Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, January 4:
- Cuyahoga jail guards fired for excessive force;
- Airbnb bans Cleveland man after out-of-control New Year party;
- Chevy Cruze sales continue steady decline;
- Cleveland airport argument ends in shooting;
- Hocking prison set to close;
- Underground natural gas hub gets approval to apply for federal grant;
- Erroneous email blast tells Ohio nurses their licenses are invalid;
- Night of drinking, gun play ends in deadly shooting;
- Cleveland settles panhandling lawsuit with homeless veteran;
- Cleveland judge Donnelly announces state Supreme Court bid;
- Cleveland and Akron keep warming centers open;
Cuyahoga jail guards fired for excessive force
Two jail guards in Cuyahoga County have been fired for using excessive force against inmates. Corporal Amirah Abdul-Kareem and officer Martice Campbell were fired in December. Abdul-Kareem is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to assault charges. Campbell is not facing charges but allegedly punched and knocked an inmate to the ground. The incident was caught on tape.
Airbnb bans Cleveland man after out-of-control New Year party
Airbnb says it has permanently banned a man who threw a huge New Year party at a house in suburban Cleveland where he was renting a room. Police say about 250 people were crammed inside the home in Seven Hills when officers arrived. Officers from nearby departments were called in to help disperse the crowd. Investigators say the man advertised the party online and charged $5 to enter. He was renting a room for $40 a night. The homeowner locked himself in his bedroom and called police as the party spiraled out of control. He says the renter had agreed not to throw a party.
Chevy Cruze sales continue steady decline
2017 saw a steady decline in sales of a locally-built compact car. Sales of the Chevy Cruze declined for eight consecutive months last year. December sales were down by nearly a third compared to the same time in 20-16. The Vindicator reports analysts expect sales of compact cars to continue their decline as crossovers rise in popularity. The Lordstown plant that makes the Cruze laid off its third shift about a year ago.
Cleveland airport argument ends in shooting
Police say an argument led to shots being fired right outside a Cleveland airport. Authorities say the shooting at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport happened around 3 a.m. Wednesday when a group of males started fighting in the lower level of the airport. Police say the fight moved outside and one person fired shots at a vehicle as the group left the area. No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made.
Hocking prison set to close
A southeast Ohio prison unit housing about 430 inmates is closing by the end of March. Inmates will be transferred from Hocking Correctional Unit and the 110 staff members will be offered jobs at other Ohio prisons. The prison unit is Ohio's most expensive, costing $65 a day per inmate to operate compared to $21 at similar facilities in Belmont, Richland and Trumbull counties. A Nelsonville official tells the Columbus Dispatch the closure would deal a “crippling” financial blow to the town of about 5,000 people.
Underground natural gas hub gets approval to apply for federal grant
A planned underground natural gas storage hub has cleared its first major hurdle. The Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub project has been approved to apply for a nearly $2 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. The West Virginia-based Applachia Development Group says it plans to get another $1.4 billion from other sources. The project includes a piping system and a facility to convert natural gas to ethylene for the chemical industry. Several environmental groups say the project poses environmental and health risks. The project is expected to create 100,000 new jobs and boost the Appalachian economy.
Erroneous email blast tells Ohio nurses their licenses are invalid
About 11,000 Ohio nurses got a scare on New Year’s Day when an email mistakenly told them their licenses were no longer valid. Nurses who got licenses in 2017 got an email from the state’s eLicense system telling them to stop practicing. A spokesman for Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services tells the Dispatch it’s not yet clear what caused the error. More than two-thirds of the state’s advanced-practice registered nurses received the email. Nurses can check the status of their licenses at the state nursing board website.
Night of drinking, gun play ends in deadly shooting
A Lodi man has died following a night of drinking and playing with guns that ended in a shot to the head. Noah Petitt, 20, and six others were at an Akron home on Tuesday night. Police say they were drinking and pointing guns at each other when Petitt was shot in the head. Akron police have arrested the 19-year-old Medina man who pulled the trigger. Petitt’s death marks Akron’s first homicide of the year. He died Wednesday afternoon.
Cleveland settles panhandling lawsuit with homeless veteran
The City of Cleveland has settled a lawsuit with a homeless veteran and an advocacy group and dropped charges against the man for panhandling. Cleveland.com reports that the $29,000 settlement will go to Army vet John Mancini and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. Mancini and the group had sued the city after he was ticketed for violating Cleveland’s panhandling ordinances. Those groups and the Ohio ACLU have asserted that the restrictions were unconstitutional because they infringed on his free-speech rights. In the settlement the city did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Cleveland judge Donnelly announces state Supreme Court bid
A Cleveland judge has announced his bid for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Michael Donnelly is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seats left open by Bill O’Neill’s decision to run for governor and Terrence O’Donnell’s retirement. Donnelly now serves on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Gov. John Kasich will appoint a Republican replacement to fill O’Neill’s seat once he departs later this month. Following partisan primaries, the party designations are dropped for justices and judges in Ohio’s general-election ballots. Republicans currently control the court by a 6-1 margin, with O’Neill the lone Democrat.
Cleveland and Akron keep warming centers open
Cleveland and Akron are continuing to work to make sure residents can stay warm during these frigid temperatures. Recreation centers remain open to serve as warming centers. And, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is giving free rides to free shelter around the clock at some transit centers and rail stations.