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Morning Headlines: Army Corps Drops Appeal of Dredging Decision; Cleveland Quiet on City Hall Raid

photo of Cleveland Harbor

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, December 14th:

  • U.S. Army Corps drops appeal over dredging controversy;
  • Bill expanding computer science for K-12 students heads to Kasich's desk;
  • Cleveland still mum on overnight raid by feds;
  • Canton teacher suspended after tackling student;
  • Cleveland councilman calls for 'state of emergency,' more cops after robbery of priest;
  • Feds search for two men who robbed Cleveland Heights bank at gunpoint;
  • Cuyahoga County is slated to give $2 million toward athletic club renovation;
  • State ethics board comments on conflicts of interest, but not Youngstown Schools CEO;

Army Corps drops appeal over dredging controversy
The federal agency that maintains shipping channels along Lake Erie has dropped its appeal of a federal judge's ruling over the dredging of Cleveland's harbor. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it won't try to overturn the ruling that said the agency was wrong to delay its dredging of the harbor in 2015. The Corps and Ohio's environmental agency had been locked in a legal battle about where the sediment from Cleveland's harbor can be disposed and who pays for it. A lawsuit over a dispute about the dredging in 2016 is still pending in federal court.

Bill expanding computer science for K-12 students heads to Kasich's desk
A bill expanding computer science as an option for Ohio schoolchildren is on its way to Gov. John Kasich. The legislation requires the Department of Education to adopt standards and a curriculum for computer science in grades K-12. The House approved Senate changes to the bill Wednesday. The bill also allows students to substitute advanced computer science for Algebra II as a graduation requirement. Schools must warn students this could hurt the college application process since Algebra II could be an admissions requirement. Offering computer science classes is left up to individual districts. Kasich says he'll sign the bill.

Cleveland still mum on overnight raid by feds
The City of Cleveland is continuing to stay quiet about a raid of the city's Engineering and Construction office by federal agents last week. Cleveland.com reports agents seized documents related to Pioneer Engineering, a consulting company owned by city engineer Khalil Ewais. A mayor's spokesman said he could not comment on the case. No charges have been filed. Neither Pioneer Engineering nor Ewais have commented publicly on the case.

Canton teacher suspended after tackling student
A high school teacher in Canton has been suspended with pay and is under investigation after a cellphone video surfaced showing him tackling a student inside a classroom. The Canton Repository reports the Canton City Schools superintendent said in a statement that the McKinley High School teacher's behavior was "disturbing and unprofessional." The video recorded Dec. 4 shows the teacher touching a male student's arm, prompting the student to pull away. The teacher then wraps his arm around the student's neck and throws him to the floor. It's unclear what prompted the encounter and the teacher's name has not been released. The student served a one-day suspension for insubordination. The 48-year-old teacher in 2015 had his teaching license suspended for 60 days after being convicted of domestic violence.

Cleveland councilman calls for 'state of emergency,' more cops after robbery of priest
A Cleveland councilman is responding to a recent robbery of a priest by calling for a state of emergency. Four teens have been charged with robbing and shooting at Rev. John Kumse outside a church in Collinwood. The teens fired three shots at Kumse while he harvested eggs from a chicken coop behind his church on Monday. In a statement, Councilman Mike Polensek said he wants more police officers on the streets. Polensek said the incident should be a “wake up call” to Mayor Frank Jackson.

Feds search for two men who robbed Cleveland Heights bank at gunpoint
Federal investigators are looking for two men who robbed a bank in Cleveland Heights. In a release, the FBI says two men robbed a Huntington Bank on Coventry Road at gunpoint on Wednesday morning. The men were caught on surveillance video with their faces partially covered. The robbers escaped in a stolen silver Kia. Huntington Bank is offering up to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anonymous tips can be called in to the Cleveland Heights Police Department.

Cuyahoga County slated to give $2 million toward athletic club renovation
Cuyahoga County is recommending millions of dollars in loans to go toward the renovation of the Cleveland Athletic Club. The $62 million project has already secured $5 million dollars in preservation tax credits from the state. The county is proposing $2 million dollars toward the project. The renovated athletic club would include a running track, fitness center and 20-meter pool. The building will also include offices and is expected to create 20 to 25 jobs.

State ethics board comments on conflicts of interest, but not Youngstown Schools CEO
A state ethics board says awarding contracts to business associates is unethical following an alleged conflict of interest involving the CEO of Youngstown Schools. The district paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for learning software from a company where CEO Krish Mohip was previously a consultant. The commission’s executive director tells the Vindicator consultants are considered business associates and therefore should not award contracts. TheOhio Ethics Commission declined to comment on that specific case and has not said whether or not it will open an investigation.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.