Morning Headlines: Ohio House to Elect New Speaker; Hickory Harvest Foods Issues Voluntary Recall

May 21, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, May 21:

  • Cleveland holds first of a dozen dirt bike events at Muni lot;
  • Hickory Harvest Foods issues voluntary recall over potential listeria exposure;
  • Ohio House set to elect Republican Ryan Smith as new speaker;
  • Veterans housing program expands;
  • Cleveland Marathon winner disputed;
  • Escaped inmates in Warren County recaptured less than a day after fleeing;
  • Bill barring out-of-school suspension for minor infractions clears Ohio Senate;
  • Goodyear's new airship expected to have its maiden flight in June;
  • War of 1812 monument repoens on Lake Erie's South Bass Island;
  • Two Cleveland men arrested in connection with Kalahari Resort shooting;

Cleveland holds first of a dozen dirt bike events at Muni lot
Cleveland had its first event over the weekend aimed at keeping dirt bikes off the streets. Fox 8 reports about 10 dirt bike riders met Saturday at the city’s Municipal Lot. The events are meant to encourage safety and provide an outlet for riders away from Cleveland’s streets. A total of 12 dirt bike events are planned for the summer.

Hickory Harvest Foods issues voluntary recall over potential listeria exposure
Hickory Harvest Foods in Akron is recalling certain lots of its fruit and nut mixes over potential exposure to listeria, according to the FDA. The company is recalling 9-ounce bags of its Island Fruit and Organic Nut mixes, as well as 1.5-ounce bags of raw almonds, pistachios and honey cashews. Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. No illnesses have been reported.

Ohio House set to elect Republican Ryan Smith as new speaker
The Ohio House is set to elect Republican Ryan Smith of Gallia County as its new speaker. Acting speaker Kirk Schuring of Canton says Smith has secured the 50 votes needed to become speaker. Republicans hold a nearly two-to-one majority over Democrats in the House. If elected, Smith will succeed Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned abruptly last month amid talk of an FBI investigation. The vote is set for Tuesday morning.

Veterans housing program expands
A program that provides apartment deposits to help homeless veterans get into homes is expanding in Ohio. Veterans Matter started in Toledo six years ago, serving 35 homeless veterans. The organization has now served more than 2,000 former military personnel in Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati. A University of Toledo fundraiser this spring raised enough money to expand the service to the Cleveland and Columbus areas. The program provides homeless vets with a deposit and share of first-month's rent if necessary while vets await rent vouchers through a U.S. Housing and Urban Development program. About 40,000 U.S. veterans are homeless, with about 800 in Ohio.

Cleveland Marathon winner disputed
The Cleveland Marathon is holding off declaring a winner in the men's race while a dispute is resolved over whether the winner improperly covered his racing bib. Daniel Mesfun of Eritrea was the unofficial winner in a time of about 2:16 with no question about whether he completed the course. But the second-place argued Mesfun kept a shirt over his bib, making it unclear whether Mesfun was running the marathon or half-marathon. Race officials expect a decision in the next couple of days. The women's race was won by Sarah Horbol, a fifth-grade science teacher from Westlake in a time of just under 2:52.

Escaped inmates in Warren County recaptured less than a day after fleeing
Authorities say two inmates were recaptured less than a day after they fled an Ohio correctional facility. The Warren County Sheriff's Office says the inmates escaped from the Community Correctional Center in southwestern Ohio about Saturday night and were recaptured about 3 p.m. Sunday. Saturday's escape was reported when the two inmates were seen running through a field and jumping into a minivan. Both were serving sentences related to drug offenses.

Bill barring out-of-school suspension for minor infractions clears Ohio Senate
The Ohio Senate has unanimously approved a bill preventing schools from imposing out-of-school suspensions to young students who have committed minor infractions. The Dispatch reports Ohio elementary schools have handed out 35,000 suspensions in each of the last two years. About half were for disruptive or disobedient behavior. The newspaper reports nearly two-thirds of the children were black and 90 percent came from low-income households. Lawmakers are concerned that out-of-school suspensions serve to punish children who might be acting out in class because of trauma at home caused by neglect, physical abuse or stress caused by poverty. The Senate bill would limit suspensions and expulsions for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade for behavior that threatens the safety of students and staff.

Goodyear's new airship expected to have its maiden flight in June
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company officials say its third and final new technology airship could be ready for its maiden flight in late June. The Beacon Journal reports the gondola that carries crew and passengers was placed beneath the semi-rigid airship on Friday inside the Wingfoot Lake blimp hangar in Suffield Township. Assembly of the airship began a year ago. Workers for Zeppelin, the German company constructing the airship, say engines are expected to arrive later this month. The company's first new technology airship, Wingfoot One, initially flew in 2014 and is based in Florida. Wingfoot Two first flew in 2016 and is now based in California.

War of 1812 monument repoens on Lake Erie's South Bass Island
An Ohio monument commemorating a key victory for the United States in the War of 1812 has reopened on Lake Erie's South Bass Island. The observation deck and visiting center for the 352-foot-tall Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial closed last year while undergoing exterior repairs and improvements to the grounds as part of a $2.4 million project. It reopened Saturday. The monument, operated by the National Park Service, its observation deck and visiting center are open daily through September. It commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie led by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, which is considered one of the most significant naval battles in the War of 1812 against Great Britain.

Two Cleveland men arrested in connection with Kalahari Resort shooting
Two Cleveland men are in custody for their alleged connection with two shots fired at Kalahari Resort. The incident began as “a large fight” according to the Sandusky Register. Samuel McKnight Jr. and Sylvester Harris Jr., both 19, were arrested early Sunday morning when police matched their vehicle with one seen at the resort. They’re charged with carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling of a firearm. One of the men was also charged with marijuana possession. It’s not yet known if the firearm found inside the vehicle was the same one fired at the resort. No serious injuries have been reported.