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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: Akron Tent City Building Ordered to Close; Neil Armstrong $6M Death Settlement

Sage Lewis in the tent city
Tim Rudell
Owner Sage Lewis in Tent City

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, July 24:

  • Akron Tent City building ordered to close;
  • ICE detains 2 in Painesville;
  • Voters to decide how Cuyahoga sheriff is hired;
  • Lawmakers approved financial rescue for Ohio's nuclear plants;
  • Columbus lowers penalties for marijuana possession;
  • Environmentalists want candidates to focus on clean water;
  • Documents: $6 million to Armstrong family in wrongful death;
  • Ohio launches electronic wrong-way driver detection system;
  • ​Longtime NE Ohio anchor Jeff Maynor dies;

Akron Tent City building ordered to close
A makeshift community center in Akron's Middlebury neighborhood has been ordered to close after authorities found people who are homeless illegally staying there. The building is on Sage Lewis’ property, who operated a tent city in the backyard that was ordered toclose in January because it didn’t have the proper permit. The Beacon Journal reports last week, an inspector found people staying in the basement. He’s been ordered to secure the building by Friday afternoon.

ICE detains 2 in Painesville
Federal agents with Immigrations and Custom Enforcement, or ICE briefly detained two U.S. citizens outside their Painesville home Tuesday. An immigrant advocacy group reports that Aaron Moreno and his wife Brittany were stopped by agents and asked to produce citizenship documents. The action comes one day after Latino residents of Northeast Ohio protested what they call overly-aggressive tactics by ICE agents.

Voters to decide how Cuyahoga sheriff is hired
Cuyahoga County voters will decide in November whether to keep the job of sheriff an appointed rather than elected position. County council approved the ballot measure Tuesday. If passed, the position would get more oversight, including council approval for the executive's appointment or reappointment every four years. The debate over the position comes amid ongoing problemsat the Cuyahoga County jail that's overseen by the sheriff. Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to subpoena Sheriff Cliff Pinkney for testimony about the jail.

Lawmakers approved financial rescue for Ohio's nuclear plants
Ohio lawmakershave voted to hand out a billion-dollar financial rescue for the state’s two nuclear power plants. Gov. Mike DeWine quickly signed the plan this afternoon giving $150 million a year over seven years to the operator of the plants near Cleveland and Toledo. The legislation will tack a new fee onto every electricity bill in Ohio while scaling back requirements that utilities generate more power from wind and solar. The bill also collects $50 million per year to subsidize two coal-fired power plants — one in Ohio, the other in Indiana. FirstEnergy Solutions had been warning the plants would close within two years unless the government steps in and helps. Opponents led by the natural gas industry have vowed that they will ask voters to overturn the legislation in a statewide referendum next year.

Columbus lowers penalties for marijuana possession
Possessing marijuana in Columbus has essentially been decriminalized. Council unanimously approved reforms that make possessing up to 7 ounces result in a fine that’s less than a parking ticket. Up to 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces will garner a $10 fine, up to 200 grams, a $25 fine and no jail time. Above that possession is a felony offense. Advocates of the new legislation say it removes disparities between those that can afford to buy medical marijuana and the often young black men in the city being jailed for possessing small amounts of the drug.

Environmentalists want candidates to focus on clean water
Environmental groups want the 2020 presidential candidates to talk more about protecting the Great Lakes. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition released a five-part platform that they'll ask the candidates to support. It seeks $475 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which deals with chronic problems such as toxic pollution, invasive species, and wetlands loss. The Coalition asks each candidate to offer plans for providing clean drinking water, calling it the campaign's biggest issue. The groups released their proposals ahead of Democratic presidential debates scheduled for July 30-31 in Detroit.

Documents: $6 million to Armstrong family in wrongful death
A Cincinnati hospital paid the estate of astronaut Neil Armstrong $6 million in a confidential agreement to settle allegations that post-surgical complications led to Armstrong's 2012 death. Court documents and a report in the New York Times show the 2014 settlement went to 10 family members, including Armstrong's two sons, sister, brother and six grandchildren. Armstrong's sons contended care provided by Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital cost their father his life.

Ohio launches electronic wrong-way driver detection system
The state said it's installing Ohio's first electronic wrong-way driver detection system. The system will be placed along an 18-mile stretch of I-71 in Hamilton County in southwestern Ohio. It includes nearly 100 electronic signs and detection devices at 23 locations beginning from downtown. Once the system detects a wrong-way driver, LED lights around the edge of several "wrong way" and "do not enter" signs begin blinking.

Longtime NE Ohio anchor Jeff Maynor dies
Longtime northeast Ohio broadcaster Jeff Maynor has died at age 75. Maynor worked at three stations during his career: WKYC Channel 3, WJW Channel 8 in Cleveland and WKBN in Youngstown. He retired in 2011 after 18 years as WKYC's weekend anchor.

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