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Morning Headlines: GOP leaders say legislative district maps are coming soon; Cuyahoga ADAMHS board puts "racism" back in health declaration

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A political stalemate over Ohio’s new legislative maps has plunged the state into confusion. The bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission met without taking a vote Wednesday. The commission meets again Thursday.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, February 24:

  • GOP leaders say legislative district maps are coming soon
  • Cuyahoga ADAMHS board puts "racism" back in health declaration
  • Air Force officers sue over religious exemption denials
  • Gunshot victims identified, police to release body cam footage
  • Terry Allen retires as Cuyahoga’s top health official

GOP leaders say legislative district maps are coming soon
(AP) — A political stalemate over Ohio’s new legislative maps has plunged the state into confusion. As members of a new map-drawing commission defended themselves against potential contempt charges for failing to meet the latest court order requiring them to stop gerrymandering, top leaders were urging lawmakers to delay the May 3 primary. The bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission met without taking a vote Wednesday. Still, members tried to deflect the threatened sanctions by telling the Ohio Supreme Court that they believe legal maps might be drawn by the end of this week. The commission meets again Thursday.

Cuyahoga ADAMHS board puts "racism" back in health declaration
(Ideastream Public Media) -- The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County has reversed course and reinstated their original declaration stating "racism is a public health crisis." After passing the original declaration a year ago, the ADAMHS board replaced the word “racism” with “discrimination” at a meeting last fall. Board chair Rev. Benjamin Gohlstin previously called the word racism divisive, saying that genetic differences between people with different skin colors don’t exist, and therefore, humans are all part of the same biological race. The board, however, reversed course at a Wednesday meeting and voted to re-add the word racism back into the resolution.

Air Force officers sue over religious exemption denials
(AP) — A dozen U.S. Air Force officers have filed a lawsuit against the federal government after the military denied their religious exemptions to the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine. The officers are mostly from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. They’ve accused the Air Force of using a double standard when approving the requests. They say thousands of medical and administrative exemptions have been allowed but only a handful of religious exemptions have been granted.

Gunshot victims identified, police to release body cam footage
(Akron Beacon Journal) -- The names of two Akron men found dead in a home Tuesday where police fired shots have been released. Lawrence Rodgers, 21, and Raymond Jones, 38, both died from gunshot wounds. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylette said the men were found dead inside the residence after police shot at a man holding a gun who fled back inside the home. It’s not clear if either man was struck or injured by the officer’s shots. The Beacon Journal reports police are processing 911 recordings about the incident and are planning to release body camera video of the incident no later than Tuesday.

Terry Allen retires as Cuyahoga’s top health official
(Ideastream Public Media) -- Cuyahoga County's health department will soon have a new leader. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health appointed Roderick Harris to succeed Terry Allan as health commissioner, who is retiring after 33 years, including 18 in the commissioner role. Harris grew up in Cleveland and his family members still live there. He holds a doctorate in public health and is the current deputy director of the Allegheny County Health Department in Pittsburgh. He will take over the reins in Cuyahoga County on April 11. Harris previously worked at the Cuyahoga County board with Allan early on in his career.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.
Jon Nungesser is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media.