Cleveland-Cliffs, U.S. Steel combination would dominate steel industry: The Wake Up for Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023

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The Cleveland-Cliffs name is a mainstay in Cleveland, and not just in big white letters on the side of the William G. Mather steamship permanently parked at the Great Lakes Science Center.

The company dates back to 1847, when 15 Cleveland men formed the Cleveland Iron Mining Co. to explore massive iron ore deposits on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

In 2020, Cleveland-Cliffs bought nearly all of the assets of steel company ArcelorMittal USA for $1.4 billion. That deal made the steelmaker the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America and the largest iron ore pellet producer in North America.

If Cleveland-Cliffs eventually takes over U.S. Steel, the new company could effectively control 100% of the U.S. iron ore market.

Cleveland-Cliffs first sent an offer privately to U.S. Steel on July 28. But after U.S. Steel rejected the offer and called it “unreasonable,” Cliffs made its offer public to “make it known that Cliffs stands ready to engage on this offer immediately.”

– Laura

Overnight Scores and Weather

Northeast Ohio weather forecast: Showers expected

Top Stories

Cleveland-Cliffs: U.S. Steel has publicly rejected a $7.3 billion buyout offer from Cleveland-Cliffs. But if Cleveland-Cliffs’ efforts eventually become a reality, the new company would dominate the U.S. steel market, Sean McDonnell reports. The two companies combining without any changes would mean U.S. automakers would have very limited options on where to buy their steel, a research analyst says.

Gerrymandering amendment: Redistricting activists laid out their roadmap Monday on a quest to cut the cord between elected office holders and drawing the lines that establish those office boundaries. Jeremy Pelzer and Jake Zuckerman report a proposed constitutional amendment calls for the creation of a 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of Republicans, Democrats, and independents who cannot be current or former politicians, party officials, lobbyists or “large political donors.”

Today in Ohio: The 241-mile Ohio Turnpike is overhauling the way it’s charging tolls starting sometime this fall. We’re talking on Today in Ohio, cleveland.com’s daily half-hour news podcast, about an interview with the executive director about the plan to charge mileage-based tolls only on part of the route and collect flat-rate tolls to enter and (in most cases) leave the state.

Statehouse and Politics

Sherrod Brown and spouse, Connie Schultz, address a group in Iowa.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and his wife, Connie Schultz, right, speak during a meet-and-greet in 2019 with local residents in Cresco, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press file photo)AP

Sherrod Brown: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat who is up for reelection in 2024, on Monday amended multiple years worth of his financial disclosure reports to include previously omitted pension money from his wife, journalist Connie Schultz, Sabrina Eaton reports.

Governor’s race: Matt Mayer, a longtime conservative policy researcher running for Ohio governor in 2026, is picking up support from another Republican outsider – 2022 gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone, reports Jeremy Pelzer. Blystone’s endorsement comes after his 2022 running mate, Jeremiah Workman, suspended his 2026 gubernatorial campaign, citing concerns about being away from his family.

Northeast Ohio News

Rethinking Child Care: More than half of Ohio parents who are not full-time working parents say they would return to work full-time if their children had access to quality child care at an affordable price, finds a new poll of Ohioans from the First Five Years Fund. Zachary Sith reports that more than 90% of those surveyed said they believe it is important for working parents of young children to be able to find and afford quality child care programs, a sentiment felt by more than 85% of every political party affiliation.

September election: Some Cuyahoga County voters will have the option to cast ballots in a Sept. 12 primary. Starting Tuesday, those in Garfield Heights City Council Ward 2 and Maple Heights City Council District 6 can begin early voting and mail-in voting, reports Lucas Daprile.

Snowy winter: The Farmers’ Almanac released its 2023-24 winter outlook and predicted a bevy of snow, ice and blizzards in Ohio this winter. In addition to its winter forecast, Farmers’ Almanac also shared “20 Signs of a Hard Winter Ahead,” which was curated by famed Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard, reports Zach Mentz.

Business and Health

Plant explosion: An explosion in February that killed one man and injured 15 others at an Oakwood-based recycling plant was caused by a furnace leak, which let water come in contact with molten metal, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Sean McDonnell reports that the explosion was “preventable,” but that I. Schumann & Co. wasn’t following proper safety guidelines.

Breeze: Breeze Airways, which launched at the Akron-Canton Airport just two years ago, is poised to become the airport’s largest carrier later this year, Susan Glaser reports. The airline, which didn’t even exist prior to 2021, started at Akron-Canton with three destinations. It now flies to seven cities from CAK, with an eighth landing this fall, drawing travelers from throughout Northeast Ohio.

Gas prices: Gasoline prices in Ohio are up an average of 20 cents a gallon in just the last week, according to AAA. The average cost is $3.639 a gallon, up from $3.437 a week ago and from $3.334 a month ago. The average price was $3.628 a year ago.

