Morning Headlines: Online Sex Trafficking Bill Clears Committee; John Glenn's Birthplace Gets Marker

Nov 9, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, November 9th:

  • Cleveland Clinic and CareSource reach deal;
  • Right-wing super PAC backing Mandel shuts down;
  • Portman's online sex trafficking bill clears committee;
  • Columbus mayor announces violence reduction efforts in upcoming budget;
  • Strongsville teacher's accused killer charged with aggravated murder;
  • Western Reserve Hospital and Summa move toward resolution;
  • ACLU considers legal challenge to Marsy's Law;
  • John Glenn's birthplace unveils a historic marker;
  • Newcomerstown officer admits he lied to cover up a suicide attempt;
  • Drug distributor's shareholder meeting draws protesters;

Cleveland Clinic and CareSource reach deal
After months of negotiating, the Cleveland Clinic has signed a long-term Medicaid contract with health care provider CareSource. Both companies had disagreed on a payment structure and warned that their contract would expire. Cleveland.com reports an estimated 61,000 CareSource customers get primary care through the Clinic.

Right-wing super PAC backing Mandel shuts down
A right-wing super PAC that supported Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel’s bid for the U.S. Senate is shutting down. Rev 18 — short for Revolution 2018 — was formed in late August by activists known for spreading a false sex crime scandal involving Hillary Clinton during last year’s election. Mandel did not reject the PAC’s support, and sided with two of its members in a dispute with the Anti-Defamation League earlier this year. The PAC’s founders tell Cleveland.com they will continue to use social media to individually support Mandel’s Senate bid.

Portman's online sex trafficking bill clears committee
A bill aimed at curbing online sex trafficking has advanced in the U.S. Senate. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act is being co-sponsored by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut. The bill won unanimous approval from the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday. Big tech companies initially opposed the bill over concerns they would be held responsible for content outside their control. The companies dropped their opposition last week, paving the way for committee approval. Critics say the bill would lead to online censorship. It’s not clear when the bill will get a full Senate vote.

Columbus mayor announces violence reduction efforts in upcoming budget
The mayor of Ohio's largest city is announcing new initiatives to reduce violence and improve community-police relations. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther also plans to outline proposed safety-related spending in his upcoming budget. Ginther's planned announcement today comes as the city faces a soaring homicide rate, with 113 slayings to date this year. The city says police lack motives and suspects in one of every two of those homicides.

Strongsville teacher's accused killer charged with aggravated murder
A grand jury has returned an aggravated murder charge against a man accused of stabbing and shooting his future mother-in-law. Jeffrey Scullin Jr., 20, is accused of killing Strongsville teacher Melinda Pleskovic last month, just five days before he was supposed to be married. He had been living with his girlfriend's parents at their home. He's being held on $1 million bond.

Western Reserve Hospital and Summa move toward resolution
A long-running dispute between two Akron area hospitals shows signs of healing. The Beacon Journal reports that physician-owned Western Reserve Hospital Partners and Summa Health System have signed a letter of intent to resolve a three-year legal battle over the partnership and ownership of the facility. Summa has apparently agreed to sell its 40 percent share in the hospital to a third party and also sell the building to the physicians group. The deal will bring an end to the, at times, contentious legal wrangling. Western Reserve physicians had voted in 2014 to break away from its parent Summa. Now with a leadership change at Summa, interim CEO Dr. Cliff Deveny says “there’s no reason why the original vision for the partnership can’t be realized.”

ACLU considers legal challenge to Marsy's Law
The American Civil Liberties Union is weighing a legal challenge to the crime victim rights amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved Tuesday. Issue 1, dubbed Marsy's Law, amends the Ohio Constitution to give crime victims and their families the same rights as the accused. It swept to victory in all 88 counties. The ACLU is concerned that, in its effort to protect victims, the law may erode the rights of the accused. Similar laws are in effect in five other states. Montana’s high court last week ruled a Marsy's Law amendment unconstitutional following a legal challenge by the ACLU and others.

John Glenn's birthplace unveils a historic marker
The Ohio birthplace of the late John Glenn is celebrating its place in history with a historic marker commemorating the astronaut and U.S. senator who died last year. Officials in Cambridge, just east of Columbus, will hold a ceremony today to unveil the marker. Glenn was born there on July 18, 1921. The commemoration was spearheaded by the local convention and visitors' bureau. It's part of increased efforts to honor Glenn's legacy since his death last December. An effort had failed to have his Cambridge home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Newcomerstown officer admits he lied to cover up a suicide attempt
A former police officer in Tuscarawas County has pleaded guilty to charges that he tried to cover up a suicide attempt by falsely claiming he'd been shot during a traffic stop. Former Newcomerstown police officer Bryan Eubanks claimed individuals in a car shot him in the arm during a traffic stop in April. A man was taken into custody and released several hours later. Eubanks was fired after telling investigators he had shot himself. He faces prison time. A sentencing date has not been set.

Drug distributor's shareholder meeting draws protesters
Protesters carrying signs with photos of people who've died from opioid overdoses gathered outside drug distributor Cardinal Health's annual shareholders meeting in Ohio. The Teamsters labor union helped organize the protest involving about 40 people Wednesday outside Cardinal Health's headquarters in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. Cardinal is among the nation's drug distributors that have been criticized for failing to slow the flow of opiate painkillers that can lead to the use of heroin.