Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, May 23:
- U.S. Census shows Ohio population decline;
- Cleveland lands 2021 NFL Draft;
- Republicans propose changes to bill to save Ohio's nuclear plants;
- Democrats push back on legislation to loosen gun laws;
- Former jail nurse director sues county, hospital over his firing;
- Toledo health care workers strike enters third week;
- Ohio State police officer receives Medal of Valor;
- Ohio breweries contributed $1B to the state's economy;
U.S. Census shows Ohio population decline
New U.S. Census Bureau population estimates show slight population losses for Northeast Ohio cities. Akron has lost a little more than 1,000 people since 2010. The population stands at 198,000. The city has a goal of 200,000 residents by 2020. Cleveland’s population appears to be stabilizing after decades of loss, down .4 percent from last year to nearly 384,000 people. Cleveland has lost about 13,000 residents since 2010. Columbus had the largest growth in the state, adding 10,000 people in the last decade. It’s now the 14th-largest city in the U.S.
Cleveland lands 2021 NFL Draft
It's official: The 2021 NFL draft will be held in Cleveland. The Browns and the City of Cleveland will make the formal announcement this afternoon, complete with a tail gate party on Public Square. The three-day event in 2021 will include a free football festival for fans and is expected to have a more than $100 million economic impact. It’s part of a string of major sporting events coming to the region including this July's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, March Madness in 2020, and the 2022 NBA All-Star game.
Republicans propose changes to bill to save Ohio's nuclear plants
Ohio House Republicans have overhauled a proposed clean-energy bill that would strip subsidies for alternative energy sources to bailout the state’s two nuclear power plants. Cleveland.com reports the changes would end renewable-energy and energy-efficiency mandates for utilities after this year, which cost residential electricity users around $4.60 a month. Instead, residential customers statewide would pay up to $1 per month into an estimated $190 million Ohio Clean Air Program fund, most of which would go to help keep the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants open. A full House vote could come as early as next week.
Democrats push back on legislation to loosen gun laws
Ohio House Democrats are pushing back against Republican-backed legislation to loosen the state’s gun laws. Minority Democrats on Wednesday proposed what they call “common sense gun legislation.” It would require safe storage of guns, allowing seizure of guns from people who could be dangerous and expanding background checks. The House Federalism Committee, meanwhile, kicked off its fourth hearing on legislation that would allow people in Ohio to carry a concealed handgun without the license or training required under current law. That bill already has 29 House Republicans signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors.
Former jail nurse director sues county, hospital over his firing
A man removed as nursing supervisor at the troubled Cuyahoga County jail and then fired by the county hospital system employing him says in a lawsuit those dismissals came after he criticized the jail's director. Gary Brack said in a lawsuit that he lost his job for telling County Council last year that Cuyahoga County Corrections Center Director Ken Mills interfered with medical care at the jail. Mills resigned shortly before the November release of a U.S. Marshal's Service report calling jail conditions dangerous and inhumane. Mills was indicted in January in an ongoing corruption probe. Cuyahoga County and MetroHealth Medical Center declined to comment about Brack's lawsuit.
Toledo health care workers strike enters third week
A strike by nurses and other workers at a Toledo hospital is in its third week. About 2,000 workers, including nurses, paramedics and custodians, have been on strike since May 6 at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center. Many nurses there said staffing shortages are forcing them to routinely work extra hours and be on-call day after day. The strike comes at a time when state lawmakers are debating legislation that would allow nurses to refuse mandatory overtime. Hospital officials have said the shifts are common within the health care industry.
Ohio State police officer receives Medal of Valor
President Trump presented the Medal of Valor to the Ohio State police officer whose actions stopped an attack at the university. In 2016, 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove into a crowd on campus and attacked people with a knife. Thirteen were injured. Trump praised Officer Alan Horujiko for killing Artan after he wouldn't respond to requests to drop his knife. Horujiko was one of 11 officers to receive the award from Trump.
Ohio breweries contributed $1B to the state's economy
Ohio’s independent breweries contributed nearly $1 billion to state’s economy last year, a 39% increase from 2015. That's according to a study from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association also estimates the breweries created more than 8,000 jobs. The study also broke down economic impact by regions. Combined, The Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio areas created more than 2,500 jobs and more than 270,000 barrels of beer annually. Fifty breweries opened last year and 65 others are in the planning stage.