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2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Morning Headlines: Ex-Gov. Kasich Lands Talent Agent, Rep. Ryan Moves to Censure Iowa Congressman

A photo of John Kasich
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich

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

  • Ex-Gov. John Kasich lands talent agent;
  • Rep. Ryan moves to consure Iowa Congressman;
  • Cuyahoga County approves $300,000 for temporary nurses at county jail;
  • Cleveland legislation to make it easier to approve major events;
  • Man arrested after 15 racehorses released;
  • Frontier adds flight between Cleveland, South Carolina coast;
  • Gov. Mike DeWine touts optimism during inauguration;
  • First medical marijuana dispensary set to open;

Ex-Gov. John Kasich lands talent agent
Republican John Kasich has a talent agent. United Talent Agency announced its new client Monday, as Kasich was succeeded as Ohio governor by Republican Mike DeWine. Kasich said in a release that he's excited to keep his voice active "across the world" and to share his experiences and observations "to help improve the lives of others." The 66-year-old Kasich is weighing a third run for president in 2020 against Republican Donald Trump, whom he often criticizes. Kasich said he would prefer to run as a Republican but could also run as an independent.

Rep. Ryan moves to censure Iowa Congressman
Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is one of two House Democrats to introduce resolutions to censure and condemn Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King. In an interview with the New York Timesthis month, King asked why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” have become offensive. Ryan said King’s comments promote a hateful atmosphere in America and Congress. Such a resolution requires only a simple majority in the House to pass. If approved, King would be required to stand in the House well while his colleagues formally reprimand him. It was last done in 2010.

Cuyahoga County approves $300,000 for temporary nurses at county jail
Cuyahoga County has approved up to $300,000 to temporarily keep additional nurses at the county jail until MetroHealth takes over medical operations. Cleveland.com reports the money is a part of an ongoing contract with Cleveland-based Educare due to understaffing. County officials reached a deal for MetroHealth to take over medical care in response to eight inmate deaths in 2018, as well as aU.S. Marshals reportthat found inhumane conditions at the jail. If the switch in ownership is approved by county council, it would bring the total annual cost for jail health care to nearly $14 million.

Cleveland legislation to make it easer to approve major events
Cleveland City Council has approved legislation that will make it easier to bring in big-name events to the city, such as the Major League Baseball All-Star game. Cleveland.com reportsthe ordinance will allow Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration to approve event-related requests before seeking city council approval. Cleveland will host the MLB All-Star game this summer, the NBA All-Star game in 2020, and the NCAA women’s basketball finals in 2024. Those events are expected to add $20 million into the city’s economy.

Man arrested after 15 racehorses released
Police said a man broke into the Stark County Fairgrounds and released more than a dozen racehorses. Jonathan Ford, 28, is facing multiple charges, including breaking and entering, inducing panic and drug possession. Police said he released 15 horses around early Monday morning, telling officers that the animals wanted or needed to be free. The horses ran along city streets and through a neighborhood for hours before they were rounded up. One horse fell through ice at Meyers Lake and drowned before it could be rescued.

Frontier adds flight between Cleveland, South Carolina coast
Frontier Airlines is adding nonstop seasonal flights between Cleveland and a coastal South Carolina city. The low-cost carrier says the route to and from Charleston will launch May 2. Flights will run each Thursday and Sunday through Aug. 11. Tuesday only, Frontier is offering introductory one-way fares starting at $39. Frontier Senior Vice President of Commercial Daniel Shurz toldThe Plain Dealer that Charleston's status as a destination continues to grow. He said the airline's passenger numbers in Cleveland this June are projected to be 35 percent higher than the same time last year, and it will have an average 11 flights a day out of the Ohio city this summer.

Gov. Mike DeWine touts optimism during inauguration
New Gov. Mike DeWine will have at least one challenge to start off his term. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state may soon run out of money for major new road construction projects. Budget analysts say funding for bridge repairs could drop by as much as 30 percent by 2021 unless lawmakers take action. Shortfalls could stem from around $1.5 billion in turnpike bond funding that has run out, and Ohio’s gas tax which has not seen an increase since 2005. DeWine is expected to introduce a transportation budget next month.

First medical marijuana dispensary set to open
The first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open for business tomorrow morning.The Columbus Dispatch reports that the tiny village of Wintersville, just outside Steubenville, will open at 9.a.m. Only flower, or bud, will be available for purchase, since companies that process THC and infuse it in edibles, oils, lotions and other products, are not yet up and running. The state Monday also awarded certificates of operation to pot stores in Canton, Wickliffe, and Sandusky. Akron officials, meanwhile, have approved the city’s first medical marijuana processor. Ohio Medical Solutions is planning to build the secured processing plant in North Hill.

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