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Morning Headlines: Officer in Tamir Rice Shooting Gets Suspension Cut; Cleveland RTA Head Steps Down

Family photo of Tamir Rice
Family of Tamir Rice

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, July 25:

  • Officer in Tamir Rice shooting gets his suspension cut in half;
  • Cleveland RTA head steps down;
  • Akron Public Schools to open career academy this fall;
  • Health officials continue to investigate Parma Legionairres' outbreak;
  • Ohio reports first case of West Nile virus this year;
  • Rookie quaterback Baker Mayfield signs contract with Cleveland Browns;

Officer in Tamir Rice shooting gets his suspension cut in half

A Cleveland police officer who was disciplined for his role in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has seen his suspension cut in half. Cleveland.com reports documents released Tuesday show an arbitrator has reduced Officer Frank Garmback's suspension from 10 days to five. Garmback was disciplined for driving too close to Rice just seconds before the boy was killed. Arbitrator Daniel Zeiser wrote in his April 4 opinion that the city incorrectly categorized Garmback's disciplinary proceedings. Zeiser says Garmback was placed in the Group III category, which is normally reserved for excessive use of force or officers who steal while on the job. Garmback's partner Officer Timothy Loehmann was fired for shooting and killing Tamir outside a recreation center in November 2014.

Cleveland RTA head steps down

The head of the Cleveland RTA says he’s stepping down. Cleveland.com reports Joe Calabrese announced Tuesday that he will step down as CEO of the struggling agency on September 18. He will stay on as a full-time consultant through February and remain part-time into 2020. Cleveland RTA has struggled with financial problems since last year, when the state removed revenue from sales taxes on Medicaid payments for managed care. The cuts cost RTA about $20 million per year, or about seven percent of its budget. Calabrese said he had planned to retire in February 2020, when his contract was due to expire. The RTA’s Board said that timetable was moved up so they could begin the search for a replacement earlier.

Akron Public Schools to open career academy this fall

Akron Public Schools has announced it will open a fifth college and career academy this fall with a partnership between East Community Learning Center and Bridgestone. The Bridgestone Academy of Applied Engineering and Technology will have concentrations for students in automotive technology, electrical engineering, information technology and welding. The Beacon Journal reports the school will feature a retail auto care center that will give around 100 students experience managing an auto care store. Next school year, Akron’s six public high schools will roll out freshman academies, allowing students to spend ninth grade focusing on one of 57 career pathways.

Health officials continue to investigate Parma Legionairres' outbreak

Health Officials are investigating the source of a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Northeast Ohio. One person, a 93 year-old Parma woman, has died and 10 others remain hospitalized with the severe form of pneumonia. The Cuyahoga County Board said the illnesses all occurred between early June and July among parishioners of the Saint Columbkille Parish in Parma, but can’t prove the illness was contracted there. A spokesman for the Diocese of Cleveland said the Catholic parish is fully cooperating.

Ohio reports first case of West Nile virus this year

The state has reported this year’s first human case of West Nile virus. Ohio's Department of Health said a 71-year-old Lake County man had to be hospitalized. Most people get the virus through bites from infected mosquitoes. Health officials said 20 Ohio counties have reported West Nile virus activity. There were 34 human cases, including five deaths, in Ohio last year.

Rookie quaterback Baker Mayfield signs contract with Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield, the Browns rookie quarterback and first pick this year's NFL draft, has signed his contract with the team Tuesday, avoiding speculation of a holdout. The four-year rookie deal is worth $32 million and includes a $22 million signing bonus. Browns rookie cornerback and number four overall pick Denzel Ward remains unsigned. The Browns are hopeful they can get the former Ohio State star under contract before the first practice of the season on Thursday.