The following news articles appeared on news media websites across Ohio today. Appearance on this website does not indicate endorsement by OSBA of any editorial or news item. OSBA does not filter the news, but simply posts educational news sent to us by pressrelations.com. To go directly to a specific category, click on the “Category” box, below.

Chaos at school board meeting: Students taught 'Columbus was a murderer,' says parent

by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
Thursday, June 24th 2021
AA

<p>Chaos erupted at the Loudoun County School Board meeting Tuesday evening after the public comment session was cut short. (Twitter: @HayleyMilon){/p}

WASHINGTON (SBG) - Tensions boiled over at a Northern Virginia school board meeting that led to two arrests as hundreds of parents railed against a proposed transgender policy and critical race theory curriculum.

The Loudoun County School Board was forced to end its meeting earlier this week after “loud public demonstrations,” according to the board, and a fight that broke out among attendees.

"Tonight, the Loudoun County School Board meeting was interrupted by those who wish to use the public comment period to disrupt our work and disrespect each other," Loudoun County School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan said at the end of the meeting. "Dog-whistle politics will not delay our work. We will not back down from fighting for the rights of our students and continuing our focus on equity."

“I think what you saw the other day was really the culmination of a year and a half of frustration from parents,” said Ian Prior, executive director of fightforschools.com and a Loudoun County parent, to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “It eventually got to the point where people were starting to see what their kids were learning in school through distance learning, parents were looking over their shoulders and realizing that some of the curricula were just age-inappropriate materials, materials that were racially divisive and divisive in other ways.”

Prior says he had taken issue with some of the things his second grade and kindergarten-aged children were learning.

“It was basically Columbus was a murderer, there were all these images of dead individuals on the video, and that Christianity was in part responsible for this. Now, this is simply not appropriate for a second grader to be watching on video,” said Prior. “I was sitting there watching a video that was really propaganda for the BLM protests.”

Other topics Prior says he has heard complaints about from other parents are things like white privilege, white fragility, and the differences between the oppressed and their oppressors. Sheridan said Tuesday that “critical race theory is not being taught in our schools, period.”

Loudoun County teacher Byron Tanner Cross was suspended after comments at a school board meeting against a proposed transgender policy that would allow transgender students to be called by their preferred name and pronouns. A judge ruled that Cross must be reinstated, but the school board has come under fire recently for using taxpayer money to fight that decision.

Prior says that a growing number of parents are looking to recall some of the school board members.

“There are several standards that the court would look at, but the one that we're focused on is a neglect of duty, abuse of office, and incompetence in the performance of duty,” said Prior.

One incident that led to the effort to recall, according to Prior, is a private Facebook group created by six of the school board members that targeted parents who attended school board meetings.

“It called for people to push back against parents that were opposed to critical race theory. And then you had a bunch of people in there saying we need to infiltrate them, we need to expose them,” said Prior. “This has been a pattern in the practice of this school board of hostility to the First Amendment rights of parents because they don’t want to hear what parents have to say.”

WKRC-TV CBS 12 (Cincinnati)
Published 6 hours ago

Cardinal School News

Summer break looks a lot different for Cardinal High School senior Anthony Ludlow...
Cardinal Student Spends Summer In Basic Training

Summer break looks a lot different for Cardinal High School senior Anthony Ludlow. In lieu of a summer home with friends, Ludlow is in Columbia, S.C., participating in the U.S. Army’s Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Jackson. At roughly 613 miles from Middlefield, Ludlow says that will be the farthest he’s ever been from home, but adds the allure of getting a jumpstart on his military career was too much to pass up.

“I joined the military because it offered me opportunities that I didn’t have at home,” he says. “It’s always been a dream of mine to be able to serve my country in some capacity.”

Ludlow’s service began on June 6, when he left to begin his 10-week BCT program. According to Fort Jackson’s website, the installation is the U.S. Army’s main production center for BCT, training roughly 50 percent of all soldiers. Trainees will conduct physical training, walk dozens of miles on foot marches where they carry up to 35 pounds of equipment, learn combat skills, negotiate obstacle courses, rappel from a 40-foot tower and spend several nights in the Fort Jackson forests sleeping and operating under the stars.

“I am excited to receive the kind of physical training the Army has to offer,” Ludlow said.

Following their two-and-a-half month training, trainees will graduate and become official soldiers in the U.S. Army.

Following his Army graduation, Ludlow will return to Cardinal High School for his senior year. Upon high school graduation in May of 2022, Ludlow will then leave for the Army’s Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where he says he will learn to do the job that he has been given within the Army. Once his AIT is complete, Ludlow will be part of the U.S. Army Reserve and will drill with his unit once a month, unless activated for full-time duty. In addition, Ludlow would also be able to attend college to pursue a degree, all while serving his country. And it’s a service he hopes branches out into more than just a military career.

“I am interested in making a run at the Ohio House of Representatives while I’m in the Reserve,” Ludlow says. “At the moment there is no end goal for the military, but I am always striving towards a better life. Although it [Basic] will be difficult, it will probably be something I look back on with fondness.”

Geauga Maple Leaf
Published 6 hours ago

Back for more; West Branch looks to defend EBC title as Salem returns Johnson at QB

BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – For the first time since 2012, West Branch earned a conference title by cruising through the EBC landscape with a perfect 5-0 mark in league play.

The Warriors outscored their league mates by an average of 24 points in their five outings.

Coach Ken Harris’s team went from a 2-8 team in 2019 in his first year to an 8-2 championship squad last fall.

Brock Hillyer was the EBC’s Player of the Year after starring as the Warriors’ signal-caller in 2020 (as a senior) by throwing for over 2,000-yards (2,282) and completing 66.5% of his passes (181-272) and 25 touchdowns while leading West Branch in rushing with 790 yards (13 TDs).

Canton South was one win shy of winning the league championship. After the Wildcats’ 5-0 start, South lost to West Branch in what was the “league title” tilt: 44-14.

Freshman Poochie Snyder threw for 935 yards and completed 55.7% of his tosses. The offense will have to get by without the efforts of Trent Chavers (697 rushing yards, 12 TDs) and Shamar Blackmon (252 receiving yards, 3 TDs) who both were seniors.

The Wildcats have a new coach in former New Philadelphia head man Matt Dennison, who replaces Greg Reed who retired after last season.

Coach Jim Tsilimos’ Carrollton group scored four touchdowns or more in seven of their 10 games a year ago. The Warriors averaged 29.1 points per game and tallied 335 yards of total offense.

The combination of Luke Warner (1,432 yards, 12 TDs) to Talen Timberlake (631 receiving yards, 6 TDs) used up their eligibility; however, the offense will be led by their 1000-yard rusher in Chase Oehlstrom, who ran for 1,241 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Salem returns Jackson Johnson at quarterback. Last fall, he threw for over 2500 yards (2,831) and ran for over 1,000 more (1,078). His favorite target Blaize Exline will be welcomed back after catching a school-record 112 passes and 1,345 yards to go along with 19 touchdown grabs.

The Quakers accumulated an average of 379 yards of total offense a year ago.

Marlington returns 22 lettermen this summer. The Dukes’ QB Connor Evanich threw for 910 yards and 10 scores in just five games last year. Senior Rome Sims will also be back after hauling in 35 passes for 615 yards (17.6 avg, 6 TDS). On the defensive side of the ball, Sam Dine (7 QB sacks), Danny Grimes (84 tackles) and Luke Tortola (62 tackles) are all back in the fold for their senior seasons.

Alliance won the final Northeastern Buckeye Conference title in 2017 and the first two in the EBC (2018, 19). Alliance went three seasons without losing a league contest.

Last year, the Aviator defense allowed an average of 16 points per game in their two wins. However, they permitted an average of 32.6 points per game in their eight losses.

In late April, the Aviators head coach Seth Whiting stepped down. Alliance hired Tim Goodman to lead the program on May 25.

Minerva has lost 10 league matchups in a row. The Lions must break through without running back Jimmy Common (759 yards, 2 TDs) and defensive lineman Jarrett Burress (5 QB sacks).

2020 EBC Standings
West Branch – 5-0 (8-2)
Canton South – 4-1 (5-3)
Carrollton – 3-2 (7-3)
Marlington – 3-2 (3-5)
Salem – 3-3 (5-6)
Alliance – 1-5 (2-8)
Minerva – 0-6 (2-8)

2020 Individual League Leaders
Passing Yards: Jackson Johnson (Salem/SO) – 2831
Completion Percentage: Brock Hillyer (West Branch/SR) – 66.5%
Passing Touchdowns: Jackson Johnson (Salem/SO) – 30
Rushing Yards: Chase Oehlstrom (Carrollton/SO) – 1241
Yards per carry: Jackson Johnson (Salem/SO) and Chase Oehlstrom (Carrollton/SO) – 6.5
Rushing Touchdowns: Chase Oehlstrom (Carrollton/SO) – 17
Receiving Yards: Blaize Exline (Salem/JR) – 1345
Receptions: Blaize Exline (Salem/JR) – 112
Receiving Touchdowns: Blaize Exline (Salem/JR) – 19

2021 Schedules
Alliance Schedule
Aug. 20 – at Lake
Aug. 27 – Niles
Sept. 3 – at Bedford
Sept. 10 – Minerva
Sept. 17 – Salem
Sept. 24 – at Carrollton
Oct. 1 – at Canton South
Oct. 8 – West Branch
Oct. 15 – Louisville
Oct. 22 – at Marlington

Canton South
Aug. 20 – Akron North
Aug. 27 – at Claymont
Sept. 3 – at Northwest
Sept. 10 – at Carrollton
Sept. 17 – West Branch
Sept. 24 – at Marlington
Oct. 1 – Alliance
Oct. 8 – at Minerva
Oct. 15 – at Salem
Oct. 22 – Howland

