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Shawnee Board of Education to hold special meeting

Shawnee schools Board of Education Special Meeting: 6 p.m., Shawnee Middle School Board Room, 3255 Zurmehly Road, Lima. Employment and personnel.

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — The Shawnee schools Board of Education will hold a special meeting to discuss employment and personnel issues at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, in the Shawnee Middle School Board Room, 3255 Zurmehly Road, Lima.…

Shawnee schools Board of Education Special Meeting: 6 p.m., Shawnee Middle School Board Room, 3255 Zurmehly Road, Lima. Employment and personnel.

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Lima News
Published 8 months ago

Housing advocate: Worker crunch due to a lot more than federal supplements

Federal unemployment supplements are not the sole reason Ohio employers are having a hard time finding workers, an Ohio housing advocate said Monday.

Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month announced that on June 26 he would end Ohio’s participation in a federal program that provided $300 a week in additional unemployment pay. The money was intended to help with pandemic-related job losses, and DeWine joined numerous other Republican governors in ending it.

“The federal assistance is in some cases certainly discouraging people from going back,” DeWine said at the time. But when asked if he had any data to support that assertion, he conceded that he didn’t.

Similarly, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, took to Twitter last week to claim that federal unemployment supplements were keeping people out of the workforce. But, as with DeWine, Portman had no answer when asked for data.

Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio, on Monday said several other factors appear to be at least as responsible for the seeming worker shortage.

“A lot of people don’t have childcare. Kids going back to school has been fairly uneven,” he said, referring to the mix of at-home and in-person instruction that has bedeviled many working parents. “Alternatives for child care have been in fairly short supply.”

Child care workers might illustrate some of the other factors that Faith believes are feeding the worker crunch.

Average pay is low — about $21,000 a year in Ohio, according to ZipRecruiter. Those who work with children are exposed to a host of diseases, including potentially lethal COVID, and they may have child care issues of their own.

So many of those workers might be reluctant to return to those jobs, making it harder for other parents to return to the workforce as well.

Instead of trying to drive people back to work by slashing their benefits, Faith said businesses should try to draw them back by paying better.

“It’s not like they need a jolt to go to work,” he said. “They need a living wage.”

That’s something great numbers of Ohioans were not receiving even before the pandemic. About 400,000 households were paying half or more of their monthly income in rent and about a quarter of all Ohioans were poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

So any government benefits for food, medicine and housing working people among that number receive are effectively supplements to employers who pay so scantily.

Faith said the pandemic prompted Congress to disburse unprecedented amounts to keep people housed and get places for the homeless. That’s important for a lot of reasons — including that housing insecurity can be a major barrier to finding and keeping a job.

Faith said the cash influx was so great that it strained the capacity of social service organizations, which have low-wage problems of their own, to effectively administer the funds. But, he said, he’s at least hearing anecdotes that the social investment is paying off.

“Some local agencies are reporting that there’s a decline in people seeking shelter,” Faith said. “Some say they haven’t seen it this low in 10 years.”

That may be showing up in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Earlier this month, it estimated that 465,000 Ohioans had little or no confidence they could pay the coming month’s rent. During a similar period a year ago that figure was 695,000, or nearly 50-percent higher.

Marty Schladen has been a reporter for decades, working in Indiana, Texas and other places before returning to his native Ohio to work at The Columbus Dispatch in 2017. He's won state and national journalism awards for investigations into utility regulation, public corruption, the environment, prescription drug spending and other matters.

Highland County Press
Published 8 months ago

Lady Pirates out-bomb Trojans: Defeat Tusky Valley in regional semis, face Ironton for chance at state


Defeat Tusky Valley in regional semis, face Ironton for chance at state

By Jacob Smith -

Wheelersburg freshman AndiJo Howard (32) smiles at the ball in her glove after recording a lineout catch from her pitcher’s position in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tusky Valley in a Division III regional semifinal.

Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Wheelersburg senior Rylie Hughes (15) had a two-run home run as part of her 2-of-3 performance at the plate in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tusky Valley in a Division III regional semifinal.

Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Wheelersburg sophomore Macee Eaton (23) hit two home runs and drove in six RBI in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tuscarawas Valley in a Division III regional semifinal.

Jacob Smith | Daily Times

CHILLICOTHE — Thursday’s contest between Wheelersburg and Tuscarawas Valley in a Division III regional semifinal was back and forth… until it wasn’t.

By scoring the game’s last eight runs and holding the Trojans scoreless from the fourth inning on, the Lady Pirates — the Southeast District’s No. 1-seed entering postseason play — moved one win away from a trip to the OHSAA Softball State Tournament.

Wheelersburg (25-1) had to wait an extra 24 hours to secure their 13-6 win over Tusky Valley and spot in Saturday’s regional final after the originally scheduled slate of games at Unioto High School were postponed from Wednesday due to rain.

You could say the wait was worth the trouble, whatever trouble it even caused.

Lady Pirates coach Teresa Ruby and her team held practice on Wednesday to further prepare for the regional semi, something that seemingly paid off as shown by their 7-run victory.

“We got word that it was raining here. When we got the call that it was rained out, we just went and practiced and got in a full practice,” Ruby said, of dealing with the postponement. “It worked out fine and stayed on our routine and on path.”

For the third time this season, Wheelersburg’s lineup produced five home runs — two each by sophomore Macee Eaton and freshman AndiJo Howard and one by senior Rylie Hughes.

This signature feat also occurred in a road trip to Oak Hill on April 26 and in a home win over Waverly on May 3 in the regular season.

Hughes’ 2-run homer sparked the home run fest, giving the Lady Pirates a 4-2 lead in the top of the second. Eaton then went deep for the second of two back-to-back shots in their three-run second.

