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Morning Headlines: Smucker Co. Completes $375M Sale; Akron's West Point Market to Shut Down

Photo of the Smucker House

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 6:

  • Smucker Co. completes $375M sale;
  • Akron's West Point Market to shut down;
  • Purdue Pharma to make grant for low-dose naloxone nasal spray;
  • Documents show potential tax charges in December Cleveland City Hall raid;
  • Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert looking to exit casino business;
  • Obama to campaign for Democrats in Cleveland; 

Smucker Co. completes $375M sale

Orrville-based J.M. Smucker Co. has completed the $375 million sale of its U.S. baking division to buyer Hometown Food. Crains Cleveland reports the sale includes the iconic Pillsbury brand. The brands Funfetti, Hungry Jack and others are included in the deal that was first announced this summer. In a release, Smucker said the deal did not include the company's Canadian baking business.

Akron's West Point Market to shut down

Akron-area's West Point Market is shutting down after 82 years. The Beacon Journal reports the financially struggling store will likely shut its doors between Sept. 15-20. The store relocated to Fairlawn in 2016 after decades in Akron's Wallhaven neighborhood. The grocery store filed for bankruptcy protection in May. The shop employs around 20 full and part-time workers. It originally opened in Akron in 1936.

Purdue Pharma to make grant to fund low-dose naloxone nasal spray

A company whose prescription opioid marketing practices are being blamed for sparking the addiction and overdose crisis says it's helping to fund an effort to make a lower-cost overdose antidote. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharmaannounced Wednesday that it's making a $3.4 million grant to Harm Reduction Therapeutics, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, to help develop a low-cost naloxone nasal spray. The announcement comes as lawsuits from local governments blame Purdue and other companies in the drug industry for using deceptive marketing practices to encourage heavy prescribing of the addictive painkillers. Last week, the number of lawsuits against the industry being overseen by a federal judge in Cleveland topped 1,000. Cleveland judge Dan Polster is pushing the industry to settle with the plaintiffs. Hundreds of other local governments are also suing in state courts across the country.

Documents show potential tax charges in December Cleveland City Hall raid

New documents show federal agents were investigating potential tax charges in a December raid on a Cleveland City Hall office. Cleveland.com reports the investigation involved a mid-level city employee. Agents took items that included files related to Pioneer Engineering, a company owned by Kahlil Ewais — an employee in the city's engineering and construction division. Documents show that an agent obtained a search warrant for a house Ewais owns, as well. Ewais has not been charged with a crime and remains employed by the City of Cleveland.

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert looking to exit casino business

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert could be looking to get out of the casino business, including properties in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit. Bloomberg reports Caesars Entertainment Corp. is among possible bidders for some of Gilbert's Jack Entertainment properties. Gilbert's company has interests in six casinos and racetracks across Ohio and Detroit. Gilbert also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Obama to campaign for Democrats in Cleveland

Former President Barack Obama will campaign for Ohio Democrats next week at a rally in Cleveland. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray's campaign made the announcement Wednesday.  Cordray served as federal consumer protection chief in the Obama administration. He is running against Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine to succeed two-term GOP Gov. John Kasich. Obama carried Ohio twice, but Republican Donald Trump won the swing state in 2016. The rally is Sept. 13.

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.