Carrollton
Aug. 20 – St. Clairsville
Aug. 27 – at Coventry
Sept. 3 – at St. Thomas Aquinas
Sept. 10 – Canton South
Sept. 17 – Kenmore-Garfield
Sept. 24 – Alliance
Oct. 1 – at West Branch
Oct. 8 – Salem
Oct. 15 – Marlington
Oct. 22 – at Minerva

Marlington Schedule
Aug. 20 – Coventry
Aug. 27 – Northwest
Sept. 3 – at Ridgewood
Sept. 10 – at West Branch
Sept. 17 – at Minerva
Sept. 24 – Canton South
Oct. 1 – Salem
Oct. 8 – New Philadelphia
Oct. 15 – at Carrollton
Oct. 22 – Alliance

Minerva Schedule
Aug. 20 – at United
Aug. 27 – at Sandy Valley
Sept. 3 – Beaver Local
Sept. 10 – at Alliance
Sept. 17 – Marlington
Sept. 24 – at Salem
Oct. 1 – Southeast
Oct. 8 – Canton South
Oct. 15 – at West Branch
Oct. 22 – Carrollton

Salem Schedule
Aug. 20 – at Crestview
Aug. 27 – Beaver Local
Sept. 3 – at East Liverpool
Sept. 10 – Firestone
Sept. 17 – at Alliance
Sept. 24 – Minerva
Oct. 1 – at Marlington
Oct. 8 – at Carrollton
Oct. 15 – Canton South
Oct. 23 – West Branch

WKBN Fox 27 Youngstown
Published 6 hours ago

Elyria Catholic High School students stop by Emerson's RIDGID

RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, recently hosted students from Elyria Catholic High School at the brand’s nearby headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing center – providing insight into the career opportunities available to attendees in their own backyard.

The program was part of the high school’s Engineering and Technology Career Trek, a week-long initiative designed to introduce students to potential career paths, while broadening their understanding of Lorain County technical and manufacturing companies, according to a news release from Emerson.

During the visit, students participated in manufacturing, product development and software engineering activities, experiencing first-hand the full spectrum of ways RIDGID helps to build and maintain the country’s infrastructure. The students learned how to follow detailed work instructions and to assemble the iconic RIDGID wrenches on the manufacturing floor. They also witnessed the quality testing of wrenches, toured the RIDGID materials laboratory, participated in a coding exercise and programmed a human robot to build a pyramid of cups in the least number of steps.

“The RIDGID team was excited to share our passion for manufacturing and STEM skills with the Elyria Catholic students who visited as part of their career trek,” said Harald Krondorfer, vice president, engineering services and technology development, RIDGID for Emerson. “Emerson, through its RIDGID business, has had a long-standing commitment to supporting our community and educating students about career opportunities in manufacturing.”

The visit to RIDGID was one of several stops during the summer Career Trek program. Students had the opportunity to visit the workplaces of six companies and two colleges to broaden their knowledge of different industries, experience and understand real-world work settings, identify potential career paths, interact with and learn from professionals, and establish a network of contacts.

“Elyria Catholic High School is committed to preparing students for careers in high growth industries and connecting them with leading northeast Ohio businesses. Our EXP3 (Explore, Experience, Express) program exposes students to opportunities that will increase the likelihood of keeping young talent in our region. We are thrilled that Emerson’s RIDGID team shares our vision and is one of the charter corporate partners by hosting the Elyria Catholic High School’s Career Trek program,” said Annie Heidersbach, Elyria Catholic president.

Emerson’s professional tools business, which includes RIDGID as well as the Greenlee® and Klauke® brands, provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of advanced, reliable tools and technologies for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades globally.

Cleveland Morning Journal
Published 6 hours ago

Coventry district released from fiscal emergency

By Eric Poston

Pictured above, from left, are Coventry Schools Superintendent Lisa Blough; Treasurer Sherry Tyson; board members Dan Fouser, Ron Reed, Josh Hostetler, Chris Davis and Kathy Finefrock; and Faber following the district being released from fiscal emergency.

Shown above, Auditor of State Keith Faber speaks during the June 21 Financial Planning and Supervision Commission meeting on the release of Coventry Local Schools from the state’s fiscal emergency category. Photos: Eric Poston

COVENTRY — Coventry Local Schools is officially out of fiscal emergency.
During the June 21 Financial Planning and Supervision Commission meeting, Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber released the district from state oversight.
The district was placed in the state’s fiscal emergency category Dec. 4, 2015. Prior to that, it had been in fiscal watch since 1997.
To be released from fiscal emergency, the district had to implement a financial accounting and reporting system, eliminate all fiscal emergency conditions, meet the objectives of the financial recovery plan and prepare a nonadverse five-year forecast. The district corrected 18 comments on the accounting and reporting system and eliminated a deficit of approximately $3.3 million from fiscal year 2016.
According to the most recent five-year forecast, all five years of the forecast have positive balances.
“I applaud the leaders and citizens of Coventry Local School District for making the sacrifices and hard decisions to achieve the necessary balance for a fiscally responsible community,” Faber said.
He added that hard decisions that were not always popular had to be made to get the district in the position it is in today. He also said being a school board member is one of the most important local elected positions and thanked the Coventry board members for their sacrifice and vigilance.
Superintendent Lisa Blough, who will become treasurer Aug. 1, called the removal from fiscal emergency a “historic event” for the district.
“Many challenging and difficult decisions had to be made” for that to happen, Blough said.
She thanked staff, the Board of Education and the Commission, which has been disbanded, for working together toward the goal of removing state oversight. In addition, she thanked the community for passing renewal levies, including in November 2017 and March 2020. [In November 2019, voters rejected a five-year, 1 percent earned income tax proposal.]
Treasurer Sherry Tyson, who is retiring at the end of July, said the district made several cost-saving changes, including refinancing bonds and taking over its own busing fleet, to make its way out of fiscal emergency. Changes also included personnel, such as treasurer, school board members and superintendent.
District leaders also have addressed open enrollment, which has been a controversial topic in the community. In 2013, several community members concerned about the district’s finances and what they viewed as an excessive open enrollment policy formed the Coventry Schools Taxpayers Accountability Coalition (CSTAC) to present their concerns to the district and community. Several CSTAC members now hold seats on the school board. In recent years, district officials have reduced the number of open enrollment students from approximately 860 during the 2011-12 school year to approximately 490 for the 2020-21 school year.
Commission member Laura McGraw said students and staff are lucky to have leaders like Blough and Tyson.
Incoming Superintendent George Fisk, who will begin Aug. 1, said he is excited to see the district moving past fiscal emergency.
“We are going to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money,” Fisk said. “I am excited to join. There is a bright future for Coventry Schools.”
During the June 16 Coventry Schools Board of Education meeting, Blough provided an update on summer projects in the district. She said repairs to the chiller system at Coventry Middle School have turned into a time-consuming and costly project. The repairs are expected to take six months to complete and work is underway. Blough called the repairs a “complex situation” as the district is developing an alternative way to cool the building for the start of the coming school year.
In addition, the district’s summer crew will complete painting and power washing at Coventry Elementary School, she said.
The board also approved a two-year contract with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, through June 30, 2023. Blough said the contract includes a 1 percent raise in fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
The next board meeting is set for July 21 at 6 p.m. at Coventry Elementary School, 3089 Manchester Road.

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Obituaries

Phillip Laurence Powers

By Staff Writer | June 24, 2021

Phillip Laurence Powers, 81, passed away on June 16, 2021 at his home in Akron, Ohio. He enjoyed taking daily walks with his devoted wife...

Death Notices

Summit County death notices

By Staff Writer | June 24, 2021

Summit County Public Health has issued these death notices for the week of May 16-22, 2021 (continued from last week): James John Rybak, Northfield, 76, died May 16, 2021 Grace Rita Scarlatelli, Fairlawn, 102, died May 14, 2021 Heidi Marie Selman, Akron, 62, died May 11, 2021 Lawrence E.J. Shankle,...

Tweets by Akrondotcom

Akron Southside News Leader
Published 6 hours ago

Lorain County Scholarship Recipients Celebrated With Car Parade

Students and their families drove-thru the offices of the Community Foundation of Lorain County this week.

The Community Foundation of Lorain County celebrated its scholarship recipients this week. (Shutterstock)

ELYRIA, OH — The Community Foundation of Lorain County celebrated more than 140 students receiving scholarships for the 2021-2022 school year during a commemoration on Wednesday.

"Each year, the Community Foundation's scholarship recipients are an impressive group of people," said Cynthia Andrews, president and CEO of the foundation. "But in a school year like no other, this group of students have shown tremendous resilience and demonstrated a commitment to not only their education but their community. We congratulate them and look forward to seeing what they achieve in the next chapter of their academic careers."

According to the foundation, 72 students received new scholarships while 76 students received scholarship renewals. In total, $415,000 will be distributed for the coming school year.

Find out what's happening in Avon-Avon Lake with free, real-time updates from Patch.

To celebrate the accomplished students, the foundation hosted a drive-thru scholarship celebration at its offices. Dozens of cars paraded by, receiving applause from community members, supporters and foundation staff.

The Community Foundation is launching the Lorain County Scholars Connect to support students other than financial. This program provides a connection and mentoring support to students navigating challenges in the post-high school environment.

Find out what's happening in Avon-Avon Lake with free, real-time updates from Patch.

"We know that scholarships open the door to opportunities, but we know that isn't enough," said Andrews. "We are looking for 500 individuals to register to mentor students in Lorain County and take the opportunity to connect with our youth and make a difference as they aspire to realize their promise. This program is a model of how we are putting our mission, Connecting People Who Care with Causes that Matter, into action."

