The iOpener: End of Line for Lordstown; Lawmakers Advance 10.7 Cent Gas Tax Hike; Cavs Lose

The last Chevy Cruze produced at the GM Lordstown plant rolled off the assembly line at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The last Chevy Cruze produced at the GM Lordstown plant rolled off the assembly line at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. [Drive It Home Ohio campaign]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Thursday, March 7, 2019. It starts getting warmer today so maybe we'll start to see signs of spring after this snow. 

Ohio’s two senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, are vowing to continue efforts to bring a new vehicle to replace the Chevy Cruze at General Motors’ plant in Lordstown.  Production of the compact car ended Wednesday in what union leaders described as an emotional day for workers.  Some 1,400 people are being laid off.

State lawmakers are advancing a budget for the Ohio Department of Transportation that includes more money for mass transit.  The Ohio House Finance Committee passed a two-year spending plan that gives public transit $100 million a year in federal funds.  House Bill 62 also boosts local governments’ share of a fuel tax.   Lawmakers are proposing raising the state’s gasoline tax by 10.7 cents a gallon over three years.  Gov. DeWine called for an 18-cents-a-gallon increase.   

Authorities in Hudson now estimate at least 100 vehicles were involved in a multi-car pile-up on State Route 8 Tuesday, up from an initial estimate of 60.  Police say 19 people were brought to area hospitals or treated at the scene.   Drivers were dealing with whiteout snow conditions and ice.  Route 8 northbound between Seasons and West Streetsboro roads was closed for about three hours. 

In Tallmadge, the school board unanimously approved $1.7 million in spending reductions for the next school year.  The cuts include bus service for an estimated 60 percent of the district’s students and the elimination of about 15 jobs.  The district has a five-year, 7.4-mill levy on the ballot in May.  Voters rejected the same request last November.    

The Brooklyn Nets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 113-107, securing the victory at the Barclays Center with a 14-0 fourth quarter push.  Brooklyn's Spencer Dinwiddie scored 12 of his 28 points in the final quarter.   The victory keeps the Nets in the hunt with the Detroit Pistons for the No. 6 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. 

LeBron James moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA's career scoring list. The Lakers superstar scored his 32,293rd point in the second quarter in the Lakers' loss against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night.  The milestone is a bright spot for James in a season that could see him miss the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

Weather forecast: Partly sunny, a bit warmer today.  High 26.  Tonight, cloudy, low 19.  The warming trend continues into the weekend, with cloudy skies and temperatures hitting 36 Friday and rising to 49 on Sunday.   

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