Eaton had a game-best 6 RBI, driving in freshman Haley Myers for the game’s first run in the first and scoring later in the frame on a wild pitch to give ‘Burg a 2-0 lead early.

Ruby said afterwards that her team’s patience at the plate when their opponent’s pitching was giving them off-speed looks was greatly responsible for their success in totaling 11 hits — four by Eaton, three by Howard, two by Hughes, and one each by Myers and senior leadoff Boo Sturgill.

“We’ve seen the off-speed stuff, people try to keep us off balance and it’s something we prepare for. It’s nice to see where we have some better quality at bats where we’re not lunging,” Ruby said. “Recognizing pitches, waiting on them, and then driving it.”

Tusky Valley took their first lead of the game after a 4-run third inning that included the go-ahead two RBI single by Elly Rothenstein.

Instead of panicking, Wheelersburg kept up their pace at the plate by posting eight runs in the game’s final four innings.

A leadoff walk by Myers and single by Hughes proceeded Eaton’s second home run — a three-run shot that put the Lady Pirates back ahead 8-6.

Sydney Skiver drew one of her three walks in the fourth and scored on a Howard two-run homer that kept Wheelersburg in front 10-6 with no outs in the inning.

In their district final win over Union Local, Tusky Valley overcame a 7-run deficit by scoring the game’s last 10 runs for a 14-10 win and chance to face Wheelersburg.

That was something Ruby and her coaching staff were aware of entering Thursday’s game and was a point of emphasis in their preparation — not letting up despite the score until the final out was recorded.

Howard and the Lady Pirates’ defense held the Lady Trojans scoreless AND hitless in their final four half innings at the plate, ensuring that a possible comeback attempt would be for naught.

“We had seen them play a couple of times, knew they were going to put the ball in play and that we’d have to hit with them,” Ruby said. “Every inning we wanted to keep building because we knew they weren’t going to let up.”

Howard had a solo home run in the sixth — her second of two for the game and the Lady Pirates’ fifth as a team to put them in front 11-6.

In the seventh, ‘Burg added a run when Sturgill singled and scored on a passed ball. Myers then reached via E6 and was drove in as the final of Eaton’s 6RBI.

The Lady Pirates then held Tusky Valley to a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh for the third time in the game, punching their ticket to the “Elite 8” and regional final versus fellow Southern Ohio program Ironton.

The Lady Tigers were outright champions in the Ohio Valley Conference, defeating Westfall 2-0 in Thursday’s first game at Unioto with junior pitcher Keegan Moore striking out 18 Last Mustangs in the complete game semi win.

Ruby says that her team’s recipe for success in pursuit of the program’s first regional championship since 2017 will be much of the same things that have gotten them to this point — patience at the plate, solid defense, and their own ace delivering on the mound.

“Making sure we hit pitches in the zone and don’t chase — we’re going to have to recognize pitches again. It’s a quick transition and we’ve got one day to really work on it. We want to make her (Moore) work in the zone and give us pitches we have a chance to hit. We’re going to have to play solid defense and (Andi)Jo’s (Howard) gonna have to be on her game in the middle.”

First pitch between Wheelersburg and Ironton is set for 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 29 at Unioto High School.



Wheelersburg: 2 3 0 5 0 1 2 — 13 11 1

Tuscarawas Valley: 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 — 6 5 0

W: AndiJo Howard (W), L: Rohr (TV)

Wheelersburg hitting

Boo Sturgill 1-5

Haley Myers 1-3, 2BB, 2R

Rylie Hughes 2-3, HR, 2RBI, 2R, 2BB

Macee Eaton 4-5, 2HR, 2B, 6RBI, 3R

Sydney Skiver 0-1, 3BB, R

AndiJo Howard 3-3, 2HR, 3RBI

Kiera Kennard 0-3, BB

Tusky Valley hitting

K. Rohr 2-2, HR, 2R, RBI

K. Stutz 2-4, 2R, 3B

B. Albaugh 1-2, RBI, R, BB

K. Selinsky 0-3, R, BB

S. Thompson 0-3, RBI

E. Rothenstein 1-3, 2RBI

K. Russell 0-2, BB

Wheelersburg freshman AndiJo Howard (32) smiles at the ball in her glove after recording a lineout catch from her pitcher’s position in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tusky Valley in a Division III regional semifinal.… freshman AndiJo Howard (32) smiles at the ball in her glove after recording a lineout catch from her pitcher’s position in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tusky Valley in a Division III regional semifinal. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Wheelersburg senior Rylie Hughes (15) had a two-run home run as part of her 2-of-3 performance at the plate in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tusky Valley in a Division III regional semifinal.… senior Rylie Hughes (15) had a two-run home run as part of her 2-of-3 performance at the plate in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tusky Valley in a Division III regional semifinal. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Wheelersburg sophomore Macee Eaton (23) hit two home runs and drove in six RBI in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tuscarawas Valley in a Division III regional semifinal.… sophomore Macee Eaton (23) hit two home runs and drove in six RBI in the Lady Pirates’ 13-6 win over Tuscarawas Valley in a Division III regional semifinal. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Defeat Tusky Valley in regional semis, face Ironton for chance at state

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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Portsmouth Daily Times
Published 8 months ago

European regulators OK Pfizer vaccine for children 12-15

by FRANK JORDANS and MARIA CHENG | Associated Press
Friday, May 28th 2021

FILE - In this Friday, April 23, 2021 file photo, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, second left, speaks with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, center right, during an official visit to the Pfizer pharmaceutical company in Puurs, Belgium. The European Union cemented its support for Pfizer-BioNTech and its novel COVID-19 vaccine technology on Saturday, May 8, 2021 by agreeing to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023. The new contract, which has the backing of the EU member states, will entail not only the production of the vaccines, but also making sure that all the essential components should be sourced from the EU. (John Thys/Pool via AP, File)

BERLIN (AP) — The European Medicines Agency on Friday recommended that the use of the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech be expanded to children ages 12 to 15, a decision that offers younger and less at-risk populations across the continent access to a COVID-19 shot for the first time during the pandemic.