Lorain County Scholarship Recipients Celebrated With Car Parade

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Avon Lake Patch.com
Published 6 hours ago

20 Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend (June 24-27)

click to enlarge

Courtesy of Nautica Waterfront District

The Nautica Queen will set sail once again this weekend.

THU 06/24

Nautica Queen Cruises
After missing last season because of the pandemic, the Nautica Queen will set sail again this week, and the dining cruise ship will offer regular lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and charter cruises through New Year’s Eve. Non-event cruise tickets range from $27.95 to $43.95 and must be purchased in advance online. In addition, Nautica Queen will monitor recommended national, state, local and maritime masking and distancing protocols and adjust operations as needed. Check the website for more information, including departure times and food options.

1153 Main Ave., 216-696-8888, nauticaqueen.com.

The Choir of Man

With most of the Broadway touring shows still on pause because of the pandemic, The Choir of Man represents the sole performance taking place at Playhouse Square this month. A press release promises the show is both a party and concert: "It’s a pint-filled good time set in a working pub that combines hair-raising harmonies, high-energy dance, and live Percussion with foot-stomping choreography." Tonight's show takes place at 7:30 in the Mimi Ohio Theatre. The run extends to July 11. Check the Playhouse Square website for additional showtimes and ticket prices.

1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party
Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society's Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to "bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland's past — from sports, to rock 'n' roll, to Millionaires' Row," as it's put in a press release. Tonight, local writer and former Scene staff writer James Renner talks about his search for the person who killed Amy Mihaljevic and Lisa Pruett. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night's theme, is $20. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7.

1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

Shane Gillis
Named an “up-next” comic at Comedy Central’s 2019 Clusterfest in San Francisco and a “new face” at Just for Laughs in Montreal, comedian Shane Gillis has started to receive some serious acclaim. Winner of Philly’s Funniest at Helium Comedy Club in 2016, Gillis regularly guests on and co-hosts Sirius XM and Comedy Central Radio’s The Bonfire. He’s also one half of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast. Gillis, who has a very funny bit called "Why White People Like Country Music," performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Consult the Hilarities website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

History on Tap
For tonight's History on Tap program, the Cleveland History Center feature a Pride-themed program. Dr. John Grabowski, WRHS Krieger Mueller Chief Historian, will talk about Lucius Morris Beebe, an American celebrity who became a syndicated columnist, author, gourmet and ostentatious boulevardier who chronicled Café Society, the American West, and, most famously, railroads. In addition, Ken Schneck will discuss the history of Pride celebrations. The event takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $25, or $20 for WRHS members.

10825 East Blvd., 216-721-5722, wrhs.org.

A Little Night Music: Jazz, Classical & More
Enjoy music, drink, food, and the beautiful garden at the Bingham-Hanna Mansion of the Cleveland History Center at this series put on by locally based Jim Wadsworth Productions. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the concert starting at 6:30 p.m. Admission includes the ability to spend time touring the center. Seating will be provided, and drinks and food will be available for purchase. Tonight's concert features singer Dane Vannatter. Tickets cost $18 to $25.

10825 East Blvd., 216-721-5722, wrhs.org.

Music Thursdays
This summertime event featuring local acts takes place every Thursday in the Cedar-Fairmont parking lot adjacent to Nighttown through Aug. 10. "Bring your chairs and listen to Cleveland’s best!" reads the press release promoting the free concert which takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tonight, local favorites Blue Lunch will perform. Find more information on the website.

cedarfairmount.org.

FRI 06/25

Byron Bowers
A stand-up comedian and actor who's toured nationally with Dave Chappelle and Hannibal Buress, Byron Bowers was also featured as a New Face at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. He plays a recurring character on Lena Waithe’s Showtime series drama The Chi and also had a role in Shia Labeouf’s award winning film, Honey Boy. He performs tonight at 7 at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday. Check the Improv website for ticket prices.

1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Zako Ryan
Comedian Zako Ryan began his comedic career at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights. After six months, he moved to Chicago where over the course of three years, he would have his own show at the Laugh Factory, become a house comedian at Zanies, and begin headlining and performing in comedy clubs across North America. He performs tonight at 8 at Red Space on a bill that also features Kevin Budkey, Juanda Mayfield and surprise guests. Cleveland native Brian Tidwell hosts. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. A DJ will perform before and after the show. It's BYOB.

2400 Superior Ave., facebook.com/REDSPACEEVENTS/.

SAT 06/26

Akron Pride Festival Presents Drag Battle
Coco Montrose, a former Miss Gay America and a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars Season 2, will be among the performers at tonight's drag battle at the Akron Civic Theatre. In total, 12 contestants will compete for the title of Drag Artist of the Year 2021, a title that comes with $500 cash. The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theatre. Tickets start at $25.

182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

Fam Jam
Today's Fam Jam, a day of free family fun at the Rock Hall, will feature live performances from the Beck Center for the Arts and the Cleveland School of Rock, as well as story time sessions with the Cleveland Public Library. There will also be balloon twisters, chalk murals and bubbles. The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on the Rock Hall's outdoor plaza. A separate admission ticket must be purchased to tour the Rock Hall exhibits.

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com.

Freedom Festival!
The new abolition/underground railroad museum in University Circle (the Cozad Bates House) hosts Freedom Festival!, a special opening today from 1 to 3 p.m. Restore Cleveland Hope and the Extended Family will display their Underground Railroad Quilts and tell the stories of the symbolism they carry. You can meet historic figures Sara Lucy Bagby and Cyrus Ford outside in the newly designed grounds surrounding the historic Cozad Bates house, the only antebellum structure left in University Circle.

11508 Mayfield Rd, 216-231-0301, universitycircle.org/cozad-bates-house-interpretive-center.

Greg Murray Book Signing & City Dogs Fundraiser
Rescue-dog advocate and professional photographer Greg Murray has followed up on the fan favorite book Peanut Butter Dogs with Peanut Butter Puppies, portraits of rescued dogs captured in studio with colorful backgrounds and in delightfully amusing detail. Locally based Murray is an award-winning lifestyle, commercial and portrait animal photographer. He is active in animal rescue and advocacy for pit bull-type dogs. He'll sign copies of his new book today from 2 to 4 p.m. at Visible Voice Books in Tremont. In partnership with Terrestrial Brewing, a portion of beer sales and book sales will be donated to Friends of City Dogs Cleveland, providing financial assistance for the animals at Cleveland Animal Care and Control, which includes daily enrichment opportunities, medical care and supporting the CITY DOGS adoption and volunteer programs. The event will take place outdoors on the Visible Voice patio but will move indoors in case of rain.

2258 Professor Ave., 216-961-0084, visiblevoicebooks.com.

Market Garden 10-Year Anniversary Bash
Market Garden Brewery, the popular brewery and restaurant located in Ohio City, celebrates its 10th anniversary today. There will be yoga at 10 a.m., a 5K run and crawl at 5 p.m., and brewery tours at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. In addition, there will be games and other activities happening all day long and the restaurant will serve up "throwback" menu items to mark the occasion. Check the Market Garden Brewery website for more info.

1947 W. 25th St., 216-621-4000, marketgardenbrewery.com.

Peninsula Flea
It's not just a city thing: Good fleas can be found beyond Cleveland's city limits. To wit: The Peninsula Flea, which is held on the first Saturday of every month from June to September at the beautiful Heritage Farms, in the Cuyahoga Valley. The location provides a perfect escape from the crush of city life, perhaps best enjoyed by taking a hike in the surrounding Cuyahoga Valley National Park — the third most-visited national park in the country. A slew of local vendors will be on the lawn, with indoor sales taking place in two of the barns on site. The flea is the perfect opportunity to get some antiques, handmade collectibles, local gear and delicious fresh food while taking in all that Peninsula has to offer. Shoppers are welcome from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

6050 Riverview Rd, Peninsula, heritagefarms.com/peninsula-flea.

ROAM and Rummage
Locally based Rots of American Music (ROAM) will sell guitars, banjos and amplifiers at ridiculously low “everything most go” low prices for this fundraiser that takes place from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Grog Shop. Local vendors will be set up inside and outside in the courtyard selling music related items. Emily and Ivory, Ben Gage and Sam Hooper Duo will all perform as well. Admission is free.

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

YAY! Saturdays
This summer, University Circle caters to families with YAY! Saturdays, a new summer program for K-8 students and their families. The event features three zones with free children’s activities that rotate each week, so you can choose your own adventure. The free event takes place from 10 a.m .to 1 p.m. on Wade Oval in University Circle.

10831 Magnolia Dr., 216-791-3900, universitycircle.org.

SUN 06/27

Concerts at Lakeview Cemetery
The annual summer concert series at Lake View Cemetery offers locals yet another great opportunity to savor some free outdoor performances. The concert series takes place on the Garfield Monument lawn, making it one of the most unique settings in the city. Lake View Cemetery has partnered with Jim Wadsworth Productions, to set the lineup. Concerts take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Today, Sammy DeLeon will perform with Jackie Warren on keyboards. Feel free to bring a lawn chair, blanket or picnic basket. Admission is free.

12316 Euclid Ave., 216-421-2665, lakeviewcemetery.com.

Jokes on You
Inspired by crowd work clinicians like Dave Attell, Ian Bagg, and Big Jay Oakerson, Jokes On You makes the audience the center of the show by "pushing comics to avoid prepared material or written jokes and instead focus on organic interaction with the audience," as it's put in a press release about this event, which takes place tonight at 7 at Hilarities. John Bruton and Bill Squire host the event. Last Sunday of every month.

