Morning Headlines: Trump to Talk Taxes in Cleveland; Browns Considering Upgraded or New Stadium

May 4, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 4:

  • Tour company abruptly cancels school trips;
  • Cleveland to hold dirt biking events at Muni Lot;
  • National groups pour funds into 16th congressional district race;
  • Three men accused of possessing fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone;
  • Ohio lawmakers move to tighten carnival ride inspections;
  • Browns owners in talks to upgrade or build a new stadium;
  • Trump to visit Cleveland, tout GOP tax overhaul;
  • Federal court upholds convictions in Amish beard-cutting attacks;
  • KSU to dedicate May 4 Site as National Historic Landmark;
  • Cavs beat Raptors, 128-110;

Tour company abruptly cancels school trips
Parents and school officials want answers after a tour company abruptly canceled field trips this week to the nation’s capital. Mayfield-based Discovery Tours this week canceled a pre-paid Washington, D.C. trip for more than 500 students in Mentor. School officials told parents the last-minute cancellation came after Discovery could not confirm hotel reservations. More cancellations followed at schools in Hudson, North Royalton and Chagrin Falls. The Plain Dealer reports it could not reach Discovery for comment, and the company’s offices in Mayfield were locked and empty.

Cleveland to hold dirt biking events at Muni Lot
In its latest effort to get noisy dirt bikes off the streets, the city of Cleveland is planning to hold a series of biking events at the city’s municipal parking lot. The weekend events at the Muni Lot will let riders do stunts and get advice on safety and maintenance. Mayor Frank Jackson says the summer events aim to curb illegal dirt bike riding on city streets. Meanwhile, Jackson’s much-criticized plan to build a dirt bike track is still on hold as the city looks for a different location.

National groups pour funds into 16th congressional district race
A Republican congressional primary in northeast Ohio pitting a conservative state lawmaker against a former pro football player is attracting big money from national groups. Rep. Christina Hagan and Anthony Gonzalez, a former NFL wide receiver, are running for the 16th District seat being vacated by Congressman Jim Renacci. The Dispatch reports outside groups have invested over $640,000 into the race, most of it favoring Gonzalez. Business-friendly groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and CLA, a dark-money group that doesn't disclose donors, support Gonzalez. Supporting Hagan are ultra-conservative groups, including Drain the Swamp and the House Freedom Fund, a PAC linked to Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, of Urbana.

Three men accused of possessing fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone
Three Northeast Ohio men have been indicted after authorities discovered fentanyl pills marked as the less potent opioid oxycodone. U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman says Gerald Bowerman and Cortney Williams, of Cuyahoga Falls and Emmett Nelson, of Akron are accused of possessing 1,500 does of fentanyl made to look like oxycodone tablets. Fentanyl has been blamed for a large number of overdose deaths during Ohio's opioid crisis.

Ohio lawmakers move to tighten carnival ride inspections
The Ohio House has approved a bill that will tighten inspections of carnival rides. Tyler’s Law is named after 18 year-old Tyler Jarrell, who died last summer when a ride at the Ohio State Fair flew apart. The law creates stricter guidelines for inspector training and requires more documentation of rides that have been repaired. Investigators blame corrosion for causing an arm of the Fire Ball ride to break off, injuring seven people and killing one.

Browns owners in talks to upgrade or build a new stadium
The owners of the Cleveland Browns say they’re in talks with the city to upgrade their stadium or build a new one downtown in the future. ESPN reports Dee Haslam says the Browns are part of a long-term redevelopment plan that could include a new facility. The Brown’s lease at FirstEnergy stadium runs through 2029. Haslam says the team, by being part of the planning, hopes to "make a bigger impact on the future of Cleveland."

Trump to visit Cleveland, tout GOP tax overhaul
President Donald Trump will be in Cleveland this weekend to discuss the GOP tax cut passed last December. Trump will speak Saturday at an invitation-only event at Public Hall, and according to Cleveland.com, at a nearby RNC fundraiser. It’s Trump’s second trip to Northeast Ohio in recent months. In March, Trump gave a wide-ranging speech at a union training facility in Richfield.

Federal court upholds convictions in Amish beard-cutting attacks
The leader of a breakaway Amish group convicted in hair- and beard-cutting attacks has lost his latest attempt to appeal his sentence. An attorney for 72-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr. says Mullet's previous lawyer made mistakes. Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland disagrees.  He says those alleged errors weren't prejudicial and that Mullet wasn't denied a fair trial. Defense attorneys say the 2011 hair- and beard-cutting attacks stemmed from family disputes. Prosecutors say the motive was religious, as hair and beards have spiritual significance in the Amish faith.  Mullet is serving a sentence of about 11 years. Of the 16 Amish community members convicted in the case, only Mullet remains imprisoned.

KSU to dedicate May 4 Site as National Historic Landmark
Kent State University will dedicate the site where the Ohio National Guard shot or wounded 13 protesting students in 1970 as a National Historic Landmark. The May 4 Site got the landmark designation in 2016. Today’s event will formally recognize the site’s historic status. The afternoon ceremony will include the unveiling of a new commemorative plaque. Friday evening, renowned journalist and former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather will visit the Kent campus. Rather will talk about covering the May 4 shooting and other world events in the ‘70s. The events are free and open to the public.

Cavs beat Raptors, 128-110
The Cavs are now up 2-0 over Toronto after beating the Raptors 128-110 last night. LeBron James was dominant, scoring 43 points. Kevin Love came to life, scoring 31 with 11 rebounds. The Cavs posted their eighth consecutive postseason victory over the Raptors. Game 3 is Saturday night in Cleveland.