Marco Cavaleri, who heads the EMA body that reviewed the vaccine, said the European Union regulator had received the necessary data to authorize the vaccine for younger teens and found it to be highly effective against COVID-19.

The decision needs to be rubber-stamped by the European Commission and individual national regulators, he said.

The recommendation follows similar decisions by regulators in Canada and the United States last month, as rich countries slowly approach their vaccination targets for adults and look to immunize as many people as possible.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first one granted authorization across the 27-nation EU when it was licensed for use in anyone 16 and over in December.

The EMA's recommendation that the vaccine's authorization be expanded to children was based on a study in more than 2,000 adolescents in the U.S. that showed the vaccine was safe and effective. Researchers will continue to monitor the shot's long-term protection and safety in the children for another two years.

Most COVID-19 vaccines worldwide have been authorized for adults, who are at higher risk of severe disease and death from the coronavirus. But vaccinating children of all ages could be critical to stopping outbreaks, since some research has shown older children may play a role in spreading the virus even though they don't typically fall seriously ill.

In the U.S., children represent about 14% of the country's coronavirus cases and at least 316 have died, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Doctors have also identified a rare inflammatory syndrome in a very small proportion of children sickened by COVID-19.

Immunizing children against COVID-19 might also give authorities more confidence to reopen schools, as getting children to wear masks and social distance has been challenging at times.

But the World Health Organization has criticized rich countries for moving on to vaccinate their younger and less at-risk populations, saying that the extremely limited number of COVID-19 vaccines should instead be shared with poor countries so they too can protect their health workers and those most vulnerable.

"I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this month, referring to the U.N.-backed initiative to distribute vaccines fairly. Of the more than 1 billion COVID-19 shots administered globally, fewer than 2% have gone to poor countries.

Other vaccine makers also are studying whether their shots are safe and protective in children. Earlier this week, Moderna Inc. said its shot strongly protects children as young as 12; it said it would submit a request for emergency use authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next month. Another U.S. company, Novavax, has a COVID-19 vaccine in late-stage development and just began a study in 12- to 17-year-olds.

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been testing their vaccines in children from age 11 down to six months; they get a lower dose than what teens and adults receive. China's Sinovac has also submitted early data to the country's regulators, hoping to prove its vaccine is safe in children as young as 3.

WKRC-TV CBS 12 (Cincinnati)
Published 8 months ago

Fremont Area Women's Connection celebrating anniversary

May 28, 2021 11:51 AM

Fremont Area Women’s Connection, formerly known as Fremont Christian Women, will celebrate its 50th anniversary at its June 8 monthly luncheon at Anjulina’s Catering, 2270 W. Hayes Ave., Fremont. The lunch will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

All women are welcome to attend the celebration, especially those who have attended over the years as well as those who are new to the group, a release from the group states.

As one of about 600 groups across the United States, the local group is affiliated with Stonecroft Ministries, which was founded in 1938.

During the program, area representative Donna Thatcher will revisit memories of the past with a display of scrapbooks, photos and more and will introduce past chairwomen who are present. Donna Miller will sing a song she wrote and performed at the 40th anniversary, named "Thank You Neighbor." Guest speaker for the day is Janis Price, a former high school English teacher from Greencastle, Indiana who serves on the national Stonecroft board.

Cost of the luncheon is $14 and reservations are needed by June 3, by phone or text to Donna at (419) 680-2251 or by emailing Carrol at Any cancelation will need to be received in the same way.

Fostoria Review Times
Published 8 months ago

Social spending, business tax hike drive $6T Biden budget


Social spending, business tax hike drive $6T Biden budget

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden was proposing a $6 trillion budget for next year on Friday that fails to slow spiking government debt, instead seeking tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for ambitious infrastructure and safety-net programs.

Biden has already announced major plans on infrastructure and won a major victory on coronavirus relief earlier this year. But Friday’s rollout tallies up the cost and incorporates them into the government’s existing budget framework, including Social Security and Medicare. That provides a fuller view of the administration’s fiscal posture.

Democratic aides disclosed key elements of the Biden plan, speaking on condition of anonymity because the document is not yet public.

The whopping deficit projections reflect a government whose steadily accumulating debt has topped $28 trillion after well over $5 trillion in coronavirus relief, driving the government to borrow almost 50 cents of every dollar it spends. With the government’s structural deficit remaining unchecked, Biden would use proposed tax hikes on businesses and high-earning people to power huge new social programs like universal prekindergarten, large subsidies for child care and guaranteed paid leave.

The budget incorporates the administration’s eight-year, $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal and its $1.8 trillion American Families Plan and adds details on his $1.5 trillion request for annual operating expenditures for the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

Biden’s budget is sure to give Republicans fresh ammunition for their criticisms of the new Democratic administration as bent on a “tax and spend” agenda that would damage the economy and impose a crushing debt burden on younger Americans. Huge deficits have yet to drive up interest rates as many fiscal hawks have feared, however, and genuine anti-deficit sentiment is difficult to find in either political party.

“Now is the time to build (upon) the foundation that we’ve laid to make bold investments in our families and our communities and our nation,” Biden said Thursday in an appearance in Cleveland to tout his economic plans. “We know from history that these kinds of investments raise both the floor and the ceiling over the economy for everybody.”

The unusual timing of the budget rollout — the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend — indicates that the White House isn’t eager to trumpet the bad deficit news. Typically, lawmakers host an immediate round of hearings on the budget, but those will have to wait until Congress returns from a weeklong recess.

