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Morning Headlines: Watchdog Appeals FirstEnergy Solutions' Bankruptcy; Governor Debates Resume

photo of FirstEnergy building
Tim Rudell

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, October 1:

  • Consumer watchdog fights FirstEnergy Solutions' bankruptcy;
  • Ohio governor candidates to meet for town hall-style debate;
  • Kent State pro-gun rally results in four arrests;
  • Argument between two men ends in fatal shooting;
  • New university training aimed at preventing sexual misconduct;
  • Fran DeWine, wife of governor candidate, visits 88th county;

Consumer watchdog fights FirstEnergy Solutions' bankruptcy
Ohio's lawyer for utility ratepayers has moved to stop the bankruptcy of a key regional power company. The Ohio Consumers' Counsel recently appealed FirstEnergy Solutions' request. The office told the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals the company shouldn't be allowed to transfer more than $268 million it owes to the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation's redundant coal plants to other regulated utilities that share ownership. The consumers' counsel said consumers will ultimately bear the cost through their electric bills. Ohio Valley operates two coal-fired plants along the Ohio River, one in southeast Ohio and one in Indiana, that it's required to keep running until 2040. FirstEnergy Solutions is a subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy. It argues bankruptcy protection is in the best interests of the company and its creditors.

Ohio governor candidates to meet for town hall-style debate
Ohio's major party governor candidates are ready to meet for another televised debate. Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray, the former federal consumer watchdog, were feisty in their first debate in Dayton Sept. 19. They traded jabs, rapid-fire exchanges and one-liners. Monday night's faceoff at Marietta College will be a town hall-style forum for the candidates to discuss their policy positions and differing visions for the state. WKSU will air the debate live Monday at 7 p.m.

Kent State pro-gun rally results in four arrests
A walk by about 50 gun rights activists and about 100 counter protesters at Kent State University led to four disorderly conduct arrests. The university said no serious injuries were reported Saturday at the walk organized by recent graduate and gun activist Kaitlin Bennett. Bennett gained attention in May after posting photos of her carrying a military-type rifle on campus. Police from around Ohio were on campus to keep the peace Saturday. Bennett originally planned an open-carry rally instead of a walk, but called off the rally because of security costs. The university said Ohio law allows private citizens to carry guns on campus but prohibits students, faculty and employees from doing so.

Argument between two men ends in fatal shooting
Police said two men got into an argument and one fatally shot the other in Richmond Heights over the weekend. Police said 30-year-old Benjamin Sims of Euclid was fatally shot early Sunday after he and another man began arguing and Sims got into a vehicle. Sim was shot and drove a short distance before crashing. Police said the suspect was taken into custody and charges are pending.

New OSU training aimed at preventing sexual misconduct
Ohio State University is providing students with new online training about preventing sexual misconduct. Administrators have notified students that the training is mandatory. They said it takes an hour or less and includes information about identifying and reporting sex- and gender-based misconduct and about resources providing support. There's no announced penalty for not completing it, but a spokesperson said Ohio State will evaluate completion rates and an enforcement strategy. The school plans to roll out new online training for faculty and staff later this fall.

Fran DeWine, wife of governor candidate, visits 88th county
One of the women in line to become Ohio's next first lady has celebrated making campaign visits to all 88 Ohio counties. Fran DeWine, wife of Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, marked her 88th county visit in Allen County.