© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Morning Headlines: Cleveland-Cliffs Buys AK Steel; Akron Children's Identifies 3 Health Priorities

A picture of downtown Cleveland.
Downtown Cleveland

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Dec. 4:

  • Cleveland-Cliffs buys AK Steel;
  • Akron Children's identifies 3 health priorities;
  • Former Cleveland RTA president pleads guilty to theft;
  • Early release granted to man who impersonated officer;
  • More than $325,000 given to police departments for new body armor;
  • Victim beaten after Browns game last year sues the accused;
  • Chapel Hill Mall tenants receive notice for power shutoff;
  • Ohio decides not to renew $1.5M for Cleveland HIV/AIDS programs;

Cleveland-Cliffs buys AK Steel
Cleveland-Cliffs, North America’s biggest producer of iron ore pellets, is buying AK Steel in a stock deal valued at about $1.1 billion. The companies said the tie-up will create a vertically integrated company that pairs Cleveland-Cliff’s iron ore pellet production with AK Steel’s rolled and stainless steel operations. AK Steel will become a subsidiary of Cliffs and keep its branding and corporate identity. Cliffs will remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its headquarters will stay in Cleveland, while maintaining a significant presence at AK Steel’s current offices in West Chester, Ohio along with its research and innovation center in Middletown, Ohio. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year.

Akron Children's identifies 3 health priorities
Akron Children's Hospital has identified three health priorities for its pediatric wing. The Beacon Journal reports the hospital completed its fourth assessment that examines the issues affecting children's health. The three priorities include mental health services, the high infant mortality rate and children with asthma. The hospital plans to improve care and create informational programs for children and their families starting next year through 2022. 

Former Cleveland RTA president pleads guilty to theft
The former board president of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has pleaded guilty to theft after failing to pay health insurance premiums. Cleveland.com reports George Dixon III, 66, entered his plea Tuesday in Cuyahoga County and agreed to repay RTA $132,000. Defense attorney Kevin Spellacy said Dixon also agreed to continue cooperating with ongoing investigations regarding RTA. Dixon resigned from the RTA board in 2018 as the agency investigated why he received health benefits without paying premiums. His sentencing is next month. Prosecutors have recommended he receive no prison time. 

Early release granted to man impersonated an officer
A judge has granted early release to a man she sentenced to nearly six years in prison last year for running a self-styled “Scared Straight” program. Summit County Judge Christine Croce Tuesday said Christopher Hendon's release after serving 19 months of his sentence will provide him an opportunity “to make a difference” in his community. Hendon, 28, will participate in a re-entry program that transitions people from prison back to society. Hendon pleaded guilty to multiple counts of impersonating a police officer, abduction and kidnapping for running his own Scared Straight program in Akron schools.

More than $325,000 given to police departments for new body armor
Attorney General Dave Yost said he has sent more than $325,000 in grants for new body armor to local police departments over the past three months. Yost says the money went to some 60 police departments through the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program. The program was launched in August 2018 by then-Attorney General Mike DeWine after The Associated Press reported more than 50 Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents were wearing expired bulletproof vests despite pleas to management for replacement vests. DeWine was a candidate for governor at the time and was later elected. 

Victim beaten after Browns game last year sues the accused
An Ohio man who pleaded guilty to assaulting a Browns fan after a game last November is now being sued by the victim. Cleveland.com reports Joshua Hillabrand filed a $275,000 lawsuit against Zebulon Music, 34, from Miamisburg, who was also a former candidate for trustee in Miami township. After pleading guilty last week, Music was sentenced to four days in jail, lost his season tickets and must pay Hillabrand $40,000. Music reportedly punch Hillabrand in the head after the game, causing his head to hit the concrete and knocked him unconcious. Hillabrand's lawyer says it was an act of self defense.

Chapel Hill Mall tenants receive power shutoff notice, again
Tenants in Akron's Chapel Hill Mall have received notices that electricity could be shut off within the week, right before the holiday shopping season. The Beacon Journal reports the mall hasn't paid its electric bill to Ohio Edision. The mall's owner Michael Kohan told the newspaper that the power won't be shut off, and that the bill will be paid today. The mall received two notices earlier this year of possible power shutoffs, but the bills were paid on time. 

Ohio decides not to renew $1.5M for Cleveland HIV/AIDS programs
Ohio has decided not to renew $1.5 million in grants for HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Cleveland. Cleveland.com reports city health officials were told that their grant application didn't get enough approval, and said they didn't get a concrete explanation. The Ohio Department of Health couldn't be reached for comment. More than 3,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Cleveland, and there were around 100 new cases last year. Cleveland began partnering with the state on the programs in 1995, which the grants helped to fund.