Morning Headlines: 'Stand Your Ground' Vote Delayed; Puppy Mill Law Awaits Kasich's Signature

Jun 27, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 27:

  • Ohio House delays vote on "Stand Your Ground" bill;
  • Massillon placed on National Register of Historic Places;
  • Four Cleveland Police Commission staffers quit amid investigation;
  • Akron opposes bill to cut funding to cities charging suburbs higher sewer, water rates;
  • Ohio Senate won't pass payday lending bill before summer break;
  • New puppy mill legislation awaits Gov. Kasich's signature;
  • Cincinnati Enquirer donates some Pulitzer Prize money to child;
  • Youngstown school board member files lawsuit to oust Mayor Tito Brown;
  • Columbus drug bust seizes 22 pounds of fentanyl;

Ohio House delays vote on "Stand Your Ground" bill

The House will break for the summer without voting on a controversial piece of legislation that makes it easier to use lethal force in self-defense. The so-called “Stand Your Ground” bill is opposed by Gov. John Kasich but has support from majority Republicans, including the House speaker and Senate president, so it could be voted on later this year.  Democratic Representative David Leland says the upcoming midterm election played a role in stalling the bill.

Massillon gets National Register of Historic Places designation

The city of Massillon in Stark County has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Massillon’s Historic District includes 91 buildings and one site, Veterans Memorial Park. The city received grant money to fund a consultant to write the city’s nomination in a process that’s taken two years. The city hopes the designation will attract developers to rehabilitate historic buildings and bring more businesses downtown.

Four Cleveland Police Commission staffers quit amid investigation

Four members of the Cleveland Police Commission have quit amid the city’s investigation into its executive director. Jason Goodrick was put on four weeks’ paid leave in April after the city opened an investigation into undisclosed complaints of workplace conflicts as well as Goodrick’s performance. Cleveland.com reports the staffers resigned when Goodrick returned to work in May. Goodrick is the only paid employee on the 13-member commission that was formed in 2015 to comply with a Justice Department consent decree to reform the police department. 

Akron opposes bill to cut funding for charging suburbs higher sewer, water rates

An Ohio House bill would cut 20 percent of local government funding to municipalities that charge higher water and sewer rates to anyone who lives outside the city limits. It would also make those cities ineligible for state assistance for water and sewer development. In a letter obtained by the Beacon Journal, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan encouraged the House Finance Committee to vote against the legislation. He said Akron charges higher rates to other communities like Fairlawn and Mogadore to keep rates lower for Akron residents, invest the money back into the water system and allow the city to remain competitive. The House bill likely won't be taken up until the legislature reconvenes in this fall.

Ohio Senate won't pass payday lending bill before summer break

Ohio's Senate leader says senators won't be able to pass a payday lending bill before breaking for the summer.

Republican Senate President Larry Obhof, of Medina, says his chamber needs more time to complete its work so no votes will take place this week. Obhof said he'll trim the Senate's usual summer break to add session dates in September and possibly July and August. He said he's aiming for a final bill that's agreeable to the Ohio House. The House passed its bipartisan version of the bill June 7. The measure had been languishing for a year. Republican ex-Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned in April amid an FBI probe into his lavish lifestyle and international travel that included trips involving payday lending lobbyists.

New puppy mill legislation awaits Gov. Kasich's signature

A legislative compromise aimed at reining in abuses by high-volume dog breeders headed to Gov. John Kasich. The bill would require pet retailers or dog brokers to get a signed document from their suppliers attesting that they've complied with Ohio's standards of care for their animals. The Humane Society was prepared to launch a ballot effort to include puppy mill restrictions in the state's Constitution.  The Humane Society has agreed that if the bill becomes law it will keep further puppy mill restrictions off Ohio's ballot for 10 years. Ohio is believed to have the second largest number of puppy mills in the country.

Cincinnati Enquirer donates some Pulitzer Prize money to child

The Cincinnati Enquirer is donating $5,000 of its 2018 Pulitzer Prize to benefit a little girl featured in the newspaper's winning report on heroin. The then-8-month-old Elliana Russ and her mother, Stephanie Gaffney, were featured in the newspaper's "Seven Days of Heroin" report last September. Gaffney died of an overdose 10 days after speaking with the newspaper in July for the story. The newspaper says donation will be the first deposit in a fund to assist the child.

Youngstown school board member files lawsuit to oust Mayor Tito Brown

A Youngstown school board member has filed a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court, in an effort to oust Mayor Tito Brown. The Vindicator reports Dario Hunter argues that Brown doesn’t validly hold the office because he failed to obtain a performance bond required by his first day on the job, which was January 1. Brown obtained a performance bond Feb. 21. The city’s law director tells the newspaper that the bond will be retroactive to Jan. 1 shortly.

Columbus drug bust seizes 22 pounds of fentanyl

A drug bust in Columbus seized enough fentanyl to kill nearly 5 million people. Federal agents say they found 10 kilograms -- or about 22 pounds -- of the powerful synthetic opioid in the home. Four people have been charged. Health officials in Columbus recently announced a plan to distribute 1,000 test strips to drug users to help them determine whether drugs are laced with fentanyl.