Morning Headlines: Floods Take a Toll on Ohio Farmers, Yost Wants to end Limits on Rape Charges

Jun 4, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 4:

  • Floods take a toll on Ohio farmers;
  • Yost wants to end limits on rape charges;
  • MetroHealth partners with University Hospitals for pediatric care;
  • Mother of Tamir Rice opposes appeal of officer's firing;
  • Lake Erie hits record-high water levels;
  • Lawsuit says thrill ride maker knew of defect before crash;
  • Search for man swept away in Cuyahoga River continues;
  • School superintendent facing student sex charges resign;

Floods take a toll on Ohio farmers
Heavy rains have taken a toll on the region’s farmers. Ohio is among the Midwestern states where spring storms have delayed planting on flooded fields. In Ohio, just 22% of the corn crop had been planted as of last week. It's normally close to 80% by this time. Soybeans are also way behind schedule. Heavy rain, tornados and the trade dispute with China have led many Ohio farmers to consider foregoing planting anything this year. The Ohio Farm Bureau said this year could see a record number of insurance claims from hard-hit farmers.

Yost wants to end limits on rape charges
Ohio Attorney General David Yost and five former attorneys general have joined a call to eliminate statutes of limitations on bringing rape charges in the state. Yost said rape should be treated like murder, which has no limits on when charges can be brought. Current law would generally limit rape charges to six years after the crime. Yost and the former attorneys general, including Republican Betty Montgomery and Democrat Nancy Rogers, asked lawmakers to make the change in a May 31 letter. They followed a similar request last month by Gov. Mike DeWine, made in light of the scandal at Ohio State University involving a team doctor accused of abusing dozens of male students decades ago.

MetroHealth partners with University Hospitals for pediatric care
MetroHealth has selected University Hospitals to be its new partner for pediatric care. Cleveland.com reports MetroHealth's five-year contracts with Akron Children's and the Cleveland Clinic end this month. The new three-year contract states University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital will provide pediatric surgery, rehabilitation, cardiology and other services. MetroHealth began looking for new partners in December. Doctors from the children's hospital will be providing care on MetroHealth's campus. The new partnership starts July 1. 

Mother of Tamir Rice opposes appeal of officer's firing
The mother of a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer wants the police union to stop trying to overturn the officer's firing. Tamir Rice's mother turned over petitions with more than 170,000 signatures to the Cleveland police union Monday. The union in March appealed the firing of Timothy Loehmann who shot and killed Tamir while he was playing with a pellet gun at a city park. The officer was cleared in the 2014 shooting but fired for failing to disclose to Cleveland that he'd been previously forced out by another department. A city arbitrator upheld the firing. Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, said the former officer doesn't belong back on the job. The union said it plans to continue its challenge.

Lake Erie hits record-high levels
Lake Erie water levels have reached record highs. Clevleand.com reports that in May the lake broke the all-time high water mark set in 1986, averaging 574 feet above sea level. That's 30 inches above normal. In some lakeshore communities, beaches have disappeared and water has washed onto roads. 

Lawsuit says thrill ride maker knew of defect before crash
A lawsuit filed against the maker of an amusement ride that broke apart at the Ohio State Fair said the company knew years before about a defect that caused the deadly crash. The family of an 18-year-old who died at the fair and three others who were seriously injured in 2017 filed the lawsuit Monday against Dutch manufacturer KMG. Attorneys said they have a letter sent by the company in 2012 that shows it knew about a design flaw that could cause corrosion. KMG previously has said the cause was excessive corrosion of a support beam where a carriage on the Fire Ball ride broke apart.

Search for man swept away in Cuyahoga River continues
Authorities in Akron Tuesday will resume the search for 24-year-old man who was swept away while swimming in the Cuyahoga River. The Beacon Journal reports rescue teams searched all day Monday for Catalino Hernandez. He went missing Sunday while swimming with family members in the Chuckery area of the Cascade Metro Park.

School superintendent facing student sex charges resign
A Portage County school superintendent accused of sex charges involving two students has resigned. Laura Amero, 35, of Windham Exempted Schools, pleaded not guilty in April to charges including sexual battery. She’s accused of  having sex with a 16-year-old boy in 2017 and attempting to have sexual relations with another student.