Under Biden’s plan, the debt held by the public would exceed the size of the economy and soon eclipse record levels of debt relative to gross domestic product that have stood since World War II. That’s despite more than $3 trillion in proposed tax increases over the decade, including an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, increased capital gains rates on top earners and returning the top personal income tax bracket to 39.6 percent.

Like all presidential budgets, Biden’s plan is simply a proposal. It’s up to Congress to implement it through tax and spending legislation and annual agency budget bills. With Democrats in control of Capitol Hill, albeit barely, the president has the ability to implement many of his tax and spending plans, though his hopes for awarding greater increases to domestic agencies than to the Pentagon are sure to hit a roadblock with Republicans.

Some Democrats are already balking at Biden’s full menu of tax increases, imperiling his ability to pay for his ambitious social spending. And his plans to increase spending on domestic Cabinet agencies by 16 percent while limiting defense to a 1.7 percent increase is politically impossible in the 50-50 Senate.

On Thursday, a top Senate ally, Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt), called for bipartisan talks to start the annual appropriations bills. There’s incentive for both GOP defense hawks and liberal Democrats like Leahy to bargain since the alternative is a long-term freeze at current spending levels.

The Biden plan comes as the White House is seeking an agreement with Senate Republicans over infrastructure spending. There are growing expectations that he may have to go it alone and pass his plans by relying on support from his narrow Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate.

The flood of Biden’s spending proposals includes $200 billion over 10 years to provide free preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds and $109 billion to offer two years of free community college to all Americans. Also, $225 billion would subsidize child care to allow many to pay a maximum of 7 percent of their income for all children under age 5.

Another $225 billion over the next decade would create a national family and medical leave program, while $200 billion would make recently enacted subsidy increases under the Obama health care law permanent.

It also calls for $36.5 billion for schools with large concentrations of low-income students, a huge $20 billion increase over current levels. The new funding would be used to increase teacher pay, expand access to preschool and increase access to rigorous coursework, according to a congressional aide briefed on the budget who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official release.

The increases would drive federal spending to about 25 percent of the entire economy, while the tax boosts would mean revenues approaching 20 percent of the size of the economy once implemented.

Last year’s $3.1 trillion budget deficit under President Donald Trump was more than double the previous record, as the coronavirus pandemic shrank revenues and sent spending soaring.

Republicans concerns about the deficit are voiced chiefly when Democrats are in power, and the Biden budget gives them ammunition to attack.

“So far this administration has recommended we spend 7 trillion additional dollars this year. That would be more than we spent in adjusted inflation dollars to win World War II,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday on CNBC. “So they have huge spending desire” and “a great desire to add in $3.6 trillion in additional taxes on top of it.”

Biden’s budget assumes the economy will grow by 5.2 percent this year and 4.3 percent next year before settling to about 2 percent growth thereafter.

Toledo Blade
Published 8 months ago

Diocese of Toledo introduces, raises funds for initiative to bring Students for Life to local schools


Diocese of Toledo introduces, raises funds for initiative to bring Students for Life to local schools

The Diocese of Toledo is bringing the anti-abortion movement to its students.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo's Office for Life and Justice hosted a first-time fund-raiser, Friends of Life, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg on Thursday. Friends of Life both introduced an initiative to bring a student-focused anti-abortion nonprofit into diocesan elementary and secondary schools, as well as raised funds to back the effort.

“We fundamentally believe that the right to life is a first and foremost right that we need to be fighting for, and we recognize that we want to reach our youth with that message today,” Peter Range, director of the Office for Life and Justice, said on Thursday. “Students for Life, an organization that has placed chapters in all 50 states, is the perfect fit for us to work with to accomplish that mission.”

Mr. Range introduced the initiative as emcee of the fund-raising dinner, which brought in nearly $100,000. In his ask to the crowd of approximately 260 supporters on Thursday, Mr. Range asked donors for their generosity to bring on a local coordinator through Students for Life, who would be “specifically and solely dedicated to the mission of recruiting, training and mobilizing” groups in local schools.

He clarified to a reporter that this will initially be a diocese-run schools, with hopes to be active by this fall. But they would be open to working with others that are interested in working with Students for Life.

“We would absolutely love if there are any other schools that are interested in having Students for Life groups there,” Mr. Range said. “We will most certainly work with them to make that a reality.”

Students for Life of America's President Kristan Hawkins elaborated on the mission of the nonprofit as the evening's keynote speaker. An author, speaker and anti-abortion activist, Ms. Hawkins was recruited to launch the nonprofit's full-time operation in 2006. Under her leadership, Students for Life has expanded into a national team serving more than 1,200 chapters across all 50 states, according to its website.

That includes an already-active chapter at the University of Toledo.

Ms. Hawkins took her time at the microphone in part to emphasize the importance of youth to an anti-abortion movement that's in what she characterized as a critical moment. She noted that the U.S. Supreme Court is perceived to be friendly to her movement's objectives, and just recently agreed to hear a case challenging abortion rights.

“We can pass all the laws we want,” she said in her remarks. “But one election, a couple of years, maybe a decade — everything that we might fight for politically can be erased. It can be gone. We know the only way we're actually going to see true victory in this movement is to change our culture.

“And that's why we have to go to campuses,” she continued. “Because like it or not, this is where culture is formed. It's where it's shaped. So we have to go on the offensive.”

Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas echoed her points on the importance of energizing the current student generation in his remarks both to a reporter and to a crowd, drawing on church teachings to identify abortion as a pre-eminent social justice — and pro-life — issue for Catholics.

“As the bishops of the United States have said, that's really the foundation of the house upon which all other pro-life efforts are built,” he told a reporter. “For us, the protection of young babies in the womb is the singular most important justice issue today.”

