Morning Headlines: Shutdown Delays Plane Crash Investigation, DeWine Attends Right to Life Rally

Jan 23, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Jan. 23:

  • Shutdown to delay plane crash investigation;
  • DeWine makes appearance at Right to Life;
  • Fund awards more than $90,000 to stop trafficking in Ohio;
  • Jesse Jackson meets with GM workers about racist threats;
  • Steel production to resume in Lorain;
  • Cleveland aims to be lead-safe in a decade;
  • Metro RTA offers free rides to federal employees;
  • 2 homes destroyed, 1 injured in gas explosion;

Shutdown to delay plane crash investigation
The government shutdown is likely to delay an investigation into a Wayne County plane crash in that killed two people Monday. The Canton Repository reports the Ohio State Highway Patrol was completing its initial investigation yesterday, which found possible engine issues. The National Transportation Safety Board won’t be able to begin its investigation until the shutdown ends because many of its workers are furloughed and won’t be able to respond to major accidents. The pilot, 55-year-old Brian Stoltzfus and co-pilot, 56-year-old Curtis Wilkerson both of Apple Creek died in the crash.

DeWine makes appearance at Right to Life
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted made an unexpected appearance at a Right to Life rally at the Statehouse in Columbus yesterday. DeWine has said he would sign the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" that would ban abortions as early as a fetal heartbeat is detected. Lawmakers may revive that bill after it failed to advance in the lame-duck legislature last year. Around 300 people attended the rally that coincided with the 46th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

Fund awards more than $90,000 to stop trafficking in Ohio
A children's advocacy group has awarded more than $90,000 in grants to help keep at-risk youth in Ohio safe from human trafficking. The awards from the Ohio Children's Trust Fund come during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, which is recognized each January. The grants are given in collaboration with the Ohio governor's Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. In Northeast Ohio, the money includes $15,000 to COMPASS Family & Community Services in Mahoning County and more than $11,000 for the Children's Center of Medina County.

Jesse Jackson meets with GM workers about racist threats
The Rev. Jesse Jackson said General Motors should sit down with its workers in Toledo who said they've been facing ongoing racial harassment, including finding nooses inside the plant. Jackson visited Toledo on Tuesday to talk with the workers and community leaders. A group of GM workers have filed a pair of lawsuits against the automaker, saying the company hasn't done enough to stop the harassment at its Toledo transmission plant. GM said it's taking the matter seriously and has taken several steps to address harassment at the plant and is continuing to investigate. Workers in one of the lawsuits said the racist taunts and graffiti goes back several years. Jackson says one step the company could make right away is to add more security cameras and guards.

Steel production to resume in Lorain
Steel production will likely resume in Lorain in the coming months. Canton-based Republic Steel announced yesterday that it’s hired more than 60 employees, refurbished the mill and has run internal production trials, anticipating reopening sometime between April and June. The plant idled in January 2016, resulting in more than 200 layoffs.

Cleveland aims to be lead-safe in a decade
The city of Cleveland said it plans to be lead-safe within a decade. City officials and members of local philanthropic, health care, environmental and educational organizations have announced a new coalition to address the problem. It includes 19 member organizations and 12 community partners. A 2017 study found that 13 percent of Cleveland children under 6 years old had lead in their blood either at or above normal levels — about four times the national average. A 2105 Plain Dealer series found that city health officials often failed to inspect homes that might have poisoned children or often failed to force property owners to fix the problem. In Tuesday's announcement, the city did not commit to a specific timeline, what its measure of success might be, how much it will cost, or who will pay for it

Metro RTA offers free rides to federal employees
All federal employees can now ride Metro RTA buses in Akron for free during the government shutdown. In today’s announcement, Metro RTA said federal employees need only show their federal ID to get the free ride offer. Federal employees can also get free groceries, starting Wednesday, at the Good Neighbors Food Pantry in Goodyear Heights.

2 homes destroyed, 1 injured in gas explosion
Two homes were destroyed and at least one person was injured in a massive gas line explosion Monday in southeast Ohio. The 30-inch gas line in Noble County is owned by the Canadian company Enbridge. The lines, built in the 1950’s, were last inspected in 2012. The Ohio EPA, PUCO, Fire Marshall’s office and other agencies are investigating the explosion. A 12-year-old boy was treated for 2nd degree burns.