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Morning Headlines: FirstEnergy Solutions Name Change Approved; UAW Votes on Fiat Chrysler Contract

photo of entrance to FirstEnergy Solutions' Perry Nuclear plant
FirstEnergy Solutions' Perry nuclear plant.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Dec. 5:

  • FirstEnergy Solutions name change approved;
  • UAW to vote on Fiat Chrysler contract;
  • Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy to go for reelection;
  • 350 noncitizens to be investigated by Ohio elections chief;
  • DeWine meets with company proposing ethane conversion plant in Ohio;
  • Doctors face pressure under new abortion law;
  • Newburgh Heights lowers work week to 32 hours;
  • Akron east high school principle asks to keep job amid criminal charges;
  • 1 dead, 3 injured in Streesboro crash;
  • Investigators unsure of what caused fire at African Safari Wildlife Park;

FirstEnergy Solutions name change approved
FirstEnergy Solutions, soon to be renamed Energy Harbor, has been given the green light to obtain licenses for the Davis-Besse, Perry and Beaver Valley nuclear plants. Crains Cleveland reports once the company exits chapter 11 bankruptcy, it'll operate under the new name. The plants have recently been saved from financial downfalls with a $150 million-a-year bailout plan for the next seven years. FirstEnergy Solutions is awaiting approval for its restructuring plan in federal bankruptcy court, which could come as early as next month. 

UAW to vote on Fiat Chrysler contract
Union leaders from Fiat Chrysler factories are sending a new four-year contract to a membership vote. The 47,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union at the company will vote on the deal starting Friday. Local leaders assembled on Wednesday in Detroit to go over the pact. It includes a $9,000 bonus per worker upon ratification. The company also has promised $4.5 billion worth of new investments in U.S. factories. 

Ohio Supreme Court Justice to run for reelection
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy said she will seek reelection next year. In a statement shared by the Ohio Republican Party, the Kennedy, 57, noted she has worked in the justice system for over three decades, including as a police officer and magistrate in Butler County. She was elected to the state's high court in 2012 to fill an unexpired term, then won a full six-year term in 2014. Republicans hold five of the court's seven seats. Two Democrats hoping to swing that balance already announced bids for 2020: Cleveland-area Judge John O'Donnell and former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner. 

350 noncitizens to be investigated by Ohio elections chief
Ohio's elections chief has referred for investigation more than 350 apparent noncitizens who either registered to vote or cast a ballot last year. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Wednesday that 77 individuals cast ballots and 277 registered to vote. They were identified as part of a routine review. Ohio does not maintain a comprehensive database of all noncitizens in Ohio, so LaRose's office cross-matched voter records against citizenship statuses reported to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Ohio has more than 8 million registered voters. LaRose said he has given the names to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost for further investigation and potential prosecution.

DeWine meets with company proposing ethane conversion plant in Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine has met with one of the companies proposing to building a multi-billion-dollar ethane “cracker" plant in southeast Ohio. The meeting Wednesday in Columbus with board members from Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical follows one Tuesday between the board, local and state officials, and a representative from the U.S. Department of Energy. No immediate announcement on whether PTT in partnership with South Korea's Daelim Industrial Co. will build the plant is expected. Cracker plants convert ethane, a byproduct of natural gas drilling, into the raw material for plastic and other products used in everyday life.

Doctors face pressure under new abortion law
An Ohio proposal aimed at outlawing abortions would present some doctors with a difficult choice. They'd either have to face potential criminal prosecution or attempt a procedure considered medically impossible. Under the Republican-sponsored bill, a doctor who terminates a pregnancy could face murder charges unless it’s done to save a woman’s life. But the bill also says doctors could be prosecuted if they fail to do whatever they can to preserve the pregnancy. And that would include trying to move a fertilized egg into the uterus if it implanted elsewhere. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that simply cannot be done.

Newburgh Heights enacts 32-hour work week
Newburgh Heights council has approved to reduce the standard village employee work week to 32 hours to help improve productivity and overall happiness for workers. Cleveland.com reports mayor Trevor Elkins said it'll help offer a better balance between work and social life, and it's also an effort to attract as well as retain current workers. Pay won't be cut. It's the first local government in the nation to create a standard 32-hour work week. There's around 75 employees in the village and the new policy is expected to affect a third of them. 

Akron principle asks to keep job amid criminal charges
Akron East high school's principle who's facing criminal charges is going to plead to keep his job. Vyrone Finney is accused of striking a student in the face after the student called him a name. The Beacon Journal reports termination proceedings began last month against Finney, who has requested a hearing in front of an independent referee. Finney's attorney denied to comment on the case. Police records show the student's mother declined to press charges. A pretrail hearing is scheduled for January. 

1 dead, 3 injured in Streesboro crash
One man died and three others were injured in a crash yesterday morning on SR 14 in Streetsboro. The Beacon Journal reports the crash happened around 7 a.m. when Tyrone Taylor, 59, from Cleveland went left of center and crashed into another car. Taylor had been pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver, a 34 year old from Ravenna and two passengers were taken to area hospitals. It happened between Lake Rockwell and Diagonal roads. The crash is under investigation. 

Investigators unsure of what caused fire at African Safari Wildlife Park
The state fire marshal's office said it can't say what caused a barn fire that killed 10 animals at an Ohio wildlife park. Last week's blaze broke out at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. Officials said the fire killed three bongos, three giraffes, three red river hogs and a springbok housed in the barn. The fire marshal said the fire broke out in the southwest corner of the barn, and it's unknown whether a power outage the day before was connected to the fire.

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.