Morning Headlines: Plans Finalized to Stop Asian Carp, Coroners Issue Warnings After Overdose Spike

May 24, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 24: 

  • Plans finalized to stop Asian Carp;
  • Coroners issue warnings after overdose spike;
  • Akron launches plan to become an 'age-friendly' city;
  • State dedicates $650,000 to fight Hepatitis A outbreak;
  • Sports betting bill would penalize laundered money;
  • Backers of more info on Ohio State doctor abuse win a round;
  • Portman calls for end of trade war;
  • DeWine signs order allowing racehorses to be chipped;
  • Governor appoints American with Disabilities Act coordinator;

Plans finalize to stop Asian Carp
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has officially settled on a plan to stop invasive Asian Carp from getting into the Great Lakes. Officials Thursday decided to stop the species at a dam in Illinois with an electric barrier and an air bubble curtain. The fish have invaded a large portion of the Mississippi River and were spotted a few miles from Lake Michigan. Asian carp can harm native fish species and can also lower water quality, killing off necessary organisms. The project could cost around $700 million. More details will be released Friday.

Coroners issue warnings after overdose spike
Ohio coroners have issued new warnings after recent spikes in drug overdose deaths around the state. Some urge people with family or friends who might be at risk to have the overdose-reversal drug naloxone available. Cuyahoga County's medical examiner said Thursday the county had seven overdose deaths in just over a 48-hour span. Officials hadn't determined the specific drugs, but suspected fentanyl was involved. In southwestern Ohio, Hamilton County's coroner said seven people died from suspected overdoses last weekend while Franklin County's coroner in Columbus reported nine apparent overdose deaths in roughly 36 hours.

Akron launches plan to become an 'age-friendly' city
Akron has launched a plan to better care for its older population. The five-year plan is a part of AARP’s Network of Age Friendly States and Communities program. It’ll focus on improving the quality of life for seniors by making adjustments to housing opportunities, transportation and public health. Akron will use a citywide study in the first year to establish priorities and needs of residents. More than 20% of Akron’s population are people age 60 and older. That number is expected to grow to 30% by 2030.

State dedicates $650,000 to fight Hepatitis A outbreak
The Ohio Department of Health is dedicating $650,000 to help local health departments fight the Hepatitis A outbreak throughout the state. There have been 2,300 cases statewide within the last year. Summit and Cuyahoga Counties have the highest number of cases, reporting nearly 100 since last year. Hepatitis A affects the liver and can be transferred by illicit drug use, intimate contact or by food. Officials said the outbreak is more associated with intimate contact and drug use.

Sports betting bill would penalize laundered money
A bill that would legalize sports betting in Ohio has been altered to prevent the use of laundered money. Cleveland.com reports the bill now specifies that it would be a fifth-degree felony on the first offense and a fourth-degree felony on repeated offenses. Lawmakers say the revision will help the government trace laundered money more easily. Other changes were made to make the bill comply with the federal Wire Act, which makes it illegal to transmit or promote interstate and foreign wagering.

Backers of more info on Ohio State doctor abuse win a round
The State Medical Board of Ohio has taken a step toward possibly making more information public from its old investigation involving an Ohio State University team doctor who sexually abused students for decades. Details about the board investigation involving the late Dr. Richard Strauss have remained confidential under state law. But that might change if the parties involved waive their confidentiality. The board voted Thursday to do so. If the original party that made the complaint and patients and witnesses who were also involved do the same, investigation details could become public.

Portman calls for end of trade war
Ohio Senator Rob Portman is calling for an end to the trade war with China. The Republican told the Senate this week that the tariffs China has levied against U.S. exports are hurting Ohio farmers and manufacturers. He said one third of Ohio crops are grown for export and farmers here have seen those exports to China fall over the past year by 90%. China is Ohio’s third-largest trading market behind Canada and Mexico.

DeWine signs order allowing racehorses to be chipped
Gov. Mike DeWine has signed an executive order permitting the use of microchips as a means to identify racehorses competing at Ohio's seven racetracks and county fairs. Many racehorse owners have opted to use electronic chips instead of a lip tattoo or a brand. But the chips are not officially recognized under the state’s racing rules. DeWine’s office says the 120-day order will give the state some time to update the administrative code.

Governor appoints American with Disabilities Act coordinator
Gov. Mike DeWine has appointed the state's first-ever Americans With Disabilities Act coordinator to establish the state as a model employer of people with disabilities. The announcement was a follow-up to an executive order the Republican governor signed on his first day in office in January, calling on state agencies to improve the hiring, recruitment, and retention of individuals with disabilities. The new ADA coordinator is James Clinkscale, currently the manager of diversity and inclusion and ADA coordinator for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.