The iOpener: One Third Of Polled Ohio GOP Disagree With Heartbeat Bill; Fed Opioid Spending Doubled

Rally for the "Heartbeat Bill" at the Ohio Statehouse in 2014
Rally for the "Heartbeat Bill" at the Ohio Statehouse in 2014. [Statehouse News Bureau]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

A new poll by Baldwin Wallace University suggests that Ohioans' feelings about a state anti-abortion bill don't split completely along party lines. A clear majority of Republicans surveyed said they favored the so-called "heartbeat bill" which criminalizes abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, but a third oppose it. Among Democrats surveyed, most opposed the bill but about 1-in-4 supported it. The poll found deep partisan divisions over immigration, but Democrats and Republicans were in agreement on keeping guns out of the hands of people charged with domestic violence. The survey was based on a sample of 1,361 Ohioans.

A new report shows federal money to fight the opioid crisis in Ohio nearly doubled in the last two years, from $119 million in 2017 to $224 million in 2018. The nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said that, per capita, federal appropriations increased from $10 per person to $19 per person. Most of the money went to treatment and prevention programs. The Center called Medicaid expansion “a critical component” of Ohio’s response to the opioid epidemic.   

Prosecutors say the man accused of killing a couple at a car dealership in 2017 was carrying out a plot to steal cars that he could turn into quick cash. In their opening statements, they said Joseph McAlpin sought to cover his tracks by stealing the car dealership’s video surveillance system. They say DNA evidence recovered at the scene ties McAlpin to the crime. McAlpin, who’s representing himself in his capital case, denied committing the crime and said police had rushed to judgment in connecting him to the murders of Trina Tomola and Michael Kuznik.

Lorain Councilman Angel Arroyo has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with an alleged domestic violence dispute that took place in January. He also pleaded guilty to resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, but the judge suspended that on condition of good behavior in the next two years. 

The Boston Celtics beat back a late push by the Cavs to win, 116-106, at the Q.  The Cavs came within two points during the fourth quarter, but the Celtics went on a 10-2 run and kept Cleveland at bay.

The Columbus Blue Jackets kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-0 shutout of the New York Islanders.  

The NCAA says an Ohio man has made history with a March Madness bracket that's perfect through the tournament's first 48 games. Gregg Nigl, 40, of Columbus says he almost didn't fill out his bracket on NCAA.com's "Bracket Challenge." The NCAA says the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Nigl said he isn’t counting on his bracket staying perfect. 

Weather forecast: Plenty of sunshine. High 46. Tonight, mostly clear, low 38. Tomorrow, Thursday, a 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy and warmer, high 57.

 

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