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Morning Headlines: Black infant mortality drops, but racial disparities persist ... and more

SummitHealth.jpg
Stephanie Czekalinski
/
Ideastream Public Media
Health care workers and leaders, social service agencies and city leaders joined together for Akron's annual Health Equity Summit in September 2022.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Sept. 29:

  • Black infant mortality drops in Summit County, but racial disparities persist, officials say
  • Garfield Heights teachers prepare to strike if agreement can't be reached
  • Cleveland Hopkins Airport will reconnect to Europe with direct flights in 2023
  • Natural gas from local landfills and manure used to power Amazon’s fleet
  • Ohio education officials recommend free school meals for all students
  • Guardians beat Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
  • Your weather forecast: Mostly sunny

Black infant mortality drops in Summit County, but racial disparities persist, officials say
The rate at which Black babies in Summit County died before reaching their first birthdays dropped in 2020, according to data presented Wednesday during Akron's Health Equity Summit. Between 2013 and 2017, the county's Black infant mortality rate per 100,000 births was more than 14%, according to Full Term First Birthday Greater Akron. In 2020, the rate dropped to just over 10. It was a rare piece of good news presented at the conference convened to discuss racial disparities in health care and to find equitable solutions to help those who have been historically disenfranchised. In Summit County, Black people died at greater rates of COVID-19, heart disease, cancer, accidents, including overdoses, chronic lower respiratory problems and Alzheimer’s disease, data showed. [Ideastream Public Media]

Garfield Heights teachers prepare to strike if agreement can't be reached
A group of 275 teachers at Garfield Heights City Schools are prepared to go on strike if they cannot come to an agreement with school administration. Garfield Heights Teachers' Association President Terese LePelley said in a release Tuesday the teachers are the lowest paid of any school district in the county and are being physically assaulted by students with little repercussion or consistency in terms of the response from the administration. She said over 200 teachers have left the school district over the last 11 years. [Ideastream Public Media]

Cleveland Hopkins Airport will reconnect to Europe with direct flights in 2023
Cleveland Hopkins announced it will offer nonstop service to Ireland, starting next year. Starting in May, Aer Lingus will be providing direct flights between Cleveland and Dublin. Reid Moody is the chief strategy and planning officer for Aer Lingus. "I traveled from Dublin to Cleveland yesterday via Chicago" Moody said. "That journey took almost 13 hours plus a sprint between terminals at O'Hare airport, so I'm delighted to reveal that from May 19 next year that same journey will only take eight hours." [Ideastream Public Media]

Natural gas from local landfills and manure used to power Amazon’s fleet
Ohio has become the first state to host a renewable natural gas fueling station that's designed to support Amazon’s plan to deploy more heavy-duty trucks that run on RNG. The renewable natural gas station in Groveport is operated by Clean Energy Corp. and is the first of about 19 that will be placed around the country for Amazon this year. It’s powered by methane gas from dairy farms and landfills. The RNG station in Groveport is currently providing fuel for 50 Amazon heavy-duty trucks. That fleet is expected to grow to more than 80 trucks. There are four pumps that can fill a truck in 15 minutes and a few dozen more that would require a few hours. [Statehouse News Bureau]

Ohio education officials recommend free school meals for all students
Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no cost expired in June, meaning families in need of assistance have to income-qualify for federal school meal programs. For a family of four, it’s about $51,000 a year for reduced-price meals and $36,000 for free meals. The Ohio State Board of Education is recommending the General Assembly use American Rescue Plan Act funds to offer no-cost breakfast and lunch to all Ohio students through the remainder of the school year. [Mahoning Matters]

Guardians beat Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
Pinch-hitter Amed Rosario hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning to give the Cleveland Guardians a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field. It was the second straight night in which the Guardians forced extra innings. The Guardians and Rays meet tonight for the rubber match in their three-game series. Cal Quantrill starts for Cleveland against Tampa Bay’s Jeffrey Springs. First pitch, 6:10 p.m. [MLB.com]

Your weather forecast: Mostly sunny.
High 63. Tonight, mostly clear. Low 41. Friday, mostly sunny. High 67. [National Weather Service]

Amy Eddings is Host/Producer of NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Ideastream Public Media.
Jay Shah is a broadcast journalist finishing her Master of Arts degree at Kent State University. She joined WKSU as a news intern in 2020 and now works as a freelance producer for Ideastream Public Media’s daily local news headlines.