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Morning Headlines: Fertility Patients' Lawyers Request Independent Expert; Mary Regula Dies at 91

A photo of the exterior of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 6:

  • Laywers for fertility patients ask for independent expert to monitor clinic protocol;
  • Akron man convicted in opiate death of 52-year-old woman;
  • Bedford Heights jail reopens as rehabilitation center;
  • Luxury apartment building in Playhouse Square breaks ground;
  • University of Akron to conduct national search for next president;
  • Mary Regula dies at 91;
  • Feds investigate Goodyear motor home tires;
  • Akron fire medics to wear bulletproof vests;
  • Lawsuit over disability services gets class action status;
  • Bipartisan 'red flag' gun law introduced in Ohio Senate;

Laywers for fertility patients ask for independent expert to monitor clinic protocol
Lawyers for patients affected by a fertility clinic malfunction at University Hospitals are asking for an independent monitor to oversee clinic protocol. Attorneys took their request Thursday to Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell. They're asking O'Donnell to appoint a nationally recognized expert on the storage of eggs and embryos. The expert monitor would make sure UH is following proper procedures at its fertility clinic. Over the past month, 31 lawsuits have been filed against UH.

Akron man convicted in opiate death of 52-year-old woman
A federal jury has convicted an Akron man of selling a deadly dose of heroin mixed with fentanyl. Jurmaine Jefferies, 29, was found guilty after a two-week trial. He sold the deadly drug mix to a 52-year-old woman in 2015. She was later found dead at a home in Goodyear Heights. Jefferies faces at least 20 years in prision when he's sentenced later this year.

Bedford Heights jail reopens as rehabilitation center
The Bedford Heights jail has been revamped into what officials are calling a “comprehensive re-entry programming center.” The 200-bed facility will give inmates job training, substance abuse help and even culinary instruction. Thursday's ribbon cutting included Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney and Bedford Heights Mayor Fletcher Berger. The center will house low-level male offenders. Similar services are offered to women inmates at the Euclid Jail. Bedford's first inmates could move in as early as next week.

Luxury apartment building in Playhouse Square breaks ground
Playhouse Square has broken ground on a new luxury apartment building in downtown Cleveland. The Lumen will stand 34 stories tall. Its name is a reference to the iconic GE chandelier marking the entrance to the performing arts district. The 318-unit building will sit on the corner of Euclid and East 17th Street. Playhouse Square is still raising funds for the $135 million project.

University of Akron to conduct national search for next president
The University of Akron says it will conduct a national search for its next president. The board of trustees says a search firm will be hired to seek applicants to succeed outgoing president Matthew Wilson, who is stepping down in July. The board will begin meeting with university leaders next week to refine the search. Wilson was appointed interim president in 2016 and full president shortly after. He’s stepping down to teach again at the law school. Wilson is the third former president to re-join the university as faculty.

Mary Regula dies at 91
State officials, lawmakers and others are remembering Mary Regula. The wife of long-time Congressman Ralph Regula has died at the age of 91. Mary Regula is best known as the force behind the founding of the National First Ladies Library in Canton. Ralph Regula, who represented Stark County for 36 years, passed away 8 months ago.

Feds investigate Goodyear motor home tires
The U.S. government's road safety agency says it is investigating allegations that defective Goodyear motor home tires caused crashes that killed or injured 95 people during the past two decades. The allegations were revealed in an information-seeking letter that was sent to Goodyear by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lawsuits and safety advocates allege the tires were designed for delivery trucks and not for recreational vehicles that travel at highway speeds.  They allege that the Akron-based company kept the tire problems secret for years by settling cases and getting judges to seal records. Goodyear says it “will cooperate fully” with the investigation.

Akron fire medics to wear bulletproof vests
The Akron fire department has given its medics bulletproof vests and helmets to protect them at active shooting scenes and in other dangerous situations. The department’s medics will start wearing ballistic protection to emergency scenes that are volatile or violent. Mayor Dan Horrigan called it "the unfortunate but necessary result of changes in our landscape." The equipment was partially funded through a tax approved last year by voters. The Northern Ohio Golf Charities also gave the department $29,000 to help buy the gear.

Lawsuit over disability services gets class action status
A federal judge has granted class action status to a lawsuit brought on behalf of Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The lawsuit alleges such individuals experience segregation when forced to receive services from institutions due to fewer community- or home-based options. The ruling expands the lawsuit to potentially thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The state is fighting the lawsuit.

Bipartisan 'red flag' gun law introduced in Ohio Senate
Ohio would get a "red flag" law and other bipartisan gun law changes embraced by Gov. John Kasich under a bill introduced at the Statehouse on Thursday. The so-called "red flag" law would enable family members, guardians or police to ask judges to temporarily strip gun rights from people who show warning signs of violence through a new gun violence restraining order. Additional recommendations include forcing stricter compliance with deadlines and penalties around entering data into the national background check system; prohibiting those under domestic violence protection orders from buying or possessing firearms; and clarifying Ohio's prohibition on so-called "strawman" third-party gun purchases.

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.