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Morning Headlines: Polls Open at 6:30 Tuesday; Defunct Tour Company Leaves Schools Scrambling

Ohio voting sticker

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, May 7:

  • Polls to open at 6:30 a.m. on Primary Election Day;
  • Trump visits Ohio to talk tax cuts, boost Renacci for Senate;
  • Report shows wages at common jobs in Greater Akron don't support small families;
  • Dairy farmers struggle with low milk prices;
  • Cleveland falls just short of federal air quality standards;
  • Steel Vengeance coaster is back up after minor collision;
  • Tour operator abruptly closes, leaving school districts scrambling;
  • Streetsboro teen could face combined sentence for shooting brother;
  • Hoover HS pole vaulter to be reinstated;
  • Cavs take on Raptors in Cleveland on Monday;

Polls to open at 6:30 a.m. on Primary Election Day
Early voting ends Monday at 2 p.m. at boards of elections throughout the state. State elections officials report the number of early ballots requested and cast is surging compared to the 2014 primary. A recent poll by Baldwin Wallace University shows 41 percent of democratic voters are still undecided. Ohioans head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the state's primary, along with Indiana, West Virginia and North Carolina. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Trump visits Ohio to talk tax cuts, boost Renacci for Senate
President Donald Trump made his second visit to Ohio in less than two months over the weekend. Trump met with Republican donors in Cleveland on Saturday before hosting a roundtable discussion on sweeping tax cuts passed last December. The president was joined by local business owners and employees, including the CEO of Sheely's Furniture in Youngstown. Trump also took the opportunity to boost Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, who's running for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown.

Report shows wages at common jobs in Greater Akron don't support small families
A new study finds most common jobs in Greater Akron do not pay enough to keep small families above poverty levels. The report from Policy Matters Ohio finds 7 in 10 of Akron’s most common jobs pay too little to support a family of three without food assistance. It found retail jobs were the most common, employing nearly 11,000 workers at a median annual salary of just over $22,000. Similar median wages were reported for food service workers, cashiers, waiters and store clerks.

Dairy farmers struggle with low milk prices
Dairy farmers in northwestern Ohio are struggling as milk prices fall to a four-year low. Ten dairies in Mercer and Auglaize counties have closed or reduced herds to cut costs. Federal data show the state has lost nearly 60 licensed dairy farms in the past five months. Milk prices are averaging just over $14 this year, a 38 percent decline since 2014.

Cleveland falls just short of federal air quality standards
The Cleveland area has failed to meet EPA ozone standards, along with Cincinnati and Columbus. The three cities earned a “marginal” non-attainment designation. That means they just fell short of federal standards. Since 2015, the EPA has required air pollution below 70 parts per billion (ppb) under the Clean Air Act. Cleveland’s three-year average from 2014 to 2016 was just above that, at 74 ppb. The city has three years to meet federal air quality standards. Read the full report here.

Steel Vengeance coaster is back up after minor collision
Cedar Point's newest roller coaster that shut down on opening day from a minor collision is back up and running. A spokesman for the amusement park in Sandusky says a train on the new Steel Vengeance coaster bumped into the back of a parked train while coming back into the station on Saturday. Four people on the ride asked to see the park's first aid team, but no significant injuries were reported. The ride was closed Saturday afternoon, but reopened later that night.

Tour operator abruptly closes, leaving school districts scrambling
Several Northeast Ohio School Districts are scrambling to form out-of-state class trips for middle schoolers after travel business Discovery Tours abruptly stopped operations last week. The Beacon Journal reports the Mayfield-based company canceled a Washington, D.C. trip for Mentor eight graders the day before they were scheduled to leave. The company had first claimed it canceled the trip because it was unable to secure lodging, but later contacted dozens of other school districts statewide that had bookings saying it was halting operations. Twinsburg, Hudson and Perry are among the local districts that have been affected. The Twinsburg Board of Education approved a resolution to cover the costs of the eighth-grade trip to D.C. planned this week.

Streetsboro teen could face combined sentence for shooting brother
A 13-year-old Streetsboro boy charged with killing his 11-year-old brother last month could serve a combined juvenile and adult sentence for two counts of aggravated murder. Cleveland.com reports Portage County Officials say the aggravated murder charges the teen face come with "serious youthful offender" designations. The minor could potentially end up in adult prison following his time in juvenile detention if found guilty.

Hoover HS pole vaulter to be reinstated
One of Stark County’s top high school pole vaulters will likely be reinstated after safety concerns led to his being barred from competing. The Repository reports Hoover High School freshman Max Stokey has been “restricted from participating” in an upcoming district meet because he refused to practice in rainy conditions. On Friday, a federal magistrate granted Stokey a temporary restraining order allowing him to compete. A federal judge will need to issue a ruling before the event next week.

Cavs take on Raptors in Cleveland on Monday
The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to sweep the Toronto Raptors at the Q tonight. The Cavs are up 3-0 and another win moves them onto the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth straight year. After a tough 7-game-series in the 1st round against the Indiana Pacers, the Cavs have looked in sync against Toronto, the East's #1 seed. Though the Raptors haven't lost quietly. They pushed The Cavs to the brink in game 3 in Cleveland. It took a LeBron James buzzer beater to oust the Raptors 105-103. James is averaging nearly 35 points, nine and a half rebounds and nine assists this postseason. Tipoff is tonight at 8:30.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.