2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Maker Town Market
Maker Town and Saucy Brew Works have teamed up to present free outdoor markets every Sunday at Saucy's Vibe Garden. The weekly event will feature handmade jewelry, home decor, wall art, fashion, pet products, wellness items, furniture and paper goods. Located at W. 28th St. and Church Ave., Saucy's Vibe Garden features picnic tables and an outdoor bar. Food can be ordered from the brewery via an app. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's free.

2807 Church Ave., 216-666-2568, makertownusa.com/market/.

Reggae Sundays
This special Reggae Sunday Happy Hour Concert series is a summertime tradition at the Music Box Supper Club The indoor/outdoor concert series will take place rain or shine with live music from 4 to 7 p.m. Music Box will also offer food and drink specials exclusive to the series. Continues through Sept. 5.

1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

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Cleveland Scene
Published 6 hours ago

Refresh Collective is harnessing the power of hip-hop to help local teens express themselves and gain confidence

Posted at 8:34 AM, Jun 24, 2021

and last updated 2021-06-24 08:34:38-04

CLEVELAND — For the past 10 years, and continuing, Refresh Collective, a local nonprofit on Cleveland’s near West Side, is empowering teens and giving them confidence through hip-hop.

Making the transition to adulthood can be a real struggle emotionally. We often hear about "teenage angst," that feeling of I'm misunderstood, what is life?

It’s familiar territory for Dennis Ducsay.

While the beats he drops are smooth, life for Ducsay can sometimes get bumpy.

"My hands will shake, and I get excited," said Ducsay.

The 17-year-old has autism.

"In person I'm shy," said Ducsay.

The up-and-coming rapper, who said he often comes across as misunderstood and puzzled, is getting a chance to express himself while building self-esteem.

"I take nerves and I transfer it into energy and then I just completely explode on stage,” said Ducsay.

The teen has been able to unleash his inner voice through "Refresh Collective" on Cleveland's near West Side.

"Refresh collective harnesses the power of hip-hop music and design to equip youth," said Doc Harrill.

Harrill, a hip-hop artist and producer, who is also known as Dee Jay Doc, launched this initiative to make it easier for young people to express their emotions.

"There are students who are now adults that said in their teenage years they probably would have committed suicide because of the depression they were going through," said Harrill.

Over the last decade, Harrill has helped 7,000 students produce 650 songs.

"That's like write, record, perform those songs in their school or in their community. I always had a passion to pass on the craft to the next generation," said Harrill.

Ducsay first connected with Harrill in the ninth grade.

"It was awesome watching Dennis go from like struggling so bad in certain situations in school to becoming one of the leaders," said Harrill.

While there's a lot of diversity among these young artists there are also similarities.

“There's a lot of hope in these neighborhoods," said Harrill.

Many of the young people come from economically-challenged communities.

"When students get to know each other and find out there are other teenagers who live in the same environment I live in that have this perspective that we can make a better land," said Harrill.

Ducsay is using his time in the spotlight to not only build himself up, but also break down barriers while raising awareness about Autism.

Harrill said by arming the next generation with these skills we all benefit.

"I don't feel as much like we're doing something to help these kids, it's more so we're helping these kids help everyone else in the community," said Harrill.

As each performer gets a unique opportunity to shine while sharing their stories along the way.

"I like whenever people come up to me and tell me I inspire them, especially if they're adults because if a 17-year-old can inspire an adult it's just anything's possible,” said Ducsay.

Click HERE to learn more.

Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Cleveland WEWS-TV
Published 6 hours ago

Rabbi Blau elected Rabbinical Council of America president

Rabbi Benjamin Blau, rosh yeshiva of Fuchs Mizrachi School and spiritual leader of Green Road Synagogue, both in Beachwood, has been elected president of the Rabbinical Council of America.

Blau, 57, who ascended to the role from first vice president, told the Cleveland Jewish News June 21 he will work with his leadership committee on developing a proactive series of issues to respond to in the coming years.

At his first leadership meeting held on June 23, he said he would begin to frame an agenda. He said he hopes to be collaborative and to aid rabbis, helping them improve both their professionalism and their professional lives.

Both Blau’s father and his maternal grandfather were rabbis who held leadership positions in umbrella organizations.

“So, I had that model,” Blau said. “I’ve learned from my family. I’ve learned from my own experiences, from my colleagues and watched my predecessors closely. And hopefully, those models combined with my own 30 years of leadership will do me well in this role.”

Blau ran on a slate from the nominating committee of the organization, which includes more than 900 Modern Orthodox rabbis across North America and in Israel who work from the pulpit and in educational and communal work. Rabbis who wish to join the council go through an application process, including an interview and approval by the executive committee. Blau has served on the standards committee of the organization, which sets guidelines for membership.

“In one sense, it really is sort of a guild in that we really support one another,” Blau said. “The internal part of the organization focuses on the needs of the rabbis themselves.

“And then there’s the part where we can play a role in a larger sense in the broader community,” he said, adding the Rabbinical Council of America operates both independently and in concert with the Orthodox Union. “We really are pretty much the Modern Orthodox voice.”

As examples of its work, Blau said the council provided guidance and standards to Modern Orthodox congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the council created a halachic prenuptial agreement to deter husbands from refusing their wives in obtaining Jewish divorces, or gets, Blau said.

“It’s one of the things that we ask every prospective member. … If you officiate at a wedding, will you have the participants sign this agreement?” Blau said.

The Rabbinical Council of America also advocates for Israel and in other areas of concern to its members, Blau said.

The son of Rabbi Yosef and Rivka Blau, he was born in New York City.

“Both of them have spent their lifetime devoted to communal service,” said Blau, adding both his parents were principals and his father worked at Yeshiva University in New York City on its rabbinic staff.

Blau was raised in several cities, including Chicago, Boston and Elizabeth, N.J., where his family have been rabbis for 100 years.

He graduated from the Talmudical Yeshiva of Torah in Philadelphia and spent time there as a post-graduate student. He later attended Yeshiva University both for college and rabbinical school and was ordained there. While there, he was in the final class of Rabbi Joseph Solovetchik.

Blau has both studied and taught in Israel at a post-high school program. He has held educational posts and pulpit posts throughout his professional life.

Among Blau’s roles, he served for seven summers as camp rabbi for Camp HASC, the Hebrew Academy Camp for Special Children in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Blau came to Cleveland 20 years ago as rosh kollel of Torah Tzion Kollel, a learning institute connected to Fuchs Mizrachi School. He then became principal at Fuchs Mizrachi prior to becoming spiritual leader at Green Road Synagogue nine years ago.

Blau and his wife, Faith, live in Beachwood. They have four children, Yael, Mordechai, Yedidya and Ephraim, 16, their youngest, who is a student at Fuchs Mizrachi.

“The pandemic was a powerful example of what the organization can do,” Blau said of the guidance the council offered synagogues. “Really, we were at the forefront of setting guidelines and policies that were so critical for synagogues across the country, but at the same degree, that was a response to a crisis. And I want to see if we can be preemptive and proactive.”

Cleveland Jewish News
Published 6 hours ago

Ohio Supreme Court: Schools can’t arm teachers without proper training

Posted at 9:19 AM, Jun 24, 2021

and last updated 2021-06-24 09:19:11-04

The following article was originally published in the Ohio Capital Journal and published on News5Cleveland.com under a content-sharing agreement.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—School districts do not have the discretion to authorize the arming of teachers, according to a Wednesday ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court.

The state’s highest court came out with the decision on Wednesday, going against legislative efforts and pro-gun lobbying groups who believed local control should be a part of firearms policies in Ohio schools.

The court heard arguments on the case back in January.

The Madison Local School district passed a resolution in April 2018 granting written authorization by the school board to those deemed appropriate by the district superintendent to enter school property armed. After that resolution passed, a group of parents and gun-control advocates, led by parent Erin Gabbard, sued the school to stop the resolution from being implemented.

The main debate in the court case has been whether a school employee would be considered a “special police officer or security guard” if authorized to be armed by a school district. If considered an officer or guard, that district employee would be required to complete law enforcement-level training.

The policy allowed up to ten employees to carry concealed firearms, under state concealed carry licensing, and with at least 24 hours of “response-to-active-shooter training.” The policy also required armed employees to have handgun qualification, pass a criminal background check and mental health exam, along with receiving “training regarding mental preparation to respond to active killers.”

The Supreme Court upheld a 12th District Court of Appeals decision by a divided court, in which it said the school district’s resolution violated Ohio law by allowing school employees to carry a deadly weapon “without the statutorily required training or experience.”

The high court spent time dissecting the language of the law, particularly the definition of a person authorized to enter school grounds while armed. That language included special police officers, security guards, and any “other position in which such employee goes armed while on duty.”

“That an employee might have been hired to teach, to coach, or to perform other primarily non-security functions does not alter the fact that an employee who carries a weapon while performing his or her job ‘goes armed while on duty,’” O’Connor wrote in the lead opinion.

The court ruled that because the Ohio law in question includes special police officers and security guards along with other positions which require being armed, those “other positions” can be interpreted to have similar law enforcement duties.

“A person might be hired as a teacher, but when that person agrees to go armed while teaching, his or her duties expand to encompass additional duties akin to those normally performed by special police officers and security guards,” the ruling stated.

The court also said that Ohio law does not allow for school boards to authorize their employees to go armed “so long as the employees undergo whatever training a board might deem advisable.”

“A board of education’s written authorization for a person to carry a concealed weapon in a school safety zone does not excuse the person from criminal liability if the person lacks a valid license to carry such a weapon,” the majority ruled.

