Morning Headlines: Akron Children's to Raise Minimum Wage to $15; CVNP Buys Brandywine Country Club

Oct 4, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Oct. 4:

  • Akron man sentenced for cyberattacks;
  • CVNP buys Brandywine Country Club;
  • Akron Children's to raise minimum wage to $15;
  • Ohio plans study on genetic markers for opioid addiction;
  • Cuyahoga River to get state water trail designation;
  • Ohio University suspends all fraternities over hazing claims;
  • Bill would mandate suicide prevention training for students;
  • State park in eastern Ohio grows by 31,000 acres;
  • Cuyahoga County jail warden gets probation, resigns;

Akron man sentenced for cyberattacks
An Akron man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for cyberattacks that disrupted websites of various government entities, including the city of Akron. The sentence handed down Thursday to James Robinson, 33, includes an order to pay more than $650,000 in restitution for costs that agencies incurred to protect themselves from future attacks. Federal prosecutors said Robinson’s denial-of-service attacks overwhelmed websites with traffic, making them unavailable to users in 2017 and 2018. They said Robinson was tracked down through a Twitter post taking credit for shutting down Akron’s websites.

CVNP buys Brandywine Country Club
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park is buying the former Brandywine Country Club. The nonprofit plans to convert the 215-acre property into park land. The country club near the Virginia Kendall area in the park has been closed since 2018. The current owner, Brandywine Country Club Inc., still owes $110,000 in taxes. The nonprofit said it will do private fundraising and gather federal funds to transform the land. The deal is expected to close by next September.

Akron Children's to implement $15 minimum wage
Akron Children's Hospital is increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour, starting late next month, for all current and future employees. About 25% of Akron Children’s more than 6,000 employees will see bigger paychecks, including food service workers, secretaries, patient service representatives and dispatchers. Cleveland Clinic announced it's raising its minimum wage to $15 next year. MetroHealth and University Hospitals are expected to follow. Ohio's minimum wage will increase to $8.70 next year.

Ohio plans study on genetic markers for opioid addiction
Ohio has launched a $1.6 million study that aims to identify the genetic markers that separate people likely to develop opioid addiction from people somehow immune to the painkillers’ addictive properties. Attorney General Dave Yost, who oversees scientists at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is spearheading the effort, which is expected to take about 18 months. It will include a study of patient swabs collected at emergency rooms at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University hospitals and related work by a panel of nine scientists. The task force is seeking to identify the circumstantial, environmental, social, behavioral and psychological factors that incline some people to substance use disorder.

Cuyahoga River to become state water trail
The Cuyahoga River is receiving a state water trail designation to encourage tourism, recreation and conservation. The designation in Cuyahoga Falls Friday makes the river Ohio's 13th state water trail. That marks it as a recreational resource with maps, signage and information pointing to access points, amenities and safety information. The water trail has been in development since 2005 and will have 24 designated access points on nearly 90 miles of river. The river starts in Geauga County and empties into Lake Erie in Cleveland. 

Ohio University suspends all fraternities over hazing claims
Ohio University has suspended all its fraternities following allegations of widespread hazing. Suspension of the 15 fraternities followed allegations within the past week of hazing at seven of the fraternities, as well as the expulsion in May of a fraternity following the alleged hazing of a freshman who died last year. In May, the university expelled Sigma Pi fraternity for hazing, alcohol and drug use, and other student conduct code violations after the alleged hazing of Collin Wiant, 18, who died in November. A lawsuit by Wiant's family alleges he died of asphyxiation after ingesting nitrous oxide provided to and forced on him by fraternity members.

Bill would mandate suicide prevention training for students
An Ohio bill that would require public middle and high school students to take an annual class in suicide and violence prevention training is headed to the state Senate. The bill passed this week by the Ohio House also would require every public school to have a student led anti-violence club and a threat assessment team composed of school staff. The proposed legislation would also mandate that schools contract with an anonymous, round-the-clock reporting system to field and report tips about potential safety threats.

State park in eastern Ohio grows by 31,000 acres
Ohio continues to acquire the lands that could eventually make up a nearly 60,000-acre state park in four Appalachian counties. The deal between the state and American Electric Power involves more than 31,000 acres of public land in Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Guernsey counties. The land will be transferred in six installments beginning in March. The state will hold the land for conservation and outdoor recreation.

Cuyahoga County jail warden gets probation, resigns
A former warden at a troubled county jail in Cleveland has been sentenced to probation and has agreed to resign for lying to investigators about an overdose death at the jail. Eric Ivey, 54, apologized in court and said his actions as warden for the Cuyahoga County jail had cost him his dream job. Prosecutors said Ivey ordered a corrections officer to turn off his body camera during the inmate’s fatal overdose and then lied about it. Ivey struck a plea deal in August.