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Monday, June 2, 2014
FitzGerald to file lawsuit over Ameritrust deal
Other morning headlines: RNC comes to Cleveland for site visit this week; Statehouse unveils Holocaust memorial
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
Morning Edition Host
|The latest WKSU morning headlines: |
|FitzGerald to file lawsuit over Ameritrust deal|
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is expected today to announce a lawsuit against ten companies or people involved in the purchase of a downtown Cleveland building that resulted in an $18 million loss to taxpayers. Cuyahoga County’s three former commissioners bought the Ameritrust complex in 2005 for more than $20 million, and spent another $20 million for asbestos removal and other work. The plan was to convert part of it into a new county administration building, but the county never occupied the building. In September, the county approved hiring a pair of law firms to investigate the deal and prepare a potential court claim. The Plain Dealer reports the lawsuit will include convicted former Cuyahgoa County Commissar Frank Russo’s son, Vince, and The Staubach Co., which recommended the deal.
RNC comes to Cleveland for site visit this week
Cleveland will today host a GOP delegation, which wants to see if the city is ready to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Cleveland is up against Dallas, Denver and Kansas City for the convention that takes place in about two years. The Republican group will be meeting city leaders and evaluating security and transportation options between now and Wednesday. Cleveland has been considered a good bet for Republicans hoping to neutralize some of the overwhelmingly Democratic voters in Cuyahoga County, which essentially won the 2012 election for President Obama. Democrats are also considering Cleveland, along with Columbus and 13 other cities to host their 2016 National Convention.
Statehouse unveils Holocaust memorial
Survivors of the Holocaust and World War II veterans who helped liberate Nazi death camps will come together today as Ohio dedicates a $2.3 million memorial in their honor at the state capital. The Holocaust and Liberators Memorial not only honors victims and survivors of the Holocaust, but also Ohio's WWII veterans who fought German forces to liberate death camps. Gov. John Kasich says he believes the memorial will become a focal point for visitors not only in central Ohio, but also the U.S. The 18-foot-tall memorial includes a shattered Star of David. Former state Sen. Richard Finan objected to a religious symbol on the statehouse grounds. But Kasich persuaded the Capitol Square Board to approve it, leading Finan to resign from the panel.
Summa shutters St. Thomas Hospital ER
Summa Health System implemented changes over the weekend. Summa closed its St. Thomas Hospital emergency room on Sunday. The move is part of a recently announced system overhaul to relocate all its emergency services to Akron City Hospital. The Beacon Journal reports Akron City’s ER is increasing its capacity by more than 20 beds as part of the transition and all 28 St. Thomas ER employees are moving to City hospital. A primary-care practice will replace the St. Thomas ER in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood today. The system wide plan also includes shutting all inpatient units at Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital later this year.
Ben Suarez trial gets underway
The trial of a northeast Ohio businessman accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions to two Republican candidates is scheduled to begin. The trial of 72-year-old Ben Suarez is set to open this morning in federal court in Cleveland. The millionaire Stark County businessman is accused of funneling about $100,000 each to the 2012 re-election campaign of Congressman Jim Renacci and to the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Both campaigns returned the contributions after learning of allegations that Suarez and Michael Giorgio conspired to bundle contributions in the names of employees and their spouses. Giorgio, the chief financial officer for Suarez Corporation Industries in North Canton, pleaded guilty to similar charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Many Ohio colleges still taking students for the fall
A month after the traditional enrollment deadline, some Ohio colleges say they still have space to add new students. At least 18 Ohio colleges are among 280 in the U.S. that say they still have space for new students after the traditional May 1 deadline. That's according to an annual report compiled by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Colleges notify the association if they want to be added to the list. Most Ohio schools in the report are private institutions with fewer than 5,000 students, including Ashland, Baldwin Wallace and Malone Universities. The Columbus Dispatch reports that it's an indicator that some colleges haven't met their enrollment goals for fall.
Pelosi part of bus tour coming to Cleveland
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi plans to roll into Cleveland this week to promote women's economic issues. The California Democrat is part of a tour highlighting House Democrats' economic agenda. Pelosi will take part in a Tuesday afternoon rally with Rep. Marcia Fudge of Cleveland. Democrats say Ohio U.S. Reps. Mary Kaptur and Joyce Beatty will also be there. The tour rallies beginning in upstate New York on Sunday will focus on equal pay for women, child care costs, and other economic challenges for women and families.
Cleveland Clinic rolling out mobile stroke unit
The Cleveland Clinic is trying a new approach to reducing the crucial minutes that pass between when a person has a stroke and when they begin getting treated. This summer, the medical center will launch a mobile stroke unit. The Plain Dealer reports that the $1 million, high-tech unit will respond to 911 calls about suspected strokes, bringing technology to diagnose the condition as soon as possible. After patients are diagnosed, the unit can begin treatment with clot-busting drugs. The drug TPA can dissolve those clots and reduce disability but only if it's received within three to four hours of the first symptoms, and the sooner the better.
Gas prices up
Ohio drivers are seeing higher gas prices, with some stations around the state flirting with $4 a gallon. The cost for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio is averaging $3.93 in today’s survey from auto club AAA and its partners. That's a dime higher than a week ago. Ohio averages ranged from $3.77 in the Youngstown area to $3.97 in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas.
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