In one of three dissenting opinions, Justice Sharon Kennedy argued that “plain language” in Ohio Revised Code “negates criminal liability for a person carrying a firearm on school grounds when that person is authorized by the school board to do so,” and disagreed with the majority on the role of an armed teacher.

Kennedy said the court’s analysis should have been based on an exception to the criminal law against carrying a firearm in a school safety zone for law enforcement, security officers or “any other person who has written authorization from the board of education.”

“Because the statute permits the school board to grant written authorization to any person to carry a firearm on school grounds without imposing any limitation on the school board’s discretion to do so, the analysis should stop there,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy also disagreed with the interpretation of the court on the type of training required to be armed in school depending on the particular position for which a school employee was hired. Just because a school board gives authorization for a teacher to have a gun does not change their position if they are armed, Kennedy argued.

“Had the General Assembly intended to condition the authority to carry a firearm in a school safety zone on having the basic police training required of peace officers, it could have written the statute that way,” Kennedy wrote.

Justice Patrick Fischer agreed that it was the responsibility of the General Assembly, not the courts, to determine “weigh policy concerns and make legislative choices for the benefit of all Ohioans.”

“If the General Assembly had wished to prohibit nonsecurity personnel, like teachers, from carrying weapons while on school property without the required training, it could have done so and may still do so,” Fischer wrote in a separate dissenting opinion. “This court does not have the authority to make that requirement.”

The author of a re-introduced bill to give local control to school districts on firearm policies said the ruling “only underscores the critical and urgent need to get House Bill 99 signed into law.”

“The Ohio General Assembly has a responsibility to give our school districts the option to protect their students and staff by embracing local control and establishing appropriate baseline training requirements for educators to carry a firearm,” state Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., wrote in a statement.

The bill had its last hearing on April 15 in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

As the name at the front of the lawsuit, Gabbard said the ruling came as a relief to her and parents like her.

“Once this ruling is implemented, parents will at least know that the teachers who carry firearms in our schools are properly trained, as required by state law,” Gabbard said in a joint statement with pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Cleveland WEWS-TV
Published 6 hours ago

Fairmount Temple honors high school students

Jun 24, 2021

Posted 26 min ago at 9: 00 AM

Comments

At the end of each school year, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood honors high school students in the temple’s program with several awards recognizing their achievements and commitment.

The 2020-21 awardees are as follows:

• The Barnett R. Brickner Memorial Award for a senior and a confirmand who exemplify excellence in scholarship and character goes to senior Jessica Monahan of Beachwood and confirmand Easton Singer of Solon.

• The Rebecca Brickner Jewish Heritage Award for a senior and a confirmand who demonstrate most significantly the qualities of leadership and deep interest and love of Judaism goes to senior Laine Silverman of Shaker Heights and confirmand Jordyn Levine of Twinsburg.

• The Rabbi Lelyveld Memorial Award for a senior and a confirmand who had an ongoing interest in social justice goes to seniors Mallory Chylla of Beachwood and Nikki Davis of Mayfield Heights, as well as confirmand Maggie Senturia of Shaker Heights.

• The Rabbi’s Prize for Devotion to High School for a senior and a confirmand whose interest in the synagogue demonstrate a high level of Jewish loyalty and concern goes to senior Joe Carroll of Shaker Heights and confirmand Danielle Krantz of Shaker Heights.

• The Clergy Award for a senior who exhibits an enhanced appreciation for the understanding of Judaism goes to senior Ana Butze of Shaker Heights.

• The Judy, Darin and Kevin Feder Menschlichkeit Award for a ninth grader who demonstrates warmth and concern for others and is active in synagogue life goes to freshman Hope Nosanchuk of Shaker Heights.

• The Leo Jacobson Memorial Scholarship Award for a 10th grader who demonstrates commitment to service goes to confirmand Noah Zelin of Shaker Heights.

• The Amy Rice Memorial Award for a confirmand learning during the confirmation year goes to confirmand Vanessa Polster of Solon.

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Cleveland Jewish News
Published 6 hours ago

Chaos at school board meeting: Students taught 'Columbus was a murderer,' says parent

by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
Thursday, June 24th 2021
AA

<p>Chaos erupted at the Loudoun County School Board meeting Tuesday evening after the public comment session was cut short. (Twitter: @HayleyMilon){/p}

WASHINGTON (SBG) - Tensions boiled over at a Northern Virginia school board meeting that led to two arrests as hundreds of parents railed against a proposed transgender policy and critical race theory curriculum.

The Loudoun County School Board was forced to end its meeting earlier this week after “loud public demonstrations,” according to the board, and a fight that broke out among attendees.

"Tonight, the Loudoun County School Board meeting was interrupted by those who wish to use the public comment period to disrupt our work and disrespect each other," Loudoun County School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan said at the end of the meeting. "Dog-whistle politics will not delay our work. We will not back down from fighting for the rights of our students and continuing our focus on equity."

“I think what you saw the other day was really the culmination of a year and a half of frustration from parents,” said Ian Prior, executive director of fightforschools.com and a Loudoun County parent, to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “It eventually got to the point where people were starting to see what their kids were learning in school through distance learning, parents were looking over their shoulders and realizing that some of the curricula were just age-inappropriate materials, materials that were racially divisive and divisive in other ways.”

Prior says he had taken issue with some of the things his second grade and kindergarten-aged children were learning.

“It was basically Columbus was a murderer, there were all these images of dead individuals on the video, and that Christianity was in part responsible for this. Now, this is simply not appropriate for a second grader to be watching on video,” said Prior. “I was sitting there watching a video that was really propaganda for the BLM protests.”

Other topics Prior says he has heard complaints about from other parents are things like white privilege, white fragility, and the differences between the oppressed and their oppressors. Sheridan said Tuesday that “critical race theory is not being taught in our schools, period.”

Loudoun County teacher Byron Tanner Cross was suspended after comments at a school board meeting against a proposed transgender policy that would allow transgender students to be called by their preferred name and pronouns. A judge ruled that Cross must be reinstated, but the school board has come under fire recently for using taxpayer money to fight that decision.

Prior says that a growing number of parents are looking to recall some of the school board members.

“There are several standards that the court would look at, but the one that we're focused on is a neglect of duty, abuse of office, and incompetence in the performance of duty,” said Prior.

One incident that led to the effort to recall, according to Prior, is a private Facebook group created by six of the school board members that targeted parents who attended school board meetings.

“It called for people to push back against parents that were opposed to critical race theory. And then you had a bunch of people in there saying we need to infiltrate them, we need to expose them,” said Prior. “This has been a pattern in the practice of this school board of hostility to the First Amendment rights of parents because they don’t want to hear what parents have to say.”

WSYX ABC 6 Columbus
Published 6 hours ago

In pandemic, drug overdose deaths soar among Black Americans

Michelle Branch, center, holds a pamphlet from the memorial service of her younger brother, Craig Elazer, 56, along with Elazer's stepdaughter, Shatia Jones, right, and niece, Alexa Sanders, in St. Louis on Monday, May 17, 2021. Elazer had struggled all his life with anxiety so bad his whole body would shake. But because he was Black, he was seen as unruly, not as a person who needed help, Branch says. He had started taking drugs to numb his nerves before he was old enough to drive a car. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)AP

By Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — She screamed and cried, banged on the dashboard, begging her husband to drive faster, faster, faster toward her brother lying face-down on his bedroom floor.

Craig Elazer had struggled all his life with anxiety so bad his whole body would shake. But because he was Black, he was seen as unruly, she said, not as a person who needed help. Elazer, 56, had started taking drugs to numb his nerves before he was old enough to drive a car.

Now his sister, Michelle Branch, was speeding toward his apartment in an impoverished, predominantly Black neighborhood in north St. Louis. His family had dreaded the day he would die of an overdose for so long that his mother had paid for his funeral in monthly installments.

It was September, and as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified America’s opioid addiction crisis in nearly every corner of the country, many Black neighborhoods like this one suffered most acutely. The portrait of the opioid epidemic has long been painted as a rural white affliction, but the demographics have been shifting for years as deaths surged among Black Americans. The pandemic hastened the trend by further flooding the streets with fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, in communities with scant resources to deal with addiction.

In the city of St. Louis, deaths among Black people increased last year at three times the rate of white people, skyrocketing more than 33%. Black men in Missouri are now four times more likely than a white person to die of an overdose.

Dr. Kanika Turner, a local physician leading the charge to contain the crisis, describes the soaring death rate as a civil rights issue as pressing and profound as any other. The communities now being hit hardest are those already devastated by the war on drugs that demonized Black drug users, tore families apart and hollowed out neighborhoods by sending Black men to prison instead of treatment, she said. Even today, Black people in the United States are more likely to be in jail for drug crimes and less likely to access treatment.

Last year, George Floyd died in Minneapolis under a police officer’s knee. He had fentanyl in his system and some of the officer’s defenders tried to blame the drugs for his death. The world exploded in rage.

“That incident on top of the pandemic rocked the boat and shook all of us. It ripped the Band-Aid off a wound that has always been there,” said Turner, who grew in the same neighborhoods where Elazer lived, beset by addiction, poverty and one of the highest murder rates in America. “We’re undoing history of damage, history of trauma, history of racism.”

Pastors are now marching into the city jail to train inmates how to survive once they get outside. They host mobile treatment centers in their parking lots. They make an appeal to their congregations: Do not numb the pain of violence and racism with drugs. Don’t let the next funeral be for you.

Branch for decades begged God to deliver her brother from addiction. She would lie awake at night imagining him dead in a ditch or dark alley, with nothing in the world but the clothes on his back.

She was hysterical by the time she arrived at his apartment.

The cousin who found him said he was sorry; Elazer had been alone and dead for hours. They tried to convince her not to go inside, but she wanted to see him.

