Morning Headlines: Tornadoes Ravage Through Southwest Ohio, Advocates Press for Census Funds

May 28, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, May 28:

  • Tornadoes ravage through southwest Ohio;
  • Advocates press for census funds;
  • School where radioactive elements found gets more testing;
  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert suffers stroke, remains in hospital;
  • Review: Ohio medical marijuana industry growth still slow;
  • Officials continue to investigate death of Stark County man;
  • Cleveland works to preserve heritage of 'Liberty Row Trees';

Tornadoes ravage through southwest Ohio
A rapid-fire line of apparent tornadoes tore across the Dayton area overnight. The National Weather Service (NWS) tweeted Monday night that a "large and dangerous tornado" hit near Trotwood, Ohio, eight miles northwest of Dayton. Just before midnight, not 40 minutes after that tornado cut through, NWS tweeted that another one was traversing its path, churning up debris densely enough to be seen on radar. The aftermath left some lanes of I-75 blocked north of Dayton. Trucks with plows were scraping tree branches and rubble to the side to get the major north-south route reopened. In Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, many roads were impassable. The Montgomery County sheriff's office initially said the Northridge High School gymnasium would serve as an emergency shelter in Dayton but later said it wasn't useable.

Advocates press for census funds
Advocacy groups have asked the Ohio Senate to include more money for the U.S. census count next year in the upcoming state budget. The Children's Defense Fund-Ohio testified in favor of an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee providing $1.1 million for census communication and outreach. The group argues the money will allow communities to launch or enhance campaigns focused on hard-to-count populations and hard-to-reach areas. Another group, Advocates for Ohio's Future, said Ohio could lose federal dollars if it's unprepared for the 2020 census. It said the state is significantly behind efforts ensuring every person in Ohio is appropriately counted.

School where radioactive elements found gets more testing
A southern Ohio school district that closed a building where radioactive contamination was found said classes will be moved elsewhere at the start of next school year. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted testing at the Piketon-area middle school, which was closed earlier this month. Officials are hiring an independent third party to test for radioactive contamination. The building is several miles from DOE's Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which produced enriched uranium for nuclear plants and the U.S. nuclear weapons programs. The DOE reported in 2017 that trace amounts of radioactive neptunium were detected on school grounds. More recently, traces of enriched uranium were detected inside the school.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert suffers stroke, remains in hospital
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert remains hospitalized and is "resting comfortably" after suffering a stroke. The 57-year-old was taken to a Detroit-area hospital Sunday by a friend after not feeling well, and he had the stroke while getting medical care, Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner said in a statement Monday night. Farner said Gilbert was immediately taken for a catheter-based procedure and then moved to recovery in an intensive care unit. Farner said the company will update the public as additional details become known.

Review: Ohio medical marijuana industry growth still slow
A report states fewer than one in every three medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio that received a provisional license have also been granted an operating license. State officials said the dispensaries receive extra scrutiny because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Ali Simon is a spokeswoman for the state pharmacy board. She said safeguards must be in place because of the importance of patient safety. The Columbus Dispatch reports that 17 of the 56 dispensaries granted provisional licenses have been given operating licenses. Tim Johnson is co-founder of the Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, which promotes the medical cannabis industry, and one of several critics of Ohio's medical marijuana regulation. He said the state is overregulating the industry and should let the free market prevail.

Officials continue to investigate death of Stark County man
Investigators are awaiting autopsy results on a Stark County man who died after being taken into custody by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The agency said 34-year-old Leroy Dixon was placed in the back of a patrol car Saturday night in Canton after being arrested following a brief pursuit on I-77. A Patrol spokesman said Dixon ingested a "white powdery substance" while in the patrol car. First responders administered two doses of Narcan and transported the man to a hospital where he died. Police are still testing the powder. A child found in the man's vehicle was placed with a relative.

Cleveland works to preserve heritage of 'Liberty Row Trees'
Cleveland is working to preserve the heritage of century-old trees planted to commemorate area soldiers who died in World War I. The planting of the nine-mile stretch of red oaks that runs through Cleveland and into suburban Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights marked its 100th anniversary on Memorial Day. Local officials are taking an inventory of remaining Liberty Row trees, many of which have died over the years, with some plaques lost or damaged. The greater Cleveland area was one of the first communities nationally to envision a multi-mile stretch of trees as a memorial to fallen soldiers. Between 1919 and 1924, more than 800 oak trees were planted, each with a bronze plaque at its base engraved with the name of a fallen soldier.