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Morning Headlines: Rainfall Creates Midwest Hay Shortage; Tornadoes Cause Concern for Ohio Census

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Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 5:

  • Rainfall creates Midwest hay shortage;
  • Tornadoes cause concern for Ohio Census;
  • Dairy Brand Borden returns to Ohio after 20 years;
  • Cuyahoga County extends property tax deadline amid All-Star game;
  • Northeast Ohio's economy to boom during All-Star game celebrations;
  • Democratic lawmakers ask LaRose to reconsider St. Pat's Day 2020 primary;
  • Largest Ohio school district to add 31 more unarmed officers;

Rainfall creates Midwest hay shortage
Excessive rainfall over the last few months has created an extreme shortage of hay to feed livestock in the Midwest, including Ohio. The Repository reports hay levels have dipped to the fourth lowest in 70 years. Farmers are struggling to find ways to feed their animals and have to keep buying more expensive feed. The most affected are farmers with dairy cows and beef cows. Hay should ideally be dry when it's balled together in a field. Harvesting hay in soil that's too wet can cause damage to crops in the future.

Tornadoes cause concern for Ohio Census
Memorial Day tornadoes that destroyed and damaged homes in western Ohio are complicating population counts for next year's Census. The count activities start at the end of January 2020 and there were more than 2,000 structures destroyed in Montgomery County alone. Many of those structures were homes and apartments, and many of those residents have moved or will move. If a home is not habitable as of April 1, 2020, residents can't be counted there even if they plan to return. The regional Census Bureau said it has hired thousands of employees to respond to the issue.

Dairy Brand Borden returns to Ohio after two decades
The dairy brand Borden is returning to Ohio after more than 20 years. The company recently announced it will operate plants in Cleveland and Cincinnati, employing around 350 people. The company was founded in the 1800s with headquarters in Columbus. It moved to Dallas following an ownership change in 1995. Ohio schools have begun to serve Borden products and they're available at stores including Marcs and Walgreens.

Cuyahoga County extends property tax deadline amid All-Star game
Cuyahoga County is giving residents extra time to pay their property taxes because of the upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star game. The July 11 deadline has been extended to the 15th because of expected delays from road closures. Changes in downtown traffic patterns and mail delivery will "severely impact" access to the county administration building in coming days.

Northeast Ohio's economy to boom during All-Star game celebrations
The Major League Baseball All-Star game is expected to be a grand slam for Northeast Ohio's economy. Destination Cleveland reports an estimated 100,000 visitors are expected to flow into the region starting today, when the interactive Play Ball Park opens at the Huntington Convention Center. The events over the next five days are expected to pump nearly $65 million in to the region's economy. For 18 of the hotels in downtown Cleveland, 5,000 rooms have already been booked.

Democratic lawmakers as LaRose to reconsider St. Pat's Day 2020 primary
Nine Cuyahoga County Democratic lawmakers are asking the state’s top elections official to weigh-in on how voters could be affected by the possible move of next year’s presidential primary to St. Patrick’s Day. The letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose asks for information on how voters and poll workers will be affected by the change from March 10 to March 17.  They cite road closures and parking problems as well as the possible use of some polling places for previously-scheduled St. Patrick’s Day events. The change is in-line with Republican Party rules that award delegates on a winner-take-all basis in states holding their primary after March 15. 

Largest Ohio school district to add 31 more unarmed officers
Ohio's largest school district is adding 31 more unarmed security officers for the upcoming school year, meaning some elementary schools and administrative buildings will have dedicated officers for the first time. Columbus City Schools will spend $1.7 million to boost its safety staff to 84 officers. It means the district will have one security officer for every 595 students. Last year, that ratio was one per 943 students.