Morning Headlines: Summit Co. Approves Pipeline Fund, Kasich Plans to Veto Controversial Bills

Nov 20, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 20:

  • Summit County approves pipeline fund;
  • Kasich plans to veto controversial bills;
  • Memorial service for reporter Nikki Delamotte to be at CSU;
  • Cuyahoga County names new jail interim director amid prisoner deaths;
  • Columbia County chairman defends offensive Facebook post;
  • Ohioans expected to increase holiday shopping spending;
  • Bill could help small counties pay for capital crimes;

Summit County approves pipeline fund
Summit County Council has approved creating an emergency fund to cover potential problems from the now-operating Nexus pipeline. Starting in 2021, the fund will collect nearly $100,000 each year in property taxes from pipeline operators. The money will be used for equipment for local responders, training and planning.

Kasich plans to veto controversial bills
Gov. John Kasich said he will veto two controversial bills before they even reach his desk. The House passed the so-called Heartbeat bill last week, which would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Kasich vetoed that legislation two years ago. The other stand your ground legislation would remove requirements to retreat in confrontations that could result in force. The House has passed both bills with enough votes to override Kasich’s veto. The Senate is expected to act soon. Gov.-elect Mike DeWine has indicated backing for both ideas.

Memorial service for reporter Nikki Delamotte to be at CSU
A memorial service for popular Cleveland.com reporter Nikki Delamotte will be held at her alma mater Cleveland State University this Saturday. It will be held at the student center grand ballroom at 1 p.m. Delamotte was shot by her estranged uncle in a murder-suicide near Toledo a little over a week ago. She was Cleveland.com’s arts and culture reporter. A GoFundMe account to help her family pay for services has surpassed $26,000.

Cuyahoga County names new jail interim director amid prisoner deaths
The Cuyahoga County Jail has named an interim director after the previous one resigned amid six inmate deaths within four months. Chief Deputy George Taylor takes over for Ken Mills, who abruptly resigned last week. The county is awaiting a U.S. Marshals' report about jail operations, as well as an FBI investigation. The jail was recently criticized by county judges who say inmates aren't getting proper mental health care and medication.

Columbia County chairman defends offensive Facebook post
A Republican Party Chairman from Ohio’s 6th District is defending a Facebook post in which he said the deadly wildfire’s in California are “God’s punishment” to liberals. Cleveland.com reports that Columbiana County GOP chairman David Johnson says, “It’s a figure of speech”. He later deleted the post. Johnson is also a prominent member of the state Republican Committee. Democrat David Betras, party chairman of nearby Mahoning County, has called on Johnson to resign. A spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party has not commented. 77 people have died in Northern California fires and more than 10,500 home were destroyed.

Ohioans expected to increase holiday shopping spending
With Ohio consumer confidence continuing to soar, economic forecasters say they expect Ohio shoppers to increase holiday spending by 3.2 percent over last year. The state is also seeing continued growth in jobs, wages, housing prices and other key indicators, forecasters said as they projected retail spending to climb to nearly $24.9 billion. The annual forecast ahead of Black Friday and the December holiday season comes from the University of Cincinnati Economics Center. More than half of the state's spending will come in the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus metro areas, with Cleveland sales growth leading those three areas with a projected 3.8 percent.

Bill could help small counties pay for capital crimes
State lawmakers are drafting a bill to help smaller counties pay for handling certain capital crimes. It comes about a week after a break into the investigation of eight family members who were killed in Pike County in 2016. County officials said they're not sure how they'll afford the estimated million dollars to prosecute the four members of another family who have been charged. State lawmakers say the legislation would allow county prosecutors and local public defenders offices to submit a joint application to the state with an estimate of how much a capital murder trial with numerous defendants would cost. The Ohio Controlling Board would then determine whether to issue funding and how much.