Morning Headlines: Deal Between Massillon and Affinity Needs Council Approval; Early Voting Begins

Apr 10, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 10:

  • Final deal reached for Massillon to acquire Affinity;
  • Green family vows to fight Nexus pipeline in federal court;
  • Democratic candidates for governor to hold final debate;
  • Drug-maker Cardinal Health to donate 80,000 doses of overdose reversing drug;
  • Cleveland approves plan to curb false alarm calls;
  • Secretary of State Husted releases Issue 1 video explainer;
  • ACLU remains neutral in Congressional redistricting debate;
  • Lawmakers approve land purchase for new state park from AEP;
  • Bridgestone PGA tournament will move to Memphis, Tenn. in 2019;
  • Akron Parks Challenge will fund two public space improvement projects;
  • Hiram Colleges receives $6 million, the largest donation in its history;
  • Rock Hall induction ceremony tickets fetch up to $7,000 online;

Final deal reached for Massillon to acquire Affinity
Negotiators have drawn up a final deal for the city of Massillon to acquire Affinity Medical Center. The shuttered hospital and the city reached an initial agreement in February. Under the new deal, the city will acquire the hospital along with any furnishings such as patient beds and waiting room furniture. The Repository reports some city council members thought the city would acquire all of the hospital equipment. Some of the medical equipment has been listed on an auction site. City council has until April 27 to accept the final deal.

Green family vows to fight Nexus pipeline in federal court
A family whose property is in the path of a natural gas transmission line says they will continue to fight to keep the land away from pipeline developers. A federal judge in Akron last week granted the Nexus pipeline an injunction, allowing developers to access the 48-acre property. Landowners John and Elaine Selzer are preparing an appeal to be filed this week in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Democratic candidates for governor to hold final debate
Four Democrats battling for their party's nomination in the race for Ohio governor will go head-to-head in their last scheduled debate. Miami University's Middletown campus will host the hour-long debate Tuesday evening. Early voting also begins Tuesday for the May 8 primary election. The Democrats running for governor are former federal consumer protection chief and former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray; former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich; former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill; and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni. On the Republican side, Attorney General Mike DeWine is seeking his party's nomination against Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who has criticized the former U.S. senator for ducking debates.

Drug-maker Cardinal Health to donate 80,000 doses of overdose reversing drug
An Ohio-based drug distributor facing lawsuits linked to the opioid crisis is donating more than 80,000 doses of an overdose antidote for use by emergency responders in several states. The Dispatch reports Cardinal Health has started distributing the naloxone it pledged last year as part of its "Opioid Action Program." The doses will go to first responders in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee. The Dublin-based company says the initial investment will be $10 million. Cardinal Health is among several drugmakers facing lawsuits in connection with the opioid epidemic. The companies have all denied wrongdoing.

Cleveland approves plan to curb false alarm calls
The city of Cleveland is planning to hire a consultant to help curb the number of false alarm calls to police and fire services. The city already has an ordinance on the books that fines businesses who make too many false alarm calls. Council on Monday approved a change to the ordinance allowing the city to hire a consultant who will design a program to reduce the number of calls. Cleveland.com reports 97 percent of emergency calls from the city’s businesses have been false alarms. Businesses that make three or more false alarm calls could face fines starting at $130.

Secretary of State Husted releases Issue 1 video explainer
Ohio's elections chief has released a video explaining a bipartisan constitutional amendment that would restructure Ohio's process for drawing congressional maps. The video is among educational tools Jon Husted makes available online. It explains a redistricting proposal on May 8 ballots that is aimed at curbing gerrymandering, the partisan manipulation of political boundaries that's seen as a cause of partisanship, gridlock and incivility in Washington. The ballot issue would limit how counties are split into multiple districts and require more support from the minority party to put a 10-year map in place.

ACLU remains neutral in Congressional redistricting debate
A watchdog organization is staying neutral in Ohio’s plan to redraw its Congressional districts. The American Civil Liberties Union says it’s not backing Issue 1, but it’s also not opposing it. While the ACLU believes the plan on the May ballot does not go far enough to take politics out of the process, the issue’s bipartisan support weighs in its favor. The proposal, overwhelmingly approved by Ohio’s legislature, sets up new rules for drawing new lines following the 2020 census. Ohio is currently considered one of the most gerrymandered states.

Lawmakers approve land purchase for new state park from AEP
Plans for a new state park are moving forward. Lawmakers have approved about $11 million to buy more than 5,000 acres of reclaimed strip-mine land in southeast Ohio's Morgan County. The land owned by American Electric Power will become part of the state’s new Jesse Owens State Park that Gov. John Kasich announced during last month's State of the State address. The state plans to buy about 13,000 acres of reclaimed coal lands from AEP for the Owens park over the next three years.

Bridgestone PGA tournament will move to Memphis, Tenn. in 2019
It looks like Akron's Bridgestone Invitational PGA tournament will move to Memphis, Tenn. in 2019. USA Today reports the PGA has a press conference planned for Thursday. Golf writer John Feinstein said in November that Memphis-based shipping giant FedEx has pushed behind-the-scenes for Memphis to host a World Golf Championship event. He wrote in February that Akron's Firestone Country Club will instead get a PGA Senior Players tournament. The Bridgestone has been held in Akron for decades.

Akron Parks Challenge will fund two public space improvement projects
The city of Akron is forming what it calls a collaborative to revitalize the city’s parks and public spaces. The Akron Parks Challenge is being funded through the city’s general fund. Two citizen-led park projects will be awarded $100,000 each. The project aims to give local residents oversight of the city’s underutilized public parks. Proposals are due at the end of April.

Hiram Colleges receives $6 million, the largest donation in its history
Hiram College has received the largest single donation in its 168-year history. The small private college in Portage County announced a $6 million gift from the retired head of Avery Dennison Corp., Dean Scarborough, and his wife Janice Bini. The funds will go toward the schools Tech and Trek program that the couple helped launch last year, which includes study-abroad programs and internships. Scarborough graduated from Hiram in 1977.

Rock Hall induction ceremony tickets fetch up to $7,000 online
This year’s induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is approaching fast. Tickets have been sold out since February, when prices started at $90. Now they’re attracting top dollar. Sites like StubHub are reporting ticket prices ranging from around $800 to more than $7,000 per ticket.