Morning Headlines: Ohio AG Leads Efforts to Dismiss Opioid Lawsuits Filed by Local Governments; Ohio House bill would target protesters with terrorism law

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, February 17:

  • Ohio Attorney General Leads Effort to Dismiss Opioid Lawsuits Filed by Local Governments
  • Ohio House bill would target protesters with terrorism law
  • Portman endorses Timken for U.S. Senate seat
  • Playhouse Square brings its luxury Cleveland apartment building to market
  • NBA to honor iconic players at All-Star Game
  • New USFL to host championship game at Pro Football HOF

Ohio Attorney General Leads Effort to Dismiss Opioid Lawsuits Filed by Local Governments
(Cleveland.com) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is leading efforts to get a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits brought by hundreds of local governments, including Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, against a consulting firm which helped boost opioid sales. According to Cleveland.com, Yost and the attorneys general of 10 other states say in a legal brief that local governments are trying to usurp state authority. The brief argues that the participation of so many local entities “turns a doable albeit complex negotiation…into an interminable quagmire.” A Cuyahoga County spokeswoman declined to comment on Cleveland.com.

Ohio House bill would target protesters with terrorism law
(AP) – The Ohio House has approved legislation targeting protesters with a provision normally used against terrorist activity. The legislation would allow police officers injured in riots to sue people or organizations that provided material support or resources, such as accommodation or transportation. The bill also increases penalties for rioting and creates the offenses of riot assault and vandalism. The American Civil Liberties Union calls the legislation an extreme attack on free speech. Also on Wednesday, the House approved a law prohibiting Ohio governments from stopping sales of firearms or ammunition during a public emergency.

Portman endorses Timken for U.S. Senate seat
(AP) — Sen. Rob Portman has endorsed Jane Timken in the crowded GOP field vying to succeed him this year. Portman tweeted yesterday that the former Ohio Republican Party Chairman “is the best candidate to advance conservative GOP policies to help workers and families in Ohio.” He called Timken smart and hardworking. Portman is a moderate Republican in a state that strongly supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

Playhouse Square brings its luxury Cleveland apartment building to market
(Crains Cleveland Business) — Playhouse Square is putting its new high-rise apartment on the market. Fear Cleveland Business Reports that JLL Capital Markets is helping with the sale with an expected value of $159 million. The building, known as Lumen, was completed two years ago and comprises 318 units. The building is approximately 90% leased. In 2020, the then CEO of Playhouse Square said he did not expect the organization to keep the building long term.

NBA to honor iconic players at All-Star Game
(AP) — Some of basketball’s most iconic players will be in attendance when the NBA honors its 75th anniversary team with a special halftime ceremony at Sunday’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. Members of the Diamond Anniversary Team will be inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the ceremony as the league honors its best players and defining moments since the NBA’s inception. The official roster of players has yet to be announced. In 1997, the league hosted the 50th Anniversary Team during All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.

New USFL to host championship game at Pro Football HOF
(Crains Cleveland Business) – The Pro Football Hall of Fame is getting more professional action this summer. Crains Cleveland Activity Reports the new United States Football League will hold its first semi-final and championship game over two weekends starting the last weekend in June. The league, which shares the same name as an NFL upstart from the 1980s, will feature eight teams in its first year.