Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 28:
- Roads to close for Akron marathon;
- DeWine says Kavanaugh accuser allegations should be weighed;
- Metro RTA approves two-year contract for executive director;
- State expands list of people required to report elder abuse;
- Cleveland rapist sentenced to 3,000 years dies in prison;
- Company seeks to build Ohio's largest solar power plant;
Roads to close for Akron marathon
Drivers might have a hard time getting around Akron tomorrow. Road closures begin downtown tonight at 6 p.m. Then as many as 35 roads will be closed for the 16th annual Akron Marathon from 4 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. on Saturday. Closures include State Route 59, South Main Street and East Exchange Street. About 10,000 people from 46 states are expected to participate and the race kicks off at 7 a.m. For more information on road closures, click here.
DeWine says Kavanaugh accuser allegations should be weighed
The former Republican senator running for Ohio governor said the allegations of a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault must be taken seriously. Attorney General Mike DeWine told The Associated Press senators must allow the hearing process transpiring Thursday to play out before drawing conclusions. DeWine says that's his "prosecutorial background coming out, in that the evidence needs to be looked at." Democratic rival Richard Cordray believes the Senate needs to delay the nomination vote on Kavanaugh, calling allegations against him by Christine Blasey Ford "deeply troubling." DeWine supported Republican President Donald Trump's choice of Kavanaugh in previous statements and on Twitter. He joins Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich among GOP officials in the closely divided bellwether state urging a careful review.
Metro RTA approves two-year contract for executive director
The Metro Regional Transit Authority board approved a two-year contract for new Executive Director Dawn Distler, and the position is getting a big salary bump. She will be paid $160,000 a year, up from her predecessor's $129,000 salary. Distler will also be paid more than Mayor Dan Horrigan and Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. Distler formerly served as a transit director for the Knoxville Area Transit in Tennessee.
State expands list of people required to report elder abuse
Ohio is expanding the list of people required to report suspicions of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation to authorities. The Department of Job and Family Services says mandatory reporters now include more individuals in financial services, legal and medical professions. The state said those can include pharmacists, dialysis technicians, firefighters, first responders, building inspectors, CPAs, real estate agents, bank employees, financial planners and notary publics.
Those currently on the list include lawyers, social workers and clergy. The expanded reporting requirements take effect Saturday following under a new Ohio law. Cynthia Dungey is director of the Job and Family Services Department. She says the expansion will help protect vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors from harm. Elder abuse can include physical, sexual or psychological abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment or financial exploitation.
Cleveland rapist sentenced to 3,000 years dies in prison
A Cleveland man sentenced to 3,000 years in prison in the 1980s died this week. Ronnie Shelton, known as the “West Park rapist” attacked more than 30 women in a six-year span and had been found guilty of 220 counts of rape in 1989. The sentence had been Cuyahoga County’s longest. It was given by then-Common Pleas Court Judge Richard McMonagle. Shelton died by suicide in the Grafton Correctional Institution at 57 years old.
Company seeks to build Ohio's largest solar power plant
A Chicago-based company has announced plans to build what would be Ohio's largest solar power plant. The Columbus Dispatch reports Hecate Energy is seeking to build a 300-megawatt power plant on 2,500 acres of land near Mowrystown. The area is located about 90 miles southwest of Columbus and apparently receives the most sun in the state. It is unclear which utility or company would use the power generated from the plant. Patti Shorr, Hecate vice president of project development, says the company plans to file an application for the plant with the Ohio Power Siting Board in October. The board will have nine months after the application is submitted to decide whether to approve it.