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Morning Headlines: Brown Denied Access to Border Facilities; Study Finds CAK Airport Had $1B Impact

Sherrod Brown at Ohio military installation
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Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, July 15:

  • Sen. Brown says he was denied access at border facilities;
  • Study: Akron-Canton Airport has $1B economic impact;
  • Lawmaker operating anti-abortion center steps back from bill;
  • GOP official: Ohio election on St. Patrick's Day would be OK;
  • Statues, education center honor Neil Armstrong at museum;
  • Couple settles lawsuit over destruction of frozen embryos;
  • Online survey seeks input on state-wide walking, biking plan;
  • Experts puzzled by boom in Lake Erie walleye population;
  • Soap Box Derby begins;

Brown denied access to border facilities
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said he was denied access to several immigration detention facilities along the border on Sunday. Brown told Cleveland.com that Customs and Border Protection denied him access to facilities holding children, including a well-known facility near El Paso, Texas. Brown said the reasons he was given for why he was denied access — including that it was the weekend — were unsatisfactory. He held an afternoon roundtable with migrants at the Border Network for Human Rights, a nonprofit migrant advocacy and education center. Sen. Rob Portman visited border facilities Friday. In a statement, he said Congress needs to act quickly to stop the crisis at the border.

Study: Akron-Canton Airport has $1B economic impact
A new study finds that Akron-Canton Airport had a $1 billion impact on the region last year. The study from Kent State University looked at employment, hotels, retail and restaurants in six counties including Summit and Portage. The airport supported more than 4,800 jobs and had a direct economic impact of $663 million. Kent State also estimated that having an airport nearby resulted in $13 million in time savings and nearly $11 million in travel savings.

Lawmaker operating anti-abortion center steps back from bill
A state lawmaker who operates an anti-abortion pregnancy resource center says she's stepping back from legislation proposing a tax benefit for donors to centers like hers. Rep. Candice Keller, a Middletown Republican, said she'd no longer co-sponsor the bill or vote on it. The measure singles out donors to crisis pregnancy centers for a 50% income tax credit for their cash contributions. Keller’s decision followed criticism by the state Democratic chairman that Keller was self-dealing.

GOP official: Ohio election on St. Patrick's Day would be OK
Ohio's elections chief said the state can handle having its presidential primary on St. Patrick's Day next year if lawmakers make that change in the still-unsettled state budget. The proposed move from March 10 to March 17 drew objections from some Democratic lawmakers, particularly from the Cleveland area, which has one of the nation's biggest St. Patrick's Day parades. In a letter responding to them, Secretary of State Frank LaRose noted that Ohio has four weeks of early voting and that Arizona, Florida and Illinois also are having their primaries on the unofficial holiday. The Ohio Republican Party sought to change the election date in response to national GOP rules on awarding delegates.

Statues, education center honor Neil Armstrong at museum
New statues of astronaut Neil Armstrong were unveiled and an education center was dedicated in his name on Sunday as his Ohio hometown continued celebrating its native son's history-making moon mission 50 years ago this month. Gov. Mike DeWine and other officials gathered at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta for the unveiling Sunday of a bronze life-sized statue of Armstrong as a test pilot. Another statue of him outside the museum as a boy sitting on a bench while holding a model airplane also was unveiled Sunday. There was also a ribbon-cutting to dedicate the Armstrong STEM Inspiration Center at the museum. Armstrong stepped on the moon's surface on July 20, 1969. 

Couple settles lawsuit over destruction of frozen embryos
A Broadview Heights couple who sued after eggs and embryos were destroyed at University Hospitals’ fertility clinic have settled their lawsuit. Rick and Wendy Penniman were among more than 100 people who sued after a storage tank's temperature fluctuated at the fertility clinic in 2018, destroying some 4,000 eggs and embryos. The couple claimed their embryos were living persons and should have been treated as patients. Details of the settlement haven’t been released.

Online survey seeks input on state-wide walking, biking plan
State transportation officials are seeking the Ohio public's help in developing their first policy plan for walking and biking. The Ohio Department of Transportation says an online survey and upcoming public meetings will be crucial to ensuring that the Walk.Bike.Ohio plan meets people's needs. The plan will guide bike and pedestrian policy-making and infrastructure investment decisions. It is driven by increased demand, demographic shifts and safety concerns. Ohio saw a 60% increase in pedestrian-related fatalities and a 22% increase in bicycle fatalities between 2009 and 2018.

Experts puzzled by boom in Lake Erie walleye population
Experts are puzzled over the explosion of the walleye population in Lake Erie. The Plain Dealer reports that after a decades-old roller coaster ride, the number caught in the U.S. waters of Lake Erie increased from 417,000 in 2011 to almost 2 million in 2018. Ohio banned commercial walleye fishing in the late 1960s to allow the Lake Erie population to recover.

Soap Box Derby begins
The 82nd annual All-American Soap Box Derby gets underway Monday in Akron. It kicks off with a parade at noon down Main Street, leading to opening ceremonies at Lock 3. More than 350 Derby champions between ages 7 and 20 arrived from cities throughout the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Preliminary races take place Tuesday and Wednesday at Derby Downs with race day on Saturday