Drugged Driving Part of Opioid Epidemic

Law enforcement officials say drugged driving– another consequence of Ohio’s growing opioid epidemic– may be even more of a public safety concern than drunk driving. In Cleveland, a rescue squad found a 43-year-old man who had driven off the road, unconscious after he hit a pole. An injection of Narcan, an overdose antidote commonly administered by first responders, brought him back around, according to police. He was seriously hurt in the crash and was cited for driving under the influence. Car crashes caused by overdosing drivers are becoming so commonplace that some rescue crews immediately administer the antidote, either Narcan or naloxone, to any unresponsive driver they find at an accident scene. People who use heroin and related drugs– and often suffering from withdrawal symptoms– will shoot up in the car– just as soon as they get their hands on more. Police say they’re often back on the road before the overdose takes hold, and lose consciousness, a dangerous recipe for traffic accidents.

Joyce Responds to Charlottesville Violence

Ohio political leaders are outraged by the violence that erupted at Saturday’s Rally the Right clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Ohio white nationalist who plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring more than 20 others. 20-year-old Maumee resident James Alex Fields, Jr., faces second-degree murder charges. Republican Congressman David Joyce tweeted the abhorrent acts of hate & bigotry in Charlottesville go against our American values, adding we must stand up and condemn white supremacy.

Conneaut Candidate Cannot Appear on Nov. 7 Ballot

An aspiring Conneaut candidate cannot appear on the Nov. 7 ballot because of insufficient signatures filed last week, according to a ruling Wednesday from the Ashtabula County Board of Elections. Eldridge Smith was seeking the Ward 3 council seat in the fall election. A faulty date invalidated the signatures on the petition, leaving Smith without enough signatures. Consequently, Joseph Emery is unopposed in his bid for the seat vacated by Deborah Newcomb, who’s running for Council President, at the end of the year.

Osweiler to Start Monday, Bitonio Injured

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson says Brock Osweiler will start at quarterback against the Giants on Monday August 21st in their second preseason game, but he still hasn’t locked up the starting job for the regular season. Jackson made the announcement Wednesday. Rookie DeShone Kizer, the Notre Dame QB who made an impression in the preseason opener, will follow Osweiler and might end up getting more playing time than the former Houston Texans starter, who also started against the Saints last week. Cody Kessler will follow Kizer, and Kevin Hogan will finish the game at quarterback. Earlier in the day, Browns tackle Joe Thomas said Osweiler should start the season opener against the Steelers on Sept. 10. While the Pro-Bowler’s opinion matters, it’s still coach Jackson’s call.
Starting left guard Joel Bitonio will be out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury in practice on Tuesday, but may return in time for the season opener. Joe Greco replaced Bitonio with the first team offense on Wednesday.

Tribe-Twins Rained Out, Doubleheader Today

It was probably about the best possible outcome for the Minnesota Twins, facing the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. The Indians– who have outscored the Twins 56-16 in Minnesota this season– postponed their game because of rain, scheduling a split doubleheader to finish the series. They’ll play two at Target Field in Minneapolis today. Home field has been anything but an advantage for the Twins this year, trailing the Tribe by six games in the AL Central. The Kansas City Royals are 51/2 games back. The Twins and Royals are also in the thick of the race for the second AL wild-card spot. The two Central Division rivals had only one common “off” date left this season, on September 25th, the day the before a three-game series between the two teams in Cleveland. The regularly scheduled Thursday game coverage begins at 12:37pm on ESPN 970 WFUN, with Carlos Carrasco facing Kyle Gibson. The makeup is tonight, with Twins righty Aaron Slegers debuting against Ryan Merritt.

