Morning Headlines: California to Send Statue to Canton, Signet Jewelers Seeks Buyouts in Akron

Feb 22, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Feb. 22:

  • California to send statue to Canton;
  • Signet jewelers urges buyouts in Akron;
  • DeWine's gas tax proposal receives mixed emotions;
  • Former NEO Senator to serve as Sander's 2020 co-chair;
  • Northeast Ohio reports second pediactric flu-related death;
  • Lordstown GM plant shutdown to result in more jobs lost;
  • John Carroll graduate pledges $20M gift;
  • Former Cuyahoga auditors’s prison sentence by shortened;

California to send statue to Canton
A controversial William McKinley statue is making a 2,000-mile long journey to Canton. The statue of the Canton native president currently sits in Arcata, California. Residents there voted to remove it last year after decrying McKinley’s actions that resulted in land taken from native tribes. Arcata had three private offers from cities, but this week chose Canton for historical connections. Canton officials will also give Arcata $15,000 for the restoration of the statue that was built in 1906.

Signet jewelers seeks buyouts in Akron
Signet Jewelers is asking more than 2,500 Akron employees to take voluntary buyouts to help cut costs. The Beacon Journal reports Signet had an under-performing holiday season last year. The company also had to pay the federal government $11 million last month for selling consumers’ credit insurance. Employees will have until March 25 to take the buyout, with April 26 being the last payroll date. Signet has around 3,500 stores, including Kay, Jared and Zales.

DeWine's gas tax proposal receives mixed emotions
The recommendation by Gov. Mike DeWine's administration to increase Ohio's gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 has drawn some mixed reactions. The County Commissioners Association of Ohio supports the proposed increase, saying it will help restore a "strong partnership between the state and county governments in addressing infrastructure needs." House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes said the proposed increase is a tremendous amount of money to working people, families and seniors. She said Democrats will be evaluating the proposed increase and working with Republicans to determine a path forward. The proposal requires legislative approval. It includes annual adjustments for inflation to maintain roads and bridges.

Former NEO Senator to serve as Sander's 2020 co-chair
Former Democratic Northeast Ohio Sen. Nina Turner has announced she will serve as the co-chair for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. She will be taking a leave of absence as president of the group Our Revolution, which was founded during Sander’s 2016 presidential run. Turner of Cleveland began serving the state Senate in 2009, and lost a bid for secretary of state in 2014.

Northeast Ohio reports second pediactric flu-related death
A 13-year-old Cleveland girl is the first pediatric flu-related death in Northeast Ohio this year. There’s been two total in Ohio this year, including a 3-year-old boy in Southwest Ohio. Flu season peaks in February, and hospitals in Stark County have implemented visitation guidelines and restrictions at several medical centers, including Mercy Medical Center and Aultman Hospital.

Lordstown GM plant shutdown to result in more jobs lost
More job losses are coming as part of the shutdown of General Motors’ Lordstown plant. A company that supplies janitors and other cleaning services for the plant says it will lay off 73 workers next month. Leadec Corp. announced the job cuts this week. Hundreds of supplier jobs in northeastern Ohio are being cut ahead of the GM plant closing in early March. The assembly plant near Youngstown is one of five GM operations targeted to close this year as part of a major restructuring for the Detroit-based automaker.

John Carroll graduate pledges $20M gift
John Carroll University says an anonymous graduate has pledged a $20 million gift. The university said the pledge is unrestricted, meaning the school can use the money however it wants. John Carroll University last year used a $10 million donation to transform the Boler School of Business into a college. The private Catholic institution is located in the Cleveland suburb of University Heights.

Former Cuyahoga auditors’s prison sentence by shortened
A federal judge has reduced former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo’s prison sentence by eight years. U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi on Thursday said Russo’s cooperation with investigators earned him a shorter sentence. Russo was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison in 2012 after pleading guilty to accepting more than $1 million in bribes for jobs, contracts and political favors — part a wide ranging corruption scandal in Cuyahoga County that brought down the county commissioner form of government. Russo was also ordered to pay more than $7 million in restitution.