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After 16 years, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will not seek re-election: The Wake Up for Friday, May 7, 2021

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 5/7/2021 Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com
a display in a room: Signs in the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland informs guests visiting the hotel of the precautions and safety measures taken to protect guests from the coronavirus photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com Signs in the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland informs guests visiting the hotel of the precautions and safety measures taken to protect guests from the coronavirus photographed May 6, 2021.

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Weather

Showers are possible today, but it will be mixed with sunshine and highs in the mid-50s. More sunshine is expected Saturday with highs again in the mid-50s. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with showers possible during the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid-50s. Read more.

a person sitting in a living room: Guests at the Westin hotel lounge in the foyer of the hotel during a stay in Cleveland, May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com Guests at the Westin hotel lounge in the foyer of the hotel during a stay in Cleveland, May 6, 2021.

Local scores: Indians 4, Kansas City Royals 0

The headlines

Frank Jackson: After a record 16 years in office, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says it is time to call it quits. Seth Richardson and Robert Higgs report the longest serving mayor in the city’s history announced Thursday that he would not seek an unprecedented fifth term, bringing an end to an era of governance in Cleveland that lasted the better part of two decades. It also officially sets off what has become a crowded primary field to succeed Jackson.

a group of sheep standing on top of a building: A western mural is painted on the outside of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com A western mural is painted on the outside of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021.

Congressional earmarks: Northeast Ohio members of Congress want to use earmarks to fund everything from local sewer improvements to police communication centers to a park. Earmarks advocates say Congress members are more familiar with deserving local projects than bureaucrats at federal agencies, while critics argue earmarks enable corruption, Sabrina Eaton reports. All but three House of Representatives members from Ohio submitted up to 10 requests to the House Appropriations Committee.

This Week in the CLE: A new poll shows most Cleveland residents aren’t familiar with most of the candidates running in the Cleveland mayoral race. We’re talking about the front-runners on This Week in the CLE, cleveland.com’s daily half-hour news podcast.

New numbers: Ohio added 1,387 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the total since the beginning of the outbreak to 1.08 million, reports Laura Hancock.

COVID map: Ohio’s two-week coronavirus case rate has dipped to its lowest level since October, and fewer than half of Ohio’s counties remain on red alert for concern over spread of the virus, Rich Exner reports. The case rate dropped for the third consecutive week, to 140.2 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. Just 38 of Ohio’s 88 counties remain on Level 3 red alert, including 10 of the 11 counties in the Northeast corner of the state - Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull.

a sign on the side of a building: A wall marquis of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com A wall marquis of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021.

Sports betting: Sports gambling would be allowed in Ohio via mobile apps and brick-and-mortar betting facilities under new legislation unveiled by Ohio Senate Republicans. Jeremy Pelzer reports the bill would also allow fraternal halls and other charitable organizations to legally set up slot machine-like “electronic instant bingo” machines.

Pelin Denizci standing in front of a building: Westin hotel's Sales Manager, Kim Lawson (C), Strategic Analyst, Rachael Montanari (L) and Megan Harnar, Human Resource manager are photographed outside the Westin in downtown Cleveland, May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com Westin hotel's Sales Manager, Kim Lawson (C), Strategic Analyst, Rachael Montanari (L) and Megan Harnar, Human Resource manager are photographed outside the Westin in downtown Cleveland, May 6, 2021.

Child services: After the 2018 death of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett, Cuyahoga County announced sweeping reforms to address safety concerns, as it had several other times over the past two decades. But those changes haven’t stopped deaths that continue to haunt the department. Courtney Astolfi and Robert Higgs review details of nearly 20 other cases involving the deaths of children who had come to the attention of the county during every administration since 1997, when then-County Commissioner Tim McCormack made headlines by releasing confidential information about the case of two boys who had died.

Ballot box:  A newly introduced voting overhaul bill in the Ohio House would put into law that absentee ballot drop boxes are only allowed at one place in each county and for a shorter length of time than in the November 2020 election. Laura Hancock reports that up to three boxes would be allowed at each county board of elections under House Bill 294, sponsored by Republican Reps. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati and Sharon Ray of Wadsworth.

Basheer Jones: Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones announced Thursday his candidacy for the 2021 mayoral election. Seth Richardson reports the 36-year-old councilman, whose Ward 7 includes Hough, St. Clair-Superior, Midtown and Asia Town, becomes the fifth high-profile candidate to enter the race to succeed Mayor Frank Jackson.

Arco dump: A judge will soon determine whether the former operator of the Arco Recycling demolition debris dump in East Cleveland will have to pay millions for Ohio’s cleanup efforts, as well as penalties for any violations at the site. The state wants to hold the owner responsible for 327,000 cubic yards of demolition debris dumped at the Noble Road site over several years while he held the site out as a recycling plant, reports Eric Heisig.

Signs in the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland informs guests visiting the hotel of the precautions and safety measures taken to protect guests from the coronavirus photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com Signs in the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland informs guests visiting the hotel of the precautions and safety measures taken to protect guests from the coronavirus photographed May 6, 2021.

Opposition to plan: Cleveland Councilman Charles Slife says he opposes a plan by Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration to expand the city’s special events office into a division that would also work to promote film productions and major events. Slife, who wrote of his opposition in a letter to Jackson, tells Robert Higgs that the expanded office is unnecessary.

Wolstein Center: The Wolstein Center mass vaccination clinic in downtown Cleveland will offer single-dose Johnson & Johnson shots next week, Laura Hancock reports. Anyone age 18 and older can receive the J&J vaccine from Tuesday through May 17. Then the Wolstein Center will resume second shots of Pfizer.

