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Morning Headlines: FirstEnergy Solutions Bankruptcy Hearing Continues, DeWine Backs Media in Lawsuit

photo of FirstEnergy building
Tim Rudell

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, August 23:

  • FirstEnergy Solutions bankruptcy hearing continues;
  • DeWine backs media in lawsuit;
  • Officials warn of carfentanil amid overdose deaths;
  • 18-year-old indicted for threatening law enforcement;
  • Serial killer who murdered dozens of women expected to plead guilty;
  • Dayton memorial to mass shooting victims to be preserved;
  • NASA Glenn key to next moon landing;

FirstEnergy Solutions bankruptcy hearing continues
A judge has delayed plans for an Akron-based utility to emerge from bankruptcy. FirstEnergy Solutions said Bankruptcy Judge Alan Koschik delayed confirming the company’s reorganization plan at the conclusion of the two-day hearing Wednesday. A FirstEnergy Solutions spokesperson said the judge wants the company to either reach new union contracts or reject them before confirming the plan. The company is negotiating new contracts with workers at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. Under a new energy bill the state legislature passed last month, FirstEnergy Solutions will receive a billion dollars in state subsidies over the next seven years to keep its two Ohio nuclear plants open. A follow-up hearing is set for Sept. 10.

DeWine backs media in lawsuit
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is siding with media organizations suing for the school records of the gunman who killed nine people earlier this month in Dayton. Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools has denied media requests for access to the high school files of the gunman, who was shot dead by police about 30 seconds into the Aug. 4 massacre. The district argues that such records "are generally protected by both federal and state law." News organizations, including The Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times and others have sued. Dave Yost argued Thursday that federal privacy protections don't apply after a student's death, according to U.S. Department of Education guidance. Yost said Ohio law demands broad access to public records.

Officials warn of carfentanil amid overdose deaths
Health officials have issued warnings about a possible resurgence of deadly drug combinations following recent clusters of overdoses. The Beacon Journal reports officials in Stark and Cuyahoga counties are warning people that a spike in overdoses could be due to deadly carfentanil entering the street drug supply. Canton Health officials issued an alert last week after four people died from suspected overdoses. Ten people died in a three-day period recently in Cuyahoga County. In Summit County, 31 people sought hospital treatment after overdosing between Friday and Tuesday. Health officials urge drug users to never use alone and to always keep a naloxone kit ready to reverse an overdose should one happen.

18-year-old indicted for threatening law enforcement
A grand jury has indicted an Ohio man on charges of making an online threat against federal law enforcement agents. Court documents state Justin Olsen, 18, of Boardman also made statements online supporting mass shootings and attacks on Planned Parenthood. Those same filings state Olsen told the FBI that the comments were only a joke. The Justice Department said Wednesday that Olsen was indicted following his arrest earlier this month. His defense attorney said Olsen has no prior record. Federal prosecutors said Olsen had been under investigation since February, but they decided to act now because of recent mass shootings. Olsen was living with his father in a home filled with guns and ammunition, but his attorney said all of the guns belonged to his father.

Serial killer who murdered dozens of women expected to plead guilty
A serial killer who claims to have murdered 90 women is expected to plead guilty to two Ohio slayings. Samuel Little, 80, is scheduled to appear in court Friday via video link from California state prison, where he's serving multiple life sentences. Court documents show a Hamilton County judge will sentence Little after his pleas. Little is charged with the 1981 murder of Anna Stewart, 32, last seen alive in Cincinnati. Her body was found near Columbus. He's also charged with a second Cincinnati murder of an unidentified woman. A Texas prosecutor said investigators have linked Little to more than 60 killings in at least 14 states.

Dayton memorial to mass shooting victims to be preserved
A history organization said it will preserve and archive items left at a temporary memorial to victims of a mass shooting earlier this month in Dayton. The group Dayton History said it will accept the items at the request of city officials and hopes the effort will bring a measure of comfort to the community. A gunman killed nine people and injured more than a dozen others in the Aug. 4 shooting, before being fatally shot by police. Mayor Nan Whaley has previously announced plans to create a permanent memorial.

NASA Glenn key to next moon landing
Cleveland is an important component for the next moon landing, according to the head of NASA. In a visit this week to the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said technology being developed at NASA Glenn is pivotal to landing humans on the moon by 2024. He was joined this week by Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Marcy Kaptur in looking at propulsion, power and landing systems being developed at Glenn. Congress has kept funding of NASA Glenn steady in recent years at around $900 million.