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Morning Headlines: Akron Cop Punished in Suicide Case; Cleveland Approves Budget

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, March 27:

  • Akron police officer disciplined for not properly searching suspect who killed himself in the back of a cruiser;
  • $1.2 million settlement announced for family of teen killed in accident at the Ohio State Fair;
  • Cleveland City Council approves 2018 $1.7 billion budget;
  • Akron mom suing Akron Public Schools for allowing cop-impersonator to scare her son;
  • College sports analysis puts Ohio State and Michigan as top sports spenders in Big Ten;

Officer punished for not following search protocol in suspect suicide 
An Akron police officer has been disciplined in connection with a 17-year-old who fatally shot himself in the back seat of a police cruiser. According to a disciplinary letter, Officer Devin Ray failed to thoroughly search Xavier McMullen before putting him in the back of a patrol car Aug. 25. Ray has been docked three days’ pay for violating department procedure. Akron police say McMullen and two 18-year-old men were arrested as suspects in an armed robbery. The suspects were placed in separate cruisers. The Summit County Medical Examiner ruled McMullen’s death a suicide.

Partial settlement announced for family of teen killed on ride at State Fai
A proposed $1.2 million settlement has been announced for the family of an 18-year-old killed in an accident last year at the Ohio State Fair. Court documents show the parents of Tyler Jarrell would receive $870,000, and the rest will go toward attorney fees and funeral costs. Jarrell died and seven others were injured when a ride called the Fireball broke apart at the fair July 26. Dutch manufacturer KMG previously said the cause was excessive corrosion of a support beam. An attorney for Jarrell's estate said the proposal is only a partial settlement with the ride's owner and the two companies that inspected the ride. The family is continuing their case against KMG and the other defendants. The settlement requires a judge's approval. A court hearing is scheduled for April 18.

Cleveland City Council approves 2018 $1.7 billion budget
Cleveland City Council approved a $1.7 billion dollar spending budget for 2018 Monday. Cleveland.com reports Mayor Frank Jackson said the move will enhance city services and fill vacant jobs. Jackson has proposed spending $622 million from the general fund for the police and fire departments and the parks and recreation department. That sum is up from nearly $595 million last year.

Akron mom suing City's school district for cop-impersonator to scaring soAn Akron mother is suing the city’s school district for allowing a man posing as a police officer to engage her son in scared-straight tactics. The Beacon Journal reports that the mom – who was not named – has filed a $24 million lawsuit against the district. She says Christopher Hendon, who was sentenced to six years in prison - targeted her son when he visited his elementary school claiming to be a police officer. The boy has behavioral issues and the lawsuit claims that Hendon’s scared-straight tactics caused physical and mental injuries. The lawsuit blames the school for not checking Hendon’s ID when he entered the school.

Analysis finds Ohio State and Michigan spend the most on sports in Big Ten
An analysis of college sports financial reports shows the Big Ten spent $1.7 billion last year. Cleveland.com reports NCAA records show Ohio State and Michigan top the list with more than $185 million in sports spending, far ahead of number three Penn State. Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer made more than $5.5 million last year and will top around $6.4 million with a raise this year. OSU spent nearly $32 million on its coaching staff for all 36 separate sports. 

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.