Lakeland CC Teachers Issue 10-Day Strike Notice

Teachers at Lakeland Community College issued a “10-day strike notice” on Wednesday, according to the Lakeland Faculty Association, saying the current contract between the Faculty Association and Kirtland, Ohio institution has expired. The LFA and the college have been working with a federal mediator since Lakeland declared an impasse in negotiations on August 7. Although the association’s statement reserves their right to strike and picket, that doesn’t mean the general membership has voted to do so. The LFA statement indicates that, [quote] “in the meantime, faculty continue to work in good faith preparing for the fall 2017 semester.” [end quote] Should they fail to reach an agreement, Wednesday’s statement would give the college faculty members the right to strike and picket beginning on Saturday, August 26, the first official day of the fall semester. Lakeland administrators said [quote] “Contract negotiations are continuing, and it is the College’s sincere hope to reach a new agreement prior to the start of fall classes.” [end quote]

Kasich Responds to Trump on Racism

Ohio Governor John Kasich was among the many Republican Party leaders who broke ranks with President Donald Trump on Wednesday and forcefully condemned hate groups involved in the racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday– including the KKK, white nationalists and American Nazis– saying during an appearance on NBC’s Today Show [quote] “The President of the United States needs to condemn these kind of hate groups. Think about what you have seen.”… “This is terrible.” [end quote] Kasich condemned the violence in the Virginia city, but specifically called on his former presidential campaign rival to take a harder stance against racism and hatred.
Former Presidents George Bush and his son George W. Bush issued a joint statement, saying [quote] “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms,” [end quote]
Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky— responding directly to Trump’s inexplicable defense of the Charlottesville white nationalist protesters as “fine people” — emphasized “there are no good neo-Nazis.”

Ohio High-Tech Jobs Require Training

While many laid off employees in Ohio and throughout the Rust Belt continue to struggle, high-tech plants in the U.S. are offering jobs to those willing to re-train. Many jobs have gone to places where workers earn less, but several American manufacturers have added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years, and federal statistics show nearly 400,000 such jobs are currently open. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical training or specialized skills. And many of the workers set adrift from low-tech factories lack such qualifications. Training opportunities are limited, particularly for older workers. Still, there are efforts underway to bridge the “skills gap,” and lessons to be learned from how it has been done successfully overseas. Some political leaders and CEOs are promoting apprenticeships and other training programs as a way to help address the problem. Factory automation has changed what companies need from their employees. Assembly-line workers are now expected to operate, troubleshoot and maintain computerized machinery.

Back-To-School Bash in Saybrook

In Saybrook Township, its time once again for the “Dragon Back to School Bash”, held Tuesday evening at Lakeside Stadium. Ashtabula Superintendent Melissa Watson said it was a bigger crowd than last year. Hundreds of children, along with parents, teachers, coaches and administrators gathered to kick off the new school year with food, games and information. Over 30 hair stylists donated their time to give children haircuts leading up to the first day of school on Monday. Many businesses, social service agencies and community organizations had booths to provide families with information. Trevor Sprague, the executive director of the Ashtabula County YMCA said it was busy from 4-5 p.m. at their booth, which was giving general information on the YMCA and explaining youth sports programs to the students. It was also a time for children to meet their school staff. Teachers in the Ashtabula Area City Schools report to work Thursday and have orientation on Friday to prepare for the big day on Monday.

Browns Camp Report

A battle has ensued for the kicking job at Cleveland Browns training camp. Cody Parkey showed the Browns he could handle anything during the 1-15 2016 season. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie for Philadelphia in 2014 only to be waived two years later. He rebounded last year, converting 20 of 22 field goal attempts. But on Day 2 of the 2017 Draft, Cleveland selected Arizona State All-American Zane Gonzalez, the most prolific kicker in college history, in the seventh round. The kicking battle between Parkey and Gonzalez has evolved into one of the tightest this summer.
Meanwhile, rookie Jabrill Peppers is showing instincts on the football field that can’t be taught or coached. They’re calling him The Natural. The jack-of-all trades during his college career at Michigan is showing the same ability to multitask with the Browns. So far, Peppers has lined up at both safety spots, outside linebacker, kick returner, punt returner and even worked with the quarterbacks for Cleveland.