As Branch looked down at his body, she felt calm come over her.

“Society failed him,” she said. “And I had a sense that he’d finally been set free.”

____

When the Rev. Burton Barr drives to the city jail, he passes a corner store with a sign painted on its side: “Drugs ... the new slavery!”

“That’s true,” Barr said.

He calls himself “the hoodlum preacher” and he goes to the jail twice a week to try to save people from the addiction that consumed his life for 22 years.

He was swept up when heroin inundated Black communities in the 1960s and transitioned to cocaine in the 1980s. The face of addiction then was inner-city Black people like him, and they were criminalized. Barr once tried to tally the number of times he went to jail, and he stopped counting at 30.

“It was not a war on drugs. It was a war on us,” said Barr, in recovery since 1991. “It devastated our communities.”

Harsh sentencing laws passed in the 1980s were far more brutal on crack cocaine users, who were more likely to be Black, than they were for powder cocaine users, who were more likely to be white. A person convicted of possessing five grams of crack got the same sentence as someone with 100 times more powder. Black men went to prison by the tens of thousands.

Addiction was not widely accepted as a public health crisis — with a focus on treatment instead of incarceration — until recent years, only once it started killing white teens in the suburbs, Barr said.

The timeline of the current opioid epidemic begins in the late 1990s, and unfolds in three waves. The first arrived when pharmaceutical companies campaigned to expand prescribing painkillers and addiction spread through struggling, predominantly-white communities like Appalachia.

The second came when the government cracked down on prescriptions and many turned to heroin; then the third when fentanyl, 50 times more potent than heroin, was laced into opioids sold on the street.

Some researchers believe the nation is entering a fourth wave. The drug supply is so messy and unpredictable that people overdosing have multiple drugs in their system: dangerous cocktails of fentanyl, a depressant, and stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine.

A lot of illicit fentanyl is manufactured in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 was first unleashed. Lockdowns initially disrupted the supply, said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a Brookings Institute fellow who studies trafficking.

In St. Louis, the drug trade became even more chaotic: People who used to know where their drugs were coming from no longer did. Fentanyl for a time was hard to find, and some turned to less-potent heroin.

But the Chinese laboratories rebounded and resumed shipping the chemicals to Mexico, where cartels process them, Felbab-Brown said. Pandemic border closures presented cartels with added incentive to traffic fentanyl: It is incredibly potent and profitable. The equivalent of a trunkful of heroin or cocaine can be carried across the border in a small suitcase.

Mexican soldiers are finding people at checkpoints ferrying tens of thousands of fentanyl pills. Navy personnel caught two men on a boat on the Sea of Cortez trying to smuggle 100,000. Mexican authorities raided a fentanyl factory in Chalco, a slum on the outskirts of Mexico City, where the drug was processed by the tons, so much they needed a forklift to move it.

In St. Louis, fentanyl flooded back to the streets. The death count exploded early last summer, said Rachel Winograd, a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who tracks the state’s overdose data. In the first six months of 2020, deaths increased 64% among Black people from the same period the year before, and 40% among white people.

Other cities saw a similar pattern. Doctors in Philadelphia found that in the first few months of the pandemic, overdoses increased more than 50% for Black people while decreasing for whites. In Massachusetts, health officials announced that overdose deaths among Black men soared in 2020 by nearly 70%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 92,000 Americans died of overdose in the 12 months ending in November, the highest number ever recorded. That data is not broken down by race.

But researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, analyzed emergency medical calls nationwide and found an overall increase of 42% in overdose deaths in 2020. The largest increase was for Black people, with a spike of more than 50%.

One day last summer in St. Louis, Lynda Brooks went into a bathroom to smoke what she thought was crack. She felt strange, sat down and remembers only darkness. Once she was revived from a fentanyl overdose, she wondered if she’d been in hell.

She was so scared that for days she kept the lights on to try to resist going to sleep.

Brooks, a 55-year-old grandmother, had been addicted to crack for decades. She was often homeless and life out there was hard. She was assaulted, spit on, her husband died. So she took more drugs to escape feeling sad or scared or worthless.

Soon after she overdosed, she went to a community center. She told them if she didn’t get help she knew she would die.

Brooks has been in recovery now for seven months, and she prays to remain scared of the drugs. She got a job and an apartment, and proudly keeps her new keys dangling from a shoelace around her neck. Her family told her they are proud of her. She said that feels like heaven.

___

Pastor Marsha Hawkins-Hourd smiled at Brooks from the sidewalk.

“You make me so happy,” called Hawkins-Hourd, who runs the Child and Family Empowerment Center that helped Brooks find treatment and housing. “A lot of people fail. And it hurts when they fail. But you wipe all that away.”

She is part of a network of faith leaders and grassroots activists trying to overcome the distrust people have for the systems that typically address addiction but are infested with systemic racism, she said.

She looks at block after block of falling-down buildings in the north side of the city. She sees them as a symbol of her neighbors who were deeply traumatized, then abandoned with limited access to treatment.

At some point, these houses were filled with hope and life, she said. Then society left them to crumble as men were sent to prison and families buckled. Now the windows are broken out, their roofs caving in, weeds choking their insides.

“Mass incarceration and the war on drugs are the roots and all of this is the thorns,” she said. “It is a set-up for failure, a set-up to continue in the same cycle of poverty and death.”

Jerry Simmons sometimes imagines himself lying in one of those vacant houses where he sleeps, dead for days from an overdose before anyone discovers him.

He arrived in a church parking lot before dawn to be first in line for a mobile treatment van scheduled to arrive as part of a new state-funded effort to reach people like him.

“I just want to be a normal person back in society, working, living, loving, playing with my grandkids, making my kids be proud of me,” said Simmons, 49, who’s been addicted for 30 years, homeless and in and out of prisons.

When he climbed into the van, it had been about eight hours since he last snorted fentanyl, at 1:37 a.m. The crippling withdrawal symptoms would set in soon, he knew: aches down to the bone, diarrhea, shakes, insomnia.

To give himself strength, he wore a T-shirt printed with the face of his friend, killed in a hail of bullets 30 years ago. Simmons grew up near this church on the most murderous mile of road in one of America’s most dangerous cities.

“There’s death all around here,” he said. Three friends have died in the last month, two to gun violence and one to overdose. The drugs, at first, helped him escape.

He sat down across from a recovery coach from Hawkins-Hourd’s organization, which partnered with a treatment provider to usher people here.

“In the past 30 days, have you experienced serious depression?” she asked him.

“Yes.”

“Have you neglected family because of your use of drugs?”

“Yes.”

“Have you lost a job because of drug use?”

“Yes,” he said again. Addiction has taken everything from him.

“I’m tired.”

He was there to enroll in a treatment program that includes a prescription for the medication buprenorphine, which has been found to greatly reduce the likelihood of overdose death. But researchers have found that white patients are far more likely than Black patients to receive it. Black people instead tend to be steered toward methadone, which is distributed in highly regulated programs that often require standing in line daily before dawn.

“That is the worst form of segregation: one for the white, well-to-do people, one for the rest,” said Dr. Percy Menzies, president of Assisted Recovery Centers of America, the company stationing mobile units on street corners and church parking lots. “The tsunami of fentanyl is absolutely frightening, and they have virtually no safety net.”

Addiction is treatable with medication and therapy, he said. But he knows they can’t expect to show up in white lab coats and ask people to trust them right away.

He started going to Black churches to bring pastors on board.

Minister Lacha Hughes heard him speak at her church on a Saturday, and the next day her niece, Natisha Stansberry, called her hysterical. Most of her life, Stansberry, 30, used drugs to self-medicate her mental distress. She was raped as a child and attempted suicide. In 2016, her 23-year-old brother was murdered. Stansberry wished it would have been her instead.

“I wanted to be the best I could be, but I went down the drain,” she said. “I want to get myself together.”

She was weeping into the phone that she was scared of dying; two of her friends had overdosed, one was dead and one in the hospital. Hughes ushered Stansberry into Menzies’ clinic. Until now, all she ever knew to do for her was pray.

It had felt to her like they’d had no help. In a crisis, many here are even hesitant to call 911 because they fear the police.

Now all over town, people walk around wearing little red backpacks, passed out by activists like Jerome Anderson, trying to saturate the streets with the overdose reversal medication Narcan so they can save each other.

He calls at passers-by: “Hey, take some Narcan. Save a life. I’m tired of going to family funerals.”

Anderson, in recovery for 26 years, sang at three cousins’ funerals in the last six months, all dead from overdose. He works for a grassroots public health group called Williams and Associates and his mission is to keep people alive so that one day they can find their way to recovery.

He carries around a cover letter that lets people know he’s not a cop. Sometimes drug dealers let him stand next to them, to hand their customers his kits.

Jamilia Allen has used Narcan to revive her friends, more than once. She’s terrified of fentanyl, but she’s tried and tried to shake her heroin and crack addiction.

“It’s designed to kill us, and that’s what it’s going to do. It takes your soul. If it don’t kill you physically, it’s going to kill you emotionally, kill all your dreams,” she said. “I really want my life back, but I can’t grasp it.”

Allen, 31, was once an honor roll student and the captain of her high school cheerleading squad, and back then she judged people desperate for drugs.

She went to Walmart recently and was jealous of a woman buying a shower curtain. She wants a life that simple, and she fantasizes about someone sending her to a place like Malibu, where the rich white people go to kick addiction.

She was for a long time ashamed of her life: prostitution, being raped, beaten, thrown out naked in the snow. But now, she said, she wants people to know.

“I’m not going to let this kill me, and if I can help anyone else,” she said, “then that’s one less person like me.”

