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Morning Headlines: Press Foundation to Honor Clarence Page; FCC Eyes Changes to Low-Income Internet

headshot of Clarence Page

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Jan. 15:

  • Cause of fire at historic Firestone mansion still unknown;
  • Settlement could revive stalled work at Hoover complex;
  • Teacher who made offensive lynching remark placed on leave;
  • Ohio Turnpike donates used radios to fire and police departments;
  • Juvenile detention center brawl causes $200,000 in damage;
  • National Press Foundation honors Ohio native Clarence Page;
  • Former Cavs coach gives MLK Day address in Akron;
  • Cuyahoga County seeks public comment on bike trail plan;
  • FCC proposes changes to subsidized internet for low-income people;

Cause of fire at historic Firestone mansion still unknown
Fairlawn officials still aren’t saying what caused the fire the destroyed about a third of the Cornus Hill Mansion Saturday night. The Beacon Journal reports firefighters spent about 12 hours battling the blaze and were hampered by the extreme cold and snow. A snow plow was called in to clear the driveway for the fire trucks.  The home was built in 1935 by Russell Firestone, a son of company founder Harvey Firestone. It was sold in 1960 and turned into a convalescent home. Fairlawn’s fire chief tells the Beacon Journal it had been boarded up and vacant for a number of years.

Settlement could revive stalled work at Hoover complex
A settlement in a lawsuit could get work moving again on the Hoover headquarters project in North Canton.  The Repository reports a settlement agreement was reached in a federal lawsuit over funding for the project. According to the paper, developer Maple Street Commerce and owner Stu Lichter have two months to secure a loan to pay for the settlement.  The renovation plan was announced nearly five years ago and aims to make over the headquarters into a mix of retail, commercial and residential space. Lichter and his development company are also the chief developers of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton.

Teacher who made offensive lynching remark placed on leave
A white teacher in Southwest Ohio who admitted to telling a black student he would be lynched by his classmates if he didn't get back to work has been put on leave. The superintendent in the Mason school district sent a letter over the weekend calling the comments thoughtless and offensive. School officials earlier in the week said the teacher would have to undergo sensitivity training, but the student's mother wasn't satisfied with that punishment. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the superintendent's letter says the teacher will be on leave while the school investigates. District officials noted it was her first time being disciplined. School officials say the teacher apologized to the student soon after making the remark.

Ohio Turnpike donates used radios to fire and police departments
The commission that oversees the Ohio Turnpike is giving about 250 of its used two-way radios to fire and police departments in northern Ohio.  Turnpike director Randy Cole says the radios are in good condition and should last another three to five years. The turnpike says the radios are no longer needed because it decided to buy new ones. Twenty-three different police, fire and emergency management departments will be getting the radios.

Juvenile detention center brawl causes $200,000 in damage
Authorities say teens fighting and rioting at a juvenile jail in Cleveland caused an estimated $200,000 in damage as they smashed glass and damaged cell doors, showers, lights and a television. The brawl at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center left a sheriff's officer and a juvenile inmate injured with cuts. Officials say a dozen inmates were separated after the incident. Officials haven't released information about what started it last Monday, which prompted a response from police and a SWAT team.

National Press Foundation honors Ohio native Clarence Page
Southwest Ohio native and Ohio University alumnus Clarence Page is being honored for a half-century of journalistic achievement. The National Press Foundation says the Chicago Tribune columnist will receive the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award at its annual awards dinner in Washington D.C. next month. Page was born in Dayton and raised in Middletown. After earning a journalism degree at OU, he built a career as reporter, editor, syndicated columnist, author and commentator. He earned the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1989.  The National Press Foundation judges stated that Page's "columns tackle the thorniest issues of the day — from immigration to discrimination — with good humor and humility."

Former Cavs coach gives MLK Day address in Akron
Former Cleveland Cavs coach Lenny Wilkens returned to Northeast Ohio yesterday to speak at the Akron Summit County Public Library in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The Beacon Journal reports he spoke about what he had to deal with growing up, discussed some of the racial and social issues around the country and brought a message for young people wanting to see change in the world.  Wilkens talked about meeting personal heroes like former president Barack Obama and former South African President Nelson Mandela. As for the protest by pro athletes during the national anthem, Wilkens says, “The flag means we should be proud Americans and we should speak up against injustice. And that’s what these young men were doing.”

Cuyahoga County seeks public comment on bike trail plan
County officials are seeking public comment on a plan to make Cuyahoga County more bike-and pedestrian-friendly. Planners are holding public listening sessions this week to unveil the first draft of what they’re calling the Cuyahoga Greenways. The trail system would include hundreds of miles of trails and bike paths connecting downtown Cleveland with surrounding communities. Cleveland.com reports county planners want to retrofit an urban region that they say was not designed with bikes or pedestrians in mind. Another public comment period on the $300,000 plan will be held in the spring.

FCC proposes changes to subsidized internet for low-income people
More than 12 million Ohioans could be affected by changes to a federal program that helps low-income people afford internet service. The FCC is proposing that broadband providers under the federal Lifeline program get approval from each state where they want to operate, rather than from the federal government. Opponents of the change say it slows down the approval process and discourages providers from participating in the program. Cleveland.com reports commissioners who voted in favor of the changes want to reduce waste and make it harder to abuse the program. In 2015, Ohio had the sixth-highest number of Lifeline subscribers in the U.S.

Andrew Meyer is the Deputy Editor of News at Ideastream Public Media.