Morning Headlines: Fantasy Sports Bill Passes House; Close Cleveland Council Races Confirm Winners

Dec 6, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, December 6th:

  • Cleveland Institute of Music students among those abused by conductor James Levine;
  • Man who fled country after ripping off schools gets prison sentence;
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau weighs legal action against Signet Jewelers;
  • Cordray modestly kicks off campaign in hometown diner;
  • Replacement of senator ousted after sex scandal assumes office;
  • Euclid police union defends officer who used physical force on suspect;
  • Close council races in Cleveland confirm winners;
  • Feds say Rover pipeline misled regulators to demolish an historic home;
  • More than a third of nationwide natural gas comes from Ohio and Pennsylvania;
  • Feds arrest man wanted for assault and weapons charges;
  • Fantasy sports bill heads to Kasich for signature;

Cleveland Institute of Music students among those abused by conductor James Levine
Two former students at the Cleveland Institute of Music say conductor James Levine sexually abused them. The school released a statement earlier this week saying no complaints against Levine were filed during his time at the school, from 1965 to 1972. The Plain Dealer reports the two men said Levine would entice students by promising the sexual abuse would help their artistic development. The men say they first met Levine while he was teaching at a summer music school in Michigan. Levine famously dropped out of the Juilliard School in New York to study with Cleveland Orchestra conductor George Szell. Levine is best known for having led the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera for four decades.

Man who fled country after ripping off schools gets prison sentence
A northeast Ohio man who fled to Europe after defrauding a school district out of millions of dollars has been sentenced to six years in federal prison. David Donadeo, 43, partnered with his brother and a district employee to form shell companies that billed the Cuyahoga Heights School District for services that were never provided, costing the district more than $3 million. Donadeo fled the country in 2011 and was arrested by Spanish authorities in September this year. A district judge has ordered Donadeo to pay back most of the money he and his partners stole from the district.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau weighs legal action against Signet Jewelers
The world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer is coming under scrutiny from a federal watchdog for possible violations of federal laws regulating in-store credits. Signet Jewelers told investors Tuesday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing legal action against the retailer. The CFPB says Signet allegedly violated regulations meant to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive financial practices. Signet operates more than 3,000 stores worldwide under the names Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared, among others. The retailer’s U.S. operations are based in Akron.

Cordray modestly kicks off campaign in hometown diner
Former consumer watchdog Richard Cordray has kicked off his campaign for governor by promising to improve the lives of Ohio's families and maintain a tone unlike he encountered in Washington. At a hometown diner called Lilly's Kitchen Table in Grove City, Cordray said he will focus on "kitchen table issues," including the costs of health care and college, finding a better job and saving for retirement. He also pledged to restore power to local governments that have seen cuts from Ohio's Republican-led Legislature.

Replacement of senator ousted after sex scandal assumes office
A state representative from Napoleon in Northwest Ohio has assumed the seat of an Ohio senator who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. Republican state Rep. Robert McColley was sworn in Tuesday to replace former GOP Sen. Clifford Hite. Hite, 63, resigned in October and later apologized for engaging in inappropriate conversations and physical contact with a female state employee. McColley served two Ohio House terms and had been this session's assistant majority whip.

Euclid police union defends officer who used physical force on suspect
The Euclid police union says an officer accused of kicking a man in the face and kneeing him in the groin used reasonable force to control the man when he resisted arrest and wounded an officer. Erimius Spencer alleges he was mistreated last December after an officer found marijuana on him. He's suing the city and two officers. One is Michael Amiott, who in October was fired for using excessive force in another case after video showed him repeatedly punching a black man during a traffic stop. A statement from the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge says that physical force is sometimes necessary to control uncooperative suspects and that in Spencer's case, Amiott and the other officer acted reasonably.

Close council races in Cleveland confirm winners
Winners have been confirmed in two of Cleveland’s closest council races a month after ballots were cast. Cleveland.com reports that community activist Basheer Jones beat incumbent Councilman TJ Dow in the ward 7 race. Jones won by just 13 votes in the recount. Dow had held the seat for a decade. In Ward 1, Joe Jones beat incumbent Terrell Pruitt by just eight votes. The two are among five new members elected to Cleveland City Council.

Feds say Rover pipeline misled regulators to demolish an historic home
Federal regulators say a company building a controversial natural gas pipeline in Ohio lied about decisions to demolish a historic home in Carrollton. The trade journal Natural Gas Intelligence reports that emails show that Rover Pipeline demolished a house built in the 1840’s because it sat near a compressor station knowing that the home was eligible for historic status. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied Rover blanket authorization for further construction activities after it was revealed the company’s intentional demolition of the home violated historic preservation laws.

More than a third of nationwide natural gas comes from Ohio and Pennsylvania
The latest numbers show that the Marcellus and Utica shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania account for more than 1/3 of total shale gas production across the country. Overall Appalachian Shale gas production increased from 7.8 billion cubic feet per day in 2012 to 25.6 billion cubic feet per day in November 2017 according to the Energy Information Administration

Feds arrest man wanted for assault and weapons charges
Federal authorities have captured a northeast Ohio man who opened fire on police in Wooster before escaping in a stolen SUV. U.S. Marshals captured James ‘Bubba’ Schmidt Tuesday afternoon in West Virginia. Schmidt led police and sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase through Wayne County, before crashing and then escaping again in a stolen vehicle. He was wanted under felony warrants for assault and weapons charges.

Fantasy sports bill heads to Kasich for signature
A law that legalizes fantasy sports in Ohio is on its way to Gov. Kasich’s desk for a signature. House Bill 132 overwhelmingly passed the House 86-3, giving the state’s casino regulator the authority to oversee fantasy sports. The law does not allow fantasy contests based on any youth, high school or college sporting events. It also requires players to be at least 18 years old. Fantasy sport operators need to purchase licenses costing up to $10,000 a year.