The holiday weekend is looking ideal for Northeast Ohio, once we get through today, which has a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the mid-70s. Skies will clear Saturday and should remain clear through Memorial Day. Highs on Saturday will be around 70 degrees, climbing to around 80 on Sunday and then into the upper 80s on Monday. Read more.
The Wake Up will not publish on Monday, May 30, because of Memorial Day. It will resume publishing on Tuesday, May 31.
Trigger bill: An Ohio House bill that would outlaw abortion in Ohio under most circumstances could also criminalize in vitro fertilization, a Cincinnati fertility physician told lawmakers Thursday morning. Laura Hancock reports that doctors said the bill would also likely increase the state’s already-high infant and woman morbidity and mortality rates, intrude on the patient-physician relationship, and possibly result in physicians fleeing the state.
Global Center: Lee Weingart, the Republican candidate running for county executive, has been an outspoken critic of the failed Global Center for Health Innovation, calling it a money pit and condemning his Democratic opponent Chris Ronayne for ever supporting it. Yet Weingart never mentioned the role he personally played in not only bringing the Global Center to Cleveland, but ensuring taxpayers foot the bill, reports Kaitlin Durbin.
How we got here: Permitless carry is the culmination of years of efforts by gun-rights advocates and Republican state lawmakers, including more aggressive lobbying by gun-rights groups, more right-leaning state lawmakers and a governor willing to sign it into law during an election year. State lawmakers started with the legalization of concealed firearms with a permit in 2004, reports Jeremy Pelzer.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan responded to a subpoena to testify about the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by decrying it as a “dangerous escalation” of a political vendetta. We’re talking about his response and whether he’ll comply with its demand that he appear for today’s deposition on Today in Ohio, cleveland.com’s daily half-hour news podcast.
Redistricting: State Rep. Jeff Crossman, the Democratic nominee for Ohio attorney general, has asked the State Highway Patrol to investigate Republicans on the state’s redistricting commission for repeatedly passing redistricting maps found unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court. Jeremy Pelzer reports Crossman’s complaint isn’t likely to result in criminal charges, but the Hail Mary move reflects Democrats’ frustration with how Republicans will have their congressional and likely their state legislative maps used in this year’s election, even though the state’s high court, on five occasions, ruled them to be illegally gerrymandered.
Police numbers: Cleveland has become shorthanded in its fight against crime. The city has 1,383 police officers, or 257 below the level it hopes to staff the department. Olivia Mitchell reports the drop is part of a years-long trend in Cleveland, which has upgraded its salary levels to boost its recruitment levels.
Scott Wolstein: Scott Wolstein, the longtime CEO of the Wolstein Group who has played a major role in several real-estate developments in the Cleveland area, including the Flats East Bank, has died at the age of 69, Cliff Pinckard reports.
Beach testing: The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has begun its seasonal water-quality testing at Cleveland beaches so that visitors can receive same-day advisories before venturing into Lake Erie. Peter Krouse reports testing will be done at Cleveland Metropark’s Edgewater, Villa Angela and Euclid beaches each morning on a daily basis through Labor Day weekend.
School protest: Students at Bay High School took 21 minutes out of their homeroom period Thursday to stage a walkout to protest gun violence. The walkout was in wake of Tuesday’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 students and two teachers were gunned down by an 18-year-old man. Dave Petkiewicz has photos from the 21-minute protest, which signified the 21 victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting.
Zoo eats: The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo spends about $630,000 a year on food for its 2,000 animals, with food shipped in from all over the world. Fish can come from Norway and France, plants can come from right here in Cleveland, and the roughly 125,000 pounds of produce comes from all over the United States, reports Zachary Smith.
Ohio numbers: The state of Ohio on Thursday reported 19,546 new cases of COVID-19 in its weekly dashboard update, only 10 more than reported last week. Until now, cases had been climbing for several weeks, but well short of the totals in January at nearly 200,000 a week, reports Julie Washington.
Mortgage rates: Mortgage rates have been rising since the beginning of the year, but homebuyers have had some reprieve over the last two weeks, reports Sean McDonnell. Average rates have dropped for the second straight week: The 30-year-fixed rate averaged 5.1% Thursday, down from 5.25% last week and 5.3% two weeks ago.
Downtown traffic: Downtown Cleveland’s offices are only getting half the traffic they did before the pandemic, and so the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and city of Cleveland are working to accelerate the return of office workers to the city’s center. Sean McDonnell reports Lunch in the Lane, a “pop up block party,” will open on a different street each week.
Airport Sheraton: The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay more than $12 million to terminate a long-term lease with the operators of the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel, which is likely to be turned into additional parking for the airport. Susan Glaser reports the short-term fate of the hotel is unclear, although a woman answering the phone at the hotel Thursday afternoon said it was closing on Tuesday.
Youth pastor sentenced: A former youth pastor who told a judge he began sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl after he mistook her for his wife, then continued abusing her for more than two years, was sentenced Thursday to spend more than four years in prison, Cory Shaffer reports. David Walker, 47, gasped as Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Ashley Kilbane announced the sentence. Walker also must register as a sex offender, though the judge will have a hearing to determine the specific requirements.
Grammy guitar: The cherished guitar of Grammy-nominated performing artist Berta Rojas has been recovered after it was stolen as she was having a meal at an Ohio City restaurant in April. Rojas learned of the recovery of her guitar Wednesday night while presenting her album Legado to the media in her homeland of Paraguay, reports Kaylee Remington.
Police suit: A Cleveland man is suing a city police officer after a federal judge threw out his case when she found the officer either lied or was reckless during his investigation, reports Adam Ferrise. William Ellis, 43, filed the lawsuit in federal court against the city and Detective Jeffrey Yasenchack, who he accuses of making false and misleading statements in court records to secure a search warrant for Ellis’ home.
Bright Side: A well-known chunk of Ohio City will change its style next month when Bright Side and Bird of Paradise open in what was formerly three unique concepts: Bier Markt, Bar Cento and Speakeasy. The ownership remains the same, with business partners Sam McNulty and Mark Priemer running the two spaces. But the two restaurateurs wanted to mix things up in the space at 1947 W. 25th St., reports Annie Nickoloff.
Marblehead: For 200 years the Marblehead Lighthouse has stood sentinel on the south shore of Lake Erie, lighting the way. Susan Glaser reports on the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the Great Lakes, now as much a tourist attraction as navigational aid, due to GPS and other on-shore landmarks. Want to make it a weekend? The park is a short drive from some of the state’s top North Coast attractions, including Cedar Point and the Lake Erie Islands, Lakeside Chautauqua and African Safari Wildlife Park.
Things to do: Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to the season of fun in the sun. That means a plethora of festivals and outdoor concerts on our weekly things-to-do list, including the National Rib Cook Off and 20 more ideas, Joey Morona reports.