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Morning Headlines: Cleveland Police Endorse Zack Reed for Mayor; Talking Drone Lurks at Akron School

photo of Zack Reed

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, October 12th:

  • Talking drone attempts to lure students off Akron school playground;
  • Cleveland is closer to curtailing illegal dirt bike riding;
  • Cleveland police union endorses Councilman Zack Reed for mayor;
  • Toledo baby is revived after accidental heroin overdose;
  • Attorneys for death row inmate say he should be spared for poor health;
  • Bill to fully legalize fireworks passes Ohio House;
  • University of Akron president gets a raise;
  • Portage transit gets ODOT grant;
  • Worker dies in construction accident at Cleveland State;

Talking drone attempts to lure students off Akron school playground
TheAkron Public School District is warning parents about a talking drone that has been trying to lure students off a playground. WKYC reports the drone has been spotted flying around the Windemere Community Learning Center three to four times this past week. A school official says the person operating the drone was trying to get students to meet at a nearby dollar store. The district is asking parents to accompany students to the playground and remind children of safety precautions.

Cleveland is closer to curtailing illegal dirt bike riding
Cleveland City Council is moving closer to curbing illegal dirt bike riding. The new rules would ban dirt bike stunts while riding on city streets. They would also ban dirt bike riders from filling up at gas stations unless the bikes are being transported on another vehicle. The Public Safety Committee approved the measure Wednesday. It will now go to the city’s Finance Committee before coming to a full council vote.

Cleveland police union endorses Councilman Zack Reed for mayor
Cleveland’s rank-and-file police union is endorsing City Councilman Zack Reed for mayor. Reed came second in last month’s primary, behind current mayor Frank Jackson. Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis says Reed has consistently supported increasing police staffing and lowering violent crime in the city. Reed has said he will hire 400 more police officers if he’s elected. The Teamsters Local 416 and the union representing Cleveland RTA drivers have also endorsed Reed for mayor.

Toledo baby is revived after accidental heroin overdose
An 18-month-old baby in Toledo has been released from the hospital after accidentally overdosing on heroin. Cleveland.com reports the boy’s sibling saw him putting something in his mouth while at the park. The baby’s mother was unable to wake him from a nap and took him the hospital. Emergency workers used three doses of Narcan to revive the boy. It’s the second recent case in Ohio of an infant coming in contact with opioids and needing to be revived.

Attorneys for death row inmate say he should be spared for poor health
A condemned inmate scheduled to die next month for killing a teenage boy is in such poor health he should be spared, according to attorneys who are asking Ohio's governor for mercy for their client. Death row prisoner Alva Campbell requires four breathing treatments a day for asthma and emphysema and may have lung cancer. His attorneys also say the 69-year-old was the product of a violent, dysfunctional and sexually abusive childhood. Campbell's attorneys argue his case is similar to that of Joseph Murphy, spared by Gov. John Kasich in 2011. The board will hear arguments for and against clemency today. Kasich has the final say.

Bill to fully legalize fireworks passes Ohio House
The Ohio House has passed a bill that would fully legalize fireworks. The bill, which passed 77-12 Wednesday, permits residents to shoot off fireworks anytime of the week. It does prohibit people from setting off fireworks while drinking or using drugs and fireworks sellers would be required to distribute safety information. Current law allows Ohio residents to purchase fireworks in the state, but they are required to take them out of the state within 48 hours. The new bill would legalize fireworks by July 2020 if it passes the state Senate and receives a signature from Gov. John Kasich.

University of Akron president gets a raise
The University of Akron board of trustees has extended the contract for President Matthew Wilson and given him a raise. In a statement today the Boards says it’s very pleased with Wilson’s stewardship of the university and is giving him a six-year extension. Wilson was also given an $80,000 raise, bringing his annual base pay to $450,000.  That’s what former president Scott Scarborough was making when he stepped-down after a tumultuous two-year term. Wilson has declined perks common for university presidents such as a housing allowance, free car and club memberships. The board says Wilson has “stabilized the University’s reputation, finances, enrollment, and donations” since he took over last fall.

Portage transit gets ODOT grant
Portage County’s public transit agency received $1.3 million from theOhio Department of Transportation. PARTAwill use the funding to purchase a second CNG fueling pump for its CNG station being built in the summer of 2018, buy five buses and for other maintenance and repairs.

Worker dies in construction accident at Cleveland State
Police say a construction worker was killed in an accident yesterday afternoon at Cleveland State University. Police say the 56-year-old man, who has not been identified, died after a piece of sheet metal fell on him while working at the university's engineering building.

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