Morning Headlines: Budish Hires Opioid Settlement Czar, Akron Trucking Firm Files for Bankruptcy

Dec 31, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for December 31, 2019:

Cuyahoga County hires manager to oversee opioid settelement funds;
Yost moves for dismissal of Sandusky County prosecutor;
Akron-based trucking company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy;
Youngstown school board member-elect changes mind;
OH judges might be allowed to list party affiliation on ballots;
Delays in ECOT case;
Police to New Year's revellers-don't fire guns into the air;
Browns moving forward on head coach search;
 

Cuyahoga County hires manager to oversee opioid settelement funds
Cuyahoga County has created a position to ensure all the money it gets in settlements with drug companies is used to combat the opioid crisis.  County Executive Armond Budish has announced the county's former chief of public safety and justice services officer will take on the role of overseeing the settlement fund. Cleveland.com reports Brandy Carney’s first task will be to manage the disbursement of the settlement money that currently totals around $179 million. She’ll report directly to chief of staff Bill Mason.

Yost moves for dismissal of Sandusky County prosecutor
Attorney General Dave Yost is going after the Sandusky County prosecutor. Cleveland.com reports Yost is asking a county court to remove Tim Braun from office.  Braun has pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct involving two staffers. He’s agreed to resign by June of next year, but Cleveland.com reports he’s resisted calls by the Governor to step down immediately. Under the terms of his plea deal, Braun can only work two more days before he’s forced to step down in June, but he can continue to receive his $140 thousand   salary in the meantime.

Akron-based trucking company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
The Akron-based trucking company that shut down abruptly earlier this month has filed for bankruptcy protection. The Akron Beacon-Journal reports GDS Express is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court. The paper reports the filing was brought about when one of its lenders shut down a revolving credit account. According to the Beacon-Journal, while Chapter 11 allows a company to seek reorganization, court filings indicate GDS will liquidate the company, although some of its affiliated businesses may be sold off.

Youngstown school board member-elect changes mind
One of the newly elected members of the Youngstown City School Board has had a change of heart about her new position. Mahoning Matters reports Barbara Brothers is declining to take her seat. In a letter to the schools CEO and board president, she wrote that the number of board members who believe the school district can be successful are outnumbered by “certain leaders in the community.”  Brothers says she made the decision after attending recent board meetings. The Youngstown schools are currently under state control.

OH judges might be allowed to list party affiliation on ballots
Judicial candidates in Ohio may get the opportunity to list their party affiliation on the ballot. Cleveland.com reports a bipartisan-sponsored Ohio House bill that was introduced last week to allow the change for general election ballots. According to a 2014 Ohio Judicial Elections Survey, some voters say they vote less frequently for judicial candidates than other offices on their ballots because of lack of information about the candidate. 

Delays in ECOT case
A review of thousands of documents is delaying a state lawsuit aimed at recouping millions of dollars from the founder and leaders of what was once Ohio's largest online charter school. Lawyers for the defendants tied to the now-defunct Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow say they’ve located about 50,000 new documents the state's lawyers had requested to see. To review those, the attorney general and the defendants agreed to delay some case deadlines until next summer. A lawyer for ECOT's founder says the records weren't produced late to delay the case.

Police to New Year's revellers: Don't fire guns into the air
Police are cautioning people not to fire guns into the air to celebrate the start of the new year. People being struck by stray bullets is not common but does occur. A University of North Carolina student was wounded when she was struck by a bullet on New Year's Eve last year.  There were also incidents in in Ohio and Georgia. Police warn that firing guns into the air to celebrate the holidays can have serious consequences.

Browns moving forward on head coach search
The Browns have asked permission to speak with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll about the head coaching job. The Browns fired Freddie Kitchens Sunday after he went 6-10 this season. A source tells the Associated Press the team quickly move into search mode. The Browns haven't made the playoffs since 2002. They’re looking for their seventh coach since 2009.