Morning Headlines: Renacci Picks Businesswoman as Running Mate; JCU Gets First Non-Jesuit President

Dec 12, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, December 12th:

  • Akron Children's Hospital plans new health center for North Canton;
  • Plan to let private startup lease Akron's public land gets approval;
  • John Carroll names its first non-Jesuit president;
  • Akron schools to build free health care facility for employees;
  • Man who killed charity worker in Cleveland gets indictment;
  • Marijuana grower rejected by the state plans ballot issue to legalize recreational pot;
  • Marijuana cultivator application process draws concern from Canton lawmaker;
  • Renacci selects former Procter & Gamble executive as gubernatorial running mate;

Akron Children's Hospital plans new health center for North Canton
Akron Children’s Hospital is planning a new $16 million health center next to Aultman Hospital in North Canton. The hospital says it’s the first of several such centers planned in Boston Heights, Portage County and Mansfield. Akron Children’s already operates Aultman hospital’s pediatric unit.  The new facility will consolidate services provided at three other Stark County locations. The center is expected to open late in 2018.

Plan to let private startup lease Akron's public land gets approval
The city of Akron has approved plans to let a private company lease public land. A Pittsburgh-based startup will pay the city $11 million for the exclusive right to lease cell phone tower space to companies like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. The Beacon Journal reports the city will still own the property and have the right to lease the space for other services. Money from the deal will double the city’s rainy day fund and cover $6 million budgeted to be spent this year.

John Carroll names its first non-Jesuit president
John Carroll University has named its first non-Jesuit president in the school’s 131-year history. The board approved a five-year contract for Michael Johnson, 61, who comes to Cleveland from Babson College outside Boston, Ma. John Carroll’s provost has been serving as interim president since the Rev. Robert Niehoff announced his retirement in March. Details of Johnson’s contract have not been released. Johnson will take over as John Carroll’s president on July 1st.

Akron schools to build free health care facility for employees
Akron Public Schools is planning to build a free health care facility for its employees and families. The Beacon Journal reports the school district struck an agreement with Paladina Health, a subsidiary of Denver-based dialysis center operator DaVita, Inc., to provide primary care services to employees who qualify for the district’s health insurance. The health care facility will be located in the same building as the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School. The program is not intended to replace employee health insurance, but a spokesman says the district would save on health insurance costs in the long run. The new facility is expected to open in April.

Man who killed charity worker in Cleveland gets indictment
A Cleveland man accused of fatally shooting a Salvation Army worker has been indicted on charges including aggravated murder and authorities are investigating to see whether the slaying and subsequent crimes were racially motivated. William Jones was indicted Monday. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley says his office is consulting with federal prosecutors to determine if Jared Plesec's slaying and subsequent carjackings, assaults and the shooting of a woman in the leg by Jones qualify as hate crimes or civil rights violations. Plesec was wearing his Salvation Army uniform and discussing the Bible with someone in a lobby when Jones shot him.

Marijuana grower rejected by the state plans ballot issue to legalize recreational pot
A high-profile proponent of marijuana legalization who was spurned as an applicant for a medical marijuana grower's license announced plans on Monday for a 2018 Ohio ballot issue to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana. The proposal from Green Light Acquisitions would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal. The measure was announced by Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, whose grower's proposal was rejected by the Ohio Department of Commerce last month. Gould said the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol amendment will be on the ballot next fall. The amendment also would legalize the growing of hemp. Gould raised and spent millions of dollars as a backer of the unsuccessful 2015 effort to legalize marijuana in Ohio.

Marijuana cultivator application process draws concern from Canton lawmaker
The lawmaker who helped craft Ohio's medical marijuana law is expressing concerns about the application process. Republican State Rep. Kirk Schuring of Canton says he wants to look at the issue in more depth and develop ways to address concerns swirling around the process. Schuring said he's meeting with Department of Commerce Director Jacqueline Williams on Thursday. A rejected applicant complained last week that a consultant used to score applicants has a record for drug dealing. Schuring said he's concerned that nearly 7 in 10 of all cultivator applications were ruled out of consideration. Schuring said he wants to move quickly because the system must be up and running by September. The Commerce Department has defended the application process.

Renacci selects former Procter & Gamble executive as gubernatorial running mate
Congressman Jim Renacci chose a female former Procter & Gamble Co. executive as his Republican running mate for Ohio governor on Monday, while asserting his continued support for President Donald Trump. Renacci, a wealthy businessman from Wadsworth, and Cincinnati Councilwoman Amy Murray will run under the slogan: "Back 2 Business, Not Business As Usual."