Morning Headlines: Lorain School Board Votes Out CEO; Akron Special Needs Student Left in Van

Nov 14, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Nov. 14:

  • Lorain school board votes out CEO;
  • Akron special needs student left in van;
  • Cleveland Clinic receives largest gift of $261M;
  • Summit Metro Parks to put levy increase before voters;
  • Report: Suicide deaths monumentally increase in Ohio youth;
  • Proposed Ohio bill would expand religious expression in schools;
  • Judge allows lawsuit seeking action on Lake Erie algae;
  • Ohio abortion clinic lands license needed to stay open;
  • NFL helmet safety challenge kicks off with symposium in Ohio;
  • Study: Ohio has one of the highest rates of lung cancer cases;

Lorain school board votes out CEO
The Lorain City School Board has voted to oust CEO David Hardy. The dispute between Hardy and the board came to a head over the summer with the resignation of the district treasurer. Hardy accepted the resignation but the board did not and filed suit, accusing Hardy of forcing the treasurer out. Hardy will be off the job in January and an interim CEO will be named while a search gets underway. Lorain is one of three underperforming Northeast Ohio school districts under state control.

Akron special needs student left in van
A 20-year-old Akron Public Schools student with special needs was left on a van for three hours Wednesday. The Beacon Journal reports the student was supposed to be dropped off at North High School in the morning. The driver went home and then discovered the student still on the van when he went to start his afternoon route. The newspaper reports the specialized vans are owned by the drivers, who have to be certified. The unnamed driver faces disciplinary action.

Cleveland Clinic receives largest gift of $261M
The Cleveland Clinic has received the largest gift in its nearly 100-year history — $261 million from the Lord Foundation. It’s part of more than $1 billion the Lord Foundation has granted to four research centers. The money comes from the nearly $3.7 billion sale of LORD Corp., an automotive and aerospace manufacturing company to Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin. The Clinic said the money will go toward its $2 billion capital campaign that supports research and the Lerner College of Medicine.

Summit Metro Parks to put levy increase before voters
Summit Metro Parks will put a levy increase before voters in March. The 2-mill levy would cost the average Summit County homeowner an additional $1.60 a month. It's a .54-mill increase from the current levy.  Officials said the additional funds are needed to help maintain and conserve the park system, which has grown both in physical size and in visitors over the last 15 years. Voters last approved a levy increase Summit Metro Parks in 2006.

Report: Suicide deaths monumentally increase in Ohio youth
A new report shows suicide is now the leading cause of death in ages 10-14 in Ohio, and the second cause of death in ages 10-24. The Ohio Department of Health report shows suicide deaths have increased by more than 50% between 2007 and 2018. They've also increased for adults 65 and older. The Ohio Department of Health told the Columbus Dispatch that the trend is alarming and intervention has to start as soon as elementary school. The department is asking for loved ones to notice the signs, such as becoming secretive, staying in their room all day or cutting off communication with others.

Proposed Ohio bill would expand religious expression in schools
A bill in the Ohio House would expand religious expression in schools and allow students to give biblical answers to homework questions. The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act, introduced by Youngstown-Republican Timothy Ginter, allows students to practice their religion before, during, and after school, not just at lunch time as in current law. The bill also expands student rights to religious expression, gatherings and distribution of religious materials in schools. The bill prohibits teachers from marking down homework assignments that give religious answers to scientific questions. Teachers can only grade on “substance and relevance." That law also allows teachers to provide classroom time for activities of “a moral, philosophical, or patriotic theme.”

Judge allows lawsuit seeking action on Lake Erie algae
A federal judge in Ohio said an environmental group pushing for mandatory regulations to prevent toxic algae blooms on Lake Erie can move forward with its lawsuit. The judge in Toledo denied the U.S. EPA’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit states the U.S. EPA must hold Ohio accountable for reducing the polluting runoff that feeds the algae and that the state’s reliance on largely voluntary efforts aren’t working. The Environmental Law & Policy Center said it’s pleased with the ruling and hopes that the court will quickly decide to force Ohio to adopt enforceable regulatory standards for the lake.

Ohio abortion clinic lands license needed to stay open
The Dayton area's last abortion clinic has prevailed in a years-long battle over Ohio’s stringent new licensing requirements and will remain open. The Ohio Department of Health has granted Women’s Med Center a surgical facility license. The center in Kettering had postponed surgical abortions as it pursued multiple avenues to stay open, including state and federal court challenges and negotiations with local health systems and doctors. After being unable to land the legally required emergency patient-transfer agreement, the center secured enough doctor signatures for a variance.

NFL helmet safety challenge kicks off with symposium in Ohio
As part of the Helmet Challenge launched by the National Football League, league safety officials, scientists, engineers and helmet manufacturers are meeting in Youngstown for a symposium on developing a safer helmet for league players. The NFL is partnering with America Makes, a national accelerator for 3D printing and additive manufacturing to put on the three-day event beginning Thursday. Up to $3 million will be available in the challenge, including $2 million in grant funding to support the development of a helmet prototype, and a $1 million award. The challenge will culminate in 2021.

Study: Ohio has one of the highest rates of lung cancer cases
A new study from the American Lung Association states Ohio has the 13th-highest lung cancer rate with 68 cases diagnosed per 100,000 people. Nearly 50% of those cases are diagnosed in a later, more severe stage. The study attributes lack of testing; although CT scans have been offered since 2015, only a small percentage of eligible Ohioans get one. Kentucky has the most cases, and Utah has the least.