Morning Headlines: Purged Voters Allowed to Cast Ballots; Man Charged in Jewish Center Threat

Aug 30, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, August 30: 

  • Purged voters allowed to cast ballots;
  • Man charged in Jewish center threat;
  • Construction employees alledge discrimination;
  • Smithers Group to move to Austen BioInnovation campus;
  • Effort to put nuclear plants' rescue to vote clears hurdle;
  • Lightning cause of Amish flea market fire;
  • Ashtabula horse confirmed with fatal mosquito-carried virus;
  • Officials to unveil reporting practices of OSU team doctor;

Purged voters allowed to cast ballots
A settlement in a 2016 lawsuit will allow eligible voters purged from Ohio's voter rolls for inactivity between 2011 and 2019 to cast a provisional ballot in elections through 2022. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose reached the settlement with the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and an Ohio resident. A statement from the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said the settlement prevents disenfranchisement of eligible voters and guarantees that qualified voters will have additional opportunities to register. A statement from LaRose said Ohio agreed to extend a practice which began under his Republican predecessor. The settlement doesn't affect LaRose's plans to conduct more purges next week.

Man charged in Jewish center threat
Federal authorities have announced charges against a Mahoning County man accused of threatening a Jewish community center. Police arrested James Reardon,20, of Boardman earlier this month after he posted a video on Instagram of himself shooting a semiautomatic rifle. The video included sounds of sirens and screaming with the caption: "Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist." Reardon is charged with transmitting threatening communications via interstate commerce. Police said they found weapons and anti-Semitic information at Reardon's home.

Construction employees alledge discrimination
Three employees working on a portion of Akron's massive sewer project are alleging racial discrimination against two companies. The Beacon Journal reports the employees, who are black, said in a complaint that their white supervisors excluded them from certain tasks on the job, called them names and then fired them as retaliation for speaking up. The complaint, filed by the laborers union seeks damages from Illinois-based Kenny Construction and Japan-based Obayashi Corporation and requests that they undergo discrimination training. The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Beacon Journal.  

Smithers Group to move to Austen BioInnovation campus
Akron's Austen BioInnovation campus will soon be home to the new headquarters of a medical research company. The Smithers Group will move from its West Market location within the next few weeks. The Smithers Group helps develop technology for polymer, automotive, energy and medical industries. The announcement came during Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro's State of the County address Thursday. Shapiro plans to introduce legislation that would allow the county to build a nearly $17 million research lab for the company. The building will be shared with Akron Children's and Cleveland Clinic Akron General.

Effort to put nuclear plants' rescue to vote clears hurdle
Opponents hoping to overturn a financial rescue for Ohio's nuclear power plants and two coal-fired plants have cleared an initial hurdle to put the issue before voters next year. Ohio's attorney general certified revised language submitted by Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts. That means supporters can start collecting signatures from Ohio voters around the state that are required for the referendum to proceed. Lawmakers approved the $1.5 billion rescue package last month. It adds a new fee for every electricity bill in the state and scales back requirements that utilities generate more power from wind and solar.

Lightning cause of Amish flea market fire
Investigators said a fire that nearly destroyed an Amish flea market outside Sugarcreek was caused by lightning. WEWS reports the state fire marshal determined the fire last week at the Walnut Creek Amish flea market was caused by a storm. No one was injured. The market will remain closed through the end of the year.

Ashtabula horse confirmed with fatal mosquito-carried virus
State officials said the Eastern equine encephalitis virus has been found in a horse in Ashtabula County. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and attacks a horse's central nervous system. It's usually fatal. The virus also can cause serious illness in people and other animals such as poultry and deer. Owners should make sure that their horses' vaccinations and boosters are up to date. There have been no reports of any human cases associated with the latest outbreak in Ohio.

Officials to unveil reporting practices of OSU team doctor
Officials plan to share findings Friday about whether the State Medical Board properly handled a 1996 investigation involving an Ohio State University team doctor now accused of sexually abusing student athletes for two decades before that investigation. Details have remained confidential by law because the medical board never disciplined Richard Strauss. Gov. DeWine created a working group to review the case after a law firm reviewing allegations for the school concluded that Strauss sexually abused at least 177 young men. Strauss died in 2005.