In his public remarks he also hinted at his take on a controversial question currently being debated among U.S. bishops, and which is expected to be discussed at their meeting in June: Should pro-abortion rights politicians, most prominently the Catholic President Joe Biden, receive Communion?

Bishop Thomas characterized the controversy in terms of “the bishops who don't want us to speak about the coherence of the Eucharist, regarding whether or not politicians who are Catholics who are pro-abortion should receive, and the bishops — imagine where your bishop stands — who say we should go forward with a document on coherence of the Eucharist, so that we might better be able to form consciences, speak the truth and help people to understand what Catholic is.”

He paused for an enthusiastic applause.

Toledo Blade
Published 8 months ago

European regulators OK Pfizer vaccine for children 12-15

May 28, 2021 5:41 AM

BERLIN — The European Medicines Agency on Friday recommended that the use of the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech be expanded to children ages 12 to 15, a decision that offers younger and less at-risk populations across the continent access to a COVID-19 shot for the first time.

The vaccine was the first one granted authorization across the European Union when it was licensed for use in anyone 16 and over in December. So far, about 173 million doses of the shot have been administered in the 27-nation bloc, about three quarters of the total given.

“Extending the protection of a safe and effective vaccine in this younger population is an important step forward in the fight against this pandemic," said Marco Cavaleri, who heads the EMA body that reviewed the vaccine.

The EU regulator had received the necessary data to authorize the vaccine for younger teens and found it to be highly effective against infection, he said.

In a study involving 2,000 adolescents in the United States, none of those who received the vaccine got COVID-19, compared with 16 in a control group who received a placebo, said Cavaleri.

“The vaccine was well tolerated and the side effect in this age group were very much similar (to) what we’ve seen in young adults and not raising major concern at this point in time,” he added.

The EMA decision needs to be rubber-stamped by the European Commission, and individual national regulators must decide whether the vaccine will be administered to children under 16.

The recommendation follows similar decisions by regulators in Canada and the U.S. last month, as rich countries slowly approach their vaccination targets for adults and look to immunize as many people as possible.

Researchers will continue to monitor the shot’s long-term protection and safety in the children for another two years.

Most COVID-19 vaccines worldwide have been authorized for adults, who are at higher risk of severe disease and death from the coronavirus. But vaccinating children of all ages could be critical to stopping outbreaks, since some research has shown older children may play a role in spreading the virus even though they don’t typically fall seriously ill.

In the U.S., children represent about 14% of the country’s coronavirus cases and at least 316 have died, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Doctors have also identified a rare inflammatory syndrome in a very small proportion of children sickened by COVID-19.

Immunizing children against COVID-19 might also give authorities more confidence to reopen schools, as getting children to wear masks and engage in social distancing has been challenging at times.

But the World Health Organization has criticized rich countries for moving on to vaccinate their younger and less at-risk populations, saying that the extremely limited number of COVID-19 vaccines should instead be shared with poor countries so they too can protect their health workers and those most vulnerable.

“I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this month, referring to the U.N.-backed initiative to distribute vaccines fairly. Of the more than 1 billion COVID-19 shots administered globally, fewer than 2% have gone to poor countries.

Other vaccine makers also are studying whether their shots are safe and effective in children. Earlier this week, Moderna Inc. said its shot strongly protects children as young as 12; it said it would submit a request for emergency use authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next month. Another U.S. company, Novavax, has a COVID-19 vaccine in late-stage development and just began a study in 12- to 17-year-olds.

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been testing their vaccines in children from age 11 down to six months; they get a lower dose than what teens and adults receive. China’s Sinovac has also submitted early data to the country’s regulators, hoping to prove its vaccine is safe in children as young as 3.

Cheng reported from London. Lauran Neergaard in Washington contributed to this report.

Elyria Chronicle Telegram
Published 8 months ago

Toledo's increased streets budget not enough to fix every rough patch this year

Nora Rickey counts the patched potholes when she rides her bike up and down her West Toledo street.

On a recent drizzly Wednesday morning, she tallied 50. And while the bumps and dips can be fun for a 4.5-year-old on a bicycle, she said she’d prefer a smooth ride.

Her grandmother, Deb O’Connell, and her neighbors would, too. And they’ve been calling the city to complain about the deteriorating condition of the 4500 block of Penridge for years.

City residents approved a four-year, quarter-percent income tax last year that will generate about $19 million annually dedicated to a residential streets improvement fund. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz called the temporary tax a “game-changer,” and promised to use the money to repair more than 40 miles of residential streets each year.

“Where is it?” Ms. O’Connell said, gesturing at the uneven pavement in her neighborhood. “Stop talking and start putting it into action.”

Doug Stephens, the city’s deputy director of public utilities, said officials want to spend half the money on road resurfacing, which costs about $275,000 per lane mile, and half on total reconstruction work, which costs about $1.2 million per lane mile. Engineers look at the pavement condition of each street to determine if they can replace the top three inches and do spot patching — a resurfacing — or if the street needs to be completely replaced.

Of the city’s nearly 1,300 miles of residential streets, 47 percent need total replacement, Mr. Stephens said. That includes the 4500 block of Penridge. Mr. Stephens said in order to prevent that percentage from growing, crews are working to resurface areas that would fall into the more expensive reconstruction status if left unattended for much longer.

Most of Penridge Road is in Lucas County, which redid its portion a handful of years ago, Mr. Stephens said. The city’s portion isn’t quite a full block, but “it’s in bad shape.” He said city engineers are evaluating it and figuring out how to work it into the city’s four-year residential streets improvement plan.

“The reason why we’re not there is because we’re getting around to the roads that we can and seeing what fits in the program for that year,” Mr. Stephens said. “We cannot do the worst first, or we won’t save the roads that can be saved from falling into reconstruction status.”

