Morning Headlines: Stow Considers Raising Age to Buy Tobacco, Barberton Jail to Close

Feb 4, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Feb. 4: 

  • Stow considers raising tobacco buying age to 21;
  • Barberton jail to close amid budget cuts;
  • Akron computer systems almost fully functionion following cyberattack;
  • Cleveland advocacy group proposes lead-safe ordinance for rentals;
  • Faculty union strike to continue at Wright State;
  • Judge pushes back date again for trial over opioids;
  • 1 sheriff killed, 1 wounded in 12-hour standoff;
  • Eight former NFL players to be inducted in Pro Football Hall of Fame;
  • Mayfield misses AP Rookie of the Year award;

Stow considers raising tobacco buying age to 21
The city of Stow is considering raising the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. The ban would prohibit anyone under 21 in Stow from buying cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape pens and Juuls. The Beacon Journal reports nearly 40 students at Stow-Monroe Falls High School have been disciplined for tobacco-related violations this year, almost twice as many than last year. The ordinance is being considered by city council this week.

Barberton jail to close amid budget cuts
The city of Barberton plans to close its jail this month amid budget cuts. The Beacon Journal reports Barberton projects a $4 million budget gap this year. Officials said part of the issue is the income tax revenue the city will lose when Babcock & Wilcox move its headquarters to Akron. Police union leaders argue closing the facility threatens the community’s safety.

Akron computer systems almost fully functionion following cyberattack
Akron officials said the city’s computer systems are almost completely mended following a cyberattack. The late January attack shut down online bill paying, the city's 311 information system and citywide email. So far, online billing has been restored, and the city is currently working on getting the city’s email system running. Akron officials say they expect everything to be fully functioning sometime this week. 

Cleveland advocacy group proposes lead-safe ordinance for rentals
A Cleveland advocacy group has proposed an ordinance that would require older Cleveland rentals to be lead-safe by 2021. The group Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) plans to release details during a news conference today. The proposal includes new provisions to assist landlords, education for the community and ways to protect tenants. The group said it will launch a November ballot initiative if the city fails to adopt the legislation.

Faculty union strike to continue at Wright State
A faculty union at Wright State University said it will head back to the picket lines after a deal didn't result from the latest talks with the university. Members of the union have been picketing at the entrances to campus since Jan. 22. Wright State’s Board of Trustees voted Sunday to approve the school's contract offer and had asked that the union to vote on it. The union said it would not because a tentative deal hasn't been reached. The strike began after the union rejected employment terms issued by school trustees in areas including health care and pay.

Judge pushes back date again for trial over opioids
A federal judge in Cleveland has again pushed back the date for a trial in some local governments' claims against the drug industry over destruction wrought by prescription opioid painkillers. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster said in a recent order that the trial for claims made by the cities of Cleveland and Akron and Cuyahoga and Summit counties will begin Oct. 21. It was previously set to begin in March and then in September. Polster also pushed back other deadlines to complete expert reports and motions before trial. Attorneys for the governments and the drug companies requested the delay. The accusations include claims that drug companies knew about problems surrounding opioid addiction but took no meaningful steps to help.

1 sheriff killed, 1 wounded in 12-hour standoff
A Clermont County Sheriff's deputy was killed and another wounded during a 12-hour standoff near Cincinnati. The suspect first called 911 Saturday evening, saying someone was in his apartment. He later told the dispatcher he was armed and suicidal. Police said Detective Bill Brewer was shot and died at a hospital. Another deputy was injured.

Eight former NFL players to be inducted in Pro Football Hall of Fame
Eight former NFL greats will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton this summer. Defensive backs Ed Reed, Champ Baily, Ty Law and senior finalist Johnny Robinson were selected Saturday. Also to be enshrined is tight end Tony Gonzalez and center Kevin Mawae. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and longtime personnel executive Gil Brandt were also chosen. The induction ceremony will be held Aug. 3 in Canton.

Mayfield misses AP Rookie of the Year award
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was shut out of the coveted AP Rookie of the Year award. Giants running back Saquon Barkley received award on Saturday, receiving about 26 votes. Mayfield got about 21. Mayfield set an NFL rookie record with 27 touchdown passes.