Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Jan. 29:
- Hospital, doctor face 8 wrongful death lawsuits;
- Suspended drivers can get reinstatement fee waived;
- Family of 14-year-old girl killed in Cleveland sues school;
- Akron still rebuilding after cyberattack;
- Victims fund paid out to those affected by Cincinnati shooting;
- State approves tax credits for five projects;
- Metro RTA offers free rides amid deep freeze;
Suspended drivers can get reinstatement fee waived
Ohioans who had their driver's license suspended for certain violations may be able to have their license reinstatement fee waived or reduced under a new program going into effect Thursday. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles said the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative allows drivers six months to apply for a fee reduction or a waiver. Drivers can apply through July, 2019. Offenders must have completed all court-ordered sanctions and at least 18 months must have passed since any court-ordered suspension ended. The offense cannot have involved drugs, alcohol or a deadly weapon. The bureau said about 410,000 Ohioans are eligible for the program.
Hospital, doctor face 8 wrongful death lawsuits
Two more lawsuits have been filed against Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System and Dr. William Husel. One lawsuit claims a woman died at the hospital minutes after receiving two excessive doses of potentially lethal medication ordered by Husel. There are now eight wrongful-death lawsuits alleging that Mount Carmel patients were negligently or intentionally given overdoses and that hospital safeguards failed or were ignored. Mount Carmel announced earlier this month that the now-fired critical care doctor ordered excessive doses for at least 34 patients over several years.
Family of 14-year-old girl killed in Cleveland sues school
The parents of a 14-year-old Clevleand girl killed two years ago after she left home for school have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the operators of the charter school. The lawsuit states E Prep and Village Prep Woodland Hills failed to alert the girl's mother after she didn't show up to school the day she was kidnapped and killed. Alianna DeFreeze's mother didn't report her missing until she didn't come home from school that day. Her body was found three days later. Registered sex offender Chris Whitaker, who was convicted in the killing, is now on Ohio's death row. The suit also names parent corporation Friends of Breakthrough Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the City of Cleveland.
Akron still rebuilding after cyberattack
The city of Akron is still working through its computer headaches after a hacking attack last week. A number of city services remain offline, including the 311 information line and all city email. The malware attack last Tuesday was an attempt to steal money from city accounts. Some of the city’s online payment portals are also unavailable, including the recreation, building and tax departments. The city has placed a hold on late fees and utility disconnections until payment services are fully functioning again. Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has requested help from the Ohio National Guard’s cyber unit to help de-bug the system.
Victims fund paid out to those affected by Cincinnati shooting
A victims fund created after a shooting that killed three people and injured two others at a Cincinnati office building has been paid out to those impacted by the shooting. The Cincinnati Strong Victims Fund gifted the more than $1.2 million collected to 33 people directly affected by the Sept. 6 shooting at the Fifth Third Bancorp building. Fifth Third Foundation donated $1 million to the fund created in October. Donations were collected through Nov. 30.
State approves tax credits for five projects
The state has approved job creation tax credits for five projects which will create nearly 850 new jobs and retain over 900 jobs statewide. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved credits that will help add 400 positions at Great Lakes Cheese Company in Geauga County. Morgan Truck Body in Orville expects to create 139 jobs, while Youngstown Tool and Die Company expects to create 60 positions. Collectively, five projects are expected to result in more than $41 million in new payroll and spur more than $216 million in investments across Ohio.
Metro RTA offers free rides amid deep freeze
Summit County's public transit system is offering free rides through Thursday, when temperatures are expected to be the coldest they've been in decades. Metro RTA said the free fares run through Thursday on all services including line-service, Northcoast Express, SCAT, and Call-A-Bus. Most counties throughout the region plan to open warming centers for residents to escape the cold.