Morning Headlines: Regional Election Results Summary; Akron Library Cancels Matt Taibbi

Nov 8, 2017

For detailed coverage of election results, click here.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, November 8th:

  • Cleveland keeps Jackson, while surrounding cities vote for change;
  • Summit County passes all but one non-school tax issues;
  • Majority of school levies pass in Northeast Ohio;
  • Marsy's Law constitutional amendment passes;
  • Issue 2 fails after contentious and expensive campaign;
  • Bond issue to fund upgrades at Tri-C passes;
  • Akron library cancels Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi appearance;
  • Drug take-back program gets prescription drugs off the streets;
  • This summer's Lake Erie algae blooms were less toxic than in past years;
  • Drug trafficking ring exposed, faces hundreds of charges;

Cleveland keeps Jackson, while surrounding cities vote for change
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has won a record fourth, four-year term, beating longtime city councilman Zack Reed by nearly 60 percent to 40. In Beachwood, voters ousted longtime Mayor Merle Gorden, the state's highest-paid public official. He was beat out by city Council President Martin Horwitz. And 23-year Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne lost to Michael Gammella. Coyne made headlines by switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party and supporting Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. And in University Heights, incumbent Susan Infeld lost to political newcomer Michael Brennan. Cuyahoga Falls incumbent mayor Don Walter easily won re-election.

Summit County passes all but one non-school tax issues
Thirteen of 14 local and county tax issues and charter amendments passed in Summit County yesterday. The Beacon Journal reports the only non-school tax issue to fail was in Springfield, where voters rejected a new 1.3-mill levy to raise $336,000 a year for parks and recreation.

Incumbent Akron Municipal Court Clerk Jim Laria has been re-elected, beating Akron City Councilman Jeff Fusco. Laria, who has served as held the position for 21 years, won with nearly 51 percent of the vote.

Majority of school levies pass in Northeast Ohio
Most school tax issues passed in the region Tuesday. In Summit County, Coventry voters renewed a nearly 10-mill emergency levy that was defeated in May.  Hudson voters passed a nearly 5-mill bond issue to generate $81.5 million over 30 years to begin implementing the school district’s master facility plan. Issues in Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Manchester all passed, while issues in Woodridge and Norton failed. Issues in Stark County all appeared to be passing with the exception of an additional bond issue and income tax in North Canton. In Cuyahoga County, Brooklyn City Schools' tax renewal and increase failed by a margin of less than 1 percent. Richmond Heights voters approved three new property taxes to finance a new community center.

Marsy's Law constitutional amendment passes
Ohioans have voted to expand crime victims' rights to more closely match those of the accused. Approval of Issue 1 Tuesday places the new guarantees into the state constitution. They include notice of court proceedings, input on plea deals and the ability for victims and their families to tell their story. Dubbed Marsy's Law for Ohio, the measure was championed by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend. The campaign had spent $8.2 million as of mid-October on its effort.

Issue 2 fails after contentious and expensive campaign
Ohio voters have rejected a ballot measure seeking to curb prescription drug prices paid by the state for prisoners, injured workers and poor people. The campaign fight over Issue 2, dubbed the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, was the most expensive in state history. The measure would have required the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs' lowest price, which is often deeply discounted. The pharmaceutical industry spent more than $50 million to oppose the measure, saying it would reduce access to medicines and raise prices for veterans and others.

Bond issue to fund upgrades at Tri-C passes
Voters yesterday approved a bond issue to fund upgrades at Cuyahoga Community College. It was the first time Tri-C placed a bond issue on the ballot. Cleveland.com reports the 0.5-mill property tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 dollar home about $18 dollars a year. The 25-year bond issue is expected to raise more than $200 million . The money will go toward repairs, upgrades and additions to 50 of Tri-C’s buildings. Planned projects include expansions at Tri-C’s campuses in Cleveland Parma, and renovations at its Highland Hills location. The community college also plans to add a new building at its Westlake campus to keep up with rising enrollment.

Akron library cancels Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi appearance
The Akron-Summit County Public Library has cancelled an appearance by journalist and author Matt Taibbi. The library announced Tuesday it will not host the author because of newly-surfaced allegations of sexual harassment. The Akron library also referred to some imagery in one of Taibbi’s books as “misogynistic.” Taibbi is denying the claims of sexual harassment. The Beacon Journal reports similar engagements in Chicago and Washington have also been cancelled. Taibbi was scheduled to talk about his new book about the life of Eric Garner, who died at the hands of New York City police.

Drug take-back program gets prescription drugs off the streets
Officials say Ohioans turned in more than 35,000 pounds of unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs last month during the most recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The event promoted by the Drug Enforcement Administration is intended to help residents safely dispose of opioids and other potentially harmful medicines that could be abused.

This summer's Lake Erie algae blooms found to be less toxic than in past years
The toxic algae that spread across Lake Erie this summer roughly matched its third-most severe bloom in 15 years, government researchers said Tuesday. The algae outbreak on the shallowest of the Great Lakes had two peaks this year in August and again in mid-September, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It left behind a thick, paint-like scum on the surface that had covered about 280 square miles by September, but the entire bloom was much larger and stretched from Toledo to the shoreline along Ontario, Canada and reached the mouth of the Detroit River, the agency said. It also was less toxic than in past years, scientists said.

Drug trafficking ring exposed, faces hundreds of charges
Authorities say 100 people have been charged with hundreds of counts of drug trafficking, including allegations of flooding the state with doses of deadly synthetic opioids. Investigators allege the drug trafficking ring has operated mainly between Cuyahoga and Columbiana counties since 2014. A 756-count indictment against 100 individuals following a probe by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Columbiana County Drug Task Force in East Liverpool was announced Tuesday. Two suspects are charged with felony assault for allegedly exposing an East Liverpool police officer to fentanyl during a traffic stop earlier this year.