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Clinic's takeover of Akron General includes millions in upkeep, upgrades
Top headlines: Group initiative proposes plan to reduce Ohio prison population; Coalition calls for lawmakers to restart renewable energy mandate 

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Morning headlines for Thursday, September 10, 2015:

  • Clinic's takeover of Akron General includes millions in upkeep, upgrades 
  • Group initiative proposes plan to reduce Ohio prison population
  • Coalition calls for lawmakers to restart renewable energy mandate
  • Health officials find toxins from algae in Columbus' water supply
  • Subpoenas reissued in pot ballot signatures
  • Cleveland Firefighter's wife arrested for plotting his murder
  • Cedar Point announces new roller coaster
  • Fire causes $100,000 in damages to Republic Steel in Canton
  • Cincinnati police chief fired
  • Clinic's takeover of Akron General includes millions in upkeep, upgrades 
    The Cleveland Clinic’s full acquisition of Akron General Health System comes with hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance and upgrades. The Beacon Journal reports the Clinic is pledging nearly $30 million in capital improvements to Akron General each of the next five years. Last year, the Clinic bought a $100 million stake in Akron General, with an option to buy the rest within six years. Last month, the two non-profits announced a complete takeover. It still has to be reviewed by the state attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.

    Group proposes plan to reduce Ohio prison population
    A bipartisan group including one of the nation's leading anti-tax crusaders and the American Civil Liberties Union is launching a new effort to reduce Ohio's inmate population. The U.S. Justice Action Network is promoting efforts to find alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent crimes, keep people from returning to prison and help inmates find jobs once they're out. The group plans a news conference today before a committee rewriting Ohio's criminal laws. The effort has the backing of Senate President Keith Faber and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger.

    Coalition calls for lawmakers to restart renewable energy mandate
    A broad coalition of state business, health, community and environmental groups is calling on Ohio lawmakers to reinstate mandatory targets for the use of renewable and advanced energy sources such as wind, solar and clean coal. The recommendation is contained in a report released Wednesday following what was dubbed the Ohio's Energy Future Tour. The report pulls together input from 70 issue experts and 10,000 Ohioans who provided feedback online and at forums across the state. The report comes as a Sept. 30 deadline approaches for a legislative study committee to decide what to do about the mandates. They were part of a 2008 law that's been paused for two years. It required 25 percent of Ohio's energy to come from alternative sources by 2025 and set energy efficiency goals.

    Health officials find toxins from algae in Columbus' water supply
    Ohio health officials say they’ve found toxins from blue-green algae in Columbus’s water supply for the first time. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the levels are below the level considered dangerous, but officials say the presence of the toxic in concerning. The water was treated to remove the toxins.

    Subpoenas reissued in pot ballot signatures
    Ohio's elections chief says he has reissued subpoenas in an investigation into the ballot petitions of group supporting a marijuana legalization effort. The move by Secretary of State Jon Husted on Wednesday follows a federal lawsuit over his review of ResponsibleOhio's petition signatures. A person identified as "John Doe" filed the suit last week. He alleges subpoenas in the probe seek documents from ResponsibleOhio with residents' personal information and violating the First Amendment. Husted's special investigator withdrew the subpoenas Tuesday. Husted says new ones were issued Wednesday to ResponsibleOhio's leaders. A court hearing scheduled today was canceled after Doe withdrew a temporary restraining order request, citing the withdrawal of the earlier subpoenas.

    Cleveland Firefighter's wife arrested for plotting his murder
    Prosecutors in Cleveland are accusing the wife of a slain firefighter of plotting his murder. Uloma Walker-Curry was arrested and charged with aggravated murder this week. Prosecutors say she paid several people to kill Lt. William Walker, who was shot several times in the chest in his driveway in 2013. Last month, prosecutors charged Chad Padgett with aggravated murder.

    Cedar Point announces new roller coaster
    Cedar Point will roll out a new, record-breaking coaster next May. The amusement park announced Wednesday that the Valravn will be over 3,400 feet long and include a drop of over 200 feet. It's a dive coaster, meaning it has a free-fall, 90-degree drop.

    Fire causes $100,000 in damages at Republic Steel
    No one was seriously injured after a fire broke out at Republic Steel's headquarters in Canton yesterday afternoon. One employee was hospitalized with a minor shoulder injury. Damage is estimated at around $100,000 and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

    Cincinnati police chief fired
    Cincinnati's police chief has been fired. Jeffrey Blackwell had come under increasing criticism in recent months and has coped with shootings, the killing of an officer and questions about his policing strategy and leadership. The Cincinnati police union had scheduled a meeting next week where a no-confidence vote was expected to be taken. Blackwell on Wednesday blamed a lack of support from city administration for his ouster.

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