Ms. O’Connell said she understands her granddaughter’s street likely isn’t the only one in the city that needs work. That doesn’t change the fact that she, and several neighbors, believe it’s a safety hazard. Penridge doesn’t have any sidewalks, so residents walk, jog, ride their bikes, and push strollers and wheelchairs all in the street.

She grew more frustrated after watching neighboring Torquay Avenue, Shakespeare Lane, Streatham Court, and Cedarbrook Court all get new, smooth pavement.

“We have a lot of elderly people who walk this neighborhood, and you have to walk in the street because there are no sidewalks,” she said. “We’re not even asking for sidewalks. Just fix what should be fixed.”

Beyond the safety concerns, the street’s uneven condition also damages vehicles, and residents worry it brings the neighborhood’s property values down.

Mr. Stephens said crews take a look at the pavement conditions when prioritizing which streets to fix, and they also consider other factors such as if the street is on a school route, tied to a water line replacement or other utility project, or could be paired with sidewalk work. City officials also are trying to split the work fairly between Toledo’s six districts.

He added that Penridge needs to be reconstructed, and the crews working the Corey Woods neighborhood this year are doing resurfacing jobs.

Mr. Stephens said the 2021 projects all are on schedule, with a citywide completion date of mid-October.

Residents can go to to see if their street is scheduled for repairs this year.

Toledo Blade
Published 8 months ago

Dr. Hugh Sherman, former College of Business dean, appointed 22nd Ohio University president

Dr. Hugh Sherman. Photo courtesy Ohio University.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees unanimously hired Hugh Sherman, the former dean of the College of Business, to a two-year term as president, making him the 22nd president at the institution.

Starting June 14, Sherman will assume his new role, taking over for outgoing Ohio University President Duane Nellis. Nellis announced his resignation earlier this month, and will transition to a faculty role in the College of Arts and sciences.

Despite previous announcements stating Ohio University would appoint an interim president, the Board made the surprise move appointing a full president.

“It is a great honor to serve a university and a region that I love and that I have called home for more than 20 years,” Sherman said in a statement. “I take this charge very seriously, and I am fully committed to partnering with students, faculty, staff and community members to move Ohio University forward in a way that honors our 217-year history but also positions us for future success.”

Board of Trustees Chair Cary Cooper said Sherman is an accomplished leader.

"Hugh Sherman is a respected leader who accomplished a great deal during his time as dean of the College of Business and will make an excellent President during this time of transition,” Cooper said. “This two-year appointment was implemented to effectively position Dr. Sherman and the University for success as he steps into this critical role. My fellow Trustees and I have every confidence that Dr. Sherman will not only provide continuity but also be an inspiring and strategic leader for the institution for the next two years. We are thankful for his continued commitment to Ohio University.”

Before stepping down in January 2021 with plans to return to faculty, Sherman served as the dean of the College of Business, the university stated in a press release.

From 2007-2021, Dr. Sherman served as dean of Ohio University’s College of Business and as the Corlett Chair of Strategy and Senior Economic Policy Fellow in the Voinovich School for Leadership & Public Affairs, a release said.

The Board intends to launch a search for the University’s 23rd President in early fall of 2022 with plans for an appointment to begin no later than July 1, 2023, according to a release.

Sherman launched his professional career with Swatch Watch (formerly SMH Corporation), a large Swiss watch and electronics manufacturer in 1974, a release said.

He served as vice president of marketing until 1986 and during that time, was responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for a $50 million division as well as assisting the North American group president in developing strategic marketing and operational plans in the United States.

After a 22-year career in business, Sherman entered academia. He subsequently rose into a number of critical leadership positions, including Chair of the Department of Management Systems, Associate Dean of Operations and Strategy, Associate Director of the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs, and Assistant to the University Provost for Strategic Planning.

He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Voinovich School, providing strategic oversight of economic development and leadership programs.

Sherman holds a B.A. in economics and finance from Guelph University (Canada), an MBA from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in strategic management and international business from Temple University. His research interests include corporate governance, international business, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Athens Messenger
Published 8 months ago

Shining Star CLE underway

May 28, 2021

Posted 1 hr ago at 11: 00 AM


The Shining Star CLE virtual kickoff was held at 7 p.m. May 20 via Zoom. The

co-chairs spoke in regard to the various elements of last year’s virtual benefit concert. They were particularly speaking to the people who have not seen high school’s Shining Star CLE in the past, or did not see last year’s first virtual benefit.

Shining Star CLE is a benefit for memory care services and programs on Menorah Park’s two campuses and in homes throughout the community. Sponsorship, ad donation and patron opportunities are available to help reach our fundraising goal and help improve the lives of our memory care residents and clients.

This unique solo singing competition is for Northeast Ohio high school students, giving them the opportunity to vie for college scholarships totaling $18,500.

Artistic director Connor O’Brien, a talented singer and coach, is working and auditioning with students in his second season. 2020 was the best year for Shining Star CLE, but with his exceptional work and talent, O’Brien will certainly make 2021 the best competition ever.

The virtual finals production and competition will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 29. Stay tuned for more information in the near future.

Kenny Koblitz, Co-chair

Shining Star CLE

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Cleveland Jewish News
Published 8 months ago

Mental health problems have surged during COVID, especially among children, prompting new action by Jewish agencies

When New York was caught in the midst of a brutal wave of COVID-19 last spring, the daily death toll reaching as high as 800, the stress for many Orthodox Jewish schoolchildren was overwhelming.

They were catching the coronavirus in high numbers. And their parents or grandparents were frequently falling ill — many subsequently died or developed long-haul symptoms.

Now, a year on, that trauma hasn’t subsided.

“That was very hard for children to live with,” said psychologist Norman Blumenthal, director of the trauma, bereavement and crisis response team at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services.

“We told them we understand how they feel. Sometimes, if they are really beset by guilt, we try to give them something to do to honor their parent or grandparent. We might also have them undertake a religious practice to honor” the deceased.

