Morning Headlines: Spielman Lawsuit, Coal Battle and the Opioid Crisis

Nov 29, 2017

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, November 29th:

  • Renacci criticizes lawsuits against drug companies;
  • Spielman pushes for lawsuit to expand to other mega-football schools;
  • Coal industry and environmentalists will square off at only hearing;
  • International agency warns of threats to Great Lakes cleanup;
  • Akron considers selling about 400 trees to raise money;
  • Trumbull coroner asks for more money as opioid crisis worsens;
  • Senate committee recommends replacement for former Sen. Cliff Hite;
  • Suspects steal delivery truck with 40 Amazon packages;
  • Police arrest second teen in fatal Parma shooting.

Renacci criticizes lawsuits against drug companies
Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci is criticizing suits against drug companies as a solution to Ohio’s drug problem. Renacci on Tuesday addressed the City Club of Cleveland, saying that suing drug manufacturers is like suing gun and car manufacturers for shootings and accidents. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican rival, has filed suit against five big pharma companies. DeWine claims the drug manufacturers lied to doctors about the addictive properties of opioids. Renacci, who considers himself a political outsider, supports education initiatives and harsher penalties for drug-related crimes.

Spielman pushes for lawsuit to expand to other mega-football schools
Former Massillon, Ohio State and NFL star Chris Spielman wants to expand his class-action lawsuit over Ohio State’s use of former football players’ images in marketing campaigns. Spielman – who became a broadcaster after his playing career – asked a federal judge yesterday to allow the antitrust complaint to expand to include big-name schools such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Notre Dame

Trump carbon emissions rules will get their only hearing
The coal industry and environmentalists are squaring off at a two-day public hearing over the Trump administration's intended repeal of an Obama-era plan to limit planet-warming carbon emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency is holding the only scheduled hearing on the reversal in Charleston, West Virginia, capital of a state heavily dependent on coal mining.

International agency warns of threats to Great Lakes cleanup
A joint U.S.-Canadian agency says untreated sewage releases, chemical pollution and algae blooms show that the two nations have a long way to go to meet their pledge to clean up the Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission on Tuesday released its first progress report since the two countries approved an updated version of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 2012. It says both nations have made progress toward cleaning up toxic pollution but have fallen short in other areas.

Akron considers selling about 400 trees to raise money
Akron is considering letting the highest bidder harvest some of the thousands of hardwood saplings it’s been planting around its reservoirs since 2011. The Beacon Journal reports water department officials expect logging of about 400 trees at the LaDue Reservoir in Geauga County would raise $50,000 to $70,000. The money would be earmarked for revenue generating eco-friendly programs, many of which were shuttered about 30 years ago.

Trumbull coroner asks for more money as opioid crisis worsens
Trumbull County’s coroner is asking the county commissioners for a nearly 50 percent increase in his budget to keep up with the opioid crisis. The Vindicator reports Coroner Humphry Germaniuk told the commissioners he has been trying for two years to hire a second pathologist, but can’t outbid offices in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus, which also are increasing staff. Germaniuk wants to boost his budget from nearly $800,000 to more than $1.1 million. Trumbull County has recorded about 150 overdose death this year, up from the 107 it recorded in all of 2016.

Senate committee recommends replacement for former Sen. Cliff Hite
The seven-member Ohio Senate screening committee is recommending State Rep. Robert McColley, of Napoleon to replace Cliff Hite as the Ohio 1st District senator.  Hite quit in October after allegations of persistent sexual harassment arose against him. Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof says the Senate Republican caucus, which will select the replacement, will meet soon to accept the recommendation of McColley. It he’s picked, McColley will serve the remaining 13 months of Hite’s term.

Suspects steal delivery truck with 40 Amazon packages
Police are searching for the suspects that stole a delivery truck in Ohio with 40 Amazon packages inside. WEWS-TV reports the theft happened around 1 p.m. in East Cleveland Sunday. The delivery driver says he was dropping off a package when a person ran to his truck and drove away. The driver says he noticed multiple people acting strangely as he dropped off the package. Police have not released a description of the suspects. An investigation is ongoing.

Police arrest second teen in fatal Parma shooting
Cleveland police have arrested the second suspect in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy from Parma. The first suspect was arrested on Monday. Both teenagers fired some 20 gunshots outside a liquor store, striking Hillside Middle School student Abdel Bashiti and five other teens. The suspects face 25 felony charges. Cleveland.com reports county prosecutors are seeking to charge both teens as adults in common pleas court. A hearing has not yet been scheduled.