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Morning Headlines: LeBron James Banner to Come Down; July 4 Gas Prices Soar

lebron_signage.jpg
Kabir Bhatia

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, July 3:

  • Cleveland's LeBron James banner to come down;
  • Drivers to see much higher July 4 gas prices compared to last year;
  • Federal authorities arrest man suspected of July 4 terror plot;
  • Mayor Jackson says Cleveland will continue to thrive without LeBron;
  • Former Akron bridal shop wants lawsuit against a Dallas hospital reopened;
  • State Highway Patrol to focus on safe driving this holiday week;
  • Summit County launches free cab service for July 4;

Cleveland's LeBron James banner to come down

The massive LeBron James banner hanging in downtown Cleveland is again coming down following the superstar's announcement he's leaving Cleveland. The 10-story billboard, which shows James wearing his No. 23 jersey with his arms spread wide, has become a city landmark. A version of it was also removed in 2010 when he joined the Miami Heat. James has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Sherwin-Williams, which owns the building where the banner hangs, says Nike is taking it down this week. The company is evaluating what to do with the space next.  

Ohio drivers to see much higher July 4 gas prices compared to last year

Drivers are going to be spending more at the pump this July 4th than in years past. Ohio gas prices hit a peak last week, but have been slow to drop. AAA says the average price for a gallon in Northeast Ohio this week is $2.68, up about 60 cents from this time last year. The national average of $2.86 is the highest for an Independence Day holiday in four years. However, for the nearly 40 million drivers expected to travel this week, they will find prices at the pump 11 cents cheaper than this past Memorial Day holiday. 

Federal authorities arrest man suspected of July 4 terror plot

Federal authorities say they've arrested a man who talked about setting off a bomb at a Fourth of July parade in Cleveland, and later another attack in Philadelphia. Officials say the suspect, 48-year-old Demetrius Pitts, is an American citizen who often expressed his support for al-Qaida and said he wanted to kill members of the U.S. military. He’s lived in the Cincinnati area and most recently in Maple Heights. Authorities have charged Pitts with attempted support of a terrorist organization.

Mayor Jackson says Cleveland will continue to thrive without LeBron

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says he's not concerned about the city taking an economic hit by superstar LeBron James' decision to leave the Cavs for the L.A. Lakers. In a statement, Jackson said that since James returned to the Cavs from the Heat in 2010, Cleveland’s population has spiked by 15,000 and entertainment districts near Quicken Loans Arena have been thriving. He expects that momentum to continue, as well as other growth not attributed to James, including the redevelopment of Public Square, the lakefront and Cuyahoga River waterfronts.

Shuttered Akron bridal shop wants a lawsuit against a Dallas hospital reopened

A shuttered Akron bridal shop says that its lawsuit against a Dallas hospital should be revived because the facility was negligent in its care of a nurse who contracted Ebola before visiting the store. Coming Attractions Bridal & Formal is asking the Texas Supreme Court to hear the case after an appeals court in May dismissed the lawsuit. The shop claims it "suffered financial ruin" after nurse Amber Vinson visited it in 2014. Vinson was one of two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who contracted Ebola after treating a Liberian man with the deadly virus.  Vinson was then diagnosed when she returned to Texas from Ohio.

State Highway Patrol to focus on safe driving this holiday week

The State Highway Patrol in Ohio is focusing on safe driving around commercial vehicles this holiday week. The partnership between the patrol and members of the Great Lakes Initiative are working to reduce crashes involving commercial vehicles through enforcement and education. The effort is targeting drivers who fail to yield, make unsafe lane changes and follow too closely around large vehicles such as trucks and buses. Forty-five percent of commercial vehicle-related crashes in 2017 weren't the fault of commercial vehicles.

Summit County launches free cab service for July 4

Summit County is launching a cab service to keep drunk drivers off the roads for the July 4th holiday. Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says Arrive Alive will provide free rides for fares up to $65 to all county residents. The rides will be offered 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., today through Thursday.