Morning Headlines: Yost Attempts to Postpone Abortion Ban, FBI Asks for Help in Solving Murders

Jun 25, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 25:

  • Yost attempts to postpone abortion ban;
  • FBI asks for help in solving murders;
  • Officials warn shut down of oil pipeline could ramp up costs, cause closures;
  • Ohio logs 20,000 hours of cleanup after severe weather;
  • Site of Tamir Rice's death now on display in Chicago;
  • Half of potential medical marijuana buyers have made purchases;

Yost attempts to postpone abortion ban
Republican Attorney General Dave Yost has joined Planned Parenthood in asking a federal judge to postpone information gathering in a legal challenge to Ohio's law banning a common second-trimester abortion procedure. In a joint filing Monday, the parties asked a U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett in Cincinnati to halt discovery in the Ohio case while a similar Kentucky case is decided. Both cases challenge laws outlawing dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions. A federal judge struck down the Kentucky law as unconstitutional in May. Kentucky is appealing. Barrett has blocked part of the Ohio law from taking effect. He forbid the state in April from bringing criminal charges against doctors who perform D&Es under most circumstances until the legal challenge is resolved. Other parts of the law were allowed to proceed. Ohio has appealed.

FBI asks for help in solving murders
The FBI and Cleveland Metroparks are still looking for answers following a double murder in the Rocky River Reservation earlier this month. Cleveland.com reports officials held a press conference Monday asking for any information in the shooting deaths of Carnell Sledge and Katherine Brown, whose bodies were discovered June 4 near the river. Investigators said the two were killed just after 5 a.m that day, minutes after each arrived in the park. Cleveland.com also reports an FBI official said investigators “have no reason to believe the attacks were random.” 

Officials warn shut down of oil pipeline could ramp up costs, cause closures
Operators of refineries in Ohio said a potential shut down of a Great Lakes oil pipeline in Michigan could push up their costs or even force them to close. Michigan's governor wants the company that owns the oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac to finish its replacement within two years, but the company said it can't be done until 2024. Talks over the timeline broke down earlier this month. Environmentalists are demanding an immediate shut down because they said a rupture could contaminate hundreds of miles of open waters. This past week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine sent Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a letter asking her to not let the pipeline shut down permanently. He said Ohio has two refineries near Toledo and hundreds of jobs that rely on the pipeline.

Ohio logs 20,000 hours of cleanup after severe weather
Ohio's Department of Transportation said its employees have spent more than 20,000 hours helping with cleanup from tornadoes and other severe weather that swept through parts of the state last month. The department said in a news release Monday that its cost for helping clean up damage caused by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and landslides has totaled more than $500,000. Twenty-one tornadoes touched down during severe storms that swept through 10 counties May 27 and May 28. Transportation officials said the department's work to help reopen roadways closed by flooding or storm debris is vital to helping residents recover from weather disasters. Since 2015, severe weather emergencies have cost the department nearly $53 million.

Site of Tamir Rice's death now on display in Chicago
The gazebo, where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014 while playing with a toy gun, is on display in Chicago. Cleveland.com reports The Rebuild Foundation, an arts non-profit, brought the structure for temporary display in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. Samaria Rice, Tamir's mother, said she wants to find a permanent home for the structure in Cleveland. The gazebo was once slated for demolition. The city of Cleveland later settled a wrongful death suit with Rice’s family for $6 million. 

Half of potential medical marijuana buyers have made purchases
State records show only about half of the 42,000 people who can buy medical marijuana in Ohio have done so. The Beacon Journal reports cost and travel to access medical pot may be to blame. Only 18 of the 56 state-approved dispensaries that were granted provisional licenses have actually opened their doors. Summit County has yet to have a dispensary that's been approved to open. The Beacon reports industry insiders said market forces and growing pains of a new industry are the reason for the high prices.

CORRECTION: The intial headline for "FBI asks for help in solving murders" previously stated "Cleveland murders." The murders were not in Cleveland; they were in Rocky River.