Morning Headlines: Ohio Counties Fail in Air Quality, Court Throws Out Tire Chalking

Apr 24, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 24:

  • Ohio counties fail in air quality;
  • Appeals court throws out tire chalking;
  • Cleveland airport seeks FBI help for information screening woes;
  • Local unemployment rates decrease;
  • Environmental law studies to begin at Case Western;
  • FirstEnergy reports positive profit for first quarter;
  • Ohio poorly ranked in public health funding;
  • Mother sues Summa Health for daughter's suicide;
  • Former Macedonia mayor sentenced to two years' probation;
  • Funeral set for 14-year-old Jonathan Minard;

Ohio counties fail in air quality
The American Lung Association has given F grades to counties including Cuyahoga and Stark for smog pollution in its annual "State of the Air" report. The Cleveland-Akron-Canton metro area experienced more unhealthy days of high ozone, ranking 29th among 220 metro areas in the nation. Summit County received a B grade. The report also found year-round particle pollution levels in Cleveland and Akron were their lowest ever. However, Cleveland still ranked among the 25 worst in the nation. The Association measured air quality from 2015 to 2017.

Court throws out tire chalking
A Michigan city's policy of chalking tires to enforce parking restrictions has been declared unconstitutional, setting a new legal precedent in three other states including Ohio.  The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said chalking tires in Saginaw to keep track of parked cars is an unreasonable search and has no role in maintaining public safety. Saginaw marks tires with chalk to keep track of how long a vehicle is parked. Alison Taylor sued after receiving 15 parking tickets between 2014 and 2017.

Cleveland airport seeks FBI help for information screening woes
Cleveland's main airport has asked the FBI for help in determining why system problems have led to its flight and baggage claim information screens going blank. The FBI said in a statement it's conducting a "collaborative assessment" to determine the cause of the problems but declined to release any additional information. The airport issued a statement saying the problems were caused by a "technical issue" that began on Monday and that it had not affected any flights. The city said Monday that employee email at the airport also wasn't working.

Local unemployment rates decrease
Local unemployment rates are down according to numbers released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Summit County’s jobless rate fell more than half a percent in March to 4.3%. The unemployment rate for Akron fell to 5%. Overal,l Ohio’s unemployment rate is at an 18-year low, but there are still fewer people working now than there were at the start of the Great Recession. People who have stopped looking for jobs are not counted.

Environmental law studies to begin at Case Western
Case Western Reserve University is setting up a center for environmental law on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the start of the environmental movement. The school said the center is the result of a $10-million gift from real estate developer and Case alum Coleman Burke. The Burke Center for Environmental Law will serve as a hub for research into environmental regulation. The donation will also fund new faculty positions, student research and externships.

FirstEnergy reports positive profit for first quarter
Akron-based FirstEnergy has reported a profit for the first quarter. The utility had nearly $3 billion in revenue with $315 million in earnings. CEO Charles Jones is predicting 6 to 8%  growth for the company in the coming year. First Energy posted major losses in 2017 prior to subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions filing for bankruptcy last year.

Ohio poorly ranked in public health funding
Ohio is ranked 47th among states for public health funding, according to a report from the Trust for America's Health. Last fiscal year, the state received around $207 million from the Centers for Disease Control, which equates to nearly $18 per person. Alaska, which placed first, received funding that equates to nearly $64 per person. Most of the money the CDC gave the state went toward vaccinating children. Despite Ohio's ranking, it did receive more public health funding last year than in 2017. Gov. Mike DeWine has proposed to create a public health fund that would bring in more money to focus on public health awareness, education and prevention strategies.

Mother sues Summa Health for daughter's suicide
The mother of a woman who committed suicide after being admitted to Summa St. Thomas Hospital is suing for malpractice. The Beacon Journal reports 18-year-old McKenzie Crouse admitted herself in 2017 after considering suicide. Court documents say the North Hill facility caught fire that same day, which caused the nurse in Crouse's care to leave her by herself. The nurse reportedly told Crouse he would come back but never did. Summa released Crouse soon after the incident, who died by suicide three days later. Crouse's mother claimed Summa Health didn't give her daughter adequate treatment. Summa Health declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Former Macedonia mayor sentenced to two years' probation
Former Macedonia Mayor Joseph Migliorini has been sentenced to two years’ probation and a $300 fine for attempting to violate a protection order. Cleveland.com reports Migliorini broke into a Streetsboro home where his former girlfriend was staying last year. He also faces charges for allegedly slapping the woman in Florida last April, which ultimately led to his resignation that July. He is scheduled to appear in court in May for a plea conference.

Funeral set for 14-year-old Jonathan Minard
The funeral for a 14-year-old Carroll County boy whose body was found buried on a farm is set for tomorrow. Jonathan Minard was staying with a friend when he went missing on April 13. Officers then found his body in a shallow grave two days after. Authorities said they are interviewing suspects but no arrests have been made. Calling hours will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dellroy Church of the Nazarene with a service to follow.