Morning Headlines: Akron Gets $8 Million Transportation Grant; Pence Promotes Tax Cuts in Cleveland

Mar 9, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, March 9:

  • Three more subpoenas served in Cuyahoga County corruption probe;
  • Ohio legislators renew calls for aid to coal and nuclear plants;
  • Former Akron medical research nonprofit employee cleared of charges;
  • Vice President Pence to promote GOP tax cuts in Cleveland;
  • Cleveland LGBT groups to hold joint pride event this year;
  • Investigation continues into candy that sickened Perry students;
  • Akron receives $8 million federal grant for transportation;
  • Canton's Republic Steel says Trump tariffs could bring back jobs;
  • Cleveland fertility clinic possibly damaged more than 2,000 eggs, embryos;
  • Former Democratic candidate for governor who drove with an expired license now overseeing traffic cases;
  • Akron woman discovers 1930s  NYPD Medal of Valor;

Three more subpoenas served in Cuyahoga County corruption probe
Corruption investigators in Cuyahoga County are seeking more emails and other records from the administration of County Executive Armond Budish. Investigators served three more subpoenas requesting deleted emails from multiple accounts, including the county’s chief fiscal officer, inspector general and internal auditor. Last month investigators sought emails between an IT administrator and Hyland Software, which is based in Westlake. The new subpoenas also ask for invoices related to a broadband provider that’s done more than $15 million in business with the county. It’s still not clear what the investigators are hoping to find.

Ohio legislators renew calls for aid to coal and nuclear plants
Ohio’s members of Congress are once again pushing for the Trump administration to step in and save FirstEnergy’s coal and nuclear plants. The Plain Dealer reports a group of three Democrats and one Republican sent a letter last month arguing that keeping nuclear plants running is a matter of national security. A separate GOP letter renewed calls for customer-funded subsidies to keep coal plants running. FirstEnergy Solutions, which owns the utility’s coal and nuclear plants, is expected to go bankrupt by April.

Former Akron medical research nonprofit employee cleared of charges
A former employee of a medical research nonprofit based in Akron has been cleared of charges in a case involving stolen information. Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron accused a former employee in 2016 of stealing proprietary and confidential information when he resigned. The employee countersued, saying the nonprofit was using him as a scapegoat to distract from another lawsuit with a medical tech company. The terms of the settlement have not been released.

Vice President Pence to promote GOP tax cuts in Cleveland
Vice President Mike Pence will be in Cleveland today to promote the GOP tax plan. His visit is part of the administration’s “Tax Cuts to Put America First” campaign series. The event is hosted by the group America First Policies which will lead a panel discussion with Congressmen Jim Renacci and Bob Gibbs. Renacci is running against Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons for the Republican nomination for this year’s Senate race. Pence is also appearing in Cleveland at a separate event with Columbus-area Congressman Steve Stivers.

Cleveland LGBT groups to hold joint pride event this year
Two LGBT groups are joining forces for this year’s Pride celebration in Cleveland. Cleveland Pride Inc. abruptly stepped away from the event two years ago. It was replaced by Pride in the CLE, which put on the 2016 event. The two organizations held separate events just weeks apart in 2017. This year's joint event will last for four days. It starts May 31 in Public Square.

Investigation continues into candy that sickened Perry students
Police are still trying to find out why 20 students in Stark County became sick after eating candy. Perry police tested the candy and say it was not laced with anything. The Beacon Journal reports at least five Perry High School students were hospitalized Wednesday. Police are interviewing the students and the investigation is ongoing.

Akron receives $8 million federal grant for transportation
Akron is getting an $8 million federal grant to improve transportation and improve a section of downtown. Mayor Dan Horrigan on Friday announced the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. He says it go toward Phase II of the Downtown Promenade Project that is redoing a 1.4 mile section of Main Street. Horrigan says the project will build a “Green and Complete Street” corridor with street and sidewalk repairs, dedicated bike lanes and transit and traffic enhancements including a new roundabout. Akron was awarded a $5 million TIGER grant in 2016.

Canton's Republic Steel says Trump tariffs could bring back jobs
Canton-based Republic Steel says if the President’s steel tariffs go into effect it will restart its idled Lorain plant. Republic says it could bring back around 1,000 steel jobs to the plant that ceased production in 2016. Republic CEO Jaime Vigil says the company’s Canton and Lorain production facilities are “more than prepared to support market demand previously supported by imports.” Republic says it would take a few months to retrain workers and restart its shuttered Lorain plant.

Cleveland fertility clinic possibly damaged more than 2,000 eggs, embryos
More than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged due to a refrigerator malfunction at a Cleveland fertility clinic. Officials say the temperature in one of the two large freezers preserving specimens at University Hospitals' Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, and MacDonald Women's Hospital rose above acceptable levels for unknown reasons. Hospital officials say more than 500 patients were affected, including some that provided samples in the 1980's. All of the samples have been moved to another storage tank at the facility. It's unclear how the affected patients will be compensated.

Former Democratic candidate for governor who drove with an expired license now overseeing traffic cases
A former candidate for Ohio governor whose run was marred by the revelation that he had driven without a valid license for a decade has a new job handing out punishment for similar violations. Cleveland.com reports that former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald has been tapped as a mayor's court magistrate in the Cleveland suburb of Middleburg Heights. He will be responsible for issuing penalties in traffic cases. The discovery that FitzGerald had driven without a valid driver's license became a problem for him in the 2014 race. He lost to Republican Gov. John Kasich.

Akron woman discovers 1930s  NYPD Medal of Valor
An Akron woman says she found a New York Police Department Medal of Valor inside a $4 bag of mixed jewelry. The Beacon Journal reports Lori Kline, 47, found the medal at a thrift store in December. It had the name John Morrissey emblazoned on the front along with the year 1934. Kline says an online search revealed Morrissey was a nine-year veteran of the NYPD who died in 1934 at age 35. Two NYPD lieutenants will pick up the medal next week.