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Morning Headlines: Ryan Urges Trump to Support Lordstown; Former Judge Pleads Not Guilty to Murder

Tim Ryan, U.S. Congressman from Ohio
Rep. Tim Ryan, Niles (D)

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, December 5:

  • Ryan urges Trump to support Lordstown;
  • Former judge pleads not guilty to murder of ex-wife;
  • Cuyahoga County corrections officer fired amid inmate death;
  • Gov.-elect DeWine announces first cabinet members;
  • Final day of tech conference makes blockchain a priority;
  • State: $104.5M available for new voting equipment;
  • Ex-Browns player released from prison files for bankruptcy;
  • Akron fifth-grade class finds body;

Ryan urges Trump to support Lordstown
Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reconsider ending federal subsidies for electric cars. Trump sent a series of tweets threatening to remove the subsidies as retaliation for GM's plans to close five North American plants, including Lordstown. Ryan's letter said the decision could make it harder for Lordstown to recover. Ryan, along with Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman will meet GM CEO Mary Barra today in Washington.

Former judge pleads not guilty to murder of ex-wife
A former Cuyahoga County judge has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder in the death of his ex-wife. Lance Mason was arraigned Tuesday in the same court where he served as a judge before receiving a nine month prison sentence several years ago for assaulting his then-wife Aisha Fraser. Mason is accused of stabbing Fraser to death last month at a home in Shaker Heights. His bond was set at $5 million.

Cuyahoga County corrections officer fired amid inmate death
A Cuyahoga County jail officer has been fired and is under investigation in connection with an inmate death. Martin Devring is accused of kicking inmate Joseph Arquillo's mat as he fell ill and died from a drug overdose in August. Devring failed to file an incident report and lied to investigators about making rounds. Arquillo's death is among seven at the county jail this year, prompting an investigation. A U.S. Marshal's report released last month detailed inhumane conditions and civil rights issues within the jail.

Gov.-elect DeWine announces first cabinet members
Attorney General and incoming Republican governor Mike DeWine has announced more people he’s chosen to be members of his cabinet. All of the picks are former or current aids, who will lead agencies including the Department of Natural Resources, RecoveryOhio, which will focus on the opioid crisis and information technology. So far, all of DeWine’s appointees have been women or people of color. Some of these positions require Senate confirmation.

Final day of tech conference makes blockchain a priority
On the final day of a four day tech conference in Cleveland, the city’s universities and colleges committed to making blockchain research a priority. Case Western Reserve University president Barbara Snyder announced the formation of a Cleveland Blockchain and Digital Futures Hub. Case is teaming with Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College in establishing the think-tank. It will explore ways to improve transfer of tech from research labs into the business community. The Blockland Solutions Conference Cleveland proposes making Cleveland a national tech hub by developing new uses of the technology behind Bitcoin.

State: $104.5M available for new voting equipment
Ohio's county boards of elections are now able to acquire new voting equipment through a program made possible by legislation enacted this year. The program provides a total of nearly $105 million for counties to purchase new equipment. The state said counties will be able to get the equipment in time to test it and train poll workers ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The state has awarded contracts to five voting system vendors.

Ex-Browns player released from prison files for bankruptcy
Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Reggie Rucker, who served a prison sentence for wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI, has filed for bankruptcy. Cleveland.com reports Rucker and his wife, Darlene, have filed their petition in bankruptcy court in Cleveland. The Warrensville Heights couple's filing says they owe more than $860,000 to entities including the IRS and the attorney who represented Rucker when he was prosecuted for stealing from his nonprofit groups. Rucker was sentenced to prison in 2016 and ordered to pay $110,000 for using the charities' money to pay gambling debts and personal expenses.

Akron fifth-grade class finds body
A fifth-grade class found a body outside an Akron school. The Akron Beacon Journal reports school officials said in a letter to parents the class found the body Monday morning at the Bridges Learning Center. Principal Stephanie Davis says classes in the area were immediately moved, and students saw very little of the scene. Police believe the man died by suicide two days earlier, and a gun was recovered at the scene. School officials say counseling is being offered to students. The school serves students in grades K-8 with emotional or behavioral needs.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.