Diebold: Diebold Nixdorf, the ATM and self-checkout manufacturer based in Hudson, has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is once again trading on the stock market, reports Sean McDonnell. The company announced in May that it would restructure to settle $2.1 billion of debt, going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and a similar process in the Netherlands.

Crime and Courts

Neighbor assaults: Petty disputes among Cleveland neighbors led to a pair of felonious assault charges, reports John Tucker. An East Side man was accused of shooting his neighbor in broad daylight, while a West Side man was charged with beating his friend’s neighbor with a baseball bat.

Crash deaths: A woman who crashed her car at 100 mph into a building and killed her boyfriend and their friend when she was 17 years old faces life in prison after she was convicted of causing their deaths, reports Cory Shaffer. A judge found Mackenzie Shirilla guilty of murder Monday in the deaths of Dominic Russo, 20, and Davion Flanagan, 19, last July.

1-year-old killed: Police are investigating the death of a 1-year-old boy in Akron, reports Olivia Mitchell. Police and the office of the Summit County medical examiner are withholding the infant’s name during the investigation.

Torture charges: A Cuyahoga County grand jury has indicted a Cleveland man on 18 charges involving the torture and sexual assault of his girlfriend, whom he held captive in late July. The panel last week handed up an indictment accusing Preston Anderson, 39, of rape, kidnapping, felonious assault, strangulation and retaliation.

Arts and Entertainment

Immaculate Grid: Immaculate Grid, the internet game that combines elements of fantasy baseball with block puzzles like Sudoku, has taken over the major leagues and become a daily fixture in clubhouses and ballparks across the country – including, reports Joe Noga, in Cleveland.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony: The Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Way street sign that was installed in the group’s honor on Friday at the former corner of East 99th Street and Lowell Avenue has mysteriously disappeared, reports Malcolm X Abram. The street sign was installed Friday in front of members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and a multitude of fans, family and friends. By Sunday evening it was gone.

Ask Lucas: A man who loves to play Call of Duty on his friend’s PS4 wants to know what to tell his wife, who wants him to spend more time with her. Lucas Daprile writes that the only thing better than true love is obliterating 12-year-olds who spent their parents’ last paycheck on outfits for their virtual characters.

Jake Paul: A decade after Westlake native Jake Paul moved to Los Angeles and conquered the internet as one of the first YouTube personalities, “The Problem Child” has reinvented himself as a legitimate boxer who packs a powerful right hook against his MMA competition. John Benson reports that Paul, 26, improved his record to 7-1 (4 KO) by unanimous decision over MMA fighter Nate Diaz.

Wonder Jam: WGAR FM/99.5 announced that multiplatinum singer Lee Brice will headline the radio station’s annual WGAR Winter Wonder Jam on Nov. 30 at Playhouse Square. Tickets for the holiday concert go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday, reports Malcolm X Abram.

Taco Trail: When the staff of the Lake County Visitors Bureau wanted to draw attention to the region’s assets, they saw treasure in the Mexican restaurants. Using a list of 22 taco-centric places, they launched the “Lake County Taco Trail” in fall 2022 to attract local and visiting diners. Paris Wolfe and Yadi Rodriguez visit the restaurants on the trail.

Winking Lizard: For years, you could watch real lizards behind glass at the Winking Lizard restaurants. Marc Bona reports the zoolike atmosphere is ending: The creatures are being phased out of the Winking Lizards.

Deli sandwiches: Sandwiches may be a humble lunch food, but they often taste exponentially better when someone else makes one for you. Alex Darus lists 17 essential Northeast Ohio delis that are prime spots for sandwiches and more.

RV Rocking: Jeff and Patti Kinzbach spend time on their latest Rocking the RV Life podcast chatting with dynamic rock-star manager and fellow Clevelander David Spero. Spero’s resume of rock stars he has managed include Joe Walsh, Cat Stevens, Michael Stanley, Kenny Loggins, Dave Mason, Dickey Betts, Jesse Colin Young, Richie Furay, Simon Kirke and Paul Rodgers of Bad Company. He has traveled the globe with the bands and worked on projects with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Entertainment lawyer: Parma native and 1980 Valley Forge High School graduate Robert Darwell is living a dream in Paris, John Benson reports. The high-powered entertainment lawyer, a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, where he’s the head of Global Media, never considered a career in the legal profession until two teachers — independent of each other — commented on how much he liked to argue.

You’re all caught up

Don’t forget, you can always find the latest Cleveland news by visiting cleveland.com. If you value the hard work of Cleveland journalists, consider becoming an cleveland.com subscriber.

— Curated by Laura Johnston with contributions by Cliff Pinckard

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