Morning Headlines: Cleveland and Police Union Agree on New Contract; Akron Considers Bee Fee Hike

May 15, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, May 15:

  • No criminal charges in Summit County Jail inmate's death, sheriff concludes;
  • Northside Marketplace developers receive $650,000 loan;
  • Cuyahoga County corruption investigation now includes the development department;
  • Akron considers increasing the fee to raise bees ten-fold;
  • Cleveland reaches s contract with police union;
  • Kasich announces initiative to attract Dreamers to Ohio;
  • Ohio House Republicans to vote on new speaker;
  • Akron Beacon Journal's new publisher also publishes eight other papers;
  • Gas prices approach $3 per gallon ahead of Memorial Day;
  • Browns coach will keep his promise to jump into Lake Erie;

No criminal charges in Summit County Jail inmate's death, sheriff concludes
An outside probe into the death of a Summit County Jail inmate last fall has concluded there is no cause to seek criminal charges. Inmate Anthony Jones died in September following an altercation with deputies. Jones was subdued with a Taser before being restrained in a chair and becoming unresponsive. In a release, the county sheriff’s office said the cause of death was “cardiac arrest due to unknown medical origin.” According to the sheriff’s report, Jones had a history of schizophrenia and heart disease.

Northside Marketplace developers receive $650,000 loan
The developer of Akron’s Northside Marketplace has received more than half a million dollars to finance the first phase of the project. The Development Fund of the Western Reserve awarded a $650,000 loan from its Akron Community Revitalization Fund. The loan is interest-only for seven years. Developer Paul Testa tells Cleveland.com the loan will allow the project to move on to phase two, which will include a farmers market and an eBay marketplace. Northside opened near downtown last fall as an incubator for local businesses.

Cuyahoga County corruption investigation now includes development department
An investigation into Cuyahoga County government has extended its reach. County prosecutors have served an eleventh subpoena on the administration of Armond Budish. The latest subpoena seeks emails involving chief economic development officer Ted Carter and his former assistant Julie Gresko. Investigators are looking for emails to or from a nonprofit called the Potomac Coalition, as well as the market research company Lester & Associates. Prosecutors are also looking into a possible conflict of interest involving former county employees and tech contractors.

Akron considers increasing fee to raise bees ten-fold
Akron City Council is considering raising the annual fee to raise bees. The ten-fold increase would raise the fee from $5 to $50 each year per hive. The Beacon Journal reports the higher fee is aimed at covering city expenses. But some beekeepers say the increase would discourage hobbyists and other beekeepers who can’t afford the higher fee. Council is delaying a decision on the measure until it can get more input from community members.

Cleveland reaches contract deal with police union
After two years of negotiations, the city of Cleveland and the police union have agreed to a new contract. The deal includes a pay raise and a new disciplinary protocol for officers. Cleveland.com reports the three-year contract gives raises to some 1,200 rank-and-file police officers. The 2-percent raises extend retroactively to the last two years, as officers were working under the old contract. Negotiations for a new contract could begin as early as September.

Kasich announces initiative to attract Dreamers to Ohio
Gov. John Kasich is announcing an initiative aimed at helping legal immigrants successfully integrate in the state. The outgoing Republican governor plans a Tuesday morning announcement in Columbus. Kasich has taken a conciliatory approach to immigrant issues in the past, joining a bipartisan group of governors calling for the preservation of a program that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children from deportation. Kasich has called on those immigrants, known as Dreamers, to come to Ohio. Kasich, the grandson of Czech and Croatian immigrants, also has said he wouldn't be in the U.S. if it weren't for immigration.

Ohio House Republicans to vote on new speaker
Republicans in the Ohio House are slated to vote on a new House speaker after the previous leader resigned amid an FBI inquiry surrounding his activities. Cliff Rosenberger left the Legislature in mid-April under political pressure. The 37-year-old Republican from Clarksville has said that he believes his actions as speaker were "ethical and lawful" and that he hired an attorney as a precaution. Republican lawmakers in the House vote Tuesday on their pick for a speaker for the rest of the year. The full, GOP-dominated House is then expected to vote on it Wednesday. Rep. Ryan Smith, of Bidwell, and state Rep. Larry Householder, a former House speaker from Glenford, have been vying to line up support for the next speakership, but other names also could be in the mix.

Akron Beacon Journal's new publisher also publishes eight other papers
The new publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and its digital site, Ohio.com, will be the man who holds that title for eight other newspapers in GateHouse Media's Ohio group. The Beacon Journal reports its employees were introduced Monday to publisher Bill Albrecht, a veteran publisher and advertising executive. He will be based in Akron. GateHouse Media announced last month that it was buying the Beacon from Black Press Group Ltd for $16 million. It rehired around 216 out of the Beacon Journal’s 245 employees as part of the takeover. GateHouse also owns Northeast Ohio newspapers including The Canton Repository, the Record-Courier, and The Times-Reporter in Dover and New Philadelphia.

Gas prices approach $3 per gallon ahead of Memorial Day
Gas prices are inching towards $3 a gallon heading into Memorial Day. AAA says the average price for a gallon of regular in Ohio is $2.81, up 15 cents from a week ago and the largest jump of any state in the country. U.S. oil prices went above the $70-a-barrel mark last week for the first time since late 2014. The hike nationally comes after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Browns coach will keep his promise to jump into Lake Erie
Browns coach Hue Jackson is keeping his promise and plans to jump into Lake Erie on June 1 in an event for charity and hopefully wash away two long, losing seasons. Jackson vowed last year that if the team didn't improve on its 1-15 record from the previous year that he would take the plunge. Well, the Browns went 0-16. Jackson pledged that for every Browns employee that joins him in the water he will donate $100 to his foundation, which combats human trafficking in Northeast Ohio. His goal is to raise $15,000.