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Morning Headlines: Portage County Sues Drug Distributors; Impeachment of Rosenstein Introduced

Photo of opioids

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, July 26:

  • Portage County sues drug distributors;
  • Congressman Jim Jordan introduces articles of impeachment for Deputy AG Rosenstein;
  • Former Rolling Acres Mall site construction project receives $250,000 grant;
  • Head of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation steps down;
  • Kidney dialysis measure receives extension for signatures; 
  • Jackson Local Schools to staff each building with an officer in the fall;
  • Lake Erie deadzone threathens water supplies;

Portage County sues drug distributors

Portage County is now among the expanding group of counties and cities suing pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug distributors for contributing to the opioid crisis. The Record Courier reports that the county, along with the cities of Kent, Ravenna, and Aurora have filed two lawsuits alleging drug makers unfairly marketed opioids and that distributors pushed them on doctors and patients. An attorney in the case says the suits seek accountability and justice from the opioid manufacturers and distributors who fueled the opioid epidemic in Portage County.

Congressman Jim Jordan introduces articles of impeachment for Deputy AG Rosenstein

Ohio U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan has introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Jordan, a Republican and leader of the House Freedom Caucus, claims Rosenstein withheld documents from congress and failed to comply with subpoenas. After the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to head the investigation in to Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. Cleveland.com reports that articles of impeachment against federal officials often don’t go anywhere. Former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich repeatedly introduced articles to impeach then President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney during the Iraq War.

Former Rolling Acres Mall site construction project receives $250,000 grant

The Summit County Transportation Improvement District announced a $250,000 grant for the Romig Road reconstruction project at the former Rolling Acres Mall site. The Beacon Journal reports the Ohio Department of Transportation funding is just a small piece of the overall $100 million development project for the mall site. The city has said there is a potential deal for developing the property that could employ hundreds, but so far has not given specifics.

Head of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation steps down

The head of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation is stepping down. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Greg Moody, described as Gov. Kasich’s right-hand man, is leaving next week to take a teaching job at Ohio State University. His departure comes as the Ohio Department of Medicaid faces increasing scrutiny over drug costs in the tax-funded health care program for about 3 million poor and disabled Ohioans. A recent report shows that pharmacy benefit managers administering Medicaid drug benefits have been charging taxpayers three to six-times more than standard rates. Moody led the governor’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare and was also instrumental in developing national health care proposals endorsed by governors of both parties.

Kidney dialysis measure receives extension for signatures

A group that wants to limit how much dialysis companies can charge patients has a little more time to get a measure on the statewide ballot in November. Cleveland.com reports The Ohioans for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection was given a week's extension by Secretary of State Jon Husted's office to gather more signatures for a ballot measure. The proposed ballot measure would limit how much dialysis clinics can charge, mandates annual inspections and requires new sanitation standards. The move is opposed by the Ohio Renal Association which filed a court challenge Wednesday claiming the group's paperwork is not in order.

Jackson Local Schools to staff each building with an officer in the fall

Jackson Local Schools says it will staff each district building with a police officer when classes start in August. The Repository reports the Jackson Township district will hire three part-time police officers to join two officers already assigned to Jackson High School and Jackson Middle School. In February, a student shot himself at Jackson Middle School after apparently planning to shoot students and faculty.

Lake Erie dead zone threatens water supplies

Scientists are warning that continued water quality problems in Lake Erie could put drinking water supplies in peril. Cleveland.com reports that the retired director of Ohio State's Sea Grant and Stone Lab warns of an expanding ‘dead zone’ in the lake. That’s where tons of dead and decaying algae sink to the bottom of the lake and create zones devoid of oxygen. Officials say the Central Basin dead zone is a problem in addition to toxic algae blooms in the western basin. But both are caused by excessive amounts of nutrients from farm runoff reaching the lake.

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.