Morning Headlines: Feds Raid Former House Speaker's Home; ACLU Sues Over Gerrymandered District Map
Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, May 24:
- Federal agents raid home of former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger;
- ACLU sues to advance deadline for a new congressional map in time for 2020;
- Canton, Youngstown among 10 largest Ohio cities, according to new census estimates;
- Federal grant aims to promote literacy in dozens of Ohio school districts;
- Aircraft flown by Neil Armstrong returns to museum after renovations;
- Akron Zoo gets two vulnerable species;
- Cleveland Indians seek $8 million in public money for Progressive Field renovations;
- Cleveland, Canton still in running to host 2020 NFL Draft;
- Kasich delivers commencement address at Harvard's Kennedy School;
- Cavs lose to the Celtics 96-83;
Federal agents raid home of former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger
Federal agents searched former Republican Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger's southwest Ohio home and a nearby storage unit Wednesday. It’s part of an investigation into the money behind his international travel and lavish lifestyle. Rosenberger resigned from the House last month after saying he was aware the FBI was asking questions about his activities and hired a lawyer. While speaker, Rosenberger took trips, sometimes with lobbyists present, to Europe, Israel, Iceland and various U.S. cities and rented a luxury Columbus condo from a wealthy GOP donor.
ACLU sues to advance deadline for a new congressional map in time for 2020
The American Civil Liberties Union wants lawmakers to toss out Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional map ahead of the 2020 election. That’s two years before lawmakers are set to draw a new map thanks to a ballot issue overwhelmingly passed by voters in the May primary. The suit filed in U.S. District court in Cincinnati challenges the current district map, drawn by Republicans in 2011. The ACLU claims the map violates voters’ rights to democratically choose their representatives. If successful, the suit could jeopardize otherwise safe incumbent seats during 2020’s presidential election. The suit names Secretary of State Jon Husted and Gov. John Kasich among the defendants.
Canton, Youngstown among 10 largest Ohio cities, according to new census estimates
New population estimates from the Census Bureau suggest Cleveland’s population is leveling off after years of decline. The latest estimate shows Cleveland’s population last year was just under 400,000. Based on that estimate, Cleveland ranks 51st in the U.S. and second in the state, behind Columbus. Akron ranked fifth in the state, with just under 200,000 people. Canton, Youngstown and Lorain were also among Ohio's top ten largest cities. A more precise count will be available after the next full census in 2020.
Federal grant to promote literacy in dozens of Ohio school districts
Dozens of Ohio school districts and consortiums of districts will split $33 million in federal grant money to improve literacy development. Ohio's Department of Education says the grant especially aims to boost literacy for more students who live in poverty, have disabilities, or are identified as English learners or struggling readers. The applicants receiving the largest grants include educational service centers in Cuyahoga, Mahoning, Richland and Trumbull counties that serve multiple schools districts, and the Cleveland-based Center for Families and Children, which offers early learning programs. Individual districts getting at least $1 million include Columbus, Elyria and Strongsville.
Aircraft flown by Neil Armstrong returns to museum after renovations
An experimental aircraft flown by astronaut Neil Armstrong has returned to the museum housing it after a renovation. The rare aircraft has been a fixture at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in the western Ohio city of Wapakoneta, where Armstrong grew up. The plane known as an F5D Skylancer underwent a makeover for the past several months by Copley-based Thomarios, a construction and coatings company that also specializes in historic aircraft renovation. Both the cockpit and exterior of the plane were restored to the condition it was in when Armstrong flew it as part of a NASA program that set out to build reusable space planes before the manned Mercury flights.
Akron Zoo gets two vulnerable species
The Akron Zoo is now home to two species listed as "vulnerable". The pair of Siberian musk deer came from the Bronx Zoo in New York through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' breeding program. They're considered a “vulnerable” species because of poachers wanting to harvest their musk glands that can be used in perfume and for medicinal purposes. The zoo has also added red-breasted geese, native to Afghanistan and surrounding countries, to share an enclosure with the deer.
Cleveland Indians seek $8 million in public money for Progressive Field renovations
The Cleveland Indians are asking Cuyahoga County to approve $8 million in public money for improvements to Progressive Field. The team is looking to renovate club seating, reduce the number of ticket windows and expand administrative offices. The team submitted their request Wednesday to Gateway Development Corp. Gateway spends revenue from the so-called sin tax on behalf of the Indians, the Cavs and the Browns. If approved, the renovations would begin after this season. Construction would have to be finished before the 2019 All-Star Game.
Cleveland, Canton still in running to host 2020 NFL Draft
The NFL says next year's draft will be held in Nashville, but Cleveland and Canton are still in the running to host the 2020 draft. It's likely Canton and Cleveland would be awarded the 2020 draft to coincide with the NFL's centennial celebration, including a week-long extravaganza at the Hall of Fame in September of 2020.
Kasich delivers commencement address at Harvard's Kennedy School
Gov. John Kasich focused his spring graduation address at the Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday on graduates finding meaning to their lives. The former presidential candidate addressed the school of government's class of 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from the Birmingham city jail on the search for finding "higher moral purpose." He briefly mentioned the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts as examples of community members helping each other and proving goodness in human nature.
Cavs lose to the Celtics 96-83
The Cavs lost to the Celtics 96-83 last night. They're now on the brink of elimination, down 2-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics held LeBron James to two fourth-quarter points. Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. The home team has won every game so far in the series.