The iOpener: GM in Talks to Sell Lordstown Plant; House Budget Adds More Tax Cuts; Indians Win

Workhorse Group, based in Loveland, Ohio, builds elecric trucks and drones. The company is in talks to buy the idled GM plant in Lordstown.
Workhorse Group, based in Loveland, Ohio, builds elecric trucks and drones. The company is in talks to buy the idled GM plant in Lordstown. [Ann Thompson / WVXU]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Thursday, May 9, 2019. We've been getting your thoughts on the new theme for "Morning Edition."  While most of you pan it, a few give it a thumbs up.  Dorothy Valerian of Highland Heights says, "I find it creative and inviting, almost a little bit exotic. It has a sense of optimism, which is exactly what I need in the morning before I hear the day's news." Tell us your opinion by calling our Listener Contribution line at 216-916-6476 or post to our Facebook page. We'll send your comments to NPR at the end of the week.

General Motors says it is negotiating the sale of its idled factory in Lordstown to Workhorse Group, a Cincinnati-based company that builds electric trucks.  The talks were first announced on Twitter by President Trump. Gov. DeWine said that if the sale goes through, the number of jobs could rise to 3,000 if Workhorse were to win a contract with the U.S. Postal Service.  A labor leader representing laid-off Lordstown workers said the sale means GM isn’t coming back.

Advocates who won a lawsuit seeking to have Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional districts redrawn are urging judges to reject the state’s request for a stay, calling it a delaying tactic. Ohio’s attorney general has asked the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati for the stay, arguing that the decision could be rendered moot by upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decisions on two similar cases. In their response, filed Wednesday, the Ohio League of Women Voters and others said the state made a similar argument in an unsuccessful attempt to delay the trial. 

Meanwhile, Ohio House Democrats say lawmakers should start getting ready to redraw the congressional district map. House minority leader Emilia Sykes of Akron wrote to Republican Senate President Larry Obhof, asking him to revive the legislature’s bipartisan redistricting task force.  It convenes every ten years and has not met since 2011.

The Ohio House votes today on its version of the state budget, getting the legislation after it passed out of committee on a rare unanimous vote.  Lawmakers added an across-the-board state income tax cut and new health-care price transparency rules.  It also added a provision that nullifies Toledo’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights.  The last time the House Finance Committee unanimously passed a budget was in 2007. 

Jose Ramirez had his first career walk-off home run, lifting the Indians to a 5-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Ramirez, who’s been in a slump since last August, hit a two-run blast with two outs in the ninth against Rick Renteria.  The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Tribe.

 Weather forecast: Cloudy, breezy and warm, with scattered showers. Winds out of the south at 16 mph, gusting to as high as 28 mph.  High 80. Tonight, Showers and possibly a thunderstorm.  Low 58. Tomorrow, Friday, cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain before noon.  The temperature falls through the day to 55 degrees by 5 pm. 

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