Strong storms strand drivers, trap homeowners and close schools
The National Weather Service issued nine different tornado warnings across six Northeast Ohio counties last night, sending people into their basements for hours. Summit, Portage, Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina counties were hit with up to five inches of rain over two hours, closing roads and trapping people in their cars and homes. WKYC reports evacuations were issued in North Ridgeville in Lorain County because of flash flooding and that the city opened a shelter for those displaced by high water. In Summit County, Cuyahoga Falls Schools and Archbishop Hoban High School are closed Monday because several buildings were damaged by flooding. Water rescue crews were dispatched to Medina County where flooding trapped people in their homes.
Tressel to earn $300,000 base salary as head of YSU
Former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel has signed on to be the ninth president of Youngstown State University, where he started his college coaching career. Youngstown's Board of Trustees and Tressel on Monday signed a letter of understanding identifying key terms of a contract through June 2017. The deal beginning July 1st calls for a $300,000 annual salary the first two years and a salary based on performance the third year. Randy Dunn, who resigned in March after eight months as the university’s president, was to earn $375,000 his first year. If Tressel terminates the contract within a year, he’ll pay the university $200,000; and slightly less if he leaves each of the next two years after that. Tressel had been an administrator at the University of Akron the past two years and was a finalist for its presidency.
Summit schedules two public hearings on sales tax hike
Summit County officials have set two public hearings for feedback on a proposal to increase the county sales tax. Council is considering putting a one-quarter-percent sales tax increase on this fall’s ballot. The increase would bump the tax up to 7 percent. On a $20,000 purchase, that’s an extra $50. The extra revenue would be about $20 million a year. Most of that – around $13 million -- would go toward improvements at the county’s 911 dispatch system and jail. The rest -- $7 million – would seed a new downtown arena for the University of Akron basketball teams. The public hearings in council chambers will be June 2 at 4:30 p.m. and June 9 at 7 p.m. Two resolutions were also introduced at Monday’s council meeting stating the need for the additional sales tax.
Chardon shooter's appeal denied
A court ruling reveals the teenager who fatally shot three students at Chardon High School in 2012 told detectives he knew what he did was wrong. The ruling says defendant T.J. Lane also told Geauga County detectives he felt terrible for carrying out the shooting and "has regret." Monday's decision by the 11th District Ohio Court of Appeals upholding Lane's life sentence also says Lane admitted faking symptoms of mental illness while in jail and made up statements that he heard voices. The unanimous decision says Lane wore a T-shirt with the word "killer" printed on it that day because he was going to be shooting people. Lane wore a similar shirt the day he received three life sentences with no chance of parole.
KSU Faculty Senate move to ask university for presidential search records
The Kent State Faculty Senate has voted to ask the university to release records of its presidential search. The move follows a similar call from KSU’s journalism and mass communication faculty last month to release all records including those held by its search firm. The Beacon Journal has been questioning the search for weeks, including why the university will not release the names of other finalists for the job and why it signed a contract that gave a private search firm control over key records. The paper also has challenged the sketchiness of some expense reports charged by the firm and the decision to shred the notes of some search committee members. The newspaper reports the Senate resolution says that by introducing only one candidate to campus – incoming president Beverly Warren, the university did not give the Senate the opportunity to interview the “final slate of candidates.”
Delinquent tax collection program nets $1.1 million in Cuyahoga
Cuyahoga County officials say a program aimed at collecting delinquent court fines and fees has netted $1.1 million since August 2012. Officials say the county is owed more than $60 million in uncollected fines and fees dating back to 2002 from civil, criminal, domestic relations and state appellate cases. Cuyahoga County had initially created an amnesty program for people who owed outstanding fines that would allow them to pay without incurring late fees. The delinquent fines are being collected by the Ohio Attorney General's Office. The office takes the money from state tax returns, lottery winnings and two private collection firms.
Cavs fire Brown, retain Griffin
The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired head coach Mike Brown -- again. Brown went 33 and 49 and missed the playoffs in his first season back with the team. Brown was also fired in 2010 after five seasons with the Cavs. In another move Monday, the Cavaliers named David Griffin general manager. Griffin had been acting GM since last February. WKYC sports reporter Dave Chudowsky says Brown was expected to take the team to the playoffs this season. And even though he didn’t, Chudowsky says his firing is somewhat surprising.
Haslam: Manziel is a back up
Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam says the Browns have told Johnny Manziel to start acting "like a backup quarterback." The Browns selected Manziel, Texas A&M's electrifying star quarterback, in the first round of the NFL draft. Haslam praised Manziel for being an "ultra-competitor" but reiterated that Brian Hoyer is the team's starting quarterback and Manziel will have to beat out the veteran in training camp. Meanwhile, Manziel’s Browns jersey is the top selling among all players drafted last week. In fact, more Johnny Football jerseys have been purchased since April 1 than those of any NFL veteran. League spokesman Brian McCarthy says NFLShop.com sold nearly as many for Manziel from Thursday to Sunday as it did for Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Tim Tebow combined during their respective draft weekends.