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Morning Headlines: Hundreds Gather to Remember Tamir Rice; Akron Residents Protest Sandusky ICE Raid

Family photo of Tamir Rice
Family of Tamir Rice

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 15:

  • Tamir Rice rememberance, fundraiser held on his 16th birthday;
  • Akron residents protests ICE raid in Sandusky;
  • FBI opens investigation into Discovery Tours' cancelled trips;
  • Columbus to distribute fentanyl testing strips to drug users;
  • Rep. Emilia Sykes to meet with Ohio's public safety director about racial profiling;
  • Cleveland federal judge to decide on public access request in opioid lawsuits; 
  • Ohio BCI to investigate the death of a Medina County township trustee;
  • Planning commission to decide fate of Akron's homeless tent city;
  • Two businesses to move 70 jobs to downtown Akron;
  • A. Schulman shareholders approve $2.2B merger 

Tamir Rice rememberance, fundraiser held on his 16th birthday

More than 500 people gathered at the Cleveland Museum of Art last night to celebrate what would of been Tamir Rice's 16th birthday. Rice was 12 when he was shot and killed by police who thought the pellet gun he was playing with was real. Proceeds from last night's party will go to renovate a building in Cleveland's St. Clair neighborhood for the Tamir Rice Afro-centric Center that will provide programs for kids.

Akron residents protests ICE raid in Sandusky

About 150 people gathered in downtown Akron last night for a rally and vigil in response to recent immigration raids. Protestors spoke out about last week's raid in Sandusky, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rounded up more than 100 undocumented workers at a garden center and nursery and separated families. The rally was organized by America’s Voice, religious advocates of inclusion at First Christian Cuyahoga Falls, and the Ohio Chapter of the Women’s March on Washington. Similar events were held in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton.

FBI opens investigation into Discovery Tours' cancelled trips 

The FBI has opened an investigation into a Mayfield company that failed to deliver on pre-paid field trips for more than a dozen schools and thousands of students from across the state. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland says it makes sense for the FBI to investigate Discovery Tours Inc. because of the number of Ohio counties involved. Hundreds of consumer complaints have been filed with the state attorney general. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last month, listing $1.4 million in assets and nearly $4 million of debt. It said problems "snowballed" when a Washington, D.C.-area hotel canceled reservations despite the company having paid deposits for rooms.

Columbus to distribute fentanyl testing strips to drug users

The city of Columbus is working to stop the spread of the deadly synthetic opioid, Fentanyl. The city's public health department is launching a program to give drug users test strips to identify whether a drug is laced with the substance that's 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It caused nearly 70 percent of Franklin County's overdose deaths in 2017. About 1,000 fentanyl test strips will be distributed over the next couple of months.

Rep. Emilia Sykes to meet with Ohio's public safety director about racial profiling

Akron Democratic State Representative Emilia Sykes plans to talk with the state's public safety director after she claims she's been repeatedly racially profiled at the Statehouse. Sykes, who is black, has said she's routinely stopped and searched by security at the Statehouse even after showing her I.D. badge, while other legislators were let in without a search. Sykes tells the Columbus Dispatch she wants discuss changes with someone within state government. She's already spoken with the Ohio Highway Patrol, which handles security at the Statehouse.

Cleveland federal judge to decide public records request in opiod lawsuts 

A federal judge in Cleveland will consider whether to allow public access to government data detailing years of prescription opioid painkiller shipments. The information is at the heart of lawsuits filed by hundreds of local governments against the companies that manufacture, distribute and sell the drugs, which are blamed for sparking an addiction and overdose crisis. The federal government agreed earlier this year to share the data with the governments in cases overseen by Judge Dan Polster in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. The agreement came with tight limits allowing only the plaintiffs to see the information. But journalists for The Washington Post and others have made public records requests seeking the data.

Ohio BCI to look into the death of a Medina County township trustee

Ohio's criminal investigative agency will probe the death of a Medina County township trustee whose body was found in a lake last year with multiple stab wounds. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation says the agency will give a "fresh set of eyes" to the examination of Lafayette Township Trustee Byron Macron's death. The 45-year-old Macron was reported missing in December 2016. His body was found by a kayaker the following February. His cause of death remains undetermined. 

Planning commission to decide fate of Akron's homeless tent city

Akron’s planning commission meets this morning to try to determine the fate of Akron’s homeless tent city. The commission will give its opinion on whether Second Chance Village stays open as a lawful camping and tent community in Middlebury. The city has argued the village does not comply with the area’s zoning laws. Sage Lewis, the local businessman who owns the property, has filed a permit application with the planning commission to keep operating.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and others sent a letter asking the city to protect the village.

Two businesses to move 70 jobs to downtown Akron

About 70 jobs are moving to downtown Akron. OHM Advisors and CommuniCare Health Services are moving into the former Advanced Elastomer Systems building on South Main Street with the help of a more than half million dollar loan from the Akron Community Revitalization Fund. The fund helps finance projects in Akron’s most economically distressed neighborhoods. It’s announced four loans worth a total $3.2 million since March.

A. Schulman shareholders approve $2B merger

Shareholders of Fairlawn-based A. Schulman have voted to approve the company’s merger with global chemicals conglomerate LyondellBasell, based in Houston. The more than $2 billion deal is expected to be complete in the third quarter of this year. A. Schulman makes plastic compounds and resins. It has about 5,000 employees globally.

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.