Ohel, a nonprofit partner of UJA-Federation of New York, is one of four Jewish organizations participating in a program called Partners in Caring that brings mental health services to students and their families in Jewish day schools and yeshivas in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island.

Those services had been in place before COVID-19 struck — UJA-Federation had created Partners in Caring in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to support unmet mental health needs — making it easier to respond quickly when the pandemic arrived.

In March 2020, when schools in New York state suspended in-person instruction in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, UJA-Federation began meeting weekly with the mental health professionals in schools to understand what was happening in the community, what the needs were and how to address them.

“We were hearing about grief and loss,” said Meredith Zylberberg, who oversees UJA’s mental health portfolio. “From March through June [2020] those agencies told us how overwhelming it was having to shift to virtual learning at their current level of funding. That was a determining factor in our decision to add more funding to those agencies.”

In total, UJA-Federation sent an extra $750,000 to four agencies dealing with child mental health: Ohel, the Jewish Board, Westchester Jewish Community Services and the Jewish Childcare Association.

Mental health problems have soared during the pandemic, especially among the young.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in suicide among children and adolescents,” Blumenthal said. “Suicide is the third most common death for teenagers following accidents and cancer.”

The director of Ohel’s children’s services, Tzivia Reiter, helped create a COVID Resilience Workbook to help teachers understand children’s concerns, express those feelings through art or writing, and develop coping skills.

“Through the various activity pages, the children develop self-regulation skills, a critical tool to help them cope with adversity,” Reiter said.

One of the most common mental health challenges has been children dealing with the death of a parent or grandparent from COVID. Anna Kalinkina, a social worker and program coordinator for Partners in Caring at the Jewish Child Care Association, said she worked with a high school student whose parents were both on ventilators with the virus.

“I Zoomed with the boy and I spoke with him on the phone to provide emotional support,” she said.

The mother recovered but his father died. The association has provided the family with financial support.

Virtual schooling posed its own challenges for families, including heightened sibling rivalries, family tension and stress from parents losing their jobs. Many families struggled with financial problems, insufficient food and too few computers in the family.

“The pandemic caused alarming rises in the rates of depression, grief and suicidal ideation in youth and adults,” said Brenda Haas, a social worker with Westchester Jewish Community Services.

One silver lining of the pandemic, Haas said, is there appears to be less stigma now about seeking help for mental health.

“People are noticing and sharing more about their mental health challenges,” she said, noting May is Mental Health Awareness Month, “and it has never been as significant.”

Students are not the only ones in need of mental health. Educators and administrators also are asking for assistance, said Rivka Nissel, team director at the Jewish Board’s Seymour Askin Counseling Center in Brooklyn.

“Working with adults in the schools has become more necessary due to COVID,” Nissel said. “If the teaching staff is stressed, overwhelmed or experiencing trauma, it is difficult for them to contain it and model emotional wellness to their students. The adults in the system have asked for more support in the past year than they did two years ago.”

The Jewish Board has 15 mental health therapists providing more than 200 hours of service to about 2,000 students aged 5-18 in 13 Brooklyn yeshivas. Another 175 students receive ongoing psychotherapy in the board’s four satellite clinics.

Because nine of the 13 ultra-Orthodox yeshivas in the Jewish Board’s network did not use Zoom for remote learning, classes were held by telephone, and mental health professionals “had to be flexible and creative” in offering counseling by phone, Nissel said.

Now, as adults and teenagers are vaccinated, mental health professionals will continue to be on the case, helping people transition to the new normal.

“We will go through a healing process as we come out of hibernation,” Haas said.

Cleveland Jewish News
Published 8 months ago

To confront anti-Semitism, advocates say it is time for Jews to unite and mobilize

Tens of thousands of people logged onto their computers at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday to make clear that they will no longer stand by as Jews are assaulted, harassed, threatened, spit on and cursed at in public, while at the same time synagogues, Jewish shops and cemeteries are vandalized and desecrated.

“We have threats coming from every direction and taking many forms,” but what unites them is that fact that the Jewish people, whether individually or collectively or the Jewish state, are being targeted, said David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, during the online rally.

Mark Wilf, chair of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, said “anti-Semitism is not a historical artifact, it is happening around us all day. [It] echoes the experience of my parents and grandparents during the Holocaust, and must be confronted head on. … The Jewish community in United States, Israel and around the world are making a statement today that we will not be intimidated, and we will rise to build a better world together.”

The virtual gathering was part of a larger “Day of Action Against Anti-Semitism,” where people were urged to share images on social media decrying anti-Semitism and to contact their elected officials—from their local mayor to their senator—and ask them to take a stand on the wave of Jew-hatred that has swept America and the world. The event was sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, Hadassah, Jewish Federations of North America, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and numerous other groups.

An example of anti-Semitism in real-time was in play last weekend as Rabbi Chaim Neiditch was walking home from synagogue with his four young children when a man drove by and yelled “Free Palestine.”

Rabbi Chaim Neiditch

It was during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and Neiditch, who has lived in Atlanta for 17 years and works with Jewish youth as the regional director of the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), thought “it was one crazy person.”

Then he started hearing from other people who had experienced the same thing, but the descriptions of the cars were different. “That made me think this isn’t an isolated case, and that it’s becoming something more,” he said.

He’s not wrong.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, since Hamas launched the first of 4,000 rockets at Israel on May 10, anti-Semitic attacks worldwide have been on the rise. During the week starting April 26, the ADL recorded 59 incidents of anti-Semitism across the United States; that number jumped to 113 for the week of May 17-23.

The hate isn’t limited geographically as Jews in large cities and smaller communities have reported recent incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault. Among the incidents:

A Jewish man was assaulted in Midtown Manhattan by a gang of Palestinian supporters. Two Israelis in their 20s wound up fending off a group of pro-Palestinian attackers.