___

All Michelle Branch has left of her brother fits into a little green shopping bag.

The Bible she bought him one time when he got sober and wrote “One Day at a Time” on the title page.

There’s the baby book her mother put together, with so much hope when she taped a lock of his hair to the pages. There are report cards chronicling a bright child, loved by teachers but struggling to focus.

By third grade, he could read as well as a sixth-grader. He and his mother, a teacher, would read the newspaper cover to cover. He liked cowboy stories.

But he was anxious and jittery. Had he been diagnosed and treated, Branch believes he would be alive today.

“But they didn’t catch hyperactivity or bipolar back then, especially not in little Black kids. We were just unruly, undisciplined, this much removed from being an animal,” Branch said, pinching her fingers so there was little space between them.

Branch worked in the school system when the opioid epidemic began, white people were dying and pundits on TV said they needed to be saved from this public health tragedy. She wondered where they’d been when her brother was swirling into addiction.

Their mother raised them alone and they didn’t have a lot of money. He told Branch he started drinking when he was 12, and soon progressed to drugs. He lived transiently, sleeping under overpasses, on dirty mattresses in dark alleys.

She can’t count the number of times he tried to get sober.

Their mother always worried he would die. She wrote on little slips of paper and left them all over the house: pinned to her bedroom lampshade, taped to the kitchen wall. “God is working this problem out for me,” they said.

She got sick with cancer, but lingered for years. Her family believed she was holding on out of fear of what would happen to her son.

She died worried about him.

He was in and out of jail, mostly for petty offenses. But several years ago, an acquaintance alleged he sexually assaulted her while using drugs. His lawyer told them the odds were against him as a Black man accused of assaulting a white woman, Branch said. He pleaded guilty and spent three years in prison.

He was released in May 2020, as the pandemic bore down.

He couldn’t find a job. There were no recovery meetings in-person and he’d been so transient all his life he didn’t know how to use a smartphone. He was alone most of the time, with his 10-pound dog, Rico.

One night they couldn’t reach him. His cousin, Carleton Smith, looked through the mail slot and saw him lying there.

The first responders gathered over his body pointed to a paper plate on his bed with a pile of white powder. “Fentanyl,” they said.

When Branch sat down to write his obituary, she decided to tell his truth.

She wrote that he was a gentle soul but addiction destroyed him.

“It would devastate his family, make him homeless, cause him to beg for money on the street, take his freedom, his sparkle and smile,” she wrote.

“It would take and take and take until it took his life.”

__

AP reporter Mark Stevenson contributed from Mexico City and Jim Salter from St. Louis.

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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published 6 hours ago

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge will visit Ohio this weekend to promote coronavirus vaccinations

Today 9:00 AM

United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge waves to the crowd as she is introduced Friday afternoon, June 18, 2021, at the Black Homeownership Collaborate at Cleveland State University. (David Petkiewicz, cleveland.com)David Petkiewicz, cleveland.com

By Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge will return to her native Ohio for appearances Friday and Sunday as part of a Biden Administration drive to promote coronavirus vaccinations.

Fudge, who served as a Democratic member of Congress from Warrenville Heights before joining President Joe Biden’s cabinet, will attend vaccination clinics in Dayton, Grove City and Highland Hills to highlight how communities are playing a role in getting Ohioans vaccinated as well as the Biden administration’s role in vaccine outreach around the state.

Fudge will kick off her Ohio trip in Dayton at 11 a.m. Friday, where she’ll attend a vaccination clinic at Sugar Creek Packing Co. with Mayor Nan Whaley, R&B singer-songwriter Shirley Murdock and Columbus Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.

At 2 p.m. Friday, Fudge will join Beatty and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther at a Mid Ohio Food Bank clinic in Grove City. At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, she’ll join Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown at a clinic in a charter school in Highland Hills.

HUD said the trip is among visits that Biden administration officials are making to communities around the country in an effort to highlight the ease of getting vaccinated, encourage vaccinations and mobilize grassroots vaccine education and outreach efforts.

So far, officials including First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan have made trips to Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois and Mississippi as part of the effort to promote vaccinations.

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Upcoming Lorain County rally will show whether ex-President Donald Trump still has campaign mojo

Ohio homeland security advisor seeks cybersecurity funds at U.S. Senate hearing

Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office organizes summer camps for kids considering manufacturing careers

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to address Black homeownership event in Cleveland on Friday

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan asks Sen. Sherrod Brown’s committee for federal housing and infrastructure aid

Rep. Jim Jordan starts ‘Campus Free Speech Caucus’ to push back on ‘woke’ cancel culture

Senate report on Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot co-authored by Sen. Rob Portman recommends security changes

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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published 6 hours ago

Mom who gave birth as college athlete competes in US Olympic track and field trials

Mikaila Martin via University of Houston

(NEW YORK) — When Mikaila Martin competes Thursday at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, she will have her biggest fan rooting her on, her 3-year-old daughter Camryn.

Martin, 24, gave birth to Camryn when she was 21 and in the middle of a standout track and field career at the University of Houston.

“I was a junior in college when I gave birth and was on a scholarship for athletics,” Martin told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “A part of me was worried about it.”

Martin, already a record-setting hammer thrower for Houston, put her athletic career on hold when she gave birth to Camryn and redshirted for a year, meaning she sat out one season of eligibility.

After that season was over, Martin jumped right back into being a mom and a student-athlete.

“Before I had Camryn, my day was already hectic,” said Martin. “After I had her, I had to sit down with myself and make a schedule of how my day would look like so I could see it on paper.”

For the past three years, a typical day for Martin has included waking up around 6 a.m. to take Camryn to an off-campus day care, then going to track practice, followed by a team meeting and then her school classes. At the end of the day, she picks Camryn up, takes her home for dinner and a bath, then does bedtime for Camryn and tackles her own homework.

As a college student, Martin also had to take on a part-time job on the weekends to afford day care for Camryn. She relies on her mom and sister to help care for Camryn while she works, saying, “It really takes a whole village.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Martin took classes on Zoom with Camryn at home, and had to get creative when it came to continuing to train.

“I would find a nearby park and let her play and then put her in the wagon while I did some training,” said Martin. “During the pandemic, it was really, really a struggle.”

The hard work paid off for Martin both academically and athletically.

She is now completing a graduate degree in human resources and will graduate next May.

Martin finished 12th in the hammer throw at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships earlier this month, which earned her a berth in the U.S. Olympic trials.

She is also the first University of Houston woman to earn All-America honors in the hammer throw.

“My daughter kept me motivated. Every day I got up I was like, ‘I’m doing this for her,'” said Martin. “I don’t want her to feel like momma couldn’t do it. I wanted her to see that I did it.”

Martin described Camryn as the “team baby” and said she is a frequent presence on the sidelines at her track and field meets.

“All my teammates just welcomed her in and that’s when I was like, ‘OK, I’m meant to do this,'” Martin said. “She runs around everywhere and everyone takes her everywhere [at the meets]. She’s in heaven.”

Will Blackburn, associate head coach for the Houston track and field program, recruited Martin out of high school and has been by her side as she became a mom.

“When we found out she was pregnant, on our side, nothing changed,” he said. “We thought, ‘Let’s go on, let’s go after your goals and aspirations.'”

As a coach, Blackburn said he noticed a change in Martin on the field as her life changed away from it.

“I know it was tough on her, no doubt, in part because the time management was totally different,” he said. “[After becoming a mom] she had an hour or hour-and-a-half practice time and that was it.”

“She was extremely focused and it spilled over into competition,” Blackburn added. “Her focus improved a lot and her skill improved greatly.”

Martin, who plans to go pro after she finishes graduate school, said she has noticed herself how much she has improved as a hammer thrower since becoming a mom.

“In the beginning, I thought, ‘I’m not the same athlete I used to be,’ but I learned to work with my body and once I did that, that’s when things started to come into play,” she said. “And you really are more focused as a mom because before Camryn, I used to be so nervous at track meets, I would shake. Now, I’m so in the zone and focused and I never used to feel like that.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

WFIN 1330 (Findlay)
Published 7 hours ago

Chaos at school board meeting: Students taught 'Columbus was a murderer,' says parent

by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
Thursday, June 24th 2021
AA

<p>Chaos erupted at the Loudoun County School Board meeting Tuesday evening after the public comment session was cut short. (Twitter: @HayleyMilon){/p}

WASHINGTON (SBG) - Tensions boiled over at a Northern Virginia school board meeting that led to two arrests as hundreds of parents railed against a proposed transgender policy and critical race theory curriculum.

The Loudoun County School Board was forced to end its meeting earlier this week after “loud public demonstrations,” according to the board, and a fight that broke out among attendees.

"Tonight, the Loudoun County School Board meeting was interrupted by those who wish to use the public comment period to disrupt our work and disrespect each other," Loudoun County School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan said at the end of the meeting. "Dog-whistle politics will not delay our work. We will not back down from fighting for the rights of our students and continuing our focus on equity."

“I think what you saw the other day was really the culmination of a year and a half of frustration from parents,” said Ian Prior, executive director of fightforschools.com and a Loudoun County parent, to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “It eventually got to the point where people were starting to see what their kids were learning in school through distance learning, parents were looking over their shoulders and realizing that some of the curricula were just age-inappropriate materials, materials that were racially divisive and divisive in other ways.”

Prior says he had taken issue with some of the things his second grade and kindergarten-aged children were learning.

“It was basically Columbus was a murderer, there were all these images of dead individuals on the video, and that Christianity was in part responsible for this. Now, this is simply not appropriate for a second grader to be watching on video,” said Prior. “I was sitting there watching a video that was really propaganda for the BLM protests.”

