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Lake Erie’s shore could determine whether Biden stands a chance in Ohio. Why? The Wake Up for Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 10/30/2020 Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com
a man standing in front of a computer: Joanne Vega testifies against her husband, Romaine Tolbert, during his trial on charges including murder in the 2017 death of 4-year-old Eliazar Ruiz. © Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com/cleveland.com/TNS Joanne Vega testifies against her husband, Romaine Tolbert, during his trial on charges including murder in the 2017 death of 4-year-old Eliazar Ruiz.

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Weather

There will be showers today and it will be cool, with highs in the upper 40s. Showers are expected to continue overnight and it will be a bit breezy. Lows will be in the upper 30s. Read more.

The headlines

Toledo to Conneaut: President Donald Trump racked up votes across Ohio’s Lake Erie shore in 2016, traditionally a stronghold of organized labor, playing a major role in his 8-point victory. Seth Richardson and Andrew Tobias report that the proximity to the lake has translated to a shared legacy of manufacturing across the region, as well as a water-based tourism industry. Residents in the area skew older. And the degree to which Joe Biden can bring these counties back into play could help decide whether the Democratic former vice president has any chance of winning here.

$5 billion: Ohio’s 249,000-plus employers will get $5 billion worth of dividend checks soon from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation under a request from Gov. Mike DeWine. Andrew Tobias reports that the BWC is a state-run insurance program that helps companies pay recovering workers who are injured on the job. It’s funded by employer premiums and investment profits.

This Week in the CLE: Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted say the coronavirus is not spreading at businesses. But how do they know? Are they not urgently investigating the surge because they fear the answer? We’re talking about the spread on This Week in the CLE, cleveland.com’s daily half-hour news podcast.

New numbers: Ohio reported 2,607 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, reports Laura Hancock. The number of deaths increased 17, above the 21-day average of 14 deaths.

Election night: Use cleveland.com as your second screen on Election Night. We’ll have analysis on the presidential race and news on any problems at Northeast Ohio polling places, plus county-by-county numbers and the latest on local races, including U.S. Congress, the Ohio Statehouse and tax issues for Cleveland schools and Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Cleveland numbers: The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed 46 new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus were found in Cleveland, Robert Higgs reports. No new deaths were reported. There have been 6,269 confirmed cases in Cleveland since March, according to the Cleveland Department of Public Health.

Purple alert: If Cuyahoga County is put on purple-alert today, schools from Warrensville Heights to Strongsville will close their doors. Berea, Fairview Park and Rocky River are among the school districts that will switch immediately to remote learning if Cuyahoga reaches the most severe level in Ohio’s color-coded coronavirus map, reports Alexis Oatman.

Civil emergency: Mayor Frank Jackson on Wednesday extended his proclamation of civil emergency for the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis through Nov. 30. Robert Higgs reports the proclamation clears the way for several members of the mayor’s cabinet representing health, safety forces, law, finance and operations to work collectively to address the coronavirus crisis. It gives them expanded ability to issue directives and, if needed, to spend money without City Council approval.

Women and guns: In a city where violent crime has been climbing during the coronavirus pandemic, Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones is hoping to put more guns on the street. He wants to train up to 1,000 women to handle firearms so they can protect themselves, Robert Higgs reports. Jones says proper training with firearms and a proper understanding of how they can be handled safely could reduce crime in urban neighborhoods, and it could also provide women with a means of protection against domestic violence.

Homicide trial: The wife of the man on trial on murder charges in the 2017 death of a 4-year-old boy testified Wednesday that her husband admitted to her that he bagged up the boy’s body and left it in bushes behind a burned-out home he had been rehabbing, Cory Shaffer reports. Romaine Tolbert, 38, is charged with murder, permitting child abuse, felonious assault, endangering children, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and kidnapping in Eliazar Ruiz’s death.

Officer-involved shooting: A Maple Heights police officer shot a man in the leg early Wednesday after a brief car chase that ended when the man crashed a car into a building in Bedford Heights, Kaylee Remington reports. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is investigating the shooting.

Imperial Avenue: The Imperial Women Coalition today will hold its annual anniversary vigil of the Imperial Avenue Murders and rally against cuts to rape and domestic violence services, Alexis Oatman reports. The event is free and open to the public from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at 12205 Imperial Ave. The activist group was founded in 2009 after the murders of 11 Black women by convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell.

Mental-health care: For thousands of Ohio parents, treatment of their children’s complicated mental health and developmental issues is so expensive that they must relinquish custody to the foster system so their kids get the help they need through Ohio Medicaid. Laura Hancock reports Medicaid on Wednesday announced it is seeking applications until Dec. 16 from insurers and other managed-care organizations to oversee and coordinate the specialized treatment of these children in a new program called OhioRISE.

Cuyahoga library: Not all voters will see a proposed Cuyahoga County Public Library tax increase on their ballots this election season. Courtney Astolfi reports that’s because the measure will appear on ballots only for people living in the 47 communities served by the library.

Door-knocking: Jehovah’s Witnesses place great importance on the Biblical commandment of “Love thy neighbor,” and it’s why they knock on doors to talk with people about the faith. But during the coronavirus pandemic, Cameron Fields reports, Witnesses have been writing letters and calling instead.

Tri-C: With a surge of COVID-19, Cuyahoga Community College is suspending 2021 spring athletics. The school said it will be challenging to implement the precautions and protocols needed to ensure a safe environment during competitions, practices, and other aspects of athletics, reports Alexis Oatman. The suspension will affect men’s baseball, women’s softball and women’s track.

Schools app: The U.S. Justice Department has awarded a $750,000 grant from its STOP School Violence program to help Cleveland develop an anonymous reporting app that students could use to report safety threats as they travel to and from school, Sabrina Eaton reports. The app will be developed by Digital C, a Cleveland non-profit group that has worked to provide inexpensive internet service to greater Cleveland residents.

Dave Joyce: U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce of Bainbridge Township is a Republican with one of the state’s least-Republican congressional districts. So Democrats who want his job often believe it’s within reach. Their efforts haven’t yet paid off, reports Sabrina Eaton. This year, the former Geauga County prosecutor faces a challenge from Painesville attorney Hillary “Toro” O’Connor Mueri, a former naval flight officer.

Music venues: Closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Happy Dog and other smaller, independent music venues like it are fighting just to make it to the other side. But Ohio’s $20 million in CARES Act funding will be reserved for non-profit arts and cultural organizations, specifically to those that have received grants from the Ohio Arts Council in the past. Joey Morona reports Happy Dog and its for-profit brethren were shut out.

Other headlines

Catching a cold could mean you’re not on guard for COVID Read more

Lorain man struck by gunfire in city’s South Lorain neighborhood, police say Read more

29-year-old Canton woman fatally shot in Plain Township Read more

Police pursuit ends with suspect crashing into Akron patrol car Read more

Fairview Park’s Gemini Center expands hours and open-gym amenities for members and teens Read more

Parma Recreation Department delays fall/winter basketball rec program signups Read more

Mike Bloomberg Super PAC outspending Donald Trump in Ohio after pumping $3.7 million in ads into state in final week Read more

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