Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 2:
- FBI makes arrest in Fourth of July Cleveland terror plot;
- LeBron James announces contract with Los Angeles Lakers;
- Three Lake Erie beaches remain open despite algal bloom advisories;
- Report shows sharp increase in Ohio Medicaid recipients with opioid-related diagnosis;
- Ohio Legislature approves bill to replace voting machines;
- Ohio has yet to spend $5M earmarked for troubled youth;
- Authorities release name of man who died at a Ashland BalloonFest;
- Cleveland Police Department to add hundreds of officers in the next year;
- Akron lawmaker Emilia Sykes files Civil Rights Commission complaint;
- CVS, Ohio Health Department sued over HIV mailing
FBI makes arrest in Fourth of July Cleveland terror plot
The FBI says it has made an arrest in connection with a Fourth of July terror plot that would have targeted downtown Cleveland. According to news release from the FBI’s Cleveland Division, the suspect, whose name has not been released, is “being charged with attempted material support of a foreign terrorist organization." Officials will reveal more details at a press conference this morning.
LeBron James signs with Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James is leaving home for the Los Angeles Lakers. James announced last night that he has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers. Unlike his two previous forays in free agency, James did not drag out his decision and made the announcement less than 24 hours after NBA free agency opened. His management agency, Klutch Sports Group, announced his agreement with the Lakers with a simple, short release.
James isn't planning any more comments and there won't be a welcoming press conference or celebration in Los Angeles. James will make his next public comments on July 30 when he opens his foundation’s iPromse school in Akron.
Shortly after the announcement, James posted a three-photo tribute to Cleveland fans on his Instagram account. It included the words, "Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons. This will always be home." And unlike eight years ago when he ripped James for leaving, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert thanked him, saying in a statement: "Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform.”
Three Lake Erie beaches remain open despite algal bloom advisories
Three Lake Erie beaches remain open for swimming despite algal bloom advisories. Ohio NowCast, administered by the U.S. Geological Survey, released advisories for Edgewater, Huntington and Villa Angela beaches yesterday. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District also gave poor water quality advisories for Edgewater and Villa Angela. Testing done at Edgewater beach late last week showed cyanobacteria levels exceeded state standards. Advisories are posted at the beaches and testing will continue until further notice.
Report shows sharp increase in Ohio Medicaid recipients with opioid-related diagnosis
A state auditor's report looking at the impact of the opioid crisis on state Medicaid spending shows the number of Ohio Medicaid recipients with an opioid-related diagnosis quadrupling from 2010 to 2016. The report also shows the state's cost for treating opioid addiction through medication-assisted therapies, jumped from more than $13 million in 2010 to $110 million by 2016. Auditor Dave Yost says the trend line is a concern for Medicaid's financial health. He says money could become scarce for other needs of the 3 million poor and disabled people who rely on the Medicaid program statewide. The audit makes no recommendations, and Yost hasn't taken a position on the ongoing debate over Medicaid expansion.
Ohio Legislature approves bill to replace voting machines
Counties would split nearly $115 million to replace voting machines around the state under a bill approved by the Ohio Legislature. Money for the new equipment would be dispersed across Ohio's 88 counties on a per-voter basis, under the bill approved this past week. Counties with more voters would get more funding. Ohio's counties will be able to choose which new equipment to purchase. The equipment would require approval by federal and state officials. The Columbus Dispatch reports most Ohio voting machines are over a decade old. About half of the state's counties use paper ballots that are optically scanned, and half use touch-screen voting. The legislation now goes to Gov. John Kasich. It would give counties new voting machines by the 2019 election season.
Ohio has yet to spend $5M earmarked for troubled youth
Ohio has yet to spend any of the $5 million allocated this year for services for troubled youth on the cusp of being removed from their homes or at risk of entering the justice or foster-care systems. Money from the "crisis stabilization fund" was designated to help pay for support groups, child care, transportation and other expenses. County Family and Children First councils were given the task of making local plans to administer the funds. They say stipulations attached to the federally funded program have caused roadblocks.
Authorities release name of man who died at a Ashland BalloonFest
Authorities have released the name of a pilot who died at an Ashland County balloon festival. John Moran, 74, of Cortland, hit his head on the balloon's burners after landing at the Ashland BalloonFest Friday evening. Festival officials say it was the 23rd year Moran had participated in the event.
Cleveland Police Department to add hundreds of officers in the next year
While police departments deal with a shrinking pool of job candidates, Cleveland plans to add several hundred new officers over the next year thanks to an aggressive recruiting plan aimed at making its department look more like the community it serves. Mayor Frank Jackson set a goal of adding 250 new officers last year after city voters approved an income tax increase intended in part to bolster the ranks of a police department bracing for a wave of retirements from baby boomers over the next five years. Around 40 percent of the department's force of roughly 1,500 officers has more than 20 years of service. Cleveland has compiled a list of more than 2,000 candidates, allowing the city to tighten its selection process to find people with the skills needed to accomplish community policing in an urban setting.
Akron Lawmaker Emilia Sykes files Civil Rights Commission complaint
A black Northeast Ohio lawmaker who says security at the Statehouse has inappropriately stopped her has filed a complaint with the state Civil Rights Commission. Rep. Emilia Sykes, a 32-year-old Akron Democrat in her second term, says she filed the complaint after an unsatisfactory meeting with Public Safety Director John Born and other State Highway Patrol officials. Sykes says despite assurances she shouldn't have any problems, she and other black women have been singled out at security checkpoints the last two years while white legislators with proper badges pass through unquestioned. She says that when she asked why her badge wasn't recognized, she was told she looked too young to be a legislator. A Highway Patrol spokeswoman said Sykes' allegations are being investigated.
CVS, Ohio Health Department sued over HIV mailing
A class-action lawsuit has been filed with the Ohio Court of Claims against CVS Caremark and the state Health Department over a mailing that might have publicly disclosed the identity of 6,000 HIV patients.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the lawsuit filed by a Cleveland-area attorney says the state shared private medical information with CVS last summer without patients' authorization, allowing CVS to make a marketing pitch to non-customers about its pharmacy services. The lawsuit says the designation "PM 6402 HIV" was visible above the name and address of recipients. A federal lawsuit was filed against CVS in March over the mailing. A CVS spokesman says the company takes patient information seriously and will handle future mailings differently. A Health Department spokesman says the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.