Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 22:
- Poll: Trump losing support in 4 Midwest states;
- CLE ibrary union has strike date;
- Unions file petition to raise Ohio minimum wage;
- Ohio employers among the most LGBTQ friendly;
- Expert testimony starts for nurse cases over dosages, deaths;
- Legislator proposes gun restrictions, gets threatening memes;
- Court rejects use of system to assess candidates for bail;
- Justice Deparment backs Ohio abortion law blocked by judge;
- 8 arrested in Summit County human trafficking sting, 1o possible victims saved;
Poll: Trump losing support in 4 Midwest states
A new Baldwin Wallace University (BW) poll shows that President Donald Trump may have trouble gaining the support of voters in four key Midwest states, including those he won over in 2016: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Asked if the election “were held today," the yet-to-be-determined Democratic candidate led Trump in all four states, including 44% to 39% in Ohio, with 16% undecided. In the Democratic field, Joe Biden leads in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, with Bernie Sanders topping the field in Wisconsin. Respondents say the economy is the No. 1 issue in Ohio. BW, in partnership with Ohio Northern and Oakland universities, polled more than 1,000 registered voters in each state this month.
CLE library union has strike date
Around 400 Cleveland Public Library workers plan to strike Feb. 4 if a contract isn't reached between its union and library management. The union's contract expired at the end of 2019. Cleveland.com reports the union has said the breakdown centers around library safety and staffing. The library has said the disagreements revolve around wages. The two sides will return to the bargaining table Thursday.
Unions file petition to raise Ohio minimum wage
A coalition of union groups wants Ohio voters to decide this fall whether to raise the state's minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2025. Ohioans for Raising the Wage said in a statement Tuesday that state’s current minimum wage of $8.70 an hour leaves some full-time workers in poverty. Petition language for a fall ballot issue was submitted Tuesday along with 1,000 signatures. If signed off on by Attorney General David Yost, the groups would have to collect nearly 423,000 valid signatures by July to make the ballot.
Ohio employers among the most LGBTQ friendly
Twenty-four Ohio companies earned high scores in the Corporate Equality Index, which identifies the most LGBTQ-friendly employers. It's released annually by the Human Rights Campaign. Seven Cleveland-area companies earned 100% ratings, including KeyCorp, PolyOne, Eaton and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The average score for Ohio companies was nearly 80%. The report ranks companies in areas including non-discrimination policies, employment benefits and support of an inclusive culture.
Expert testimony starts for nurse cases over dosages, deaths
Attorneys have started taking expert testimony for disciplinary cases against nurses from the Columbus-area hospital that concluded excessive painkillers were given to dozens of its patients who died. Twenty-five nurses from Mount Carmel Health System face possible discipline from the Ohio Board of Nursing. Expert testimony for some of those cases began Tuesday ahead of their administrative hearings. The nurses aren't being criminally prosecuted. But the doctor, William Husel, has been charged with murder in 25 deaths. He has pleaded not guilty.
Legislator proposes gun restrictions, gets threatening memes
An Ohio state representative who has proposed gun restrictions said he found several memes he considers threatening printed out and placed in his mailbox. Rep. Casey Weinstein is a Democrat from Hudson. He said that the memes he found in his mailbox last week were mostly anti-Democrat and that some were threatening. Weinstein said he has received many angry messages since sponsoring a bill that would prohibit people from possessing a large capacity magazine for a firearm. He said his proposal was in response to the Dayton shooting in August that killed nine people.
Court rejects use of system to assess candidates for bail
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a recommendation that tools used to measure offenders' likelihood of skipping out on court appearances after an arrest be made available to all judges as they make bond decisions. Requiring the availability of so-called “risk assessment tools” was the top recommendation of a task force commissioned by the court last year to examine Ohio's bail system. Supporters said the tools are a more accurate way to weigh factors judges consider when setting bond. Detractors said the tools can be racially biased, costly to smaller courts, and improperly override judges' own experiences in setting bond.
Justice Deparment backs Ohio abortion law blocked by judge
The Justice Department is supporting an Ohio abortion law that's been blocked by a federal judge. The bill, also known as the Antidiscrimination Law, bans abortions if tests show the baby has Down syndrome. Cleveland.com reports the Justice Department argues the law doesn't outright ban all abortions and prevents discrimination against children who could be born with a disability. A Cincinnati judge blocked the law in 2018 after the American Civil Liberities Union sued, saying it was unconstitutional. The 6th Circuit Court will review the ruling with oral arguments scheduled in March.
8 arrested in Summit County human trafficking sting, 1o possible victims saved
Eight people have been arrested following a human trafficking sting in Summit County. Authorities identified 10 potential human trafficking victims last week in Northfield Village. They ranged from 20 to 40 years old. Police said they're looking for two women who were taken to the hospital and then ran off. A similar operation was carried out earlier this month in Springfield Township which resulted in 11 arrests. Ohio is fourth in nation for human trafficking according to the National Human Trafficking hotline, with more than 400 cases in 2018.