Morning Headlines: Cuyahoga County Jail Guards Indicted, Early Voting Begins for May Primary

Apr 9, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 9:

  • Cuyahoga County jail guards indicted;
  • Early voting begins for May primary;
  • Electric scooters could return to Cleveland;
  • New state law on child marriage takes effect;
  • AP: Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena being renamed;
  • Utica shale drilling to remain consistent, increase natural gas production;
  • State to pay three falsely-accused men $1.5M;
  • Ohio racinos report increase in revenues;
  • Canton City Schools down to one candidate for superintendent;
  • EarthQuaker Devices named exporter of the year;
  • Akron to be apart of NFL draft;

Cuyahoga County jail guards indicted
Five Cuyahoga County jail corrections officers have been indicted on charges that include civil rights violations. Four are accused of felonious assault. The charges involve three separate incidents since July. In the most recent case that happened last month, two guards are accused of using excessive force against an inmate restrained in a chair. Two other guards were indicted on felonious assault charges after investigators say they used pepper spray on a restrained inmate. The jail in downtown Cleveland has been under scrutiny since the deaths of seven prisoners over a four-month period last year. A report by the U.S. Marshals Service called conditions at the jail "inhumane" and unsafe.

Early voting begins for May primary
Early voting begins today for the May 7th primary in Ohio. There are no statewide issues on the ballot, but local communities will see a variety of tax levies and municipal elections for mayor and city council. In Akron, there’s a three-way primary for Mayor, with incumbent Dan Horrigan facing challenges from fellow Democrat Greg Harrison and Republican Josh Sines.

Electric scooters could return to Cleveland
Electric scooters could soon return to Cleveland's streets. Cleveland City Council on Monday introduced legislation to regulate the scooters after banning them for safety concerns last year. Under the proposal, riders wouldn't be able to go faster than 15 mph and renters would have to pay $1 per day. Scooters would be prohibited on streets with 35 mph speed limit or higher. Council will hold hearings on the proposal in the coming weeks.

New state law on child marriage takes effect
A new state marriage law that went into effect Monday prohibits children under the age of 17 from marrying in Ohio. It raises the minimum marriage age to 18 for both parties, but allows 17-year-olds to marry if they meet certain requirements. They must have juvenile court consent and go through a 14-day waiting period. The law also says the age difference between the parties cannot be more than four years. The measure was signed into law by former Gov. John Kasich shortly before he left office. Previous state law allowed females to marry at 16 and males to marry at 18. But it also allowed Ohioans younger than those ages to marry if they had judicial and parental consent.

AP: Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena being renamed
The massive makeover of Quicken Loans Arena will include a new name. The Cavs' downtown home will be renamed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The announcement of the change will be made Tuesday at a news conference. Best known as "The Q," the 19,000-seat arena, was previously known as Gund Arena before Dan Gilbert bought the building and team for $375 million from Gordon Gund in 2005. The building has been undergoing a $185 million renovation over the past few months and it set to be completed this fall. The project, which was financed by the Cavs, will give the building a sleek, new glass facade and more than 42,000 square feet of public space. The Cavs play their season finale Tuesday night against Charlotte.

Utica shale drilling to remain consistent, increase natural gas production
Utica Shale drilling in Ohio has remained consistent over the past few years, causing the state's natural gas production to surge. The Beacon Journal reports that oil and gas companies drilled more than 358 new horizontal shale wells last year. Most of it them are along the Ohio River. The new wells have produced twice as much natural gas compared to last year's numbers. Although the Utica Shale mostly produces natural gas, the new wells have produced almost 20 million barrels of oil. The Division of Oil and Gas Resources expects the drilling to remain consistent, as well as the rise of natural gas production.

State to pay three falsely-accused men $1.5M
Three East Cleveland men who spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime they didn't commit will be getting a combined $1.5 million from the state. Eugene Johnson, Laurese Glover and Derrick Wheatt had been convicted of a 1995 shooting. New evidence came out in 2015 and a judge overturned their convictions. A federal jury in November ordered East Cleveland to pay the three men $5 million each after deciding the city’s police violated their civil rights, while the trio reached a $4.5 million settlement with Cuyahoga County earlier in 2018.

Ohio racinos report increase in revenues
Ohio’s racinos continue to see increased revenues. The former Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, which has been rebranded under new ownership as MGM Northfield Park, led the state with around $24 million last month – a 5% increase from March last year. JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall was up 8.4% to $13 million. JACK Cleveland Casino was down nearly 2% to nearly $20 million. The total take last month was $184 million statewide.

Canton City Schools down to one candidate for superintendent
There's one candidate left to become Canton City School District superintendent. The Repository reports Alliance City Schools Superintendent Jeffery Talbert withdrew yesterday, leaving Jeffery Graham. Graham is the regional superintendent of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The city will hold a question and answer session Thursday evening at McKinley High School.

EarthQuaker Devices named exporter of the year
An Akron-based maker of guitar pedals is being honored as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Exporter of the Year. EarthQuaker Devices was founded in 2004 by Jamie Stillman. It employs about 50 people and exports guitar pedals to 47 countries. Stillman has been invited to a May 6 ceremony in Washington to receive the award as part of National Small Business Week.

Akron to be apart of NFL draft
Akron will be a part of the NFL draft later this month — as the site of a sixth-round pick to be broadcast on live TV. The league is celebrating its centennial by highlighting cities home to its original 14 teams. The Akron Pros played here in the early 1900s. A celebration at Lock 3 will accompany the televised event April 27th.