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Morning Headlines: Arrests Made in 2016 Pike Co. Murders, Judge Sides with Gun Rights Group Over KSU

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Kent State University
Kent State University

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, November 14:

  • Arrests made for 2016 Pike Co. murders;
  • Judge blocks Kent State from imposing fees on gun rights group;
  • Ohio Libertarians may sue to keep ballot access;
  • Medina police say hospital threat was hoax;
  • Cuyahoga council approves $10M loan for Playhouse project;
  • Friends launch fundraising campaign for slain Cleveland journalist;
  • Weston to buy Akron CitiCenter building;
  • Ohio House to vote on 'stand-your-ground' bill;
  • Suspicious package found at Cleveland Hopkins Airport;

Arrests made for 2016 Pike Co. murders
A family of four has been arrested in the slayings of eight people from another family in rural southern Ohio two years ago. It’s the first break in a case that left a community reeling and surviving family members wondering if answers would ever come. Four members of the Wagner family have been arrested in connection to the killings of the Rhoden family in Pike County. It's the culmination of an investigative effort into the deaths of seven adults and a teenage boy who were found shot in the head at four homes in 2016. 26 year-old Jake Wagner was a long-time former boyfriend of Hanna Rhoden, one of the eight victims, and shared custody of their daughter at the time of the massacre. Also arrested were his parents and brother. The Wagner family had lived in Peebles, Ohio, at the time of the killings but later moved to Alaska.

Judge blocks Kent State from imposing fees on gun rights group
A judge has blocked Kent State from charging a conservative student group $1,800 in security fees for an upcoming event. Liberty Hangout plans to host a "Let's Talk About Gun Rights" event next week at the university, which will feature gun activist and alumna Kaitlin Bennett. The group filed the lawsuit last week claiming the university was unconstitutionally imposing the fees. Liberty Hangout was involved in the open-carry rally on campus in September, which resulted in several arrests.

Ohio Libertarians may sue to keep ballot access
The Libertarian Party of Ohio said it may sue the state to force continued recognition of the minor political party. Secretary of State Jon Husted said the Libertarians and Ohio Green Party lost ballot access because their respective candidates did not get 3 percent of the vote needed to remain a recognized party. The Libertarian Party of Ohio regained state recognition this July for the first time since 2014, a year after the GOP-controlled legislature passed new ballot-access rules. Libertarian Party of Ohio spokesman David Jackson said the party will file suit if they are de-certified.

Medina police say hospital threat was hoax
Medina police said they found no signs of anyone with a gun at a hospital after reports of an active shooter led to a lockdown. Police said they searched Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospitalfloor by floor Tuesday afternoon before allowing it to reopen. Officers rushed to hospital after police they got reports about a woman with a gun threatening people. Police said they found no witnesses or evidence that back up the initial reports.

Cuyahoga council approves $10M loan for Playhouse project
Cuyahoga County Council has approved a four-year, $10 million loan for downtown Cleveland’s largest residential project in 40 years. The 34-floor Lumen apartment building at Playhouse Square is set to open in 2020. County Executive Armond Budish told Cleveland.com the county is charging a higher than average interest rate for the loan, and that the Playhouse Square foundation has agreed to keep its endowment fund above $10 million to be able to cover the debt should something go wrong.

Fundraising campaign launches for slain Cleveland journalist
An online fundraising campaign has been launched to help the family of a slain Cleveland journalist. Friends of Cleveland.com reporter Nikki Delamotte are raising money through GoFundMe to help pay for memorial services and other expenses. The popular culture reporter was found dead yesterday near Toledo of an apparent homicide. Police in Perrysburg Township are investigating but have provided no further details. A candlelight vigil is being planned for Thursday evening at Edgewater Park.

Weston to buy Akron CitiCenter building
A city-owned Akron landmark is being purchased by a Cleveland-based real estate developer. Akron officials said Weston is buying the CitiCenter building for $2.8 million. The former YWCA on the corner of High and Bowery streets is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Weston plans to spend $20 million renovating the building into 60 high-end apartments and office space.

Ohio House to vote on 'stand-your-ground' bill
Ohio lawmakers are expected to approve a controversial ‘stand-your-ground’ bill– and other expansions of gun rights. The Ohio House will vote today on a bill that puts the burden of proof in self-defense cases on the prosecution instead of the defendant. The bill also includes provisions that prohibit schools, police stations, courthouses, and airports from declaring themselves gun-free zones. The bill also further blocks local governments from passing gun-control ordinances. Gov. John Kasich has vowed to veto a ‘stand your ground’ measure, and instead has pushed lawmakers to enact gun-violence reduction proposals. GOP House leaders say they have a veto-proof majority.

Suspicious package found at Cleveland Hopkins Airport
Police have not yet determined what’s inside a suspicious package at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport that sent a FedEx delivery driver to the hospital yesterday morning. A Hazmat team and the Cleveland police bomb squad were called to the scene, but no flights were affected. No other details have been released.

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