Morning Headlines: Solar Employment Rises; Gun Groups Split on Republican Endorsement for Governor

Feb 8, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Feb. 8:

  • Wife of deported Youngstown businessman will join him;
  • Mahoning high school prayer ban causes tension;
  • Timken Company's fourth quarter statement show revenue uptick;
  • Akron aircraft parts manufacturer will lay off dozens of workers;
  • Ohio gun groups split over endorsement of Republican candidates for governor;
  • Ohio Senate unanimously approves back-to-school tax holiday;
  • Ohio solar energy employment rose in 2017;
  • Cleveland Clinic physician joins Democratic race for governor;
  • Deliberations begin in Pilot Flying J trial;

Wife of deported Youngstown businessman will join him

The wife of Youngstown businessman Amer Adi, who was deported to Jordan last week, says she will be joining him soon. The Vindicator reports that Fidaa Musleh flew out last night. Musleh and Adi had voluntarily planned to leave together last month when U.S. immigration agents unexpectedly arrested Adi and held him for nearly two weeks before deporting him last week. Adi is credited by city leaders for much of downtown Youngstown’s revival during his 30 years as a business owner and employer. He was scheduled for deportation after ICE revoked his green card claiming a previous marriage was a sham.

Mahoning high school prayer ban causes tension

Students at a Mahoning County high school say a recent ban on prayers before athletic events is causing tension. West Branch schools banned prayer before athletic events after receiving a letter last month from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which said the practice is unconstitutional. The Vindicator reports one West Branch High School student says the issue at the public school in Beloit is "kind of a like a civil war."  She says a majority of students are pro-prayer. Pro-prayer parents and community members have had t-shirts made that say "Prayer Matters." Opponents are wearing t-shirts with religious symbols spelling "Coexist."

Timken Company's fourth quarter statement show revenue uptick

The Timken Company is reporting an uptick in revenue in its fourth quarter statements. The North Canton bearing maker posted a loss last year. Timken’s revenue for the 2017 fiscal year was $3 billion, up 12.5 percent from the 2016. The company credits higher demand in off-highway, industrial distribution, and heavy truck industries.

Akron aircraft parts manufacturer will lay off dozens of workers

An Akron company says it will begin laying off dozens of workers next month. The Beacon Journal reports that around 55 employees at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems will lose their jobs as the company relocates from Akron to plants in Kentucky and Mexico. Meggitt said last year that it will keep other operations at its Akron campus.

Ohio gun groups split over endorsement of Republican candidates for governor

Ohio’s gun rights groups are splitting their backing of Republican gubernatorial candidates. The Buckeye Firearms Association is endorsing Mike DeWine for Governor while Ohioans for Concealed Carry are backing Mary Taylor. The two groups split in 2004 over a philosophical disagreement. Both groups have successfully sued Ohio cities that have tried to pass anti-crime gun restrictions.

Ohio Senate unanimously approves back-to-school tax holiday

Ohio lawmakers have unanimously approved a measure that would create a permanent three-day sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers. The Senate bill would make the first weekend in August free from state sales tax on up to $20 in school supplies and $75 in clothes. The bill makes permanent tax holidays that have been passed each year since 2015. A report by the Washington-based Tax Foundation, a conservative tax-policy research group, says holidays can slow business on the dates surrounding them. Ohio is one of 17 states that last year had a tax holiday for shoppers.

Ohio solar energy employment rose in 2017

Ohio is seeing an uptick in jobs in the solar energy industry. The Solar Foundation reports Ohio employment jumped from around 5,800 jobs in 2016 to more than 6,500 last year. Nationwide, there were 250,271 Americans working in solar last year, a 3.8 percent decline from the previous year. Twenty-nine states saw the number of jobs increase. California remained the state with the largest number of solar jobs at roughly 86,000, but jobs there fell 14 percent in 2017.

Cleveland Clinic physician joins Democratic race for governor

A former infantry field surgeon-turned-venture capitalist has made an 11th-hour entry into Ohio's crowded governor's race. Jon Heavey, of suburban Cleveland, was among 2018 candidates who filed petitions by Wednesday's deadline. Heavey's among eight Democrats officially running, along with former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, ex-state lawmaker Connie Pillich and former Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill. Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor are running on the Republican side. Five Republicans filed to vie for their party's nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Democrats have fielded candidates for all 99 Ohio House races. Republicans say many of the contenders lost to GOP candidates previously.

Deliberations begin in Pilot Flying J trial

Jurors have begun considering evidence in a federal trial of former employees of the truck stop chain Pilot Flying J. The employees are accused of conspiring to defraud customers in a rebate scam. The jury deliberated almost four hours Wednesday in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The judge then suspended deliberations until Monday, citing a schedule conflict. Trial began in November for four people on charges including conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Pilot Flying J is controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The Haslams haven't been charged with any wrongdoing. The governor has not been involved in the company in recent years.

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