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Morning Headlines: Akron-Canton Airport Begins $34M Expansion; MetroHealth Joins Opioid Lawsuit

photo of CAK departure drop-off
Akron-Canton Airport

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, August 29:

  • Akron-Canton airport begins $34M expansion;
  • MetroHealth joins opioid epidemic lawsuit;
  • Akron to celebrate its massive Rosie boring machine;
  • Another day of extreme heat closes Cleveland schools;
  • Ohio State trustees to vote on eliminating course fees;
  • State unveils five-year plan for student success;
  • Head of Ohio prison system steps down;
  • Lt. Gov. candidate Betty Sutton adds voice to #MeToo movement;

Akron-Canton airport begins $34M expansion

Akron-Canton airport has broken ground on a new $34 million expansion. The three phase project kicked off Tuesday and is expected to be completed by early 2020. The project includes new gates and a two-level concourse, plus additional passenger parking. Outgoing CEO Rick McQueen says the expansion will replace the current gates originally opened in 1962. The project is the final element of a 10 year, $110 million capital improvement campaign.

MetroHealth joins opioid epidemic lawsuit

MetroHealth is joining the list of hundreds of municipalities and hospitals suing drug companies over the nation's opioid epidemic. Cleveland.com reports the Cuyahoga County hospital system says companies like Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson overstated the benefits of powerful pain medication such as OxyContin and downplayed the addiction risks of prescription opioids. The lawsuit seeks money to pay for addiction treatment. The lawsuits are being overseen by Cleveland U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who has set a trial for September, 2019 for claims by several states, including the cities of Cleveland and Akron. 

Akron to celebrate its massive Rosie boring machine

The city of Akron is inviting the public to celebrate Rosie. That’s the massive tunnel boring machine that’s completing its year-long journey burrowing beneath downtown as part of the city’s billion dollar sewer separation project. The 2.2 million-pound Rosie will make her final breakthrough this afternoon at Lock 3. The city is also livestreaming the event.

Another day of extreme heat closes Cleveland schools

It’s another day off for many Cleveland students because of the ongoing heat and humidity. Eighteen schools will be closed in the district for the second day in a row. There were dozens of school closings throughout Northeast Ohio on Tuesday, as the high reached 92 degrees in Cleveland with a heat index approaching 100. The high today will be around 90, and we get a break from the heat wave tomorrow.

Ohio State trustees to vote on eliminating course fees

Ohio State students may get a big break in course fees. The university’s trustees will vote Thursday on whether to eliminate 70 percent of all course fees, which can amount to hundreds of dollars, especially for majors that require laboratory sessions. The university says if approved, it could save students nearly $2 million a year.

State unveils five-year plan for student success

State officials have unveiled a five-year plan aimed at helping Ohio students succeed after graduating from high school.

The plan aims to continue increasing the percentage of graduates who a year after receiving a diploma are enrolled in college, an adult career-technical education program or apprenticeship, serving in the military or earning a living wage. It also focuses on areas beyond academics, calling for social and emotional development, including leadership skills, problem-solving, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making. The plan includes 10 strategies to help students reach the state’s goal, including effective teachers, supportive principals, expanded quality preschool, literacy skills and more paths to graduation.

Head of Ohio prison system steps down

The head of Ohio’s prison system is stepping down. Gary Mohr announced he’s leaving for an unspecified job in corrections. Mohr has been director since the start of Gov. John Kasich’s first term in 2011, and is leaving as Kasich’s second term ends. Stuart Hudson, the agency’s head of fiscal operations will take over as interim director on Friday.

Lt. Gov. candidate Betty Sutton adds voice to #MeToo movement

Ohio's Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor is adding her voice to the #MeToo movement. Former Congresswoman Betty Sutton shared details Tuesday of abuse that led to her then-husband's arrest three decades ago. At a roundtable on violence against women, Sutton said she was thrown down and punched in the back of the head by her first husband. He was ultimately arrested and their marriage ended in 1991. Her timing also coincides with criticism of running-mate Richard Cordray, over his handling of a backlog of untested rape kits when he was Ohio attorney general.