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Morning Headlines: ODH to Distribute $56M to Fight Opioids, Inmate Escapes Cuyahoga County Jail

A photo of hands on jail bars.
SPAXIAX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 5:

  • ODH to distribute $56M to fight opioids;
  • Inmate escapes Cuyahoga County jail;
  • Health officials investigate 11 illnesses possibly related to vaping;
  • Power plants owner asks Ohio Supreme Court to block ballot question;
  • Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur to be back at work after car accident;
  • Study: Many men resist seeking medical help;

ODH to distribute $56M to fight opioids
The Ohio Department of Health will soon begin distributing nearly $56 million in federal dollars to deal with the opioid epidemic. The funding is part of $1.8 billion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration awarded nationwide. Ohio received the third highest allotment, after California and Pennsylvania. Sen. Rob Portman told Cleveland.com that Ohio needs to use the money not only to fight opioid abuse, but also the resurgence of meth and cocaine use in the state.

Inmate escapes Cuyahoga County jail
Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped from the Cuyahoga County jail. Cleveland.com reports The U.S. Marshals Service, sheriff's deputies and investigators are searching for Ferdinand Torres-Varga, 30, who escaped from the Cuyahoga County Corrections center sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday. County officials initially said the jail was locked down Wednesday morning for a headcount. A county spokesperson later confirmed the escape. Torres-Varga was arrested Sunday on a felony domestic violence charge and other misdemeanor charges. It's unclear how he managed to escape.

Health officials investigate 11 illnesses possibly related to vaping
Ohio Health officials said they're investigating 11 additional reports of people who experienced severe breathing illnesses, possibly related to vaping. The Ohio Department of Health also said three previous illnesses under investigation were likely caused by vaping. All three required hospitalization. The state has asked health care providers to report all suspected cases of serious pulmonary illness where the cause is unclear, and the patients have a history of using e-cigarettes. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. Federal health officials are looking into more than 200 possible cases in 25 states.

Power plants owner asks Ohio Supreme Court to block ballot question
The owner of Ohio's two nuclear power plants is asking the state Supreme Court to block a proposed statewide vote that aims to overturn a financial rescue for the plants. FirstEnergy Solutions has filed a lawsuit claiming the financial rescue approved by state lawmakers in July can't be overturned by voters because it amounts to a tax. The company said the Ohio Constitution prohibits tax levies from being overturned by voters. Opponents of the $1.5 billion rescue package for the nuclear plants and two coal-fired plants are collecting signatures to put the issue on the next year's November ballot. The financial rescue adds a new fee on every electricity bill in the state and scales back requirements that utilities generate more power from wind and solar.

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur to be back at work after car accident
Ohio congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said she'll be back at work after the car she was driving was hit by a backhoe. Her office said the accident happened Wednesday afternoon as the congresswoman was driving in a construction zone in Toledo. Her chief of staff said the backhoe swung and hit Kaptur's windshield on the driver's side. She was examined at a hospital and released and is said to be doing well. The 19-term congresswoman is the longest-serving woman in House history.

Study: Many men resist seeking medical help
A study by the Cleveland Clinic finds that men are much more resistant than women when it comes to seeking medical help. The study shows that two-thirds of men tend to wait as long as possible to see a doctor for an injury or health problem. Other researchers have shown that some of this behavior stems from men clinging to traditional views of masculine identity and remaining stoic in the face of injuries.