Morning Headlines: Akron Seeks $10 Million for a Fire Station; 50 More Docs to Prescribe Marijuana

Jun 14, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, June 14:

  • University of Akron faces cuts in light of a $16 million budget deficit;
  • City of Green invalidates ballot effort on Nexus settlement;
  • Fifty more doctors certified to recommend medical marijuana in Ohio;
  • Akron seeking $10 million loan for a new fire station;
  • Ohio State University fraternity suspended amid hazing violations;
  • Third Cleveland-area dog shelter closes to deal with illness;
  • Tuscarawas County school district allows staff to carry guns;
  • Rover Pipeline fined $430,000 in West Virigina;
  • Juror who recommended death penalty will ask for inmate to be spared;
  • Cincinnati high school will keep its controversial mascot;

Akron seeking $10 million loan for a new fire station

Akron is seeking a $10 million loan to replace one of its aging fire stations. Construction on the new Fire Station 4 will begin this summer. It will be relocated from Thornton St. to West Main St. to serve the downtown area. The old building will be sold to build a new McDonalds restaurant. The city is also tearing down and replacing a fire station in the Middlebury neighborhood.

University of Akron faces cuts in light of a $16 million budget deficit

The University of Akron is implementing an across-the-board 5 percent cut in spending, to help close a projected $16 million budget deficit. The Board of Trustees says the plan, which does not include layoffs, reflects a 7 percent decline in enrollment this year. In March, 48 professors and administrators took a voluntary buyout. Interim President John Green says his job is to get “the University of Akron in as good as shape as possible” for the new permanent president. The university in 2015 faced a $60 million deficit.

City of Green invalidates ballot effort on Nexus settlement

Residents in Green in Summit County have lost their attempt to have voters decide the fate of a settlement between the city and developers of the Nexus pipeline. Citizens collected more than 1,000 signatures for a November ballot issue to let voters decide on the agreement city council approved in February. It gave the city $7.5 million and 20 acres and some oversight in exchange for dropping opposition to the pipeline. The city said the petitions were invalid, mostly because they didn't have the signatures of the council president, council clerk, mayor and law director.

Fifty more doctors certified to recommend medical marijuana in Ohio

Fifty more doctors have been certified to recommend medical marijuana to eligible patients. The state medical board added 36 doctors in April and 53 in May, which brings the total to 139. The approved doctors are heavily concentrated in bigger cities in Ohio, including Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. The doctors can prescribe medical marijuana to patients who suffer from one of 21 medical conditions from Crohn’s disease to cancer. The state recently announced the program, required to begin in September, has been delayed.

Ohio State University fraternity suspended amid hazing violations

Ohio State University has slapped a four-year suspension on a campus fraternity after investigators discovered violations of hazing and other policies. Phi Kappa Psi will be closed through August 2022. Last November OSU imposed a temporary blanket suspension on all 37 of its fraternities for alcohol and hazing violations. Details of new allegations that led to the four-year suspension have not been released.

Third Cleveland-area dog shelter closes to deal with illness

A third Cleveland area dog shelter has closed following an outbreak of a canine respiratory illness. Cleveland.com reports that the Parma Animal Shelter’s dog section will be closed indefinitely. Last week The Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter in Valley View closed after five dogs died of a respiratory illness. The dogs came from a Cleveland kennel where a dog died in May. That facility remains closed for cleaning. A shelter administrator says the dogs came from different locations in Cleveland. The specific diagnosis is awaiting lab results.

Tuscarawas County school district allows staff to carry guns

A Tuscarawas County school district has decided to allow teachers, administrators, and staff to carry guns in school. The Tusky Valley school board approved the move, and says teachers who want to bring guns to school must have a concealed carry permit and complete extensive training and a background check. Superintendent Mark Murphy told the Times Reporter it was necessary to take the steps to arm school staff.

Rover Pipeline fined $430,000 in West Virginia

West Virginia regulators have issued a $430,000 fine for permit violations against a company building a 700-mile natural gas pipeline that passes through Northeast Ohio. The fine against Rover Pipeline are for violations including a failure to maintain erosion controls, improperly installing silt fences and perimeter controls and abandoning construction debris. The company agreed to immediately take measures to comply with its permit and state laws.

Juror who recommended death penalty will ask for inmate to be spared

The Ohio Parole Board today will hear from a juror who recommended that a convicted killer be sentenced to death, but now believes he should be spared. At issue is the case of death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts, who is set to die in October for killing Fred Hicks in Cincinnati in 1997. After the parole board voted last year against mercy for Tibbetts, ex-juror Ross Geiger came forward and said jurors were not given enough information about Tibbetts' tough childhood.

In response, Gov. John Kasich delayed Tibbetts' execution to give the parole board a chance to hear directly from Geiger and consider his claim.

Cincinnati high school will keep its controversial mascot

A Cincinnati-area high school whose teams have been called the Redskins for over 80 years will keep that mascot for now after a committee heard debate and decided against recommending any change. It's a recurring fight at Anderson High School. Some people argue it's offensive and inappropriate to use the racial reference. Advocates of keeping the name contend that it is part of school tradition and that changing the branding is an unnecessary expense.