Other topics Prior says he has heard complaints about from other parents are things like white privilege, white fragility, and the differences between the oppressed and their oppressors. Sheridan said Tuesday that “critical race theory is not being taught in our schools, period.”

Loudoun County teacher Byron Tanner Cross was suspended after comments at a school board meeting against a proposed transgender policy that would allow transgender students to be called by their preferred name and pronouns. A judge ruled that Cross must be reinstated, but the school board has come under fire recently for using taxpayer money to fight that decision.

Prior says that a growing number of parents are looking to recall some of the school board members.

“There are several standards that the court would look at, but the one that we're focused on is a neglect of duty, abuse of office, and incompetence in the performance of duty,” said Prior.

One incident that led to the effort to recall, according to Prior, is a private Facebook group created by six of the school board members that targeted parents who attended school board meetings.

“It called for people to push back against parents that were opposed to critical race theory. And then you had a bunch of people in there saying we need to infiltrate them, we need to expose them,” said Prior. “This has been a pattern in the practice of this school board of hostility to the First Amendment rights of parents because they don’t want to hear what parents have to say.”

WTOV 9 (Steubenville)
Published 7 hours ago

Morning Headlines: Vax-a-Million Ends with Mixed Vaccination Results; 19 Apply for Householder’s Seat, Including His Son

Published June 24, 2021 at 8:39 AM EDT

THE OHIO CHANNEL

Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced the final winners of the five weekly Vax-a-Million lottery. About 5.5 million people in Ohio have received at least one shot of the vaccine, or about 47% of the population.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, June 24:

Vax-a-Million ends with mixed vaccination results

19 apply for Householder’s seat, including his son

High court: Armed Ohio school employees require training

Universities partner with law enforcement to increase police recruitment

Lawmakers vote to ban kids from purchasing cough syrup

Medina County woman who became face of Obamacare dies

Bridgestone PGA tournament raises nearly $775k for charity

Vax-a-Million ends with mixed vaccination results
The movement to offer millions of dollars in incentives to boost Ohio vaccination rates has been unable to crack the 50% vaccination threshold. Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced the final winners of the five weekly Vax-a-Million lottery. Sydney Daum of Brecksville won the full, four-year college scholarship, while Esperanza Diaz of Cincinnati won the last $1 million giveaway. About 5.5 million people in Ohio have received at least one shot of the vaccine, or about 47% of the population.

19 apply for Householder’s seat, including his son
Nearly two dozen people have applied to fill the seat vacated following the historic Ohio House vote last week that ousted Republican Larry Householder. Among those who applied include Perry County Commissioner Derek Householder – Larry Householder’s son. Republican Speaker Bob Cupp will choose Householder’s replacement for the 72nd District seat that covers Coshocton, Licking, and Perry Counties.

High court: Armed Ohio school employees require training
The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that school districts must provide police-level training to employees carrying concealed weapons. At issue was a policy adopted by Madison Local Schools in southwest Ohio’s Butler County. The district voted to allow armed school employees after a 2016 shooting in which two students were shot and wounded by a 14-year-old boy. A group of parents sued the district in 2018 to prevent teachers from being armed without extensive training. The state high court ruled 4-3 Wednesday that armed school employees must undergo an approved basic peace-officer-training program or have 20 years’ experience as a police officer.

Universities partner with law enforcement to increase police recruitment
Ohio is launching a program to help encourage more young people to become law enforcement officers. Central State University and Cedarville University are teaming up with police departments and sheriff's offices for the College To Law Enforcement Pathway program that will pair students with experienced officers to learn leadership skills. The state-run program is intended to strengthen training among prospective new officers. Students will take part in workshops that cover a variety of topics including the prevention of bias-based policing. Officials also hope it will attract more women and people of color to join the police force.

Lawmakers vote to ban kids from purchasing cough syrup
It will likely soon be illegal for children to purchase over-the-counter cough medicine. Legislation that passed the Ohio Senate unanimously would require anyone under 18 to get a doctor’s prescription to purchase cough suppressants like DayQuil and Robitussin. A survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan last year found that 3.7% of teens reported using cough medicine to get high, which is an increase over the previous year. The bill goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature.

Medina County woman who became face of Obamacare dies
The Northeast Ohio woman who became the face of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has died. In 2009, Natoma Canfield of Medina Township wrote a letter to former President Barack Obama explaining that she had to drop her health insurance because she could no longer afford the premiums. At the time she was in remission from cancer. She went to the White House to meet Obama in 2012, and he tweeted a remembrance on Wednesday. Canfield, who was 61, died June 18, one day after the health care law was upheld for a third time by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bridgestone PGA tournament raises nearly $775k for charity
This week’s Bridgestone Senior Players Championship has raised nearly $775,000 for Northeast Ohio charities. The PGA tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron donates a portion of ticket and other proceeds to nonprofits through the Northeast Ohio Golf Charities Foundation. Among those receiving funding include the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, which will get $100,000.

WKSU 89.7
Published 7 hours ago

South Range BOE approves SRO contract

CANFIELD – The South Range school board this week approved a cost increase in school resource officer services with Beaver Township police for the 2021-2022 school year.

The board approved an agreement with Beaver Township for a school resource officer for $45,425. The amount is an increase from $36,350 for the 2020-2021 school year.

School Superintendent Bethany Carlson said the increase is the first in three years.

In other business, the board agreed to continue drug testing of students in non-academic activities for the 2021-2022 school year. Boardmember Taylor Christian said he feels the testing is casting a wide net to catch as many students as possible and he does not believe the district should be doing it. He said there are resources available for parents to do it.

Also at the meeting, the board approved an amended food service agreement with the Nutrition Group that allows for a shared service agreement for the 2021-2022 school year in which a representative will be available three days a week; agreed to continue the before and after care program for the 2021-2022 school year; increased substitute pay rate to $90 per day for the 2021-2022 school year to stay competitive with surrounding districts, according to Carlson; and accepted donations of $105,837.78 for the 2020-2021 school year.

Under personnel, the board granted one-year limited teaching contracts to Amy Hollister and Lauren Pavlansky; approved Heidi Guilliams as a math tutor and

Sandy Toy as an elementary summer bridge teacher; hired Trista Houk, Krista Hosler, Marni Toot, Heidi Guilliams, Kim Vivacqua and Brooke Stewart for the elementary and middle school summer bridge/tutoring program.

The board also approved Denver Kittle as summer seasonal help; Colleen Marshal as an instructional aid for the 2021/2022 school year; and Meri Coler-transportation, Dee Brumbaugh-transportation, Carla Yankowski-transportation, Ken Alquist-transportation and Kylie Tullis-cleaner as seasonal transportational and custodial help.

Additionally the board accepted the retirement of Carol Dawson effective June 17. Dawson has worked as an intervention specialist at the elementary for over 14 years.

According to information provided by the board, Dawson started her career in the K-3 building in North Lima where she created her own specialized classroom for students with special needs. Over the years, she has worked with students with many diverse needs and she has always looked for creative ways to meet the needs of all of her students. Dawson has served on various committees and has always been willing to pick-up any duty that was necessary to help make the day run smoothly.

The board also accepted the resignation of Charn Creed, instructional aide, effective June 7. She has been an asset to the special needs population and staff and will be greatly missed, according to Carlson.

Also the board approved supplemental contracts for the 2021-2022 school year to Heather Livesay, middle school cheerleading; Jeff DiCesare for high school vocal; Jeffrey DeRose, varsity softball coach; Alexis Roach, junior varsity assistant softball coach; Paul Munson, assistant baseball coach; Terry Kenney, assistant varsity cross country coach; David Buzzacco and Tyler Bradley, co-middle school football coach; Alex Dickey, Chris Patrone and Zane Kreidler, middle school assistant football coach; Danielle Buzzacco, volunteer cross country coach; and Troy Scott, volunteer high school girls basketball coach.

The board scheduled a special meeting for year end appropriations at 7 a.m. June 30 in board offices.

The nest regular board meeting has been changed to 7 p.m. July 26 in the K-12 campus auditorium.

Salem News OH
Published 7 hours ago

Dr. David Haney Becomes 23rd President of Hiram College Featured

Thursday, 24 June 2021 09:02

Dr. David Haney Becomes 23rd President of Hiram College Featured
Written by Tony Mazur

For nearly a year, Dr. David Haney has been the interim president at Hiram College. Now, he can shed the interim label, as he officially becomes the 23rd president in the school’s history. Dr. Haney joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about what is on his plate in the near and distant future. Much of that distant future became the present in the last 15 months as many classes went online and students learned from home, and Dr. Haney touched on the pivoting schools such as Hiram had to make during the pandemic. He also talked about the general and overall challenges with higher education.

More in this category: « How Will Work From Home Trend Affect Akron City Finances & Downtown Development?

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WAKR 1590 (Akron)
Published 7 hours ago

Jay DeMarcus Of RASCAL FLATTS Talks Mentoring Musicians & RF

Jun 24, 2021

Jay DeMarcus is an American bassist, vocalist, pianist, record producer and songwriter. He is a member of the country group Rascal Flatts. Jay talked to Bill about MENTORING MUSICIANS PROGRAM & Rascal Flatts.

Red Street Records founder Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts has a mission of mentoring musicians to be light in an industry that can easily pull them down.

Jay was especially drawn to Cade Thompson whose latest song NEW NORMAL, dropping June 4, takes on the reality of rising gun violence youth are facing today in schools and public spaces. Cade shares his family's own terrifying experience and anthems a "new normal" of hope in the face of fear to change this devastating rise.

Hear “Cleveland’s Morning News with Wills and Snyder” weekdays 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. www.wtam.com/listen

WTAM 1100 (Cleveland)
Published 7 hours ago