Morning Headlines: Ohio House Speaker Resignation Moved Up; Bridgestone Invitational Leaves Akron

Apr 13, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 13:

  • Ohio House speaker moves up resignation, effective immediately;
  • Bridgestone Invitational will leave Akron's Firestone Country Club;
  • Outgoing University of Akron president among finalists to lead Utah Valley University
  • Voting machine funding bill passes Ohio Senate;
  • Attorneys for Cleveland police supervisors challenge offer to drop charges in exchange for cash;
  • Federal judge gives U.S. EPA a month to act on 2016 impaired waters list;

Ohio House speaker moves up resignation, effective immediately
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is stepping down immediately, moving up a resignation he announced earlier this week amid talk of an FBI investigation into his activities. House Republicans said Thursday that Rosenberger's decision to resign now came at the request of Rep. Kirk Schuring. Schuring presides over the House in Rosenberger's absence. Rosenberger says he believes all of his actions as speaker have been "ethical and lawful," but he understands the inquiry could take some time to resolve. The 36-year-old Republican announced his resignation Tuesday but initially said he would stay on until May 1. He told the Dayton Daily News  that he has hired an attorney "as a precautionary measure."

Bridgestone Invitational will leave Akron's Firestone Country Club
The PGA made it official on Thursday: Akron’s Firestone Country Club is losing The Bridgestone Invitational and picking up one of the five majors on the PGA Tour Champions. In a pair of announcements in different states Thursday, the PGA Tour said the Bridgestone will become the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn. in 2019. Bridgestone chose not to renew its title sponsorship of the event at Firestone. Starting next year, Firestone will get the best players over the age 50. The Bridgestone Senior Players Championship will be played in July.

Outgoing University of Akron president among finalists to lead Utah Valley University
Outgoing University of Akron President Matt Wilson is one of four candidates in the running for the top job at Utah Valley University. Wilson last month lost his bid to become president of Central Florida University. Shortly after, he announced that he’s stepping down as president to return to the law school faculty, effective in July. Wilson grew up in Utah and earned two degrees from the University of Utah.

Voting machine funding bill passes Ohio Senate
A bill providing funding for new voting machines has passed the Ohio Senate. Senate Bill 135 passed 32-1 with Republican Sen. Kris Jordan dissenting. The bill, introduced by Republican Sen. Frank LaRose of Hudson, gives nearly $115 million in federal money for counties to purchase new machines. The funding is available through the Help America Vote Act passed in 2002.

Attorneys for Cleveland police supervisors challenge offer to drop charges in exchange for cash
Attorneys representing Cleveland police supervisors charged in a deadly 2012 police chase are asking for a review of an offer to drop all charges in exchange for $5,000. East Cleveland Law Director Willa Hemmons made the offer to drop dereliction-of-duty charges against the five supervisors. In a letter to state and county officials, attorneys claim Hemmons acted improperly when she offered to drop the charges in exchange for money. Cleveland.com reports Hemmons has made similar offers to past defendants. Only one officer, Michael Brelo, was charged in connection with the deadly chase. He was later acquitted.

Federal judge gives U.S. EPA a month to act on 2016 impaired waters list
A federal judge has given the U.S. EPA 30 days to act on Ohio’s 2016 list of impaired waters. The order is part of a lawsuit brought by the Environmental Law and Policy Center against the EPA.  In a ruling this week, U.S. District Judge James Carr wrote federal regulators failed to act on the state EPA’s decision to leave Lake Erie’s western basin off of its list of impaired waterways, even after the high-profile Toledo water crisis in 2014. Federal regulators waited until one day before a filing deadline to tell the Ohio EPA it was reconsidering its approval of the state's impaired waters list. In his ruling, Carr said the move had “a whiff of bad faith.” State and federal officials are reviewing Carr's order. The Ohio EPA last month agreed to make the impaired designation in next year's list.