Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 13:
- Two Ohio lawmakers introduce sports gambling bill;
- Researchers expect smaller, significant algae bloom in Lake Erie;
- Thousands of workers rally at Ohio Statehouse amid pension crisis;
- Ohio, Lorain County included in federal synthetic opioid crackdown;
- Kasich weighs in on 2020, criticizes Trump's foreign policy in speech;
- University of Akron names esports coaches;
- Goodyear's Wingfoot Two takes cross-country trip back to Akron;
- Akron dragon boat team places third in international competition;
- Pro Football Hall of Fame will not recognize Terrell Owens during induction;
Two Ohio lawmakers introduce sports gambling bill
Two state lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill to legalize sports gambling in the state. Republican John Eklund and Democrat Sean O’Brien say they've introduced legislation with very few details on purpose. They say it lays the groundwork to figure out how much to tax bets and where those taxes will go. The lawmakers expect to have detailed legislation ready for the fall. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can determine whether to legalize sports gambling.
Researchers expect smaller, significant algae bloom in Lake Erie
Researchers say another significant algae bloom is likely to spread through western Lake Erie this summer, but it will be smaller than the largest ones of recent years. What they can't predict is how toxic it might be. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and research partners released their annual algae forecast for the lake, where blooms on the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes have flourished for more than a decade now. Researchers, using a scale for rating the severity of the bloom, expect it to be a 6 this year while the bloom last year was an 8 — matching the third-most severe bloom in 15 years. Still, this year's bloom will be big enough to produce potentially harmful toxins that can foul drinking water or kill fish.
Thousands of workers rally at Ohio Statehouse amid pension crisis
Thousands of unionized coal miners, iron workers, teamsters, bakers and others descended on the Ohio Statehouse Thursday to rally ahead of a congressional field hearing in Columbus. At issue are the financial effects on retirees, workers, small businesses and taxpayers of the potential failure of pension plans guaranteed by the federal government.
Ohio's two U.S. senators — Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman — will chair today’s hearing of the House and Senate Joint Select Committee on Pensions. Some 60,000 workers in Ohio and 1.3 million nationally are facing deep pension benefit cuts unless shortfalls are addressed in multi-employer pension plans guaranteed by the federal government. Current workers also would lose benefits toward which they've been contributing.
Ohio, Lorain County included in federal synthetic opioid crackdown
Federal prosecutors in Ohio and seven other states with high drug overdose death rates will pursue even seemingly small synthetic opioid cases under a program announced Thursday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge is modeled after a successful effort in Florida, and will involve prosecutors each choosing one county in which to pursue every "readily provable" case involving the sale of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. In Ohio, that will be Lorain County. The U.S. Attorney's Office will hire an additional prosecutor for two years to handle drug cases there, which could lead the office to charge up to 10 cases related to fentanyl a month.
Kasich weighs in on 2020, criticizes President Trump during speech
Gov. John Kasich used a speech at the National Press Club in Washington Thursday to address another run for president and to criticize President Trump’s foreign policy strategy. Kasich said he hasn't made up his mind about challenging Trump in 2020. Meanwhile, he said he has concerns about Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week. He also said the administration's tariff's on allies are wrong, as well decisions to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and from the Paris Accord on climate change.
University of Akron names esports coaches
The University of Akron has named nine student coaches and managers for its new esports program, including the first female collegiate esports coach. The teams will compete in games like “Overwatch,” “League of Legends” and “Rocket League” this upcoming school year. The university formally announced the varsity program early this year and 44 players will compete.
Goodyear's Wingfoot Two takes cross-country trip back to Akron
Goodyear’s Wingfoot Two airship is on its way back to home base. It's been in California covering events like the NBA Finals, the Rose Parade and the Academy Awards. With good weather, the airship is set to arrive at its Suffield Township hangar next Friday. It will join the recently-built Wingfoot Three.
Akron dragon boat team places third in international competition
The Dragon Dream Team placed third worldwide out of 124 teams at an international competition in Italy. The dragon boat racing team from the Akron area is made up of breast cancer survivors. Dragon boats are 40-feet long with enough space for 20 paddlers to sit two across. The name comes from the ornate dragon that’s painted onto the stem of each boat.
Pro Football Hall of Fame will not recognize Terrell Owens during induction
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will not acknowledge Terrell Owens individually during enshrinement weekend in Canton next month. Owens announced last month that he would not attend the ceremonies and would instead give a speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan said Thursday that Owens will not be introduced during the ceremony Aug 4 and that Owens' gold jacket will be mailed to him the next day.