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Morning Headlines: Nine Rescued from Fast-Moving Water; Summit Co. Considers Nursing Home Task Force

Photo of Cuyahoga River
High waters along the Cuyahoga River in Kent.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 11:

  • Nine rescued from fast-moving waters;
  • Summit County considers nursing home task force;
  • 4.0 magnitude earthquake hits Cleveland-area;
  • Small percent of UA full-time faculty take buyout;
  • Cleveland Partership announces $50 million for distressed neighborhoods;
  • Medical board to decide weather autism, anxiety qualify for medical marijuana;
  • Brecksville sprays for gypsy moths;
  • Background check petition would close gun show loophole;
  • Ohio Senate Republicans to share their state budget proposal;
  • UA professor to serve on U.S. Court of Federal Claims;

Nine rescued from fast-moving waters
Nine people were rescued from fast-moving waters Monday in Northeast Ohio. Six teens in Massillon were swept into a city storm drain after playing in Sippo Creek's high waters. The boys were nearly 125 feet into the culvert before they were rescued. There were no injuries. Three others had to be rescued from the Cuyahoga River in Kent after being stranded in two inner tubes and a kayak. The current pushed them into tree branches. They were trapped in shoulder-deep water for about an hour.

Summit County considers nursing home task force
Summit County is considering forming a task force to oversee nursing homes. The idea from County Council President Jeff Wilhite comes days after a federal report listed the Fairlawn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Copley as one of the worst in the nation. Wilhite said a task force would guide changes to facility operations to improve quality of care. There are more than 8,000 county residents living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

4.0 magnitude earthquake hits Cleveland-area
An earthquake hit Northeast Ohio Monday with an estimated 4.0 magnitude earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of damage from the tremors that originated at 10:50 a.m. near Eastlake, just northeast of Cleveland in Lake Erie. The City of Mentor urged people to stop calling 911 unless they had an emergency because dispatchers were being "overwhelmed." Experts said northeastern Ohio has a history of seismic activity, including magnitude 4 earthquakes.

Small percent of UA full-time faculty take buyout
The University of Akron said just over 12 percent of full-time faculty members offered buyouts earlier this year opted to leave. Of the 336 people offered buyouts in March, 41 took the deal. Only faculty members who were not in “areas of strategic investment” were eligible. That includes the law school, the College of Polymer Science and Engineering, and the College of Engineering as well as those in chemistry, dance, theater, finance and nursing programs. The university said the buyouts will save the university nearly $5 million in the 2022 academic year. 

Cleveland Partnership announces $50 million for distressed neighborhoods
The Greater Cleveland Partnership has announced it will create a $50 million fund to help economically distressed parts of Cuyahoga County. The Opportunity CLE Development fund will target 64 areas and provide low-interest loans to bring in private investments. Other goals include increasing opportunities for minority- and female-led businesses, creating jobs in vacant store fronts and increasing broadband access. The organization expects the fund to grow to $700 million in the next 15 years.

Medical board to decide on autism, anxiety to qualify for medical marijuana
The State Medical Board will hear considerations Wednesday to add anxiety and autism spectrum disorderto the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. The board is expected to either vote Wednesday or at the end of the month. A committee within the board approved 21 conditions in May, including cancer and chronic pain. The committee left certain conditions to be voted on by the full board, including anxiety and autism. They rejected petitions to add depression, insomnia and opioid use disorder last month. If the two conditions are approved, it'll take effect immediately. 

Brecksville sprays for gypsy moths
A residential area of Brecksville, near the Brecksville reservation is the only section in Northeast Ohio slated for spraying for invasive gypsy moths. The moths can devastate forests and urban areas when their numbers spike, eating every type of tree and bush. The Ohio Department of Agriculture monitors their populations and schedules aerial spraying when the numbers peak. The treatments are set to begin June 12 using a pathogen that kills caterpillars, but doesn’t harm other insects.

Background check petition would close gun show loophole
A gun safety group has taken the first step toward changing Ohio law to require background checks on virtually all guns sales, including those done privately. The petition filed Monday with the Ohio Attorney General's Office by Ohioans for Gun Safety would close a loophole that allows sales without background checks at gun shows and between private individuals. The measure would require such sales and background checks to be handled by a federally licensed firearms dealer. Gun transfers or sales between family members or involving antique guns, or gun transfers specifically for hunting, would be exempted. Should the petition advance, it would first ask Ohio lawmakers to enact the universal background checks. Should lawmakers decline, the petition would be presented directly to voters.

Ohio Senate Republicans to share their state budget proposal
Republicans who lead the Ohio Senate are ready to unveil their proposal for the two-year state budget as lawmakers face a June 30 deadline to get a spending plan signed by the governor. Senators are expected today to outline how their version differs from the $69 billion plan approved last month by the GOP-controlled House. The House plan would reduce state income taxes, raise the minimum salary for teachers, boost spending for foster care, and add $125 million to Gov. Mike DeWine's education proposal. It also would allot $85 million for a water quality initiative and eliminate tax credits for the motion picture industry and for making political contributions.

UA professor to serve on U.S. Court of Federal Claims
A University of Akron law professor has received Senate confirmation to serve on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Ryan Holte will be among the 16 judges serving 15-year terms hearing claims for money owed by the federal government. The Trump administration nominated Holte in 2017 and he had support from Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. He has been at UA for two years teaching property, patent and copyright law.

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