Morning Headlines: Ohio EPA Asks Feds to Stop Rover Pipeline; Akron Tax Hike Will Go to Fire, Police

Jan 22, 2018

Correction: There's no evidence that nearly 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid Rover pipeline builders lost down a hole beneath the Tuscarawas River entered wetlands. No one has yet established where it went. Energy Transfer Partners maintains, "We are continuing to work through the process, and we are working in coordination with FERC on all of the remaining HDDs and are in compliance with the HDD contingency plan that was approved by FERC."

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Jan. 22:

  • Ohio man who pled guilty to terrorism charges will be sentenced;
  • Protesters stage rally in support of Youngstown businessman facing deportation;
  • Ailing death row inmate's attorneys renew calls for firing squad option;
  • Akron's Thirsty Dog brewery strikes deal with Applebee's;
  • Akron's income tax hike will go toward fire, police and public service;
  • Ohio EPA asks feds to halt Rover pipeline construction;
  • Cleveland Clinic resident delivers a baby mid-flight;

Ohio man who pled guilty to terrorism charges will be sentenced
An Ohio man who admitted he plotted to kill military members in the U.S. after receiving training in Syria will be sentenced after a short delay. Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud is scheduled to appear in federal court in Columbus today. Court documents unsealed last year show Mohamud pleaded guilty more than two years ago to terrorism charges. Government prosecutors want a judge to impose a 23-year sentence. They say Mohamud tried to cover up dangerous terrorist activity. Mohamud's attorney says the 26-year-old recruited others when he returned home before recognizing "the immoral and illegal nature of terrorist ideology." Judge Michael Watson on Friday delayed Mohamud's sentencing until Monday without explanation.

Protesters stage rally in support of Youngstown businessman facing deportation
A Youngstown businessman facing deportation is still in prison and on a hunger strike. Protesters turned out over the weekend in support of Amer Adi, who got a reprieve from deportation but was then detained at a routine check-in with immigration officials. Immigration officials say Adi’s first marriage was a sham so he could get a green card. The protests came as word spread that Adi had been transferred to a private federal prison while his family waited for him to be released from the Geauga County jail. The Council on American Islamic Relations staged a two-hour rally Saturday outside the Northeast Ohio Correctional Institution where Adi is being held. Democratic candidate for governor Dennis Kucinich joined the protest. ICE officials say they’re reviewing a congressional order expected to at least temporarily free Adi.

Ailing death row inmate's attorneys renew calls for firing squad option
Attorneys for a condemned killer whose execution was stopped last year after 25 minutes of unsuccessful needle sticks are once again recommending the firing squad as an alternative. Alva Campbell, 59, was sentenced to die for fatally shooting an 18-year-old man in a 1997 carjacking. The state unsuccessfully tried to execute Campbell last November after failing to find a suitable vein to deliver the lethal injection. Public defenders said in a filing that a firing squad would not cause severe suffering and does not require drugs or a doctor. The Ohio Attorney General's Office wants Campbell's request tossed out, saying it's "beyond the borders of common sense."

Akron's Thirsty Dog brewery strikes deal with Applebee's
An Akron brewery has struck a deal with Applebee’s to sell its craft beer at the restaurant chain. Thirty-six Applebee’s locations in Northeast Ohio will offer the Blood Hound Orange IPA from Thirsty Dog Brewing. The Beacon Journal reports the deal makes Applebee’s the largest restaurant chain to have pouring rights for Thirsty Dog beers. One of the brewery’s owners says IPAs make up 70 percent of sales. The beer will be available April 1.

Akron's income tax hike will go toward fire, police and public service
The city of Akron has released details on how it plans to spend a quarter-percent income tax hike that took effect at the beginning of the year. The tax increase is a response to a 2 percent decrease in income tax revenue. The Beacon Journal reports the increase was originally intended for police and fire equipment upgrades, as well as construction projects. But as the city faces a budget shortfall, the priority will likely shift to maintaining staffing. The tax increase is expected to bring in $13 million this year. It will be split almost equally among police, fire and public service departments. Akron police plan to purchase up to 55 new cruisers and upgrade dash cams. The city’s fire department plans to rebuild its station on East Exchange Street with tax funds collected over the next two years.

Ohio EPA asks feds to halt Rover pipeline construction
State environmental regulators are asking feds to stop construction on a controversial pipeline that runs through Stark County. The Ohio EPA wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – or FERC – to prevent the Rover Pipeline from boring under the Tuscarawas River. The state maintains Rover lost nearly 150,000 gallons down a hole while it was doing horizontal drilling beneath the Tuscarawas River. That followed a 2-million gallon spill into nearby wetlands last April. Rover is facing a lawsuit from the state over environmental violations. The pipeline will carry natural gas from Southeastern Ohio and West Virginia to Northwest Ohio and Michigan.

Cleveland Clinic resident delivers a baby mid-flight
A Cleveland Clinic doctor saved the day last week on an international flight off the coast of Greenland by delivering a baby at 35,000 feet. CNN reports resident Dr. Sij Hemal helped a mother safely give birth while on his way back to Cleveland from New Delhi. Hemal is a second year urology resident.