Morning Headlines: Trump Administration Launches Campus Initiative at UA; Parma GM Workers Strike

Sep 16, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, September 16:

  • Trump administration launches campus initiative at UA;
  • Parma GM workers strike;
  • CDC: Thousands of students unvaccinated;
  • CWRU awards ethics prize to actor LaVar Burton;
  • USDA projects big decrease in Ohio corn crop this year;
  • Ohio senators propose renaming NASA site for Neil Armstrong;
  • Drug company attorneys seek to disqualify federal judge;
  • Trump to visit Northwest Ohio next week;
  • Micoburst leave thousands without power;

Trump administration launches campus initiative at UA
The Trump administration is rolling out a reelection campaign effort on four Ohio college campuses Monday, including the University of Akron. The "Make Campus Great Again" initiative will train conservative students to help increase voter registration among millennials for the 2020 election. Cleveland.com reports the initiative will also focus on Ohio State, Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati before moving on to other states. The administration used a similar model last year, using volunteers to help register voters. Ohio campuses outperformed other states, which made it a key place for the new initiative.

Parma GM workers strike
The nearly 50,000 striking General Motors (GM) workers include those at Parma Metal Center, where more than 1,000 people are employed. The United Auto Workers (UAW) also said in a tweet Sunday that the strike includes more than 850 janitorial workers with Aramark in Ohio and Michigan. Meanwhile, GM’s shuttered Lordstown plant remains a large part of negotiations. Among the things GM offered was that Lordstown would become a battery manufacturing plant and might produce electric vehicles for a company called Workhorse.

CDC: Thousands of students unvaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest data reports nearly 100,000 kindergarteners across the U.S. went to school without a measles vaccination in 2017. Ohio has the 10th-lowest rate, with 8% of Ohio kindergarten students unvaccinated for measles. More than 1,000 people — mainly school-aged children — have contracted measles nationwide this year. Ohio law allows exemptions for vaccinations, even if it's not for medical reasons. Several bills have been introduced in Ohio over the last year amid the measles outbreak that aim to tighten vaccination restrictions, but few have gained momentum.

CWRU awards ethics prize to actor LaVar Burton
Case Western Reserve University is awarding its Inamori Ethics Prize to a member of the arts community for the first time. LeVar Burton is an actor known for his role in Stark Trek and the PBS series "Reading Rainbow." The award was established in 2008 and is given to those who show ethical leadership. Burton has spent much of his life as an advocate for children's literacy and AIDS through his nonprofit RRKIDZ. Burton will receive the award Thursday at the university and will take part in a panel discussion following a public lecture.

USDA projects big decrease in Ohio corn crop this year
The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that Ohio's corn crop will be down 34% compared with 2018. The USDA said that at 409 million bushels, it would be the state's smallest crop since 2008. Low yields are being blamed on an excessively wet spring followed by moderate drought conditions during the growing season. Some farmers in northwest Ohio weren't able to plant this spring because of wet conditions. USDA data show about 1-in-7 acres went unplanted in Ohio this year, the highest rate in the country. About two-thirds of the corn being grown statewide is rated in very poor, poor or fair condition. The corn crop nationally is expected to decrease by 4.3% compared with last year.

Ohio senators propose renaming NASA site for Neil Armstrong
Ohio's U.S. senators have officially introduced legislation to rename a Northern Ohio NASA research facility after astronaut Neil Armstrong. Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown want to honor the Ohio native by renaming the NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky. Portman said he raised the idea with Armstrong in 2012, a year before Armstrong's death. The senator said Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, wasn't comfortable with the attention it would bring. Portman said he has since spoken with NASA and Armstrong's family and they support renaming the facility.

Drug company attorneys seek to disqualify federal judge
A group of drug companies is pushing for U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland to recuse himself from the wide-reaching array of local government lawsuits over the opioid crisis, objecting to the judge’s push for settlements. Attorneys for Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and other drug makers and distributors filed the motion Saturday morning in federal court in Cleveland. They question Polster’s impartiality, saying his support for a settlement and his court’s involvement in negotiations should disqualify him from presiding over the first trial in the case, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 21. As evidence, the filing cites statements Polster has made from the bench, as well as his decision to discuss the case in public and with national news outlets. Polster has not yet responded to the filing in court. 

Trump to visit Northwest Ohio next week
The White House said President Trump travel to Northwest Ohio on Sunday to join Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. They’ll visit an Australian-owned manufacturing facility in Wapakoneta. Trump is hosting Morrison at the White House Friday for a state visit, including the second state dinner of his administration. Morrison is a populist conservative who won a surprise third term in May. Trump’s last visit to Ohio came three days after the mass shooting in Dayton last month.

Microburst leaves thousands without power
Thousands of people were still without power Sunday after a confirmed microburst during Friday’s storms caused major damage in Cleveland Heights. The National Weather Service confirmed the microburst that produced wind speeds as high as 90 mph — the equivalent of an EF1 tornado. The microburst experienced in Cleveland Heights uprooted trees, causing extreme property damage and downed more than 120 power lines in Cuyahoga County.