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Morning Headlines: Ohio Drug Overdoses Decrease; Chapel Hill Mall Facing Foreclosure

Chapel Hill Mall
Chapel Hill Mall

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, January 14:

  • Ohio drug overdoses decrease;
  • Chapel Hill Mall facing foreclosure;
  • Cuyahoga County hires law firm to help keep Sherwin-Williams;
  • Ohio falls behind on gas tax labels for pumps;
  • Cleveland to apply for grant to help make homes lead-free;
  • EPA: No need for oversight on Akron sewer project;
  • Hall of Fame Village secures funding for expansion;
  • Update to come on case of missing Port Clinton teenager;

Ohio drug overdoses decrease

Deadly drug overdoses in Ohio fell nearly 22% in 2018 to the lowest number in three years. The Ohio Department of Health said 3,764 Ohioans died of drug overdoses last year. While that’s still more than 10 people a day, it’s down from 4,854 the year before, or more than 13 a day. And death totals fell in almost every category of drugs, including opioids. But there was a 5%  increase in deaths from psychostimulants such as meth and cocaine – two thirds of those involved fentanyl. The state’s annual count of drug overdose deaths was released quietly last month, in contrast to previous reports that were introduced in press conferences.

Chapel Hill Mall facing foreclosure

Summit County officials have formally filed foreclosure notices for the owner of the struggling Chapel Hill Mall. The Beacon Journal reports that the county is seeking more than $750,000 in property tax payments. Ohio Edison, meanwhile, has threated to shut off the power next Monday and has sued owner Kohan Retail Investment Group for nearly $200,000 in unpaid bills. The county’s foreclosure process could take 9 – 12 months to resolve if the taxes are not paid.

Cuyahoga County hires law firm to help keep Sherwin-Williams

Cuyahoga County has approved a one-year, $70,000 contract with a Cleveland law firm in an effort to keep the Sherwin-Williams' headquarters in the county. The global paint company announced last year it was looking for a new location, both locally and beyond. It's been headquartered in Cleveland for 153 years and employs more than 4,000 in Northeast Ohio. Ulmer & Berne LLP will help the county finalize an incentive package. Cleveland and county officials also hired outside lawyers to help with negotiations.

Ohio falls behind on gas tax labels for pumps

You’ve been paying more in fuel taxes for the past six months, but there’s little notice of it at the pump. Ohio’s gasoline tax jumped by 10.5 cents last July and the state was supposed to post notifications of the increase to 38.5 cents per gallon on all gas pumps within 90 days. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state now says it will have stickers explaining the gas tax ready later this year. The tax increase has brought in an additional $72 million per month for the state. Fifty-five percent of fuel tax revenue goes to state highway projects and 45 percent goes to local road construction.

Cleveland to apply for grant to help make homes lead-free

Cleveland officials will apply for a $500,000 grant that would help remove lead contamination in 20 homes. The grant from the State Children's Health Insurance Program would target homes with children who are eligible for Medicaid. Last year, the city approved requirements for rental properties built before 1978 to acquire lead-safe certificates. Officials have said that about 90% of Cleveland's housing was built before 1978 and the city has 13,000 rental housing units that may be hazardous to children.

EPA: No need for oversight on Akron sewer project

The city of Akron has avoided an additional layer of oversight for its billion-dollar storm water diversion project. Cleveland.com reports that the U.S. EPA agreed with the city that a monitor for the project is not needed. The federal judge overseeing Akron’s federal consent decree had threatened to appoint the monitor after the city missed a deadline in building the mile-long canal interceptor tunnel. The city said that phase should be done by June. A lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department said current oversight of the decade-long project is sufficient.

Hall of Fame Village secures funding for expansion

The Hall of Fame Village in Canton has secured multimillion-dollar funding for an expansion. The Repository reports the expanded partnership with the energy company Constellation will help fund a 75,000-square-foot office and retail property near Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The money will also put campus-wide energy efficiency measures in place. It's part of the second phase of the Village, which has an estimated combined construction cost of $268 million.

Update to come on case of missing Port Clinton teenager

Police in Port Clinton have scheduled a press conference Tuesday for an update on the search for a missing teenager. Police, BCI agents and others were at the scene of Harley Dilly’s house last night. It’s unclear why they were there or what was uncovered. Dilly was last seen walking to school Dec. 20. There have been searches on the ground and by helicopter, along with a more than $20,000 reward for information.

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.
Lydia Taylor is a news intern for WKSU. She is a junior multimedia journalism major at Kent State University with experience in print and visual journalism. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism. During the school year, Taylor works for Kent State Student Media in The Kent Stater and KentWired. She is currently an assigning editor and a reporter in the Kent State University Student Media Newsroom for the spring semester.