Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Feb. 21:
- Proposal would close term limit loophole;
- Yost supports proposal to update voter system;
- Committee suggests adding updated driver's license photos to face recognition database;
- Cuyahoga Falls medical marijuana dispensary prepares to open;
- Authorities investigate apparent suicide at Summit County Jail;
- Westlake resident receives Ohio Distinguished Service Medal;
- Cavs new head coach to stay the course;
Proposal would close term limit loophole
A proposed constitutional amendment would close a loophole on term limits which allows state lawmakers to jump back and forth between the Ohio House and Senate. The group, Ohioans for Legislative Term Limits, wants to set a 16-year limit on legislators. They filed signatures and petition language with Attorney General Dave Yost Thursday which would set an eight-year limit in each chamber. Critics of term limits claim the rules have given more power to lobbyists and the governor's office. The group's goal is to place the amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Yost supports proposal to update voter system
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has cleared a proposal to update Ohio's voter registration system for the statewide signature gathering process. Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections is a group hoping to streamline how people register and receive ballots. The group's proposal would automatically register Ohioans to vote when conducting business at state Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices. It would also allow eligible Ohioans to register and cast a ballot on the same day during early voting and on Election Day.
Committee suggests adding updated driver's license photos to face recognition database
A committee studying changes to Ohio's facial recognition database has recommended that updated driver's license photos be added to the database. The proposal came out of the attorney general's Facial Recognition Task Force report released Thursday. It would update the law enforcement database with driver's license photos taken after 2011. The report noted the recommendation was controversial, and the task force tried to balance public safety with people's privacy. Attorney General Dave Yost said he's reviewing the recommendations.
Cuyahoga Falls medical marijuana dispensary prepares to open
A new medical marijuana dispensary near Akron's Chapel Hill Mall is ready to open. The Akron Beacon Journal reports the state has given Herbology its certificate of operation. The Cuyahoga Falls dispensary held an open house nearly a year ago, but the company told the paper that construction and security enhancements caused delays. The store is expected to open on March 3. Herbology is the 49th dispensary in Ohio get a certificate of operation.
Officials investigate apparent suicide at Summit County Jail
Authorities at the Summit County Jail are investigating an apparent suicide by an inmate. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the Akron Beacon Journal the inmate was found unresponsive in his cell Monday afternoon. The inmate was being held on criminal trespass and contempt of court charges. The sheriff’s office said this would be the first suicide at the jail this year. There were none last year.
Westlake resident receives Ohio Distinguished Service Medal
Gov. Mike DeWine has presented the state's highest noncombat decoration for service to a retired fighter pilot and astronaut. Col. Guion Bluford of Westlake flew 144 combat missions in South Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force. In 1983, Bluford, 77, became the first black astronaut to fly in space on a shuttle mission. DeWine presented him with the Ohio Distinguished Service Medal. The governor said Bluford's aviation career is an inspiration to generations of Ohioans.
Cavs new head coach to stay the course
J.B. Bickerstaff’s promotion to head coach for the Cavaliers marks the third time in his career he’s moved up to coach due to a midseason coaching change. John Beilein resigned with 28 games left. Bickerstaff, 40, previously coached in Houston and Memphis and said those experiences prepared him to replace Beilein. Bickerstaff isn't planning any major changes to his lineups or rotations. He wants to continue to develop Cleveland's young players and salvage what's left of the season.