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New Cuyahoga County jail location

Cuyahoga County Justice Steering Committee officials are considering a shipping container storage yard at 2700 Transport Road as the site for its new jail. (Google maps)Google Maps

Weather

A warm weekend is ahead in Northeast Ohio. Highs today will be in the low 60s with partly sunny skies, but will jump to upper 70s Saturday with mostly cloudy skies. Temps will be around 80 degrees Sunday with mostly sunny skies. Read more.

MLB: Guardians 6, Chicago White Sox 3

The headlines

Jail site selected: Despite concerns about potential health and safety risks due to toxic contamination, an oversight committee guiding planning for a new Cuyahoga County jail agreed to continue pursuing its preferred location. Kaitlin Durbin reports that the 12-member Justice Center Executive Steering Committee unanimously voted to consider a shipping container yard at 2700 Transport Road for a new 1,900-bed jail, based on an amendment that requires a phase two environmental study “to provide reasonable assurance that current environmental restrictions can be removed and the property is safe for residential use.”

The “Big Four”: Cleveland’s four biggest cultural institutions are big business. Steven Litt reports on a new study released by the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Playhouse Square and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The businesses say they generate upward of $800 million a year in economic impact in Cuyahoga County.

Today in Ohio

Today in Ohio

Today in Ohio, the daily news podcast of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.

A federal court on Wednesday granted the Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission a reprieve until May 28 to come up with a new state legislative map plan. “Today in Ohio” discusses what might happen now.

Statehouse & politics

Victory lap: Some Ohio Republican lawmakers viewed Wednesday’s decision in the beleaguered state legislative redistricting process as a sign that maps deemed unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court will be the ones voters use in the upcoming primary and general elections. Andrew Tobias reports it remains unclear whether Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, the panel of elected officials tasked with approving new maps, will agree even to meet to consider an alternative path before the court’s May 28 deadline.

Assess this: Gov. Mike DeWine sided with commercial property developers and owners by signing a bill that blunts school districts’ ability to challenge undervalued properties at county boards of revision. Laura Hancock reports that in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, House Bill 126 could result in an 80% reduction from what it on average has recently won in property tax disputes at the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, according to estimates from the district.

More bills: Gov. Mike DeWine signed nine bills into law Thursday, including a sweeping higher-education bill, and measures limiting his coronavirus powers regarding nursing-home visits, removing state environmental protections for temporary streams, and creating an Ohio specialty license plate to benefit the University of Alabama, Jeremy Pelzer reports.

Stimulus Watch: The nonprofit think tank Policy Matters Ohio released a series of recommendations as local governments iron out how they plan to spend billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act. Lucas Daprile reports those recommendations include premium pay for frontline workers, enforcing existing laws that bar employers from stealing employees’ paychecks, providing paid family and medical leave for public employees, helping low-income families and childcare workers pay for child care, criminal justice reform, funding apprenticeship programs and investing in mental health resources.

Election disinformation: A pair of U.S. House of Representatives committees are asking election officials in Ohio and three other states to provide them with information on how they’re countering election disinformation and misinformation in their states and protecting the integrity of federal elections, Sabrina Eaton writes. The Democratic chairs of the House Administration Committee and the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday sent letters asking Ohio Association of Election Officials President Brian Sleeth and his counterparts in Arizona, Texas and Florida to give them information on the false election security claims their members are hearing.

Immigration: Nearly 14% of the United States is currently composed of recent immigrants. While only 4.6% of Ohio’s population is foreign-born, the state still contributes to the country’s melting pot, Zachary Smith reports. The top countries from which foreign-born residents immigrate to Ohio are India, Mexico, China, the Philippines, and Germany.

Metro

Kurt Russell

Teacher of the Year: Oberlin High School history teacher Kurt Russell said the city has shaped him into the man and teacher he is today. “Oberlin provided that ethic of hard work, being nice to people, being considerate, listening, having an open ear. That’s who Oberlin is; that’s in our DNA.” Alexis Oatman writes that his words came during a celebration Thursday in the school’s auditorium in which teachers and students honored him as the National Teacher of the Year.

Rabbi resigns: A Pepper Pike rabbi, arrested after prosecutors say he tried to meet an undercover agent posing as a 15-year-old boy for sex, resigned from the synagogue where he preached for more than two decades, Cory Shaffer reports. Stephen Weiss submitted his letter of resignation to B’nai Jeshurun on Thursday morning.

License suspended: The Ohio Supreme Court has suspended a Lorain County attorney’s law license for two years, rejecting a claim that documents showing his innocence were lost by his assistant while fleeing the 2020 protests in Cleveland that followed the murder of George Floyd. Jeremy Pelzer writes that Kenneth Nelson II of Avon Lake had his license suspended for two years for not putting numerous clients’ retainer fees into a trust account, as required by the state’s rules of professional conduct for attorneys.

COVID-19 & healthcare

Omicron and on…: Ohio on Thursday reported 6,890 new cases of COVID-19 in its weekly dashboard update. Zachary Smith reports that averages to about 984 new cases per day over seven days. This is the fourth week in a row that had an increase in reported COVID-19 cases and the first to break 6,000 since the Ohio Department of Health switched from daily COVID-19 updates to weekly in March. The number is still likely artificially inflated due to a backlog of positive test results in Lucas County being processed, the Ohio Department of Health says.

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