Morning Headlines: Texas Energy Firm with Utica Wells Files for Bankruptcy; Feds Bust Meth Lab

Apr 4, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 4:

  • FirstEnergy Solutions to keep paying bills during bankruptcy;
  • Oil and gas firm with wells in Utica Shale files for bankruptcy;
  • Feds bust meth lab, find 140 pounds of drugs;
  • First cousin of Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at Ohio Statehouse;
  • ODOT to spend more than $2 billion this construction season;
  • State transportation officials clamp down on distracted drivers;
  • Gov. Kasich says all options are 'on the table' in reference to his political future;

FirstEnergy Solutions to keep paying bills during bankruptcy
A subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy has won the right to keep paying its bills as it goes through bankruptcy. FirstEnergy Solutions cleared its first day in federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday. The company is authorized to keep paying its 3,000 employees as well as outside contractors and suppliers to its nuclear plants. It faces more than 13,000 creditors after filing for Chapter 11 protection last week. Another hearing is scheduled for later this month.

Oil and gas firm with wells in Utica Shale files for bankruptcy
A Texas-based oil and gas partnership with holdings in Ohio’s Utica Shale has filed for bankruptcy. According to its latest filing, EV Energy Partners had assets of more than $60 million and 10 times as much in liabilities. Its parent firms EnerVest and EnerVest Operating are not filing for bankruptcy and will continue to operate the company’s oil and natural gas assets.

Feds bust meth lab, find 140 pounds of drugs
Federal authorities say they’ve made the largest meth bust ever in Ohio. Tyrone Rogers, 36, of Cleveland and two men from Mexico have been charged with possession and intent to sell 140 pounds of meth. Agents seized the drugs from a warehouse in Boston Heights. Investigators describe the address just east of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as a “crystal meth processing facility.” The charges come the same day that a Mexican national was indicted for possession of 44 pounds of heroin found during a traffic stop in Akron.

First cousin of Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at Ohio Statehouse
A first cousin of Martin Luther King, Jr. is among speakers marking the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's assassination at the Ohio Statehouse. The memorial commemoration at noon Wednesday features the Rev. Joel L. King Jr. and David Jehnson, of the Institute for Human Rights and Responsibilities. He was among delegation leaders at the 1963 March on Washington. A moment of national reflection is planned at 7:01 p.m. Wednesday. Churches will toll bells 39 times, for King's age at the time he was killed.

ODOT to spend more than $2 billion this construction season
The Ohio Department of Transportation says it will spend more than $2 billion on road and bridge projects this year. More than 5,000 miles of pavement will be repaired or replaced, and work is planned on more than 1,000 bridges. The agency performed roughly the same amount of work last year for about the same cost. ODOT is reminding motorists to drive carefully through construction zones.

State transportation officials clamp down on distracted drivers
The state is increasing enforcement of a stretch of Northeast Ohio highway with high numbers of distracted driving violations and crashes. The Ohio Department of Transportation and the State Highway Patrol said signs will warn drivers about distracted driving along a 17-mile portion of I-76 and I-80 in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The section of highway has been designated the state's first Distracted Driving Safety Corridor. The patrol says troopers handed out more than 2,700 distracted driving violations in those counties the last two years.

Gov. Kasich says all options are 'on the table' in reference to his political future
Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday that he doesn't know if he will run for president again but that in the meantime he's "trying to be a voice that brings about stability and objectivity in our country." Kasich spoke at New England College in New Hampshire, the state where a second-place finish in the 2016 presidential primaries gave him a boost in national popularity. The former Republican candidate said any decision on mounting another White House bid would come at least nine months from now, after he finishes his second term as Ohio governor. However, the term-limited official said earlier Tuesday that "all my options are on the table."