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Morning Headlines: Icahn Reportedly Interested in FirstEnergy Board Seats; Cuyahoga County Approves

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, March 10:

  • Icahn reportedly interested in FirstEnergy board seats
  • Cuyahoga County approves new sheriff
  • Ohio universities, governor discuss hazing penalties
  • Ohio sued over law requiring burial of aborted fetal remains
  • Cleveland State gets first Horizon League title since 2009
  • OSU pauses football activities due to COVID outbreak


Icahn reportedly interested in FirstEnergy board seats

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is seeking two seats on the FirstEnergy board of directors, according to Bloomberg News. The story citing unnamed sources says Icahn is not seeking control of the board, as he’s known to do. But rather says he wants to increase the valuation of the Akron-based utility and help it emerge from the ongoing federal corruption probe surrounding Ohio’s tainted $1 billion nuclear plant bailout law. Icahn last month said he wants to buy as much as $920 million in FirstEnergy shares. Bloomberg reports that talks between Icahn and the company are ongoing.

Cuyahoga County approves new sheriff

Cuyahoga County Council has unanimously approved Christopher Viland as the new county sheriff. Viland’s most recent job was as Cleveland’s first police inspector general, from 2019 until late last year. Before that, he was chief of police in Solon. He holds a law degree from Cleveland State University. Council members had delayed a vote because of a dispute with the county executive’s office over the independence of the sheriff’s. Council President Pernel Jones, before voting to confirm Viland, said he still plans to formally introduce an ordinance that will clearly lay out the independence of the sheriff from the county executive.

Ohio universities, governor discuss hazing penalties

University officials from around Ohio spoke with Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday in support of hazing reform, as lawmakers in Columbus consider drafting a proposal to create legal penalties for hazing on college campuses. DeWine included a plea to eliminate hazing during his regular coronavirus update on Monday following the death of a Bowling Green University student during a hazing incident. DeWine said he supports proposed changes to legislation from State Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard). Kunze will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the specifics of the hazing reform proposal. A similar effort stalled out last year after failing to garner enough support. Kent State President Todd Diacon said Tuesday he supports the legislation.

Ohio sued over law requiring burial of aborted fetal remains

Abortion providers in Ohio sued to block a state law requiring that fetal remains from surgical abortions be cremated or buried. Clinics, through their lawyers at ACLU of Ohio, argue in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court that a lack of rules makes complying with the law “impossible.” Set to take effect April 6, the law replaces an earlier state law that required aborted fetuses to be disposed of “in a humane manner,” but did not define “humane.” Abortion opponents said the new language assures human dignity, while abortion-rights groups say it’s intended as a hurdle to getting an abortion.

Cleveland State gets first Horizon League title since 2009

Top-seeded Cleveland State beat Oakland 80-69 on Tuesday night in the Horizon League championship for the program’s third NCAA Tournament berth. Cleveland State snapped a string of four straight 20-loss seasons this year to win its first conference title since 2009 — when it upset No. 4 seed Wake Forest in the NCAAs. The Vikings also reached the Sweet Sixteen as a 14-seed in 1986, losing 71-70 to All-America center David Robinson and Navy.

OSU pauses football activities due to COVID outbreak

Ohio State University has paused football team-related activities after an increase in positive coronavirus tests. Activities will be shut down for a week, but university officials have not disclosed how many athletes or staff have tested positive. Spring drills are scheduled to start for the football program next Friday.

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