Morning Headlines: Clevelanders Vote in Mayoral Primary; Columbus Day keeps its name in Akron

Sep 12, 2017

Here are your headlines for Tuesday, September 12th:

  • Mayoral primary underway in Cleveland;
  • Columbus Day keeps its name in Akron;
  • Rare craft flown by Neil Armstrong takes a trip for restoration;
  • CWRU, Kent State and Wooster make annual college rankings;
  • Vietnam veteran finally gets his medals;
  • School district flush with savings after reducing number of stadium toilets;
  • First gubernatorial debate for Democratic candidates to be held tonight;
  • Parents of missing girl plead guilty to charges of corpse abuse;
  • Otte, scheduled for execution Wednesday, appeals death sentence;
  • Federal investigators look into deadly Tesla crash in Stark County;
  • Indians score longest winning streak in more than a decade;
  • Kent State football coach is back after cancer surgery;

Mayoral primary underway in Cleveland
Voters in Cleveland today are narrowing the field of candidates for mayor. Clevelanders will have nine names to choose from. Incumbent Mayor Frank Jackson is running for a fourth term against seasoned political veterans as well as newcomers from the private sector. Two candidates will move on after today’s primary for the general vote on November 7th.

Columbus Day keeps its name in Akron
Akron City Council has voted to kill a resolution that would have changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Council voted against the change Monday in an 8-to-5 vote. Councilman Russ Neal proposed the change. He said it would help correct "the wrongs of the genocide that took place," and encourage celebration of Native American culture. The proposal was opposed by groups representing Italian-Americans, who said it sought to diminish contributions made by Christopher Columbus and other Italians. Oberlin recently voted to scrap Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous People's Day.

Rare craft flown by Neil Armstrong takes a trip for restoration
An experimental aircraft flown by astronaut Neil Armstrong is going on a journey across Ohio so that the 60-year-old plane can be restored. The rare aircraft has been a fixture at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in the western Ohio city of Wapakoneta where Armstrong grew up. Crews on Tuesday will load the plane known as an F5D Skylancer onto a truck and drive it across northern Ohio to Copley where it will undergo a restoration. Armstrong flew the plane as part of a NASA program that set out to build reusable space planes before the manned Mercury flights.

CWRU, Kent State and Wooster make annual college rankings
U.S. News and World Report is out today with its college rankings list. Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland was the top-ranked Ohio school, measured by standards including overall cost, quality of academic programs and ethnic diversity.  The College of Wooster is ranked among the top 100 liberal arts schools in the nation. Kent State University moved up in the rankings for “Best National Universities,” and was also among the top 200 Best Business Programs.

Vietnam veteran finally gets his medals
A Vietnam War veteran from Euclid has finally received medals he earned during his Army service more than four decades ago. 71-year-old George Burress didn’t get recognition until now because of a paperwork error. His awards during three years of service included the Combat Infantryman Badge and the National Defense Service Medal. Burress went on to work in law enforcement until his retirement. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown presented the medals to Burress at a ceremony yesterday. Burress urged all of his fellow veterans to speak up and share their stories.

School district flush with savings after reducing number of stadium toilets
A Northeast Ohio school district has gotten relief from a rule governing bathroom requirements for a stadium project. At issue is a 4,000-seat football stadium that the Elyria school district is building as part of a new multisport 45-acre athletic complex. Ohio's building code requires 91 toilets for a stadium that size. The district won an appeal last week reducing that number to 51. Reducing the number of stadium toilets means a $350,000 savings for the $14 million project.

First gubernatorial debate for Democratic candidates to be held tonight
Democratic candidates for Ohio governor are holding the first in a series of statewide debates aimed at raising the party's visibility and appeal as it tries to take back the seat from Republicans next year. Contenders set to square off in a town hall style forum at Martins Ferry High School today are former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni. The event is sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party, which is not taking sides in the primary. Janetta King, a top policy adviser to former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, will moderate. The debate will be livestreamed online.

Parents of missing girl plead guilty to charges of corpse abuse
A Stark County man who reported his 5-year-old daughter missing before her body was found hidden at his family's restaurant has pleaded guilty to charges including corpse-abuse. Liang Zhao agreed to testify against his wife and will be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Authorities say his wife, Mingming Chen, repeatedly punched the couple's daughter, Ashley. They say Zhao tried to revive his daughter before helping his wife hide the body. His wife's trial is set for next month.

Otte, scheduled for execution Wednesday, appeals death sentence
An Ohio court has heard an appeal by a condemned killer that he shouldn't be put to death because of his age at the time of his crime. Attorneys for Gary Otte asked a Cuyahoga County appeals court Monday to allow him to challenge the death penalty as unconstitutional in his case. His execution is scheduled for Wednesday. The attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because he was younger than 21 at the time of the crime. A federal judge on Friday rejected Otte's challenge of the constitutionality of Ohio's three-drug execution method.

Federal investigators look into deadly Tesla crash in Stark County
Investigators are meeting to determine the likely cause of a crash last year that killed a Stark County man who was using the semi-autonomous driving systems of his Tesla sedan. Joshua Brown, who owned tech company Nexu Innovations in Stow, had Tesla's cruise control and lane-keeping systems engaged when the vehicle failed to stop for a semitrailer turning left onto a highway in Florida in 2016. The National Transportation Safety Board takes up the crash today, the same day Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is scheduled to unveil safety guidelines for automakers seeking to market self-driving cars.

Indians score longest winning streak in more than a decade
With their latest lopsided win, the Indians extended the majors' longest winning streak in 15 years to 19 games last night by blowing out the Detroit Tigers 11-0. Cleveland is the sixth team to win at least 19 straight, and the streak is the longest since the 2002 Oakland Athletics won 20 in a row. They'll go for that number tonight with ace Corey Kluber on the mound.

Kent State football coach is back after cancer surgery
Kent State coach Paul Haynes has returned to the football program after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. The school announced last month that Haynes was taking a medical leave of absence but did not provide details about his condition. He missed the Golden Flashes' loss at Clemson in their season opener, but then he surprised the team by showing up before its 38-31 win against Howard on Saturday.