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Morning Headlines: DeWine Suspends Execution, Perry Nuclear Plant Temporarily Shuts Down

Perry Nuclear Plant
Perry Nuclear Plant

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, August 1:

  • DeWine suspends execution;
  • Perry nuclear plant temporarily shuts down;
  • Cuyahoga jail struggles to find more corrections officers;
  • Kent State May 4 shooting survivor asks audience to focus on political polarization;
  • DeWine orders flags half-staff to honor soldier killed overseas;
  • Cleveland to open first medical marijuana dispensary;

DeWine suspends execution

Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a reprieve for an Ohio inmate who was to be executed in September. DeWine's office said Warren Henness is now set to be executed in May 2020. Earlier this year, DeWine suspended pending executions after a federal judge ruled Ohio’s three-drug protocol unconstitutional. A DeWine spokesman said the Gov. will decide how to proceed once the death penalty cases are fully litigated. Meanwhile, the Columbus Dispatch reportsthat DeWine said prison officials are finding it impossible to find any company to supply execution drugs.

Perry Nuclear plant temporarily shuts down

The Perry Nuclear plant in Lake County is idle following an emergency shutdown. Cleveland Scene reports that operators said the reactor automatically shutdown on Saturday when a turbine tripped during a routine testing. FirstEnergy Solutions said it’s working on restarting the reactor but could not say exactly when. A spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the malfunction was not complex and was outside of the nuclear reactor structure.

Cuyahoga jail struggles to find more corrections officers

The Cuyahoga County sheriff is at a loss to explain why it's so hard to find qualified corrections officers to staff the troubled jail. Cleveland.com reports the number of corrections officers working at the jail is down again, but ticking up in the first half of the year. The county counts 608 corrections officers, including six who are on leave because they face criminal charges. That's well below of the 675 that Sheriff Cliff Pinkney has said would be needed to end the practice of locking inmates in their cells for long periods of time due to short-staffing. The lockdowns were identified by the U.S. Marshals Service as one of many problems at the downtown jail. The county is trying various measures to recruit candidates, including a hike in starting pay. Pinkney is retiring Friday. He will be replaced by acting Sheriff Brian Smith.

Kent State May 4 shooting survivor asks audience to focus on political polarization

A survivor of the Kent State shootings 50 years ago emphasized relevance and remembrance in a speech at the University Wednesday night.The Record-Courier reports Thomas Grace, who was shot by Ohio National Guardsmen May 4, 1970, addressed a crowd at Kent State in the first of more than 100 events planned in honor of the shootings for the upcoming school year. Grace urged educators to go beyond asking the question, “Who is to blame?” and focus on how the events of 1970 are “relevant for today’s students and today’s similarly polarized political conversations.”

DeWine orders flags half-staff to honor soldier killed overseas

Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered flags in parts of the state lowered to half-staff to honor an Ohio soldier killed in Afghanistan. DeWine on Wednesday ordered U.S. and Ohio flags flown at half-staff at all public buildings and grounds in Williams County and at the Ohio Statehouse in honor of Private Brandon Kreischer. The Defense Department said the 20-year-old died Monday in southern Afghanistan. Kreischer was part of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.

Cleveland to open first medical marijuana dispensary

Cleveland’s first medical marijuana dispensary is opening this week.Cleveland.com reports that The Rise will open its location near Playhouse Square Thursday. It’s the 25th marijuana dispensary to be licensed in Ohio after sales of medical cannabis began earlier this year. Another 30 dispensaries are still awaiting certification from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The Rise is part of Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries that operates more than 100 dispensaries and processing facilities across the U.S. with three in Ohio.

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Mark has been a host, reporter and producer at several NPR member stations in Delaware, Alaska, Washington and Kansas. His reporting has taken him everywhere from remote islands in the Bering Sea to the tops of skyscrapers overlooking Puget Sound. He is a diehard college basketball fan who enjoys taking walks with his dog, Otis.