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Morning Headlines: Huntington Bank Worries About Shutdown, Fed. Workers Get Break From Utilities

First Energy downtown Akron
First Energy in Downtown Akron

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Jan. 25:

  • Huntington Bank worries about prolonged shutdown;
  • Utility companies give federal workers a break;
  • UH lawsuit names new defendent in lawsuit;
  • Ohio Supreme Court rejects request to delay execution;
  • State Medical Board refrains public comment on doctor accused of overprescribing;
  • Cleveland Indians Carlos Carrasco finalizes four-year deal;

Huntington Bank worries about prolonged shutdown
The partial government shutdown hasn’t been felt as strongly in the Midwest as other parts of the country, but the head of Huntington Bancshares worries that could change if this drags on longer. Steve Steinour told the Columbus Dispatch the shutdown needs to come to an end. The Dispatch reports Huntington is the biggest Small Business Administration lender in the Midwest, and those loans are on hold during the shutdown.  Huntington reported record profits yesterday for 2018. The government shutdown is now in its second month.

Utility companies give federal workers a break
Furloughed government workers are getting a break on their utility bills during the shutdown. Cleveland.com reports First Energy, Dominion and Columbia Gas are arranging special payment options for government workers who’ve been impacted by the shutdown. Options include budget billing which averages bills throughout the year or makeup agreements that spread out missed payments over several bill.

UH lawsuit names new defendent
A new lawsuit in the loss of 4,000 eggs and embryos at Univerity Hospital’s Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood names a new defendant in the case. Cleveland.com reports lawyers for eight couples whose embryos were destroyed have filed suit against UH and DataLoggers. At a press conference yesterday, an attorney for one of the couples said DataLoggers had one job:  to make sure the remote alarms were working, and they were turned off. The suit accuses DataLoggers of installing a defective temperature monitoring system and failing to alert UH the system wasn’t working properly. As a result, the temperature of the liquid nitrogen in the storage tanks rose to the point were the eggs and embryos became non-viable. UH released a statement saying it’s offering free fertility care to patients who were affected.

Ohio Supreme Court rejects request to delay execution
A prosecutor is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to reject a condemned man's request to delay his execution set for next month. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said death row inmate Warren Keith Henness' motion is an abuse of the court system. The 55-year-old Henness is scheduled to die by lethal injection Feb. 13. His attorneys want a delay based on a federal judge's finding that Ohio's three-drug injection process "will certainly or very likely cause him severe pain and needless suffering." Henness' attorneys have separately asked Gov. Mike DeWine to issue a reprieve. Henness maintains he's innocent in the fatal 1992 shooting of a volunteer addiction counselor.

State Medical Board refrains public comment on doctor accused of overprescribing
The State Medical Board isn't publicly commenting about an Ohio doctor accused of ordering excessive and possibly fatal pain medicine for dozens of hospital patients without their families' knowledge. Ohio's attorney general is urging the board to suspend William Husel's license while police and the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System investigate. A spokeswoman for the medical board says it can't disclose confidential investigative information. Husel's lawyers aren't commenting.

Cleveland Indians Carlos Carrasco finalizes four-year deal
Carlos Carrasco's $14 million club option for 2023 under his new deal with the Cleveland Indians would become guaranteed if he pitches 170 or more innings in 2022 and is expected to be healthy for the following season. The 31-year-old right-hander agreed Dec. 6 to a $47 million, four-year contract, a deal that was finalized this week. Carrasco's contract includes $37.25 million in new guaranteed money.

Andrew Meyer is the Deputy Editor of News at Ideastream Public Media.