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Morning Headlines: Flooding Causes Road, Bridge to Collapse; 10 Counties to Get Disaster Aid

Photo of flooding in Kent
Kent trails close because of flooding from the Cuyahoga River.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 19:

  • Ohio receives assistance for storm damage;
  • Flooding causes road, bridge to collapse;
  • House panel scheduled to vote on expanding concealed carry;
  • Cleveland Clinic now tops list of state's biggest employers;
  • RFK Jr. to help mark 50 years since river fire;
  • Summit County chief of staff steps down;
  • Cleveland kicks off Cuyahoga River comeback week;

Flooding causes road, bridge to collapse
There is more rain on the way as Stark and Summit County wait for flood waters to recede. Severe flooding along the Tuscarawas River caused flooding Barberton, Clinton, and Canal Fulton, Jackson Township, Massillon and Navarre. The Kungle Road Bridge in Norton collapsed due to structural problems. It had been closed since last month after inspectors determined it was unsafe. And, part of Manchester road in Summit County collapsed as an aging culvert gave way. Some areas have seen as much as 5 inches of rain in three days. A flash flood watch goes into effect tonight, with another 1-3 inches of rain expected.

Ohio receives assistance for storm damage
Ohio has received federal assistance for residents of 10 counties impacted by Memorial Day weekend tornadoes. President Trump issued a disaster declaration Tuesday to help individuals and businesses after 21 tornadoes touched down in Dayton and counties including Muskingum and Pickaway. A preliminary damage assessment the first week of June by federal and state agencies identified nearly 1,000 homes and buildings either destroyed or significantly damaged. The declaration allows possible low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration and opens up other assistance programs.

House panel scheduled to vote on expanding concealed carry
An Ohio House committee has scheduled a vote on legislation allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons without having to receive training, undergo a background check or obtain a license. The House Federalism Committee meets Wednesday on the bill that would eliminate requirements that people carrying a concealed weapon notify law enforcement officers when stopped and says officers no longer will have grounds to search or detain an "otherwise law-abiding person" for carrying a firearm.

Cleveland Clinic now tops list of state's biggest employers
State data shows the Cleveland Clinic has surpassed Walmart as Ohio's largest private-sector employer. The Cleveland-based hospital system has nearly 51,000 employees, compared to Walmart's roughly 49,000. That's according to the Ohio Development Services Agency's annual report on major employers in the state. Other large private-sector employers include retailers such as Kroger and Giant Eagle, Chase bank, and other hospital systems such as Columbus-based Ohio Health. Honda, with 15,000 Ohio employees, remains the state's largest manufacturer.

RFK Jr. to help mark 50 years since river fire
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will help wrap up nearly a week's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the famous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. Kennedy's scheduled remarks Sunday come as part of Cleveland's celebration of environmental science and sustainability half a century after the June 22, 1969, fire. The blaze became the iconic event of the U.S. environmental movement. Kennedy, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is president of Waterkeeper Alliance. The nonprofit environmental group fights to defend the fire-inspired Clean Water Act.

Summit County chief of staff steps down
A top Summit County government official is stepping down. Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said Chief of Staff Jason Dodson will step down in August to join Akron law firm Roetzel & Andress. County finance director Brian Nelsen will take over for Dodson. Dodson served Summit County for 12 years.

Cleveland kicks off Cuyahoga River comeback week
Starting Wednesday, Cleveland will kick off nearly a week of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire, which happened on June 22nd, 1969. There are more than 100 events, performances and exhibits scheduled as part of The Cuyahoga50. The city said the goal is to celebrate the progress made in the last few decades to clean Ohio's waterways. Events Wednesday include a blues concert at Wade Oval Park and an interactive lightning installation at the Veteran's Memorial Bridge. The celebration ends Sunday. For a list of events, click here.