Health Care Heroes: Some nurses would prefer to avoid the stress that comes with working in an emergency room. Char Warner isn’t one of them. As part of the Health Care Heroes series, Evan MacDonald reports that Warner has spent the better part of her career working in the setting, including the past four years as the director of nursing for emergency services at MetroHealth.

UH CEO: Dr. Cliff Megerian transitioned to the CEO of University Hospitals in the middle of the pandemic, replacing Thomas “Tom” Zenty III at the end of January. Megerian has been serving as UH’s president since that announcement. Evan MacDonald interviewed Megerian, who assumed many of the public-facing duties for UH during the second half of 2020.

a tall building in a city: The exterior of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com The exterior of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021.

St. Ignatius suspensions: St. Ignatius High School has suspended 17 varsity lacrosse players and pulled the team from an upcoming tournament amid allegations of underage drinking and hazing. Alexis Oatman reports after becoming aware of an “off-campus gathering” with members of the varsity lacrosse team, school officials launched an official investigation that revealed underage drinking, hazing, and “conduct unbefitting of Saint Ignatius student-athletes had occurred.”

Priest theft: A former priest accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from three Northeast Ohio parishes intends to plead guilty to federal charges stemming from the thefts, John Caniglia reports. Andrey Kovalenko, 53, was indicted in November on 10 counts of mail fraud that alleged he looted the churches’ accounts.

Hotel occupancy: Downtown Cleveland hotels had their best night in nearly a year and a half on the first night of the NFL Draft last week. Susan Glaser reports hotel occupancy for the 26 hotels in downtown and University Circle on Thursday, April 29, was 85%, a figure that should give the industry hope as it emerges from the pandemic, with an average overnight rate of $244.58.

That’s Rich: Wondering what kind of reward credit card you should get? Rich Exner writes that you should consider the value of the awards, whether it be cash back, airline miles, hotel points, etc. Check out introductory bonuses and what additional charging it will take to get what you want.

a group of people standing in a parking lot: Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center soon will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. © Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com/Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center soon will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Waterfalls: In April and May, waterways are bursting from their constraints – voluminous, rambunctious, full of promise. Susan Glaser travels to Elakala Falls, a lovely cataract in West Virginia’s Blackwater Falls State Park, the first stop on what turned into a multi-falls tour of the area, a rugged, mountainous region in the eastern part of the state, once known for coal mining and now popular with hikers and mountain bikers.

Dru Joyce Class: The Dru Joyce Classic, a travel-basketball tournament that draws several thousand players and coaches, will move to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland on June 25-27. Marc Bona reports the annual tournament had been held in Akron.

‘Today’ show: NBC’s “Today” show is coming to Cleveland to give the city a boost, reports Joey Morona. Al Roker, who worked in Cleveland at WKYC Channel 3 from 1978 to 1983 before leaving for New York City, returns to his adopted hometown Monday to host live segments from the lakefront.

New Ground: Cleveland Play House’s New Ground Theatre Festival is returning in the form of a two-part virtual event on May 15, titled “Mapping New Ground,” which will give audiences a sneak peek at five new Cleveland-inspired plays commissioned by CPH in 2020. Joey Morona reports the lineup includes George Brant’s “Crooked River Burning,” “I’m Back Now” by Charly Evon Simpson, Jessica Dickey’s “The Ghost Tour,” “Lake Erie Oubliette” by Chelsea Marcantel, and Vichet Chum’s “Liébling.”

a tall building in a city: The exterior of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com The exterior of the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland photographed May 6, 2021.

Polo G: Polo G takes the WIRED Autocomplete Interview and answers the internet’s most searched questions about himself in a video from cleveland.com’s sister site.

Things to do: Looking for some fun ways to spend the next few days in Northeast Ohio? Anne Nickoloff has 15 ideas, including concerts, foodie events, Mother’s Day brunches and more.

Other headlines

Cleveland City Council approves community activist Delores Gray as new Ward 5 councilwoman Read more

a sign on a wooden table: Signs in the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland informs guests visiting the hotel of the precautions and safety measures taken to protect guests from the coronavirus photographed May 6, 2021. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com Signs in the Westin hotel in downtown Cleveland informs guests visiting the hotel of the precautions and safety measures taken to protect guests from the coronavirus photographed May 6, 2021.

Highland Heights seeks state grant for walking trail connecting Community Park to Bishop Road Read more

Olmsted Falls High School hosts clinic to vaccinate students Read more

Berea Charter Review Commission will propose three amendments to council Read more

Parma City School District officials ‘lick wounds’ after bond issue defeat Read more

a man standing in a room: Westin hotel cleaning attendant Debra Baker vacuums one of her assigned rooms, May 6, 2021. The cleaning attendants have added tasks of making sure the rooms are COVID-19 compliant for guests. © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com Westin hotel cleaning attendant Debra Baker vacuums one of her assigned rooms, May 6, 2021. The cleaning attendants have added tasks of making sure the rooms are COVID-19 compliant for guests.

Fairview Park council to once again consider domestic-violence legislation Read more

Olmsted Falls Mayor Graven announces re-election campaign Read more

Akron Municipal Court to offer outdoor wedding ceremonies at four local venues Read more

Frank G. Jackson wearing a suit and tie: The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Cleveland is more than just an economic and health crisis. It also put a spotlight on institutionalized disparities and inequities that must be addressed, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Thursday.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Cleveland is more than just an economic and health crisis. It also put a spotlight on institutionalized disparities and inequities that must be addressed, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Thursday.
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