Morning Headlines: Youngstown Business Owner to be Deported; Tax Amnesty Period Underway

Jan 3, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, January 3:

  • Akron faces lawsuit over changes to retiree healthcare benefits;
  • Shots fired at Cleveland Hopkins;
  • Youngstown business owner to be deported;
  • Aultman finalizes purchase of Alliance Community Hospital;
  • Lakewood considers new rules on pit bull ownership;
  • Abortion advertising campaign challenges stigma;
  • Tax amnesty period begins;
  • Teen charged in deadly crash gets probation;
  • Mother pleads not guilty in death of child;
  • Akron keeps warming centers open;

Akron faces lawsuit over changes to retiree healthcare benefits
Akron’s former chief prosecutor is suing the city over changes to healthcare benefits for retired workers. The city says it will only give supplemental insurance to spouses and children who buy primary insurance through the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System. Former Chief Prosecutor Douglas Powley argues retiree spouses are not required by law to buy insurance before receiving supplemental coverage from the state. Powley is suing to block the new requirement. The Beacon Journal reports more than 2,400 retirees and 1,600 dependents were getting supplemental coverage last year.

Shots fired at Cleveland Hopkins
Shots have been fired at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Police say there are no injuries and at least one vehicle has been damaged in the incident. The shooting began around 3 a.m. this morning. The incident involved an argument between an unknown number of male suspects who began shooting as they drove away from the airport. The cause of the incident is unknown. Police are still searching for the suspects.

Youngstown business owner to be deported
A small business owner in Youngstown credited with revitalizing the city’s downtown is facing deportation this weekend. Amer Othman Adi, 57, owns Downtown Circle Convenience and Deli. Adi has been fighting deportation for the last two decades. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in September gave Adi three months to leave the country. Adi will fly to Amman, Jordan on Sunday.

Aultman finalizes purchase of Alliance Community Hospital
The Aultman Health Foundation has completed its purchase of Alliance Community Hospital. The purchase was finalized Monday, following an agreement signed in October. Under the agreement, Alliance hospital will keep its name and tailor its services to the surrounding community. The hospital board will be evenly split between the Alliance Citizens Health Association Board and the Aultman Health Foundation Board.

Lakewood considers new rules on pit bull ownership
The city of Lakewood is looking to end a ban on dangerous breeds of dogs, including pit bulls. City Council voted Tuesday to replace the ban with a set of regulations for people who want to own certain breeds within city limits. Owners would be required to register their dogs, pay a $50 dollar fee, and have at least $100,000 in liability insurance for the dog. Dogs would also need to be muzzled and kept on a leash shorter than six feet long if their owners are not present. A special committee still needs to decide whether the ordinance can go to a full council vote. Some critical dog owners say the ordinance discriminates against certain breeds without addressing safety concerns.

Abortion advertising campaign challenges stigma
Ohio's largest abortion clinic has launched an advertising campaign aimed at challenging the stigma around abortion. Preterm's My Abortion, My Life campaign includes 16 billboards around Cleveland, where the clinic is located. Each billboard displays a sentence beginning with "Abortion is..." and ending with a different phrase. Some phrases include "a parenting decision," ''necessary" and "your right." The campaign follows Gov. John Kasich's signing of legislation last month that prohibits doctors from performing abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Tax amnesty period begins
Ohio's six-week tax amnesty period is underway. The grace period gives taxpayers with unreported or underreported tax debts an opportunity to pay a reduced amount of interest and avoid owing further penalties if they settle up. The Ohio Department of Taxation is accepting applications for the amnesty program for residents and businesses until Feb. 15. During the amnesty window, eligible taxpayers who fully pay their delinquencies will pay half the normal interest and no extra penalties. It applies only to tax delinquencies that were due before May 1, 2017, and are currently unknown to the department.

Teen charged in deadly crash gets probation
A teenager who pleaded guilty to juvenile charges in the deaths of two teen passengers who died when she drove an SUV through a red light and collided with an Akron firetruck has received probation. A juvenile court judge in Akron said the 16-year-old girl will go to youth prison if she violates the terms of the one-year probation. The July crash killed Briyana Hayes, 15, and Lashae Johnson, 16.

Mother pleads not guilty in death of child
The mother of a developmentally disabled 5-year-old boy found buried in the backyard of a Cleveland home has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. Larissa Rodriguez didn't speak during her arraignment Tuesday. She remains in jail on a $1 million bond. Authorities found the body of Jordan Rodriguez buried in bags in the yard of his Cleveland home. Police say Larissa Rodriguez showed authorities where the boy was buried. She told police she and her boyfriend buried the boy after finding him unresponsive.

Akron keeps warming centers open
The city of Akron is keeping its four community centers open as warming centers through Saturday. Four centers -- Mason Park, Summit Lake, Patterson Park and Lawton Street -- will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.