Algae Blooms; Lake Kim Tam Park to Reopen

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WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 23:

  • Cleveland City Council to get update on lead poisoning;
  • Ohio House Democrats call for probe following speaker's resignation;
  • Civil rights attorney threatens to sue Barberton over panhandling ban;
  • Ohio EPA reports no significant decrease in agricultural runoff feeding algae blooms;
  • Cleveland woman accidentally shoots and kills child outside a hotel;
  • Uranium cleanup crews to deploy an automomous robot in Piketon;
  • Hartville man charged with aggravated murder in missing wife's death;
  • Lake Kim Tam Park to reopen under new ownership this summer;

Cleveland City Council to get update on lead poisoning
Health officials in Cleveland will update city council on efforts to address lead poisoning. Today’s meeting will be the fourth such update since 2015. It will not be open to the public. The city’s Health and Human Services Committee expects to learn what city health officials are doing to address the lead problem. Cleveland.com reports some advocates think the city is reluctant to work with outside groups to address the lead problem. At least one legislative effort to inspect older homes for dangerous lead levels has stalled. For rental units, property owners and tenants can schedule inspections on a volunteer basis.

Ohio House Democrats call for probe following speaker's resignation
Two Democrats in Ohio’s House of Representatives are calling for an independent probe following the abrupt resignation of Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. His departure came amid rumors of a possible investigation by the FBI. In a letter sent Friday, Columbus Reps. David Leland and Kristin Boggs called the speaker’s resignation a “disgrace” and raised concerns about “illicit forces” corrupting the Statehouse. It’s the first time Ohio’s House speaker has resigned.

Civil rights attorney threatens to sue Barberton over panhandling ban
The city of Barberton could face a legal challenge if it does not end its decades-old ban on panhandling. Civil rights attorney Becky Sremack claims the city’s anti-panhandling ordinance is unconstitutional and is threatening to sue. Barberton Mayor Bill Judge tells the Beacon Journal he plans to raise the issue at Monday's city council meeting. He says the law is likely to be repealed.

Ohio EPA reports no significant decrease in agricultural runoff feeding algae blooms
Research into Lake Erie's toxic algae shows no clear decrease in the pollutants feeding the persistent blooms during the past five years. An Ohio EPA report finds that nearly all of the phosphorus and nitrogen flowing from Ohio's streams and rivers into the lake's western end is coming mainly from agriculture runoff. The data backs up what environmental groups have been saying for years and what the head of the state EPA said last month: voluntary steps farmers have taken to scale back the fertilizers feeding Lake Erie's massive algae blooms aren't enough. Gov. John Kasich's administration now wants legislation that would require some farmers to make changes to reduce how much fertilizer and manure ends up in the lake.

Cleveland woman accidentally shoots and kills child outside a hotel
Police say a 2-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed by her mother at a hotel outside of Cleveland. Police say an initial investigation indicates the woman was handling a firearm at an Econo Lodge in Wickliffe Friday when it fired and struck the girl in the chest. Police say the mother legally possessed the handgun and had a concealed carry permit. Names have not been released.

Uranium cleanup crews to deploy an automomous robot in Piketon
Crews cleaning up a massive former Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant in southeast Ohio plan this summer to deploy a high-tech helper: an autonomous, radiation-measuring robot that will roll through miles of large overhead pipes to spot potentially hazardous residual uranium. Officials say it's safer, more accurate and tremendously faster than having workers take external measurements to identify which pipes need to be removed and decontaminated at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon. They say it could save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars on cleanups, with some pipe analysis that used to take weeks can be finished same-day.

Hartville man charged with aggravated murder in missing wife's death
A Portage County man who has given conflicting stories about what happened to his wife's body has been charged with aggravated murder in her death. Philip Snider, 73, of Hartville is being held on a $5 million bond. Snider's wife Roberta, 70, has been missing since early January. The couple married in 1964. Snider initially told police he gave his wife's body to emergency workers after she died during a trip to Graceland in Memphis. He later said he threw her body off a bridge into the Tennessee River while returning to Ohio.

Lake Kim Tam Park to reopen under new ownership this summer
An Akron wrestling promoter has purchased a popular swimming lake with plans to reopen this summer. Jeremy Caudill bought Lake Kim Tam Park in Springfield Twp. for $240,000. The park was closed last summer following the death of owner Charles “Bill” Patton. Caudill tells the Beacon Journal he plans to turn the 19-acre property into a regional destination, complete with cabins for overnight guests. The park will keep its name, but the man-made lake will be named Melanie, after the new owner’s wife.