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A group of drug companies is pushing for U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to recuse himself from the wide-reaching array of local government lawsuits over the opioid crisis, objecting to the judge’s push for settlements. 

Attorneys for Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and other drug makers and distributors filed the motion Saturday morning in federal court in Cleveland. 

a photo of Pam Prisbylla
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Advocates for sexual abuse victims can be required to report and testify in court about the cases they are handling – unlike doctors and lawyers. Some victims of sexual abuse say have been retaliated against when that happens.

A bipartisan bill would grant those advocates privacy so they wouldn’t have to divulge that information.

photo of vaping products.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state is spending four million dollars in an effort to keep kids from vaping.

This comes on the heels of news that there are now ten confirmed cases of severe pulmonary illnesses connected to vaping in Ohio and another fourteen are being investigated.

Nationally, there have been four-hundred and fifty cases and at least five deaths associated with the problem.

Drug maker Mallinckrodt has reached a $30 million settlement with two Northeast Ohio counties in a federal lawsuit over the opioid crisis.

Mallinckrodt has agreed in principle to pay $24 million in cash to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, plus $6 million in product, Cuyahoga County officials said Friday.

Photo of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
GOOGLE EARTH

Akron Children’s Hospital is trying to find ways to improve patient health before they need care. The first initiative is a pop up food pantry.

When the hospital surveyed 22,000 kids about barriers to health, 13% said food insecurity was a top concern.

Dr. Steven Spalding, Vice President of Population Health, says that number was overwhelming and they wanted to find a way to address the issue.

a photo image of the brain
DIGITALBOB8 / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

It seems our brains are never truly quiet. We dream when we are asleep, and in sensory deprivation experiments, participants start hallucinating within 15 minutes. Where does this spontaneous activity in our brains come from?

"My contention is, based on experiments and computational models, that spontaneous activity is triggered by what is called 'noise,'" said Roberto Galan. 

Photo of medical marijuana
Shutterstock.com

Since the state passed a medical marijuana law in 2016, not many growing sites, processing facilities and dispensaries have been approved by the state. This delay is slowing down the expansion of the cannabis industry. 

Tess Bennett's article "A Budding Industry" in the Devil Strip outlines the state of the medical marijuana industry in Akron. She said the state's not to blame because of how new the regulation process is for Ohio. "Road bumps are to be expected," Bennett said.

Capital University student Kathryn Poe spoke about about her concerns about the costs of medical care at a press conference with UHCAN.
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A group that supports single-payer health care is highlighting a study that shows Ohioans are worried about paying medical costs, and are taking dangerous steps because of it.

a photo of Aultman Hospital
GOOGLE MAPS

A Stark County addiction treatment provider is opening a detox center this fall inside Canton's Aultman Hospital. CommQuest is relocating the service it’s been operating in Massillon.

CommQuest President and CEO Keith Hochadel says moving to Aultman will provide access for more people in need. And being in a hospital setting means they can help patients who often seek treatment in the emergency room. 

a photo of doctor and patient
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

For people with obesity and diabetes, there’s growing evidence of the benefits of weight-loss surgery.

A new study published Monday in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" details findings from Cleveland Clinic researchers.

Their study revealed that in patients with both obesity and uncontrolled diabetes, weight loss surgery is associated with a 40% reduction in heart issues and death. This is in comparison to the usual recommendation of lifestyle changes and medications.

photo of a man sweating in a tshirt
MATHEW WILSON / FLICKR/CC

RooSense, An Akron Based Start-up, is getting a $25,000 grant to further its research on a fabric it's developing that can help you monitor your body’s electrolytes. 

The technology can be utilized to help users come up with a better hydration plan tailored to their body.

RooSense founder Chelsea Monty-Bromer says the material can be used to help athletes and other individuals better hydrate their bodies.

face of early human ancestor
MATT CROW / CMNH

A team led by Cleveland researchers has discovered a fossil cranium that puts a face on an early human ancestor which had only been known by bone fragments.

The finding also shows that this human ancestor lived at the same time as the species made famous by the Lucy fossils.

a photo of a Naloxbox narcan kit
AKRON-CANTON AIRPORT

Akron-Canton Airport is the first airport in the country to install kits containing Narcan, a device that delivers the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. The airport is teaming up with City of Green officials to install seven Naloxbox units inside the facility. The city’s drug task force will pay for three of the $250 kits. The president and CEO of Akron-Canton Airport, Ren Camacho, said they want to be ready for emergencies.

a photo of the winners of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

University Hospitals and three small companies will be receiving $1 million each for products they created to help fight opioid abuse with technology.  

It’s the final stage of a state-sponsored contest to find new ways to use tech to battle opioid addiction.

Updated at 7:04 p.m. ET

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that drugmaker Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the state's opioid crisis by deceptively marketing painkillers, and must pay $572 million to the state.

Oklahoma sought $17.5 billion, blaming Johnson & Johnson for fueling the crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in the state.

Everyone knows what a trumpet looks like: shiny brass. But the Instrument of Hope is mostly black.

Except for the lead pipe — the straight part that extends from the mouthpiece.

It's made of bullets.

"Bullets that were shot and fired out of a gun, cut up and pieced together," says Josh Landress, who made it.

photo of John Kasich
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Former Gov. John Kasich is teaming up with former Ohio State University President Gordon Gee, who is currently president of West Virginia University, to fight for what could be hundreds of billions of dollars in opioid settlement money.

Kasich is lobbying for hospitals to get a big portion of the money out of the national lawsuit.

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are creating a nonprofit that will fight to steer cash from any national opioid settlement to hospitals, rather than to local and state governments already sparring for control of the dollars.

Updated 4:01 p.m., Aug. 23, 2019

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) officials are now asking doctors and hospitals to report any cases of patients with serious respiratory problems that could be connected to vaping to their local health department.  

photo of Aultman's Bedford Building
/ AULTMAN HOSPITAL

Akron Children’s Hospital has assumed the operation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Aultman Hospital in Canton. The facility will provide care for infants who are premature or at high-risk.

Chief Operating Officer Lisa Aurilio said the new facility means Akron Children’s can serve more people in the Canton area.

Two drug companies have reached agreements in principle with Cuyahoga and Summit counties to settle the local governments’ federal lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

a map of Hepatitis A cases
SUMMIT COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

In a typical year there are fewer than a dozen Hepatitis A cases in Summit County. So far this year there have been 143. The outbreak has been linked to high-risk populations, including the homeless and street drug users. The liver virus is transmitted by fecal matter or close person-to-person contact. But incidents have also been reported among the general population.

Tracy Rodriguez is the communicable diseases supervisor for Summit County Public Health.

A photo of a planned parenthood clinic
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Planned Parenthood says it will no longer provide birth control, HIV and STD testing and other health services with federal money known as Title X funds.

The group says it cannot comply with what it calls a gag rule that just went into effect that prohibits its doctors from talking about abortion with their patients.

What does that mean for Ohio?

photo of Vireo Health's renovated building
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Minneapolis-based Vireo Health has received the go-ahead from the state of Ohio to open Akron’s first medical marijuana processing facility.

The publicly traded company will operate its subsidiary, Ohio Medical Solutions, from a former factory building on Tallmadge Avenue in North Akron. The renovated facility now houses a state of the art manufacturing operation with high-tech security.  

A handful of world-class tennis players who competed in the Western & Southern Open last week made an extra stop at a nearby cryotherapy spa, Arctic Blast Cryo. Some swear by the shocking cold temperatures, ranging from -190 °F to -270 °F, as a way to repair damage down to the cellular level.

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