Morning Headlines: UAW to Vote on Deal with Ford; Google to Break Ground on Central Ohio Center

Nov 1, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Nov. 1:

  • UAW to vote on deal with Ford;
  • Google to break ground on central Ohio center;
  • U.S. House votes to formalize impeachment inquiry;
  • The Devil Strip becomes nation's first community new co-op;
  • Timken's third quarter earnings doesn't reach expectations;
  • Lake Erie toxic algae bloom fifth largest;
  • Ohio Supreme Court reassesses charges for man sentenced for killing son;
  • Westlake man sentenced to five years for defrauding Cleveland Clinic;
  • Judge deems 24-year-old man claimed to be child competent to stand trial;

UAW to vote on deal with Ford
Less than a week after ending a bitter 40 day strike against General Motors (GM), the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has reached a tentative deal with automaker Ford following three days of talks. Ford has four plants in Ohio. The Detroit Free Press reports that the deal reached Thursday night includes the closing of one Ford plant near Detroit and promises $6 billion in investments in new U.S. production. Its 55,000 union workers are expected to vote on the deal as soon as this weekend. The UAW must now reach a deal with Fiat Chrysler. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the lengthy GM strike cost the company nearly $3 billion in lost earnings and had a major impact on auto parts suppliers across the country.

Google to break ground on Central Ohio center
Google said it is set to break ground on its $600 million data center near Columbus, part of $13 billion in planned investments for this year. Company officials will be in New Albany Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony. The company said it also plans to announce a grant at the event. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who oversees the state’s technology development program, will also be there. The project is the latest in a string of data centers built in central Ohio.

U.S. House votes to formalize impeachment inquiry
Ohio's congressional delegation voted along party lines Thursday as the U.S. House moved to proceed with the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump. The Columbus Dispatch reports Democratic Representatives Joyce Beatty of Jefferson Township, Marcy Kaptur of Toledo and Tim Ryan of Niles voted in favor of the impeachment inquiry. Nine Republicans including Jim Jordan of Urbana, Dave Joyce of Mentor and Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River voted "nay" on the resolution. Jordan called the impeachment inquiry a “charade” and a “partisan stunt.”

The Devil Strip becomes nation's first community new co-op
The Akron monthly news magazine, The Devil Strip, becomes the nation’s first community news co-op Friday. The magazine will offer ownership shares to the public, which will grant local shareholders a vote on topics, among other benefits. The initiative is also supported by a $200,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. The Devil Strip is an underwriter for WKSU.

Timken's third quarter earnings doesn't reach expectations
Timken said sales are up in its latest fillings, but not quite as much as expected. The North Canton-based bearings maker said third quarter earnings were up 3.7%. Timken is still predicting 5-6 % revenue for this year, slightly under predictions. Timken said a strong dollar is dampening expectations of record revenues.

Lake Erie toxic algae bloom fifth largest
As the toxic algae season in Ohio winds down, researchers said this year’s harmful algae bloom on Lake Erie was the fifth largest since they began ranking them 17 years ago. The National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration reports the bloom covered about 700 square miles by the end of August. Five years ago, a toxic bloom shut down drinking water for 400,000 people in northwest Ohio for two days. Phosphorus from fertilizer runoff from farm fields along with sewage treatment plants fuels the algae blooms.

Ohio Supreme Court reassesses charges for man sentenced for killing son
The Ohio Supreme Court said a man who spent five years in prison after telling police he accidentally killed his 2-year-old son with an all-terrain vehicle can face more serious charges after authorities said he confessed to beating the boy to death. The court ruled this week that the new charges prosecutors are seeking don't amount to double jeopardy. An attorney for Travis Soto had argued that because prosecutors dropped involuntary manslaughter charges as part of a plea deal that they shouldn't be allowed to file murder charges.

Westlake man sentenced to five years for defrauding Cleveland Clinic
An Ohio man convicted of defrauding the Cleveland Clinic of $2.7 million has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison. Cleveland.com reports Westlake resident Wisam Rizk, 44, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy, wire fraud and false statements. He was sentenced Wednesday. Prosecutors said Rizk had a $5.6 million contract through a company spun off from Cleveland Clinic to provide a visual medical chart product conceived by Cleveland Clinic doctors. Rizk instead outsourced the work to an Indian company at a substantially lower price. Rizk was accused of paying more than $460,000 to Gary Fingerhut, the executor director of Cleveland Clinic innovations, to buy his silence. Fingerhut was sentenced last December to 30 months in prison. Rizk faces deportation to Austria after completing his sentence.

Judge deems 24-year-old man claimed to be child competent to stand trial
A judge has found that a 24-year-old man authorities said claimed to be a long-missing child is competent to stand trial. U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett on Thursday scheduled a Jan. 8 status conference in the case of Brian Michael Rini of Medina. A June trial was postponed after questions were raised about his competence. Rini has pleaded not guilty. He was spotted April 3 wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky, where police said he claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora, Illinois, boy who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. Federal authorities said DNA testing revealed his true identity. He could face eight years in prison if convicted of aggravated identity theft and lying to FBI agents.