Morning Headlines: GCRTA Fires 10 in Prescription Scam; Beachwood Mall Shooting Injures Two

Mar 19, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, March 19:

  • Cleveland RTA fires 10 employees over prescription scam;
  • Beachwood mall locked down after weekend shooting;
  • East Cleveland offers to drop charges in deadly 2012 police chase;
  • Toledo's Marcy Kaptur becomes the longest-serving congresswoman;
  • Columbus superintendent search raises questions on selection process;
  • Stark County planners to study impact of Hall of Fame Village;
  • Trump critic Preet Bharara fundraises for AG candidate Steve Dettelbach;
  • Remains of 19th century steamer found off Ohio shore;
  • National Hamburger Festival, Fabulous Food Show put on hold;
  • Cedar Fair partners with Bowling Green for resort management training program;

Cleveland RTA fires 10 employees over prescription scam
The Greater Cleveland RTA has fired 10 employees over a $2 million prescription scam. Cleveland.com reports RTA was being billed for fake prescriptions at least since 2014. The scheme was set up by so-called compound pharmacies, which create custom medications for individual patients. The employees involved were paid in cash for receiving pain and scar creams from the pharmacies. Fake claims were sent to RTA’s former prescription manager, CVS Caremark, which then billed RTA for the costly medications. RTA has filed an insurance claim to recover its losses. The investigation has been handed over to the FBI.

Beachwood mall locked down after weekend shooting
A popular suburban Cleveland shopping mall locked down Saturday after a shooting on the property. Beachwood police say a man suspected of shooting a male acquaintance in the leg outside Beachwood Place Mall is in custody. The man who was shot is in custody as well. A 17-year-old girl was also treated at a hospital after a report of shots being fired near the mall's main entrance.

East Cleveland offers to drop charges in deadly 2012 police chase
The city of East Cleveland has offered to drop charges against five police supervisors charged in a deadly police chase. Thirteen officers in 2012 fired more than 100 shots in a middle school parking lot, killing Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30. East Cleveland says it will drop charges against the supervisors if they each pay $5,000. The supervisors could still go to trial for dereliction of duty. Former officer Michael Brelo is the only officer brought to trial so far. He was acquitted in 2015 and subsequently fired.

Toledo's Marcy Kaptur becomes the longest-serving congresswoman
Marcy Kaptur has become the longest-serving woman in Congress.  Kaptur of Toledo has served 17 terms in office for a total of 35 years. She says one of her biggest achievements has been working to get the World War II Monument in Washington, D.C., built. The record was previously held by Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts, who served from 1925 to 1961. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will host a Capitol Hill event on Wednesday to mark Kaptur's milestone.

Columbus superintendent search raises questions on selection process
The search for a superintendent to lead Ohio’s largest school district is on hold. State Auditor Dave Yost has raised concerns that the Columbus City School District’s selection process may have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act. The Dispatch reports the school board decided on who to interview and eliminate from the search without holding any public meetings. Acting Superintendent John Stanford is the only remaining candidate for Columbus superintendent. Akron superintendent David James withdrew last month.

Stark County planners to study impact of Hall of Fame Village
Officials in Stark County are beginning a federally funded one-year study into how the planned Hall of Fame Village will affect local residents. Study participants will give feedback on issues such as parking, transit and economic development at a series of public meetings. Community members can also weigh in through an online survey. Village construction has stalled as developers are still working to pay back local contractors. The first public meeting will be held Tuesday at McKinley High School.

Trump critic Preet Bharara fundraises for AG candidate Steve Dettelbach
Former federal prosecutor and outspoken White House critic Preet Bharara said he decided to raise money in Ohio on Sunday for Democrat Steven Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney running for state attorney general, because both men understand the rule of law and how it applies to everyone. Bharara said it was only the second time he has helped raise money for a candidate since being fired by President Donald Trump as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in March 2017. Dettelbach is viewed as among Democrats' best shots at claiming a top cop spot from Republicans.

Remains of 19th century steamer found off Ohio shore
The wreckage of a steamer that sank in Lake Erie over a century ago and eluded shipwreck hunters for decades has finally been found off the Ohio shore. The steam barge, called the Margaret Olwill, was loaded with limestone and bound for Cleveland when it went down in a storm in 1899, killing eight people including the captain, his wife and their 9-year-old son. Shipwreck hunter Rob Ruetschle, who first looked for the barge nearly 30 years ago, discovered its remains last summer. The National Museum of the Great Lakes says he and others later confirmed the identity of the wreckage.

National Hamburger Festival, Fabulous Food Show put on hold
Two culinary traditions in Northeast Ohio are being put on hold this year. Construction in downtown Akron is forcing the city to cancel this year’s National Hamburger Festival. The annual tradition has attracted thousands to Akron since it began in 2006. Akron’s planned makeover of Main Street would conflict with the two-day event, according to the festival’s founder. Meanwhile, the Fabulous Food Show remains on hold amid financial concerns. Last year’s show was also cancelled after 11 years. The event at the IX Center has featured celebrity chefs including Michael Symon, Martha Stewart and Paula Deen.

Cedar Fair partners with Bowling Green for resort management training program
The parent company for Cedar Point amusement park is partnering with a nearby university to offer a new degree program to train students for management jobs in the tourism industry. Bowling Green State University will offer classes on resort management at a new campus that will be built in Sandusky, home of Cedar Point and its parent company, Cedar Fair. Students in the four-year program would spend the last two years at the Sandusky campus and will be able to work entry-level jobs at Cedar Point or another Cedar Fair park during summers. Cedar Fair will build classrooms and dorms for 200 students on land provided by the city. The campus could open as soon as 2020.