Morning Headlines: Details in Akron Police Chief Resignation; Gilbert Vows Cavs Stay in Cleveland

Sep 1, 2017

Here are your headlines for Friday, September 1:

  • FERC approves sections of Rover Pipeline for use
  • Cleveland Catholics will install their first Hispanic bishop
  • Cleveland Mayor Jackson decidedly ahead in campaign fundraising
  • State Highway Patrol will crack down on drunk driving over Labor Day weekend
  • Details emerge in former Akron Police Chief Nice's forced resignation
  • Petition for public vote on Q renovation withdrawn
  • Two fairgoers thrown from ride at Ohio State Fair were securely latched in
  • Gilbert promises to keep Cavs in Cleveland
  • Kasich proposes two-state, bipartisan plan to fix ACA

FERC approves sections of Rover Pipeline for use
Natural gas will soon be flowing through sections of the controversial Rover Pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – or FERC – has approved use of the completed mainline that runs between Carroll and Defiance Counties. Rover expected to use the pipeline in July, but a leak dumping millions of gallons of contaminated drilling waste into nearby wetlands put the project on hold. The pipeline is being built by the Dallas-based company Energy Transfer, which was also behind the Dakota Access project. It’s expected to carry more than three billion cubic feet of natural gas each day from the Appalachian Basin to users in the Midwest, Gulf Coast and Canada.

Cleveland Catholics will install their first Hispanic bishop
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will soon have its first Hispanic bishop. Bishop Nelson J. Perez will become the 11th bishop of the diocese that includes more than 600,000 Catholics across eight counties. About five percent of them celebrate mass in Spanish, but that number is expected to grow in coming years. Perez will officially be installed in a ceremony on Tuesday (September 5) at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland Mayor Jackson decidedly ahead in campaign fundraising
Candidates running for mayor of Cleveland have filed their pre-primary finance reports. Mayor Frank Jackson is decidedly ahead, reporting new contributions totaling more than 200 thousand dollars last month. That brings his total fundraising to nearly $1 million. Councilmen Zack Reed and Jeff Johnson are considered to be Jackson’s top two opponents, and Cleveland.com reports their cash on hand is still unknown. Candidates are expected to file another report of their campaign finances in October.

State Highway Patrol will crack down on drunk driving over Labor Day weekend
The State Highway Patrol says it is focusing on impaired driving on Ohio's roadways over the Labor Day holiday weekend. A patrol statement says enforcement efforts will focus especially on removing drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs from the state's roads through Monday night.  The patrol says 15 people died in 15 fatal crashes in Ohio during the 2016 Labor Day holiday weekend. Four of those fatalities related to operating a vehicle under the influence. Auto club AAA says an estimated 85 percent of all travelers drive to their destinations in celebration of Labor Day.

Details emerge in former Akron Police Chief Nice's forced resignation
Akron officials now say part of the reason Mayor Dan Horrigan asked for the resignation of former police chief James Nice is that Nice used the N-word in a private conversation. Horrigan and Provisional Police Chief Ken Ball said in an interview Monday that Nice’s behavior does not reflect the department as a whole. Nice is also alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a member of the force and may have interfered with an investigation involving his nephew. Through his attorney Nice has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

Petition for public vote on Q renovation withdrawn
A group opposing a $140 million renovation to Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena has dropped its petitions for a city referendum, clearing the way for the project to be approved. Earlier this week, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert pulled out of paying for half of the makeover to his team's arena. However, Greater Cleveland Congregations, which didn't want tax dollars going toward the project's funding, withdrew petitions Thursday challenging the deal. The Cavaliers are hoping to host a future NBA All-Star game and think an exterior face-lift and new dining spaces — among other upgrades — will make Cleveland's bid for the event more attractive.

Two fairgoers thrown from ride at Ohio State Fair were securely latched in
Investigators believe two people tossed from a thrill ride when it broke apart in a deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair this summer were latched in even though some witnesses said it appeared one of the safety harnesses wasn't securely locked. The State Highway Patrol's investigation, released Thursday, found the ride operators were not to blame when one of the ride's carriages broke off and ejected the two passengers. An 18-year-old high school student, Tyler Jarrell, died on the midway. The ride's Dutch manufacturer, KMG, said excessive corrosion within a support beam wore away the steel wall's thickness over the years, causing the catastrophic failure. Investigators in the report released Thursday didn't draw any conclusions about why or when the ride began rusting away or how it went unnoticed.

Gilbert promises to keep Cavs in Cleveland
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert vowed in a tweet on Thursday to "never" move his NBA team from Cleveland. Earlier this week, when Gilbert scrapped plans for a $140 million renovation to Quicken Loans Arena that could now be back on, his move led to speculation the owner might leave the city when his lease expires in 2027. As part of the project, the team would extend its lease to 2034. The Cavs were going to split the cost of the arena's makeover with public financing, but a local coalition opposed to using tax dollars for the remodeling was able to force a city referendum vote and Gilbert pulled out. However, on Thursday, Greater Cleveland Congregations withdrew petitions challenging the arena deal. While Gilbert insists he won't move the team, there's always the possibility he could sell.

Kasich proposes two-state, bipartisan plan to fix ACA 
Gov. John Kasich and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper have presented a bipartisan plan to fix the Affordable Care Act after lawmakers failed to come to a compromise. The Governor’s plan urges Congress to keep unpopular individual mandate while seeking to stabilize individual insurance markets. Kasich, a Republican, and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, say retaining the mandate may be a difficult sell for Congress, but acknowledge that keeping younger, healthier people in the insurance pool protects against costs ballooning out of control. Kasich and Hickenlooper also recommend that President Donald Trump commit to cost-sharing payments to insurers, and that Congress fund those offsets at least through 2019.The plan has been endorsed by six other governors, however, congressional action on even a modest compromise is expected to be difficult.