Morning Headlines: Financial Sector Saw Growth Under Obama-Era Watchdog; Akron Approves STEM School

Nov 28, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 28th:

  • Betty Sutton urges Gov. Kasich to revoke permit for Rover pipeline;
  • Majority of banks saw quarterly growth during Cordray's tenure at CFPB;
  • Ohio's top prosecutor certifies local governance measures;
  • Thanksgiving weekend driving fatalities up from last year;
  • Cleveland allocates unused salary money, gets unexpected tax windfall;
  • Youngstown Foundation donates $3 million to amphitheater project;
  • Akron School Board approves new STEM school;
  • Visiting hunter fatally shot on opening day of deer season;
  • Suspect arrested in death of 12-year-old Parma boy;
  • Former Ohio Senate president Bill Harris dies;
  • Dayton mayor cracks down on panhandlers;

Betty Sutton urges Gov. Kasich to revoke permit for Rover pipeline
One of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates is pushing Gov. John Kasich to revoke the state permit for construction of the Rover pipeline across the state. Former Congresswoman Betty Sutton sent a letter to Kasich yesterday saying, “History shows the company can’t be trusted.” On Friday, the Ohio EPA said Rover has now received 19 notices of violations since it began building the $4.2 billion pipeline early last spring. Those violations include spilling million of gallons of drilling fluid in 13 incidents. The state has asked Rover to cease the horizontal drilling that allows the pipeline to be built underground. The state is also suing the owner, Energy Transfer Partners, to cover $2 million in cleanup costs and fines.

Majority of banks saw quarterly growth during Cordray's tenure at CFPB
President Donald Trump's accusation that now-former federal watchdog Richard Cordray has devastated the financial industry is unsupported by the evidence that banks cite most. An Associated Press fact check on the president's claims about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says of more than 5,700 banks and savings institutions reporting, more than two-thirds had year-over-year growth in quarterly earnings. The proportion of unprofitable banks fell. Meanwhile, Ohio’s U.S. senators are divided over who should be in charge of the agency now that Cordray is returning to Ohio and expected to run for governor. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown filed a legal brief insisting the temporary successor chosen by Ohio's Cordray should stay on. GOP Sen. Rob Portman says President Trump has the right to name temporary successor White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a long-time critic of the agency.

Ohio's top prosecutor certifies local governance measures
Ohio voters are closer to seeing issues on their ballots that would give more power to community members to pass local laws.  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the legal language of two proposed amendments -- the Ohio Community Rights Amendment and the Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships. That starts the multi-step process for collecting signatures to get the issues on the ballots. According to Cleveland.com, backers of the amendments say local communities have rights to local laws on issues such as the environment, predatory lending and minimum wages without state lawmakers prohibiting them.

Thanksgiving weekend driving fatalities up from last year
Sixteen people, including one pedestrian, died in 11 crashes over this year's five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Last year, nine people died in nine crashes. The Ohio Highway Patrol recently issued a report noting a spike in total and in fatal crashes on highways where the speed limit was hiked from 65 mph to 70.

Cleveland allocates unused salary money, gets unexpected tax windfall
Cleveland City Council is shifting about $9 million from salaries for unfilled vacancies to three funds: new vehicles, road paving and the rainy-day fund. According to Cleveland.com, the city also collected an unanticipated $10 million in taxes, including extra admission taxes from the Indians playoff games.

Youngstown Foundation donates $3 million to amphitheater project
The Youngstown Foundation has donated $3 million to the city for its amphitheater project. The donation gives the foundation naming rights for the amphitheater for the next 20 years. The Vindicator reports the foundation plans to celebrate its 100th birthday next year with a series of announcements. It has assets of more than $120 million. In addition to the foundation's money, the project is being funded with a federal loan to be repaid over 20 years, and $5 million from Youngstown's water, wastewater and environmental santitation funds. The 3,250-seat amphitheater project includes a park and will cover 12 acres along the Mahoning River. The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

Akron School Board approves new STEM school
The Akron School Board has unanimously approved establishing the new 'I PROMISE' School. The STEM school is a partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation and is designed to prevent struggling students from dropping out. The school is scheduled to open next year.

Visiting hunter fatally shot on opening day of deer season
A hunter has been shot and killed in Ashtabula County. The victim fatally shot on Monday has been identified by the Ohio Division of Wildlife as Randy Lee Gozzard, 62, of St. Petersburg, Fla. Gozzard was apparently hunting with three other people. According to Ashtabula County Sheriff Bill Johnson, the incident happened in Monroe Township. Monday marked the opening day of deer season in the state of Ohio.

Suspect arrested in death of 12-year-old Parma boy
One of two 15-year-old boys suspected in a shooting in Cleveland that left a 12-year-old boy dead and five other boys wounded has been arrested. Police are still looking for the other suspect. Police say charges including aggravated murder and attempted murder will be pursued against the two teens in connection with the Friday shooting. Officials say one of the suspects was arrested Monday and placed in juvenile detention. The other remains on the loose. Abdel Bashiti of Parma was struck by a stray bullet when he and his father walked outside the father's beauty supply store after gunfire broke out. Police say the five wounded boys were in front of a liquor store next door. Three remain hospitalized.

Former Ohio Senate president Bill Harris dies
Bill Harris, a soft-spoken Marine veteran who brought charm and discipline to his tenure as president of the Ohio Senate, has died. He was 83. In announcing Harris' death Monday, Senate President Larry Obhof described the Ashland Republican as a man of "authentic faith" and "genuine interest in his fellow Ohioans." The Tennessee native joined the Ohio House in 1995 after a 23-year military career and success as a car dealer. Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken says he "embodied the American Dream." Harris moved to the Senate in 2000 in a deal struck to defuse a brewing House leadership battle. He served as Senate president from 2005 to 2010.

Dayton mayor cracks down on panhandlers
The Democratic mayor of Dayton has directed police to crack down on panhandlers who violate the law. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley says she routinely sees panhandlers entering the road to collect money from drivers in violation of local ordinances. The Dayton Daily News reports that she directed the police chief to be more aggressive enforcing the rules. Whaley is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018.