Here are your morning headlines for Friday, January 4:
- Cleveland reports 129 homicides in 2018;
- U of A is second site for Ohio Cyber Range;
- Cleveland Hopkins drinking fountains deemed safe;
- Cuyahoga County jail faces eighth lawsuit;
- Union sues GM, says laid-off workers should replace temps;
- Ohio governor-elect announces additional Cabinet picks;
- Investigation that benched Meyer cost Ohio State $1 million;
- Toledo man, girlfriend receive additional charges in terrorism investigation;
- Fox 8 goes dark for Spectrum customers;
- Medicial marijuana expo in Cleveland this month;
Cleveland reports 129 homicides in 2018
Cleveland reported 129 homicides in 2018, one less than in the previous year. Records from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner and Cleveland police show 130 homicides in 2017 and 136 in in 2016. The city had more than 100 homicides in each of the last seven years. The records for 2018 show 114 homicides that resulted from gunfire. Those deaths included three men killed in a New Year's Eve shooting that injured two other people. The number of 2018 homicides could end up higher after the medical examiner rules in several deaths.
U of A is second site for Ohio Cyber Range
The University of Akron will have a hand in helping the state advance cybersecurity education and research. It’ll be the second site in the Ohio Cyber Range, which provides training on how to handle security threats. It includes hands-on training for students and military personnel. The university will receive a nearly $1.2 million state grant to improve its cybersecurity facilities, which were added in 2017. It’s the only program in the U.S. to offer undergraduate cryptology, the study of computer codes.
Cleveland Hopkins drinking fountains deemed safe
Water from fountains at Cleveland Hopkins airport have been deemed safe to drink after concerns that six passengers on a Frontier Airlines flight to Florida drank the water before falling ill. The city said an independent Ohio EPA-certified lab found the water met or exceeded standards. The passengers on the New Year's Day flight to Florida were not traveling together, and it is not yet known what caused the illnesses.
Cuyahoga County jail faces eighth lawsuit
The family of a Cuyahoga County jail inmate who committed suicide is preparing to sue the county. Cleveland.com reports Brenden Kiekisz is the eighth inmate to die in the jail’s custody within a year. Attorney Paul Cristallo says the county failed to provide Kiekisz with proper medical and mental health care. Seven other inmates filed a lawsuit against the county in December, and at least 55 inmates have attempted suicide in the past year.
Union sues GM, says laid-off workers should replace temps
The United Auto Workers union is accusing General Motors of violating a national contract by using temporary workers instead of employing full-timers who were laid off from its factories. The union filed a federal lawsuit in Cleveland alleging that GM has temporary workers at its pickup truck plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The lawsuit says GM has about 1,000 workers on layoff from several factories who should be working at the plant. The UAW said its contract with GM requires it to hire the laid-off workers, including 690 in Lordstown which is scheduled to be idled in March. The legal move is another sign of acrimony between GM and the union ahead of negotiations on a new contract that will start this summer. GM's contract with the union expires on Sept. 14.
Ohio governor-elect announces additional Cabinet picks
Governor-elect Mike DeWine is announcing more cabinet positions as he moves closer to taking over as the state’s top executive. DeWine nominated Annette Chambers-Smith as director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. If approved, she would be the first woman to lead Ohio’s prisons system. DeWine said the two have discussed criminal justice reform, which includes prison overpopulation and recidivism. DeWine also picked former lawmaker Jeff McClain as tax commissioner and assistant Secretary of State Matt Damschroder as head of Department of Administrative Services, which has been the focus of questions about unfair contracting practices. DeWine will be sworn in as governor on Jan. 14.
Investigation that benched Meyer cost Ohio State $1 million
The investigation that led to a three-game suspension of Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer cost the university $1 million, twice the amount originally requested for it. The school said the original $500,000 amount "was preliminary and did not represent the total anticipated cost.” The investigators concluded Meyer mishandled repeated professional and behavioral problems from now-fired assistant coach Zach Smith, who was accused of domestic violence. Meyer retired as coach this week after defeating Washington 28-23 in the Rose Bowl.
Toledo man, girlfriend receive additional charges in terrorism investigation
A Toledo man and his girlfriend arrested last month in a terrorism investigation have been indicted on additional charges accusing them of obtaining guns and explosives for a domestic terror attack that was never carried out. The pair now faces several conspiracy charges. Authorities have said 23-year-olds Vincent Armstrong and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Lecron had talked about taking part in violent attacks on public places and had bomb-making supplies and weapons inside their home.
Fot 8 goes dark for Spectrum customers
Spectrum subscribers are not currently able to watch Channel 8 in Cleveland, as the cable company is having a dispute with the station's owner, Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting. The outage affects Fox network programming on WJW — such as some upcoming NFL playoff games — as well as Superstation WGN. But it does not affect Fox News or Fox Business Channel.
Medical marijuana in Cleveland this month
A group of medical practices specializing in evaluating patients for medical marijuana is holding an expo on the topic in Cleveland later this month. Ohio Marijuana Card has seven practices in Ohio, including two in Cleveland and one in Akron. The event on Jan. 26 is intended to provide networking opportunities for patients, physicians, and the public. A Facebook page for the event says the goal is to educate people on the benefits of holistic and alternative healthcare options.