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Morning Headlines: Judge Asks DEA For Prescription Opioid Sales Data; Ohio Sues Four Drug Companies

Photo of opioids

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 27:

  • Federal judge asks DEA to release painkiller sales data;
  • Cleveland Foundation gives $200,000 to study Hyperloop route to Chicago;
  • Summa Health expects $12 million revenue after expenses;
  • Ohio files new suit against four drug distributors;
  • Cuyahoga County ordered to release video of jail guard attacking female inmate;
  • Firestone Country Club could host PGA championship in 2019;
  • Cavs seek man who yelled racial slur on national broadcast;

Federal judge asks DEA to release painkiller sales data
The federal judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers wants federal law enforcement to release data on opioid sales. In a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster called on the Drug Enforcement Administration to release federal data showing how many pills were sold and which pharmacies bought them. Polster said the data would be used in settlement talks and would not be released to the public unless the lawsuits go to trial. The DEA has one week to decide whether or not the data will be released.

Cleveland Foundation gives $200,000 to study Hyperloop route to Chicago
The Cleveland area’s transportation planning agency has signed on to study a Hyperloop route to Chicago. The Cleveland Foundationhas given $200,000 for the $1.2 million study. The technology – which is not yet fully developed -- is intended to carry people or cargo at high speeds through closed tubes. Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency director Grace Gallucci says they'll look at possible routes and land availability. She says the study will not examine whether the technology itself is possible. The agency will work with California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Summa Health expects $12 million revenue after expenses
Akron-based Summa Health is expecting to end the year in better financial shape after losing millions last year. Summa plans to end this year with a $12 million profit. The health system ended last year better than expected, but still finished with a $28 million loss. Summa plans to achieve up to a 2 percent operating margin within the next few years.

Ohio files new suit against four drug distributors
Ohio's attorney general has filed a new lawsuit aimed at curbing the state's deadly addictions epidemic, this time targeting companies that distribute drugs. The lawsuit in Madison County court names four major drug distributors including Ohio-based Cardinal Health. The lawsuit alleges the companies ignored a duty to ensure their drugs weren't being diverted for improper use. Drug companies have said in response to such lawsuits they are committed to fighting opioid abuse but have questioned the value of litigation. A federal judge in Cleveland is trying to hammer out a national settlement with drugmakers and drug distributors.

Cuyahoga County ordered to release video of jail guard attacking female inmate
An Ohio judge has ordered Cuyahoga County to release body cam footage showing a jail guard assaulting a naked female inmate. Cpl. Brendan Johnson was fired after spraying two female inmates with pepper foam in 2016. Johnson has since been reinstated without back pay. Cleveland.com brought a lawsuit to acquire footage of the two incidents, but the county refused to release video of the second female inmate, claiming it wanted to protect her privacy. A special master appointed to the case last month said not releasing the video would violate Ohio’s open records laws. Cleveland.com acquired the video Monday afternoon.

Firestone Country Club could host PGA championship in 2019
The annual world golf championship held at Akron’s Firestone Country Club could be replaced by another championship next year. Golf Channel contributor John Feinstein said in a tweetthe Bridgestone Invitational will be replaced by the PGA Senior Players Championship in 2019. It’s not yet clear if the PGA event would stay in Akron after next year. Bridgestone’s sponsorship contract with the Firestone Country Club is set to expire after this year’s tournament.

Cavs seek man who yelled racial slur on national broadcast
The Cavs are trying to identify the fan who racially taunted San Antonio guard Patty Mills. Mills is black and from Australia with an Aboriginal heritage. He was at the foul line in the fourth quarter Sunday when a male spectator can be heard on the ABC broadcast twice yelling the remark several times. The Cavaliers says the team's security department might use video footage to help spot the offender.

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