Morning Headlines: Trump Budget Could Eliminate Funds for Lordstown; Jane Fonda to Speak at KSU

Feb 11, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 11:

  • Trump budget could eliminate funds for Lordstown;
  • Jane Fonda to speak at Kent State;
  • Akron council approves $322M capital budget;
  • Petitions to shrink Cleveland City Council withdrawn;
  • Lake Erie smashes water high record;
  • Hearings to resume on bill over Ohio State sex abuse scandal;
  • Two federal opioid lawsuits go back to Oklahoma, California;

Trump budget could eliminate funds for Lordstown
The Trump administration wants to eliminate a loan program that could help an electric vehicle maker with its plan to reopen the Lordstown General Motors (GM) factory. President Donald Trump's proposed budget calls for ending the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program. The administration said it thinks the private sector should take the lead on new commercial projects. Lordstown Motors Corp. is considering asking for a $200 million from the loan fund to reopen the former Lordstown GM factory to build electric trucks. The company says the fund is just one option it's considering.

Jane Fonda to speak at Kent State
Actress and activist Jane Fonda will speak at Kent State University for this year’s landmark commemoration of May 4. This year marks 50 years since the Ohio National Guard opened fire during a protest on campus, killing four and wounding nine. Fonda, 82, will give a speech among dozens of events planned May 1 through the 4th, including a candlelight vigil and a special benefit concert. The previously spoke at Kent State during anti-war campaigns in the 70s, gaining national attention for her activism.

Akron council approves $322M captial budget
Akron City Council has unanimously approved Mayor Dan Horrigan's $322 million capital budget for 2020. Around $180 million will go toward water and sewer projects. The budget includes $8 million for improvements at Akron Executive Airport, formerly Akron Fulton, and nearly $7 million for reconstruction of Romig Road to support the new Amazon distribution center. The city will also spend nearly $13 million to resurface about 60 miles of roads.

Petitions to shrink Cleveland City Council withdrawn
A group has withdrawn its petitions in a ballot effort to reduce the size and pay of Cleveland City Council. Clevelanders First pulled its petitions after reaching an agreement with city leaders to suggest reforms to council. The group successfully put two charter amendments on the March 17 ballot related to the issue, which have also been pulled. The amendments would have cut the council from 17 members to nine and cut each member's pay by $25,000.

Lake Erie smashes water high record
Lake Erie has broken the February high water record, and more records are expected to be shattered. Water levels are more than 30 inches above normal, breaking a record set last June. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the increase is due to above-average temperatures and precipitation. U.S. Army Corps believes Lake Erie will break records for the next four months before leveling off in June. High water levels can wreak havoc on surrounding areas, causing erosion and possible flooding.

Hearings to resume on bill over Ohio State sex abuse scandal
An Ohio House committee is resuming hearings on a proposal to enable survivors to sue Ohio State University over decades-old sexual abuse by now-deceased team doctor Richard Strauss. The action Tuesday comes a week after the governor and the leader of the Ohio House said publicly they feel the university should get the matter settled. About 350 men have sued the school in federal court, but months of mediation haven’t produced a settlement. The pending legislation would let the accusers sue under state law instead. Ohio State officials insist they’re committed to a “monetary resolution” and pursuing a resolution in mediation. 

Two federal opioid lawsuits go back to Oklahoma, California
A federal judicial panel is sending two federal opioid lawsuits back to federal courts in Oklahoma and California in an effort to streamline the cases. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation accepted a recommendation from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland to return the lawsuits by the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation and the City and County of San Francisco to the courts where they originated. Polster is overseeing nearly 2,700 lawsuits brought by local governments, Native American tribes, hospitals and unions against various manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies over the opioid crisis that is blamed for more than 400,000 deaths since 2000.