Morning Headlines: Strikers Reject General Motors' Offer; Treasurer Suspends Bitcoin Tax Pay Program

Oct 3, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Oct. 3:

  • Strikers reject General Motors' offer;
  • Ohio treasurer suspends bitcoin program;
  • Man who killed Kent State student, Lake Township couple agrees with death penalty;
  • CVNP announces new rules for e-bikes;
  • Audience member escorted out of Cincinnati orchestra;
  • Indians plan to bring back Kluber;

Strikers reject General Motors' offer
The United Auto Workers (UAW) has rejected a contract offer from General Motors (GM), which includes wage increases or lump-sum payments in all four years. But a person briefed on the offer said it was rejected because it took money from other places to fund profit sharing and didn’t give temporary workers a clear path to a full-time job. The offer made earlier this week is still expected to provide the framework for whatever agreement is reached to end the strike by 49,000 workers that has halted production in the U.S., including facilities in Ohio.

Ohio treasurer suspends cryptocurrency program
Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague has suspended a program that allowed the use of cryptocurrency, which utilizes bitcoin, for business tax payments. Sprague said an internal review determined the third-party payment processor for the OhioCrypto.com website may be functioning as a “financial transaction device.” If that’s the case, the company should have been chosen through the competitive selection process. The previous Treasurer Josh Mandel launched the program last year just before leaving office. At the time, he asserted that Ohio was the first state to accept tax payments with cryptocurrency and that it would help Ohio become a leader in embracing blockchain technology.

Man who killed Kent State student, Lake Township couple agrees with death penalty
A man sentenced to death for killing three women near Cleveland argued for his own death sentence in a separate case connected to the shooting deaths of an Ohio couple. George Brinkman from Plain Township told a panel of three judges that he deserves the harshest punishment for the 2017 deaths of Gene and Bobbi John at their Lake Township home. Brinkman pleaded guilty to all the charges earlier this week. The couple was killed less than a day after Brinkman killed Suzanne Taylor and her daughters, Taylor and Kylie Pifer, in their North Royalton home. Taylor was a student at Kent State. An attorney for Brinkman has said Brinkman was emotionally abused as a child and has mental health problems. 

CVNP announces new rules for e-bikes
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) has announced how it plans to implement the National Park Service new rules for e-bikes. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Class 1 and 2 e-bikes with an electric motor that can help bikers go 20 mph will be allowed on all routes open to traditional bicycles. Class 3 e-bikes, which assist the rider up to 28 mph, will not be allowed on any of the park’s trails. No e-bikes will be allowed on the East Rim mountain bike trails. CVNP has also announced a 15 mph speed limit on all bikes with a 5 mph limit for bridges and blind spots.

Audience member escorted out of Cincinnati orchestra
The president of Cincinnati's symphony orchestra said one of its recent concerts came to a halt when an audience member refused to stop recording a violinist's performance. Jonathan Martin told The Cincinnati Enquirer a patron in the front row began recording violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter's performance on a cellphone over the weekend. Mutter halted her performance and asked the woman in the audience to stop. Martin said the audience member then stood up and started talking to the soloist instead of stopping. Martin said he escorted the woman out and she deleted the recording. Mutter resumed playing when the woman left.

Indians plan to bring back Kluber
The Cleveland Indians intend to exercise Corey Kluber’s $17.5 million option for next season. Kluber was limited to just seven starts after breaking his right arm on May 1. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was nearing a return in September before straining an oblique muscle. The team hopes the long layoff will allow Kluber to come back stronger next season. The Indians intend to decline options on second baseman Jason Kipnis and reliever Dan Otero.