Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 29:
- DeWine declares emergency in counties affected by tornadoes;
- Overdoses spike in Cuyahoga County;
- Akron Public School's budget luck won't last long;
- Cuyahoga County jail officers to receive payraise;
- Catholic school drops lawsuit against South Euclid;
- EPA accepts grant proposals for runoff prevention projects;
- Biden to visit Columbus this weekend;
DeWine declares emergency in counties affected by tornadoes
Gov. Mike DeWine has declared a state of emergency in three Ohio counties that suffered serious damage from Monday’s tornados. State agencies will be sending aid to Greene, Mercer and Montgomery counties. The National Weather Service has confirmed eight separate tornado touchdowns as of Tuesday evening. An 81-year-old man was killed in Celina when winds blew a parked car into his house. More than 100 others were injured. DeWine said his office would help coordinate local, state and federal aid. His declaration of a state of emergency will allow Ohio agencies to provide resources and support beyond their normal authority.
Overdoses spike in Cuyahoga County
Eighteen people died from drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County during the week of May 20th to the 27th. Eight of those overdoses occurred over Memorial Day weekend. The county medical examiner said dealers are mixing fentanyl into cocaine. Fentanyl test strips are available at Circle Health Services and the Care Alliance Clinic in Cleveland.
Akron Public School's budget luck won't last long
Akron Public Schools has more money to work with in its budget than predicted, but says it won't last long. The district has about half a million dollars extra to work with since last year's drop in enrollment was less than anticipated. Projections show a possible $3.3 million deficit next year which will grow to $23 million in 2023.
Cuyahoga County jail officers to receive payraise
Cuyahoga County Council has agreed to give jail corrections officers a $3-an-hour pay raise. It'll bring the starting salary to $18.38 an hour. Council said the goal is to ease staff shortages to better take care of inmates. Seven inmates died at the county jail last year, and one this year. A U.S. Marshal's report found inhumane conditions at the facility.
Catholic school drops lawsuit against South Euclid
A Cleveland-area Catholic school has dropped its lawsuit against South Euclid after the city clarified an anti-discrimination ordinance passed last year. The Lyceum wanted religious beliefs exempt from an ordinance that forbids businesses from denying employment based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Cleveland.com reports The Lyceum is satisfied that the ordinance will not adversely affect the school’s teachings. It had asked a judge to order a preliminary injunction.
EPA accepts grant proposals for runoff prevention projects
The U.S. EPA is taking grant applications for projects intended to reduce runoff of polluted water into the Great Lakes. About $14 million will be divided among roughly 30 projects targeting excess nutrients and storm water, which feed harmful algae blooms and otherwise degrade water quality. One category of recipients will include projects that use market-based approaches, which the EPA said will lower costs. The grants are being offered under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which funds projects dealing with longstanding challenges such as toxic pollution and invasive species, runoff and habitat loss. The application deadline is July 12. Government agencies, tribes, universities and nonprofits are among those eligible.
Plastic bags banned in Cuyahoga County
Plastic bags are on the way out in Cuyahoga County. County council voted Tuesday night to ban the single use bags starting next year. Bakers of the ban said Cuyahoga County stores use 320 million plastic bags per year. Council included a provision to hand out reusable bags to residents. Wednesday’s vote could be moot if state lawmakers approve a bill that would prevent municipalities from banning plastic bags. That measure could be a test of Ohio’s home rule provisions.
Biden to visit Columbus this weekend
Former vice president and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden will visit Columbus Saturday. He speak at the Human Rights Campaign’s Dinner to kick off LGBTQ Pride month. It's his first appearance in the state since he announced his candidacy in April. The event will start at 7 p.m. at the Ohio State University Archie Griffin Ballroom.