Morning Headlines: Shaker Square Up For Sale; Christmas Trees Headed for Troops Overseas

Nov 12, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Nov. 12:

  • Shaker Square up for sale;
  • Christmas trees headed for troops overseas;
  • Cleveland gathers proposals for solar panel projects;
  • Ohio Senate president pledges action on drug sentencing bill;
  • New Akron Bridgestone facility to begin operations in January;
  • Gambling revenue up for Ohio's casinos, racinos;
  • Car, deer collisions increase in November;

Shaker Square up for sale
The nation's second-oldest shopping center on Cleveland's East Side is up for sale. The sale of Shaker Square comes amid a controversial proposal to remove parts of the eastbound and westbound lanes from Shaker Boulevard to create more green space. The plan has been put on hold along with the $400,000 revitalization project for the square. Real estate developer Coral Company has owned the property since 2004 and told Cleveland.com that no final decisions have been made. Residents and merchants held a demonstration in the square Saturday demanding the lanes to be reopened. Developers of the revitalization project said plans are postponed until the property is sold.

Christmas trees headed for troops overseas
Tree farmers in Ohio are joining forces with the state to send a little holiday cheer to the troops overseas. The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Christmas Tree Association are partnering on an effort that will ship more than 100 Christmas trees to military members stationed overseas. Growers will donate the trees and state inspectors will make sure they are free of pests and disease. Both groups will work with volunteers Tuesday to wrap, load and ship the trees at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Columbus. Each shipment will also include decorations provides by school children, churches and veterans' groups.

Cleveland gathers proposals for solar panel projects
Cleveland is looking to install solar panel arrays at up to 16 sites around the city to help cut electricity bills and reduce its carbon footprint. Cleveland.com reports the city set a deadline for companies to submit proposals for possible solar projects. The 16 sites were among 20 identified by a study released last week by the Cleveland-based business YellowLite, which narrowed down areas that receive the most sunlight. Those include places include City Hall, Public Auditorium and recreation centers. The city hopes to pick a contract by February and begin installations later in the year.

Ohio Senate president pledges action on drug sentencing bill
The leader of the Ohio Senate is pledging to take action by year's end on a bill designed to reduce low-level drug possessions to misdemeanors and increase penalties for drug dealers. The legislation is part of a long-running attempt by lawmakers to reduce Ohio's prison population. GOP Senate President Larry Obhof, a Medina Republican, wants the bill made a priority as hearings continue this fall. The bipartisan bill would also allow people convicted of low-level drug possession charges to have their records sealed on completion of drug court requirements. The legislation also creates harsher penalties for trafficking, deeming it aggravated trafficking, major trafficking or trafficking, depending on the drug amounts involved.

New Akron Bridgestone facility to begin operations in January
Bridgestone America’s is expanding its commitment to race tire production in Akron with the construction of a new facility. The company offered a look inside the 80,000-sq.-ft. Advanced Tire Production Center on Monday. Production should start in January. Bridgestone will produce 30,000 tires a year for the IndyCar racing series under its Firestone brand. The new plant will employ more than 50 race tire builders and manufacturing professionals, who work in the company's current race tire plant.

Gambling revenue up for Ohio's casinos, racinos
The take at Ohio’s casinos and racinos was up last month. The latest numbers show gambling revenue was up nearly 6% in October at $158 million. October marked the best month at MGM Northfield Park since the switch from Hard Rock Rocksino with a more than $21 million in revenue. Both JACK properties saw gains as well. Dan Gilbert’s Rock Gaming last month announced a sell-and-lease deal for its JACK casino and North Randall racino to New York-based VICI Properties for $843 million.

Car, deer collisions increase in November
November is the worst month for car/deer collisions according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Ohio last year saw more than 18,000 deer-related accidents, and more than 20 % of them happened in November. And Stark County leads the state. Wildlife officials said deer are on the move more this month because it’s breeding season and hunting season. They are warning drivers to be especially careful at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.