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Morning Headlines: Protests in Cleveland Following Breonna Taylor Decision; BW Poll: Ohio a Tossup

photo of voting signs
DAN KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
A new poll from Baldwin Wallace University shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is virtually tied with President Trump in Ohio, 44.9 percent to 44.3 percent.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 24:

  • Protesters take to the streets in Cleveland, Columbus
  • BWU poll shows Ohio is a tossup
  • Error by Cuyahoga BOE tells potential poll workers told they aren’t needed
  • 6-year-old Akron girl wounded in shootout dies
  • Ohio National Guard called to Cleveland ahead of presidential debate
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores get approval to reopen food stations
  • Ohio sues to block nuclear bailout money from being paid
  • State lawmakers vote to ban local plastic bag bans
  • Downtown Akron complex looks to get out the student housing business
  • Large drug trafficking operation busted in Marion
  • MAC presidents to vote Friday on starting football
  • Budget shortfall forces deep cuts in OSU sports program

Protesters take to the streets in Cleveland, Columbus
Protesters took to the streets in several Ohio cities last night, following a Kentucky grand jury’s decision not to indict any police officers directly in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor. Cleveland.com reports about 100 activists gathered at the Free Stamp in downtown Cleveland. The groups— including Black Lives Matter Cleveland and the newly formed Black Spring Cleveland— called for defunding police and diverting money to social services programs and investing in Black neighborhoods. About 300 protesters marched Wednesday through downtown Columbus. 

BWU poll shows Ohio is a tossup
A new poll from Baldwin Wallace University says the presidential race in Ohio is a tossup. The poll of battleground states shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is virtually tied with President Trump in Ohio, 44.9 percent to 44.3 percent. The poll is based on responses gathered online from around 1,000 likely voters between Sept. 9 and Sept 22. Among the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Ohio showed the tightest race in the final sprint before the election. Biden leads in the other three states. In Ohio, 7.3 percent of voters said they were undecided.

Error by Cuyahoga BOE tells potential poll workers told they aren’t needed
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections says an error caused potential poll workers to get an email saying they weren’t needed on Election Day. Cleveland.com reports the incorrect email may have been sent to as many as 1,000 potential poll workers, which is significant since there is a shortage of such workers during the pandemic. Cuyahoga County still has about 1,000 openings it needs to fill, and the board of elections says potential workers should expect another email explaining the error.

6-year-old Akron girl wounded in shootout dies
A 6-year-old Akron girl who was shot and wounded during a shootout earlier this month has died from her injuries. Mar’Viyah Jones was wounded on Sept. 10, when authorities say two men in vehicles began arguing and then started shooting at each other. Jones was among six children riding in one of the vehicles, and she was shot along with another child, who suffered a graze wound. Both drivers are facing charges in the shootout. But authorities haven't said what sparked the argument.

Ohio National Guard called to Cleveland ahead of presidential debate
The Ohio National Guard is being called in to Cleveland as the city hosts the first presidential debate on Tuesday. Cleveland.com reports city officials have not said specifically what role the Guard will play. The debate will be held at the Cleveland Clinic’s Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion on the Cleveland Clinic’s Heath Education Campus. The Clinic and Case Western Reserve University are co-hosting the debate.

Grocery stores, convenience stores get approval to reopen food stations
Grocery stores and gas station convenience stores in Ohio will soon be able to reopen their food stations, like donut cases and hot dog machines. Gov. Mike DeWine's office announced a health order Wednesday that allows those types of self-service stations to reopen. Restaurant buffets are not included and must remain closed.

Ohio sues to block nuclear bailout money from being paid
Ohio’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit attempting to block the state’s nuclear plants from collecting fees on electricity bills that were authorized in a new law. Attorney General Dave Yost filed the lawsuit against Energy Harbor. The law is at the center of a $60 million federal bribery probe involving the former speaker of the Ohio House. The lawsuit asks the judge to block payments to the company’s two nuclear plants that were bailed out through the now-tainted legislation. The bailout is funded by a fee that will be added to every electricity bill in the state starting Jan. 1.

State lawmakers vote to ban local plastic bag bans
Ohio lawmakers have passed a bill that strips cities of the ability to ban plastic bags. Republican backers call the bill “pro-business” and supports grocery stores and other retailers, along with the interests of a plastic-bag manufacturer in Southwest Ohio. Cuyahoga County has delayed enforcement of its plastic bag ban until Jan. 1 due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s intended to stem plastic pollution into Lake Erie which according to a recent study harbors more than 380 metric tons of plastic, much of which flowed into the lake from discarded plastic on city streets.

Downtown Akron complex looks to get out the student housing business
An upscale student housing complex in downtown Akron is looking for new tenants. The Beacon Journal reports that the apartments at 22 Exchange have a new owner who says the student housing model is no longer viable. The property narrowly escaped foreclosure last year as the University of Akron struggled to retain students, which has worsened during the pandemic. An Alabama-based company recently purchased the 142-unit complex for $12.5 million.

Large drug trafficking operation busted in Marion
The FBI broke up a huge drug ring in Marion on Wednesday. Forty-three alleged drug dealers were arrested following several years of investigations into drug trafficking in Marion County and elsewhere in the region. Law enforcement agents have seized nearly 200 grams each of heroin and fentanyl, among other drugs, cash and ammunition.

MAC presidents to vote Friday on starting football
The Mid-American Conference appears close to restarting the football season. ESPN reports university presidents, including those from Kent State and Akron will vote Friday on whether to have a six-game fall football season. It would likely would begin the weekend of Oct. 24 and include daily rapid antigen testing for players and staff. The MAC became the first FBS league to postpone the fall football season because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Budget shortfall forces deep cuts in OSU sports program
Ohio State says it is cutting a handful of jobs, furloughing hundreds of other employees and asking coaches to take pay cuts to deal with a budget shortfall expected to be over $100 million because of the coronavirus pandemic. Athletic director Gene Smith says none of the 36 sports will be cut and athlete support services will be maintained. Coaches and other contracted employees are being asked to take a 5% pay cut.