Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, August 29:
- The Q Deal is off;
- Arshinkoff, longtime leader of Summit County GOP, dies;
- Proposed fee hike to make up for budget shortfall in Summit County;
- Fatal Lyft ride in Cleveland;
- Akron Police Chief Nice forced to resign;
- Teenager's death in Akron police cruiser deemed suicide;
- Amazon looks for tax incentive for new facility in Cuyahoga County;
- Allegiant Air flies out of Trumbull County permanently;
- Tropical Storm Harvey pushes gas prices up in Ohio;
The Q Deal is off
The Cavs have scrapped plans for a $140 million renovation of Quicken Loans Arena. The team had hoped to upgrade the 22-year-old downtown facility with more dining spaces and a glass exterior. However, following opposition from community groups opposed to tax money being used, owner Dan Gilbert has backed away from the project. Construction had been scheduled to start in June but was held up by a prospective referendum being placed on the ballot by groups arguing that the city's neighborhoods weren't benefiting from the arena's makeover. The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, which had been leading the fight to stop the renovation, said in a statement it was "very pleased" with the Cavs' decision. The Cavs were planning to fund half the project, with the other $70 million coming from public funding. The team had hoped to host a future All-Star Game, and the league had warned that if construction didn't start by next month, the bid wouldn't be considered.
Arshinkoff, longtime leader of Summit County GOP, dies
The longtime leader of the Summit County Republican Party has died. The Akron Beacon Journal reports 62-year-old Alex Arshinkoff had been undergoing dialysis for several years and his health had been deteriorating following a car accident in 2012. Arshinkoff led the Summit County GOP for nearly 40 years and was serving on the Summit County Board of Elections. He was the youngest-ever elected county party chairman, taking the post in 1978 at age 24. Attorney General Mike DeWine, who was close to Arshinkoff, issued a statement Monday evening expressing sympathy to Arshinkoff's family, saying he had talked to him earlier in the day on Monday.
Proposed fee hike to make up for budget shortfall in Summit County
Summit County is considering charging more for building permits and parking. The Akron Beacon Journal reports the county is expecting the loss of the Medicaid sales tax to hurt revenue, even with state dollars helping to temporarily offset the loss. County councilman Brian Nelsen says the fee increases are preferable to tax increases. Old estimates show the county’s annual deficit will nearly double in the next three years, but updated figures presented at Monday’s council meeting show the county will spend less this year than originally projected.
Fatal Lyft ride in Cleveland
A driver for the ride-hailing service Lyft was fatally shot and his passenger wounded in Cleveland. Police say the Lyft driver was shot several times early Monday morning and a passenger in the back seat was wounded in the arm. A man who showed up to a Cleveland hospital with another man has been arrested in connection with the shooting. The company says it's ready to assist local law enforcement with the investigation. Cleveland.com reports the driver was a 32-year-old man and the passenger is a 31-year-old woman. Officers say a car pulled up alongside the driver and fired about 10 gunshots.
Akron Police Chief Nice forced to resign
Akron’s mayor says the city's police chief resigned after questions were raised about his actions in an investigation into the chief's nephew. Mayor Dan Horrigan said Monday that Chief James Nice resigned Sunday at Horrigan's request. Horrigan says he was told over the weekend that there was evidence of serious misconduct by the police chief related to an ongoing investigation of his nephew. The mayor says there's also evidence that the police chief made inappropriate contact with a city employee and made derogatory comments about police officials. The Akron Beacon Journal reports Nice's attorney said Nice "regrets any inappropriate comments or behavior, but categorically denies any criminal conduct." Attorney Mike Callahan says he knows little about the investigation involving Nice's nephew. Nice had been chief since 2011.
Teenager's death in Akron police cruiser deemed suicide
Authorities say a 17-year-old boy found fatally shot in the back seat of an Akron police cruiser killed himself Friday. The Summit County medical examiner's office says Xavier McMullen died of a gunshot wound to the head and a gun was found next to the teen. Police say the shooting occurred after the teen and two 18-year-old men were arrested as suspects in an armed robbery. Officers say the suspects were placed in separate cruisers. Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli says a gunshot was heard while officers were investigating, and the teen was found dead. Police say the gun found next to the teen was not a police-issued weapon.
Amazon looks for tax incentive for new facility in Cuyahoga County
An independent state board is looking at creating tax incentives for online retailer Amazon. The company plans to build a massive fulfillment center in North Randall, where it expects to hire more than 2,000 employees. The deal was finalized last week. Cleveland.com reports the jobs will be full-time positions with benefits, though Amazon hasn’t released official pay rates. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority is also looking at another Amazon project in Warren County.
Allegiant Air flies out of Trumbull County permanently
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is losing service from its only commercial carrier. Cleveland.com reports fewer passengers and expanded service out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are causing Allegiant Air to end services at the regional airport. Allegiant says it will end service to Youngstown in January. An airline spokeswoman says passengers who have already booked flights for next year will be refunded.
Tropical Storm Harvey to push gas prices up in Ohio
The effects of Tropical Storm Harvey could soon be felt in Ohio. As heavy rain and flooding force oil refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast to shut down, gas prices could rise by as much as 25 cents in the coming weeks. Crude oil imports in the Gulf have virtually stopped and shale gas production has dropped significantly due to the storm. While pump prices in Ohio haven’t changed yet, they could start to go up as soon as this week. The average national price for a gallon of gas is up by a fraction of a cent.