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Government & Politics

Morning Headlines: Former Cleveland Clinic Exec Charged With Wire Fraud; Q Arena Construction Begins

Photo of the Cleveland Clinic's Miller Family Pavillion

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 15th:

  • Construction begins on Quicken Loans Arena facelift;
  • Akron federal judge challenges order to undergo psychiatric evaluation;
  • Franklin County prosecutor indicts illegal voters;
  • Indians extend their American League record with win over Royals;
  • YSU student temporarily back on football team following lawsuit;
  • Ohio students on average show improved test scores and graduation rates;
  • Former Cleveland Clinic executive charged with stealing more than $2.7 million, lying to FBI;

Construction begins on Quicken Loans Arena facelift
Work is underway on the 140 million dollar renovation of the Quicken Loans Arena. The work began yesterday, ahead of today’s deadline to be in the running to host an All-Star game. But Cleveland.com reports the NBA still hasn’t said whether they’ll bring an All-Star game to the city. Cuyahoga County says it will begin selling bonds to fund the project, which includes adding a glass exterior and dining areas. The Q renovation was nearly scrapped when a petition to bring the project to a public vote resulted in the Cavs threatening to pull out of the deal. The referendum was eventually dropped and the Cavs will assume half the cost of the renovation.

Akron federal judge challenges order to undergo psychiatric evaluation
An Akron federal judge who was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation is challenging that order in court. U.S. District Judge John Adams is suing the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Judicial Conference. Adams says the disciplinary panels are trying to get him off the bench. He says the law used to order the psychiatric evaluation is vague and unconstitutional. The Judicial Conference has said Adams’ hostile behavior on the bench has earned him a bad reputation. Adams was previously a Summit County judge before President George W. Bush appointed him to the federal bench.

Franklin County prosecutor indicts illegal voters
An Ohio prosecutor says seven people have been indicted on charges they voted illegally because they weren't citizens. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien says the seven registered and voted in the county that includes the city of Columbus during elections in 2012, 2015 and 2016. O'Brien, a Republican, says his office also investigated several non-citizens who registered and voted but had also checked a box on a questionnaire indicating they were not citizens. O'Brien says those individuals weren't prosecuted but were removed from the voter rolls. The prosecutor investigated the allegations along with the Ohio Secretary of State and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Indians extend their American League record with win over Royals
Jay Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th inning — after Francisco Lindor tied it with a clutch double in the ninth — as the Indians rallied for their 22nd straight win to extend their AL record, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Thursday night. Cleveland moved within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest streak in major league history. A few hours later, it became the first AL team to clinch a postseason spot when the Angels lost to the Astros. A three-week romp through the league finally had some real drama to keep baseball's longest winning streak in 101 years intact. The Indians entered the day tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest streak, and now only trail those '16 Giants, who won 26 in a row — all at home. Trevor Bauer, tied for the league lead in wins, goes for his 17th and Cleveland's 23rd in a row against Jason Vargas Friday night.

YSU student temporarily back on football team after suing the school
A judge has decided a man convicted of rape as a teen in a highly publicized case will be temporarily reinstated on the Youngstown State University football team after he filed suit against the school. U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson granted Ma'lik Richmond, of Steubenville, a temporary restraining order against the university, allowing him to play football again for the next 14 days, pending another hearing at the end of the month. Richmond filed a federal lawsuit against the university after the school allowed him to join the football team as a walk-on and then told him he couldn't play this season.

Ohio students on average show improved test scores and graduation rates
Ohio's education department says student achievement in the state improved in every subject area last year. State superintendent Paolo DeMaria says district report cards released Thursday show more first-time test takers in 2017 than in 2016 scored proficient or higher in every subject area. The percentage of students testing proficient fell for only two tests; 5th grade math and high school history. Public schools' overall performance index rose nearly 2.5 points, and graduation rates improved. Solon schools rank first in the state and Rocky River second. In summit County, Revere and Hudson were tops, and in Stark, the top ranked schools are Lake and Jackson. Cleveland and Akron schools received mostly all F grades.  Columbus City Schools and Mansfield tied for the worst grades out of 608 regular school systems. Districts won't face consequences for poor report cards until 2018.

Former Cleveland Clinic executive charged with stealing more than $2.7 million, lying to FBI
A former executive at the Cleveland Clinic is being charged with conspiring to defraud the Clinic. The charges say 57-year-old Gary Fingerhut used a shell company to steal nearly three million dollars. Fingerhut was fired in 2015 after federal investigators contacted the Clinic about suspicious business transactions related to the shell company. Fingerhut personally took almost half a million dollars in “commission” fees. He expressed remorse in a statement released yesterday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the investigation is ongoing.