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Ohio legislators add anti-vaccination measures to COVID relief bill: The Wake Up for Friday, June 25, 2021

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 6/25/2021 Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com
a truck is parked near a fence: Cleveland Metroparks set in place the first of three sections, one of two 125-foot sections, of the Wendy Park Bridge that will pass over the Norfolk-Southern railway. The bridge will eventually go to Whiskey Island as part of the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail. This is the final piece of trail, linking the Towpath and Lake Link to Lake Erie after decades of planning. The first section was set in place early Tuesday morning, March 23, 2021. © David Petkiewicz/cleveland.com Cleveland Metroparks set in place the first of three sections, one of two 125-foot sections, of the Wendy Park Bridge that will pass over the Norfolk-Southern railway. The bridge will eventually go to Whiskey Island as part of the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail. This is the final piece of trail, linking the Towpath and Lake Link to Lake Erie after decades of planning. The first section was set in place early Tuesday morning, March 23, 2021.

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Weather

Mostly cloudy skies and chances of thunderstorms are in the forecast today, with highs in the mid-80s. There chances of showers and thunderstorms through the weekend and it will be hot, with highs in the mid-80s Saturday and around 90 on Sunday.

The first section of bridge is hoisted into place March 23, 2021 for the Wendy Park Bridge. © John Pana/cleveland.com The first section of bridge is hoisted into place March 23, 2021 for the Wendy Park Bridge.

Local scores: Indians 4, Minnesota Twins 1

The headlines

Anti-vax legislation: A controversial anti-vaccination bill lacked the votes to advance out of committee on Tuesday, but Thursday, the House GOP passed elements of the bill by tacking them onto unrelated legislation that allocates federal coronavirus-relief funds. Andrew Tobias reports the bill is now headed to the Senate for possible approval as lawmakers pass a flurry of bills before breaking for summer recess. The new language bars public and private entities from requiring people to “engage in or refrain from” activities based on whether or not they are vaccinated.

a bridge over a body of water: The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete. © John Pana/cleveland.com The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete.

Downtown Cleveland: The Downtown Cleveland Alliance has a new president and CEO, Michael Deemer, elevated from within its own ranks, Eric Heisig reports. Deemer’s new role comes at a time of transition in downtown Cleveland as former office and retail buildings were renovated into apartment complexes and many companies with leases seek to downsize as more people work remotely.

Elections complaint: The Ohio Elections Commission voted on Thursday to indefinitely delay acting on two elections complaints against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. Andrew Tobias reports that the commission declined to decide whether Householder broke state elections law by spending $920,000 from his campaign account to hire attorneys conducting his criminal defense against a federal corruption case, disregarding a request from Attorney General Dave Yost’s office.

Natural gas: Local governments in Ohio would no longer be allowed to ban residents’ use of natural gas under legislation approved Thursday by the state legislature. Jeremy Pelzer reports House Bill 201 now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine. Proponents of the Republican-sponsored bill say prohibiting local natural gas bans will ensure residents have access to a reliable source of heat in the winter.

NCAA likeness: The Ohio Senate is taking another approach to approving bills legalizing sports gaming and allowing college athletes to make money off their names and personal likenesses, amending both measures into an existing bill and then voting it out on Thursday night. The Senate unanimously passed a modified version of House Bill 29, a bill modifying laws affecting state military IDs, to also contain the NCAA likeness and sports gaming provisions. Andrew Tobias reports the Senate previously approved the NCAA likeness bill, but Ohio House Republicans earlier Thursday amended the bill, adding a controversial provision banning transgender student athletes from competing in girls sports, a move Senate leaders said they opposed.

a bridge over a body of water: The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete. © John Pana/cleveland.com The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete.

This Week in the CLE: Ohio’s Constitution says that a single law can only deal with a single subject, which theoretically prevents lawmakers from passing “Christmas tree” bills. The limits of the law often are ignored, but they can be challenged in court, which we’re talking about on This Week in the CLE, cleveland.com’s daily half-hour news podcast.

a train is parked on the side of a road: The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete. © John Pana/cleveland.com The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete.

Vax-a-Million winner: Esperanza Diaz of Cincinnati will receive the final $1 million Vax-a-Million giveaway, and 13-year-old Sydney Daum of Brecksville won the last full, four-year college scholarship Wednesday. Laura Hancock reports Sydney’s mom said it was a priority to get her vaccinated, but the family planned to do it later in the summer. Then Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Vax-a-Million scholarship drawings.

