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Morning Headlines: NFL Owners to Invest in Hall of Fame Project; GM Workers to Vote on Agreement

photo of Hall of Fame Village concept drawing
Hall of Fame Village concept drawing

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Oct. 18:

  • NFL owners to invest in Hall of Fame project;
  • GM workers to vote on agreement;
  • Cuyahoga County introduces plans for Lake Erie waterfront;
  • Cleveland Metroparks to build towpath bridge;
  • Johnson & Johnson agrees to $117M settlement;
  • Jury seated in opioid case, but settlement talks go on;
  • Ohio University suspends rugby team, 2 fraternities;
  • Solon to close Mustard Seed Market;

NFL owners to invest in Hall of Fame project
The NFL said team owners have given the OK to invest up to $10 million in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton. Hall of Fame officials are planning a multi-year development at the Canton site. It includes a hotel with an indoor water park, retail stores and an entertainment complex. Already finished is a renovation of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The Canton Repository reports that this would be the NFL's first investment in the new development, but there's no timeline for the donation or a specific amount. Construction on the next phase is expected later this year or in early 2020.

GM workers to vote on agreement
The 49,000 General Motors (GM) workers who have been on the picket line for the last month will begin voting on a tentative four-year contract on Saturday. Voting is scheduled to finish on Oct. 25. Workers will not return to factories before then, and union workers, including those in Parma, will stay on the picket lines for several more days. Wednesday, the company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) reached a deal that would give workers a mix of pay raises, lump sum payments and an $11,000 signing bonus. In return, the contract allows GM to proceed with factory closures in Lordstown, along with a plant in Michigan and other near Baltimore.

Cuyahoga County introduces plan for Lake Erie waterfront
Cuyahoga County has rolled out a plan to open-up access to the Lake Erie waterfront. County Executive Armond Budish on Thursday outlined the plan aimed to create a trail across the entire 30 miles of lakeshore that runs through five cities, from Bay Village in the west to Euclid in the east. Budish said the plan begins with a $500,000 feasibility study and a survey of the lakeshore. Planners are also reaching out to the public for input. There’s no price tag yet for the project, but a similar project underway in Euclid is costing around $15 million per mile. Part of the plan is to gain access to private land in exchange for stabilizing crumbling and eroding shorelines.

Cleveland Metroparks to build towpath bridge
Cleveland Metroparks has approved plans to build a pedestrian bridge that will connect a Cleveland neighborhood to a lakeside park. The $6 million project will link Ohio City to Whiskey Island and the towpath trail. The 500 ft long bike and hike Wendy Park Bridge will cross a busy rail-road track that blocks direct access to the park. The bridge, which is scheduled to open in 2021, will fill a major gap in the 101-mile towpath trail.

Hall of Fame Village buys downtown Canton hotel
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton is buying the McKinley Grand Hotel downtown for nearly $4 million. The Beacon Journal reports the Village will close the property after Nov. 1 and will put $20 million upgrades into the property, including gutting hotel rooms, a new restaurant and roof replacement. It plans to open the hotel in time for the NFL centennial celebration next year.

Johnson & Johnson agrees to $117M settlement
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to a $117 million multistate settlement over allegations it deceptively marketed its pelvic mesh products, which support women's sagging pelvic organs. Ohio's attorney general said Thursday an investigation found that J&J, the world's biggest health products maker, violated state consumer protection laws by not fully disclosing the devices' risks. Numerous women who had the once-popular, hammock-like devices implanted claim they caused severe pain, bleeding, infections and other complications. J&J and its Ethicon surgical products unit reached the settlement with 41 states and the District of Columbia.

Jury seated in opioid case, but settlement talks go on
A jury has been seated in Cleveland for the first federal trial on the opioid crisis, but negotiations on a settlement are ongoing. Opening arguments are scheduled for Monday, with Summit and Cuyahoga counties as the lead plaintiffs. The drug distribution companies AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — and manufacturers Teva and Johnson & Johnson — have outlined a settlement to thousands of opioid-related lawsuits that could be worth $50 billion over time. U.S District Judge Dan Polster ordered executives for the companies that are defendants to appear in Cleveland Friday for negotiations.

Ohio University suspends rugby team, 2 fraternities
Ohio University (OU) in Athens has suspended two more fraternities and its rugby team as part of a hazing investigation. The school suspended 15 fraternities earlier this month. Three sororities and The Marching 110 band, are also under investigation. OU hasn't offered any more details about the allegations.

Solon to close Mustard Seed Market
One of the pioneers in the local organic foods business is downsizing. After 20 years, Mustard Seed Market is closing its Solon location at the end of this month. Mustard Seed’s two Akron stores will remain open.

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