Morning Headlines: Trump Nominates Ohio Solicitor for Circuit Court; Smucker Shares Plummet

Jun 8, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 8:

  • Trump nominates Ohio's Solicitor for 6th Circuit Court;
  • Smuckers' stock plummets following earnings report;¬†
  • Appeals court to examine probability of new arguments against ex-death row inmate;
  • A year-long bill to cap interest rates on short-term loans passes the House;
  • Former Ohio State athletes report sexual misconduct by a university doctor;
  • Social workers no longer have to inform criminal defendents on their Miranda Rights;
  • An Ohio congressman introduced a bill to give states power to legalize marijuana;
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Owens passes on Canton ceremony;

Trump nominates Ohio's Solicitor for 6th Circuit Court

President Donald Trump nominated the state of Ohio's Solicitor Eric Murphy and U.S. Justice Department official Chad Readler to sit on Cincinnati's 6th court of appeals yesterday. Both Murphy and Readler worked at Jones Day law firm which represented Trump in the past. Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman voiced his support for the nominees, but Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown said he would not support the nominees because of their goals for Ohio. Murphy defended Ohio's gay marriage ban in 2014 and Readler supported charter schools in the state and backed many of the Trump administration's policies. If confirmed, they will replace judges Alice Batchelder and Deborah Cook, who indicated they will be taking senior status soon.

Smuckers reports lowest earnings in four years

Shares of Orville-based J.M. Smucker Co. tumbled to their lowest levels in four years after posting weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings Thursday. The jam and jelly maker's stock fell as much as 9 percent at one point. The company reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.93 per share, while analysists had estimated $2.18. It's net sales of $1.8 billion remained relatively flat through the year, mainly due to the decrease in oil, peanut butter and baking categories. The company says it expects slaes to increase 13 percent after purchasing Ainsworth Pet Nutrition last month.

Appeals court to examine probability of new arguments against ex-death row inmate

An appeals court will decide whether new arguments can be made in the case of an Ohio inmate who has long maintained his innocence in the 1994 slaying of three people. Ex-death row prisoner Kevin Keith is now serving a life sentence for killing two women and a 4-year-old girl in what prosecutors said was retaliation for his arrest in a drug sweep. Lawyers for Keith are seeking a new trial based on evidence not provided originally, including allegations that a state forensics investigator who worked on Keith's case had a habit of providing police departments with answers they wanted in cases. Federal Judge Solomon Oliver on Thursday transferred Keith's appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether the latest appeal can continue.

A year-long bill to cap interest rates on short-term loans passes the House

A bipartisan proposal capping interest rates on short-term loans has cleared the Ohio House after languishing for more than a year. The measure cleared the House 71-16 Thursday, a day after a weeks-long impasse ended in election of a new speaker. Republican former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned in April amid an FBI probe into his lavish lifestyle and international travel that included trips involving payday lending lobbyists. The bill prohibits charging more than 28 percent interests plus monthly fees of 5 percent on the first $400 loaned, or a maximum of $20. Monthly charges can't exceed 5 percent of a borrower's gross monthly income. An earlier Ohio law imposed the same interest-rate cap, but lenders found ways around it. Payday reform proponents called the bill significant and long overdue.

Former Ohio State athletes report sexual misconduct by a university doctor

Former student-athletes from more than a dozen Ohio State sports teams have now reported alleged sexual misconduct by a university doctor who died in 2005. Investigators have scheduled or conducted interviews with more than 130 people who said they have information about possible misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss. Strauss was an associate professor of medicine at Ohio State and served as a doctor to athletic teams from 1981 to 1995. In addition to his team duties, Strauss worked at the university medical center and student health center. Strauss' personnel file, also released Thursday, offered no clues the university was aware of alleged sexual misconduct by the doctor. Ohio State University President Michael Drake had asked alumni for help with the Strauss investigation, sending an email last month to more than 100,000 who attended the university from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, when the alleged misconduct occurred.

Social workers no longer have to inform criminal defendents on their Miranda Rights

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that social workers don't have to inform criminal defendants of their Miranda rights when conducting interviews. At issue are statements given to a social worker by a jailed Cleveland man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl. A judge allowed the social worker to testify at trial about offender Demetrius Jackson's statements. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison. A lower court overturned that conviction in 2016.

The high court ruled 6-1 Thursday that social workers' duty to cooperate with investigators does not make them agents of law enforcement. Jackson's attorney, Johnathan Garver, called the ruling disappointing. He noted that the full-time job of the social worker who talked to Jackson was interrogating alleged perpetrators of sex crimes against children.

An Ohio congressman introduced a bill to give states power to legalize marijuana

Ohio Congressman Dave Joyce is pushing for greater state control over marijuana policy. Cleveland.com reports that the Bainbridge Republican today introduced bipartisan legislation that would give Ohio and other states the right to legalize marijuana despite its federal status as a schedule 1 narcotic. The "Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States" Act, would exempt marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, legalize industrial hemp, and clarify that marijuana sales are not drug trafficking. The proposal is endorsed by organizations as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity.

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Owens passes oin Canton ceremony 

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Terrell Owens won't be coming to Canton this summer. He said Thursday he's skipping the induction ceremony in August, saying that after visiting Canton earlier this year, he realized he wanted to celebrate one of the most memorable days of his life, elsewhere. Owens was voted into the hall in February after being denied in his first two years of eligibility. His announcement Thursday is unprecedented by an enshrinee.