Arts affected: Sixty-five arts nonprofits in Cuyahoga County last year canceled more than 6,500 events and lost more than $119 million in earned and donated revenue last year, Joey Morona reports. Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, a public agency created in 2006 to distribute county cigarette tax money to the arts, awarded 295 grants totaling more than $12 million last year, and distributed nearly $3 million in federal CARES Act money provided by Cuyahoga County to 94 arts and cultural nonprofits.

Fireworks: Bipartisan legislation to allow consumer-grade fireworks to be owned and set off in the state on legal holidays cleared the Ohio General Assembly on Thursday. Jeremy Pelzer reports that even if signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, the measure wouldn’t take effect until well after this year’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Consent monitor: Hassan Aden, the leader of the monitoring team that oversees the reform efforts of Cleveland police, is doubling down on questioning Ayesha Hardaway’s objectivity on the team. Cameron Fields reports that Aden said he understands the frustration behind police violence and how it has damaged communities of color, but he said Hardaway’s statements generalize the actions of police officers across the nation and that they cause some to question her objectivity in assessing Cleveland police.

a group of people on a bridge: Wendy Park Bridge ribbon cutting ceremony June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Wendy Park Bridge ribbon cutting ceremony June 24, 2021

DUI stop: The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that a state trooper was justified in stopping a Cincinnati woman who turned out to be driving drunk after a passerby yelled to the trooper, “Hey, stop that vehicle — that lady is drunk.” Jeremy Pelzer reports the high court’s ruling will affect how people in Ohio can alert law enforcement about potential crimes without having the subsequent detention of the suspect be inadmissible in court.

Miller & Moreno: It’s a match made in politics. Republican congressional candidate Max Miller, 32, is engaged to marry Emily Moreno, 27, the daughter of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno. They met in 2015 on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign and have worked for Donald Trump, reports Sabrina Eaton. Emily Moreno has stumped for both candidates.

Heart inflammation: Ohio’s chief medical officer said Thursday the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine “clearly outweigh” the risks from a rare type of heart inflammation that’s been reported mostly in teens and young adults following a second dose of vaccine. Evan MacDonald reports the doctors endorsed the vaccines after the CDC said there is a “likely association” between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and two types of heart inflammation known as myocarditis and pericarditis.

Eviction moratorium: The federal government on Thursday again extended a moratorium on evictions enacted to prevent people from losing their homes during the pandemic. Eric Heisig reports the CDC now says the moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent goes until July 31.

a bicycle is parked near a fence: Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021

Military prosecution: A bipartisan group of Congress members have introduced a bill that would shift military prosecution decisions to military attorneys instead of the base commanders who are currently responsible. Sabrina Eaton reports that 20,000 service members are sexually assaulted every year and another 100,000 are sexually harassed, and that fear of retaliation over complaints is severe.

Marcia Fudge: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge will return to her native Ohio for appearances today and Sunday as part of a Biden Administration drive to promote coronavirus vaccinations. Sabrina Eaton reports Fudge will attend vaccination clinics in Dayton, Grove City and Highland Hills to highlight how communities are playing a role in getting Ohioans vaccinated, as well as the Biden administration’s role in vaccine outreach around the state.

Boating deaths: The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner identified three people who died in a boating incident Wednesday evening. Frank A Opaskar, 76, of Avon Lake, Christopher Kedas, 45, and Owen Kedas, 11, both of Huron, were found unresponsive about 6 p.m. on a boat in Lake Erie, Kaylee Remington reports. The Coast Guard said the boat was spotted going in circles near the Cleveland crib water intake.

Suspect search: Police are searching for a 16-year-old boy in connection with a shooting spree that left one man dead and another teenager injured, Olivia Mitchell reports. Police have not said if there was a motive for the double shooting.

a person sitting on a bench in the sand: Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021

Rape accusation: The now-fired vice president of human resources at Solon-based Swagelok Co. is under felony indictment that accuses him of raping a woman at a Solon restaurant in March. Cory Shaffer reports David Lucarelli, 48, of Hudson is charged in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court with four counts of rape and one count of kidnapping.

