Morning Headlines: Bipartisan Redistricting Plan Heads to House; NEXUS Makes an Offer to Green

Feb 6, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 6:

  • EMILY's List backs Connie Pillich for governor;
  • NEXUS Pipeline makes city of Green an offer;
  • Tax ordinance allows Cleveland businesses to file directly with the state;
  • Analysts predict rising gas prices in spite of record oil production;
  • Akron Children's Hospital strikes deal with North Canton for new facility;
  • Senate approves bipartisan redistricting plan;
  • Governor's office to hold lottery for State of the State tickets;
  • State program seeks to aid in transition between foster care and independent living;
  • Akron toddler found on freezing porch wandered away while father slept;
  • Hartville man charged with murder after body found in concrete;
  • Woman alleging Trump sexually harassed her is running for Ohio House seat;
  • Canton officials say Rover Pipeline drilling waste has not contaminated Beach City quarry;
  • Summit County officials investigate suicide of inmate held on drug convictions;

EMILY's List backs Connie Pillich for governor
A political action committee dedicated to electing Democratic women has endorsed Connie Pillich, the lone female remaining in the Democratic May primary for governor. Backing from EMILY's List could boost Pillich, a former Air Force captain and ex-state lawmaker, in a five-way primary that includes former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Cordray and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill plan to turn in their petitions today. The fifth candidate is Youngstown-area state Sen. Joe Schiavoni.

NEXUS Pipeline makes city of Green an offer
A pipeline running through Summit County is making an offer to the city of Green. The city filed an appeal in September which brought construction of the pipeline to a halt. If the offer is accepted, the NEXUS Pipeline would run eight miles through the city. A public comment period will be held on Wednesday. Details of the offer are expected Tuesday afternoon.

Tax ordinance allows Cleveland businesses to file directly with the state
The city of Cleveland has approved a new tax ordinance amid pressure from the Statehouse. Gov. John Kasich’s 2017 budget plan included a provision allowing businesses to file net profit tax receipts directly with the state. Cities that do not go along with this plan could lose their ability to collect local income taxes. Cleveland passed an ordinance allowing its businesses to file with the state, but it opposes the plan, saying it would cut into revenues. Cleveland projects $400 million in revenue from income taxes this year. The city is party of a lawsuit challenging the state policy as unconstitutional.

Analysts predict rising gas prices in spite of record oil production
Gas prices could continue to rise and reach close to $3 a gallon by Memorial Day. That’s in spite of record oil production in the U.S.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts oil production could hit its highest level in nearly half a century by November. Cleveland.com reports exposure to the global market is partially to blame for rising prices.

Akron Children's Hospital strikes deal with North Canton for new facility
A planned Akron Children’s Hospital facility in North Canton has received city approval. City council on Monday approved a 10-year agreement with the hospital. The new hospital is expected to bring in more than $40,000 in annual city income tax revenue. A portion of that will be returned to the hospital under the agreement. The deal also includes a possible extension if the hospital expands its footprint and hires more employees. Akron Children’s is expected to break ground on March 1 and complete its new facility next spring.

Senate approves bipartisan redistricting plan
A bipartisan congressional redistricting plan is on its way to the Ohio House. The Senate yesterday passed a bill in which the legislature would still be in charge of drawing congressional districts. But it also requires support from the minority party to put a map in place for 10 years. The new plan would allow the majority party to draw gerrymandered districts without minority support, but those would only be in effect for four years. The new plan would also limit the ability to split counties for political gain. Lawmakers have until tomorrow to pass the plan and get it on the May primary ballot.

Governor's office to hold lottery for State of the State tickets
Gov. John Kasich's office will have an online lottery for Ohioans seeking tickets to the Republican's final State of the State speech in suburban Columbus. Kasich has opted to deliver the address outside the Statehouse for years. This year's address will take place at Otterbein University on March 6 in Westerville. His office’s website is running the lottery through Feb. 23.

State program seeks to aid in transition between foster care and independent living
Ohio has launched a program to help young adults who have aged out of the foster care system make the transition to living independently. The Bridges program provides housing and help with utilities, clothing and groceries to youth who leave foster homes on or after turning 18 but who are not yet 21. To be eligible, former foster kids must be in school, working, participating in an employment program, or have a medical condition that prevents them from going to school or working.

Akron toddler found on freezing porch wandered away while father slept
An Akron toddler who was found by her mother on a porch in freezing temperatures and later died had wandered from home when her father fell asleep. Police said Monday two-year-old Wynter Parker's mother left the toddler with her father for about two hours at the family's apartment Friday afternoon. The girl later died at a hospital. No charges have been filed, but an investigation is continuing. Results from an autopsy are pending.

Hartville man charged with murder after body found in concrete
The discovery of a body encased in concrete and buried in a backyard in Massillon has led to murder charges. Hartville resident Carl Spencer, 27, has been jailed on $5 million bond. He’s charged in the death of Nicholas Stein, who had been missing for more than a year and lived at the home where they dug up a body last week.

Woman alleging Trump sexually harassed her is running for Ohio House seat
A woman who during the 2016 election accused President Donald Trump of sexually harassing her more than a decade ago is running for a seat in Ohio's legislature. Former Trump Tower receptionist Rachel Crooks filed paperwork Monday to run as a Democrat in Ohio's 88th House District, which covers a largely rural area southeast of Toledo. Crooks has said she met Trump in 2005 and that she was 22 when she says he kissed her "directly on the mouth" against her will. The White House disputed Crooks' claims in December.

Canton officials say Rover Pipeline drilling waste has not contaminated Beach City quarry
The city of Canton says it will resume pumping water from its Beach City quarry. Officials say tests reveal that diesel tainted drilling mud dumped this summer by the Rover Pipeline near the well fields has not contaminated the water. Canton officials say the drinking water is safe to drink although monitoring will continue under the Ohio EPA orders. The dumped drilling mud was recovered from a massive spill in a sensitive wetland near the Tuscarawas River.

Summit County officials investigate suicide of inmate held on drug convictions
The Summit County sheriff’s office is investigating the possible suicide of a 53-year-old inmate. Authorities say Wanda Filing was found hanging in her cell on Sunday. She was not on suicide watch. She was being held on probation violations following multiple drug convictions.