The iOpener: Ohio AG To Join ACA Legal Battle; New Injury For Lindor As Tribe Opens Season

Dave Yost in 2016
Dave Yost in 2016 [Statehouse News Bureau]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Thursday, March 28, 2019.  Go Tribe!  The Indians open their MLB season against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm. The forecast is for a cloudy, cool day in Minneapolis with a high of 50.   

Ohio’s Republican attorney general, Dave Yost, plans to argue in favor of keeping the Affordable Care Act’s mandate on health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. The Trump Administration said in briefs filed this week with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that it supports the total repeal of the ACA.  In a statement, Yost said he believes the individual mandate provision can be stripped out of the law while preserving the requirement that insurers cover pre-existing conditions. Gov. Mike DeWine pledged earlier this week to make sure Ohioans with pre-existing conditions can still access affordable health insurance should Obamacare be ruled unconstitutional.

A new study has found more than 1,000 victims of human trafficking in Ohio.  Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say they identified 1,032 human trafficking victims between 2014 and 2016.  They say most were young girls from Ohio’s urban counties.  It’s the first official compilation of known victims.  Researchers used data from social service agencies, law enforcement and case records.  They say the number is probably conservative, since many trafficking victims have no contact with social service agencies or police. 

Two road workers were struck by a hit-and-run driver in University Heights early this morning.  Police later apprehended the driver.  The condition of the workers is unknown, as is the identity of the driver.  The incident happened on Cedar Road near the intersection of South Green Road.  Police have closed several streets in the area as they investigate.

State troopers say they found 11 pounds of cocaine in the trunk of an Uber coming from Cleveland-Hopkins Airport.  In court records filed Wednesday, authorities say troopers stopped the car for a traffic violation as it was traveling along Brookpark Road.  A trooper’s dog sniffed the car and alerted him to the presence of drugs.  The Uber passenger, Diontae Hill of Detroit, faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Authorities in Cleveland are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found by city workers in the backyard of an abandoned home.  Police say Cleveland Public Works employees discovered the body Wednesday while cleaning up debris at a boarded-up house on E. 132nd St. in Mt. Pleasant.  Her death appears to have happened some time ago. Police say the woman's body was in an advanced stage of decomposition.

The Indians' All Star shortstop has suffered another injury that could set back his return to the lineup.  Francisco Lindor, who is not playing today because he's still recovering from a strained right calf muscle, sprained his left ankle while running the bases in an intrasquad game. The original timetable had him in the lineup by mid-April at the latest.  Now Lindor could need even more time.

Weather forecast: Cloudy, a 60 percent chance of rain.  The showers will come our way after 10 this morning.  High 56.  Tonight, the showers continue.  Low 39.


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