Embezzling: A former Chagrin Falls clerk pleaded no contest on Wednesday to 22 felony charges that accuse her of embezzling more than $238,000 from the village’s coffers over two decades. Debbie Bosworth, 53, was found guilty of theft in office, tampering with records and money laundering, Cory Shaffer reports. She agreed to repay the village more than $310,000 in restitution to cover her theft and the cost of a forensic audit the village conducted after discovering it.

Broadview homicide: A 38-year-old Broadview Heights woman had not been heard from for several weeks before she was discovered dead in her home Monday afternoon, Kaylee Remington reports. The medical examiner says her cause of death is a gunshot wound to the head.

Sentencing: A Chesterland man who helped a teenage boy die by suicide in 2019 was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of five years in prison. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Nancy McDonnell sentenced Duncan McElroy, 19, to five-to-seven-and-one-half years in prison after McElroy pleaded guilty in May to involuntary manslaughter and assisted suicide, Cory Shaffer reports.

a close up of a bridge: Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021

Natoma Canfield: In late 2009, Natoma Canfield sent a letter to then-President Barack Obama, imploring him to keep fighting to make health care reform a reality in the United States. She never anticipated how that simple act would change her life, Evan MacDonald reports. The letter ended up thrusting the Medina Township resident into the national spotlight as she became a face of the healthcare debate in March 2010. Canfield, 61, died June 18 of complications from leukemia that was first discovered shortly after she sent her letter.

Parma backstory: Why, and how, does Elin Hilderbrand feature Parma in her latest Nantucket beach novel? Laura Johnston reports the backstory was inspired from a 2018 reading at Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Karamu House: If the walls at Karamu House could talk, they’d tell the stories that comprise the rich history of the nation’s oldest African American producing theatre. The iconic cultural institution is making sure those stories are preserved, announcing Thursday it’s donating its archives to Case Western Reserve University, Joey Morona reports.

Wendy Park bridge: Cleveland Metroparks on Thursday opened a bike and pedestrian connection to Lake Erie at Wendy Park on Whiskey Island. Steven Litt reports some 500 onlookers showed up on a flawless June morning to witness the completion of the $6 million span across the Norfolk-Southern rail lines.

a person walking across a bridge: Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021

GOTL Lodge: Seventeen years after the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake opened, a proposal to turn the Ashtabula County-owned lodge over to the state - inserted into the state budget bill by a long-term critic of the county’s involvement - is sharply dividing the community, Susan Glaser reports.

Conneaut Lake: Todd Joseph is hoping to get the historic Conneaut Lake amusement park open in July for another generation of family fun in far-western Pennsylvania, about 90 miles east of Cleveland. The park has fallen on hard times in recent decades, passing through a string of owners and several bankruptcies, reports Susan Glaser. His work has not been without controversy, as he has razed old buildings and decommissioned old rides.

Hugh Grant: Hugh Grant and director Susanne Bier break down the prison scene from “The Undoing” for cleveland.com’s sister site, Vanity Fair. With strong emphasis placed on the tense dynamic between Dr. Jonathan Fraser, Grace (Nicole Kidman), and their son, Bier and Grant explain the complexity of shooting such an emotional scene.

Beach tips: It’s time to hit the beach. Susan Glaser puts together a list of our favorite public beaches near Cleveland, including two in the city, two to the east and two to the west. All have bathrooms, most have lifeguards and food concessions, and some have paddleboards and kayaks to rent.

a bridge over a metal fence: Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021

Other headlines

Shooting in Akron wounds man as he sits in vehicle Read more

Residents express support for Berea City Schools’ diversity efforts Read more

Fairview Park Senior Center reopens doors to smiling residents eager to reconnect Read more

Lakewood City Schools superintendent excited to be ‘handing the keys over’ to new district leader Read more

Lakewood dedicates ARPA funds to residential rent assistance, eyes earmarking money toward infrastructure improvements Read more

a bridge over a metal fence: Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021 © John Pana/cleveland.com Views from the Wendy Park Bridge on June 24, 2021

Parma’s Donna Smallwood Activities Center set to reopen July 6 Read more

Parma funding Ukrainian Village streetscape project turning former Tuxedo Lanes into parking lot Read more

a river running through a city: The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete.

The Wendy Park Bridge to Whiskey Island is complete.
© John Pana/cleveland.com
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