Patrons at a restaurant in Los Angeles and others at a kosher restaurant in New York were harassed and then attacked by Palestinian supporters.

Synagogues in Florida, Illinois, New York, Arizona, Utah and elsewhere were vandalized.

Jewish day schools and preschools have received threatening phone calls.

In Europe, the numbers are even worse. Great Britain, for instance, reported a 500 percent increase in incidents between May 8 and May 18, when the worst of the fighting in the Middle East was taking place.

Rock damage to the front glass door at Congregation Chaverim in Tucson, Ariz., May 18, 2021. Source: Screenshot.

And in Canada, B’nai Brith reported that its anti-hate hotline recorded more anti-Semitic incidents in May 20201 than in all of 2020 combined.

On Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden took to Twitter to address the rising anti-Semitism situation tweeting, “The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad—it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.”

‘There is a moment when you cross that line’

Much of what has been seen as fueling the uptick in anti-Jewish hatred globally was the Israel-Gaza conflict. It was met with pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies that often devolved into intimidation and threats aimed at local Jews—threats amplified online via social media, two-minute news soundbites and by celebrities and pop-culture icons who had little to no knowledge of the facts on the ground.

“Under the guise of social justice and the Palestinian movement, people around the world have confirmed what we’ve been documenting for years—hatred against the Jewish people is spreading like fire and now deemed acceptable in many circles, including the radical wing of the Democratic Party,” said Liora Rez, executive director of the “Unless those spewing anti-Semitism are dealt with on the same horizontal hierarchy as hatred towards blacks, Asians and other minorities, this will only get worse for Jews.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters face off with police in a violent clash in Times Square during a pro-Israeli rally resulting in dozens of arrests. Credit: Ron Adar/Shutterstock.

Since the start of the Gaza conflict, a groundswell of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rhetoric has come from the far-left.

“The recent conflict in the Middle East has been used to justify violence against Jews and served as a shield for those spewing anti-Semitic rhetoric online and in the media. But the Jewish community and its supporters are saying ‘enough.’ End JewHatred has helped bring thousands of Jews together to protest on the streets and engage in direct actions to ensure consequences for Jew-hatred,” Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, told JNS.

Goldstein said that “the left contributed to this hatred by using a conflict in the Middle East to justify discrimination against Jews based on their ethnic, cultural or religious identity, which includes identifying as Zionist. The Jewish community must unite, shed its divisions over partisan politics and reject the appropriation of our identity for political gain. We must organize from the bottom up, train and mobilize for grassroots actions like other minority groups have.”

Much of it is tied to the idea of critical race theory and intersectionality being applied to Israel, labeling it as the “aggressor” and “oppressor,” and the Palestinians as the “bereaved” and “oppressed.”

For instance, in a statement of solidarity with the Palestinians issued by the Black Lives Matter movement, which has had its own ties to anti-Semitic rhetoric, it noted that “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation (always have. And always will be).”

Much of this language was amplified by anti-Israel critics in Congress during the conflict—namely, by progressives such Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), in addition to longtime Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)., who accused Israel of apartheid and human-rights violations.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, May 13, 2021. Source: Screenshot/C-SPAN.

Rallies across the United States organized by pro-Palestinian groups, such as Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and Samidoun—groups tied to the anti-Israel BDS movement—similarly accused Israel of carrying out genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes against the Palestinians.

Said the ADL’s Rosemberg, “If you think that you are advocating for the rights of the Palestinian people, but your way of manifesting that is to target a Jew or Jewish institution with an attack or harassment, you stop being an advocate and start being an anti-Semite.”

“It is fair game to criticize the State of Israel [and its governmental policies], but there is a moment when you cross that line,” he continued. “Meaning, the moment you start denying the Jewish people the right to a homeland, there are lines being crossed, and when you see folks confusing ‘Jew’ with ‘Israel.’ ”

While the numbers on anti-Semitic incidents rose drastically in the last two weeks or so, the fact is that anti-Semitism was already trending upward, according to Rosemberg, who said, “We were seeing a marked increase at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 in New York specifically and in other places, and that upward curve continued into 2021.”

Perhaps nowhere has the anti-Jewish tone been more frightening or vicious than on social media where, most recently, the hashtag or phrase “#Hitler was right” resulted in some 17,000 tweets.

“The anti-Semitic intimidation and harassment we have all witnessed come across our social media feeds is quite concerning,” said Evan Bernstein, executive director of CSS, Community Security Service, a volunteer network of Jewish community members providing security to Jewish institutions including synagogues. “… these incidents across the country and across the globe very much warrant a worldview shift on Jewish communal security. The data from ADL, the FBI, etc., has been telling us that security must be prioritized at the highest levels of Jewish communal leadership.”

Noting that Jews need to step up and help safeguard their institutions in part because they know their communities best, he added, “We need more eyes and ears on the ground.”

Cleveland Jewish News
Published 8 months ago

Defiance boy draped in pride flag at school shown assaulted on video

A video posted to social media Thursday showing Tristen Torrez of Defiance, being attacked by a schoolmate for draping a pride flag around his neck, has gone viral (watch the video at

According to Torrez (14), an eighth-grader at Defiance Middle School, he took the flag to school as a way to let his peers know that he identifies as gay, and that it was his way of coming out. In addition to having the flag outside during school, he had it with him during his lunch period.

Torrez shared he expected to hear both negative and positive comments, but he didn't think he would be attacked.

"We had gone outside to the stadium around 11:45 or so yesterday morning, and some friends and I were just sitting in the bleachers for a while (with the flag), when I started hearing that someone might come up to me and dump some water on me or push me," said Tristen. "After I heard that, a few minutes passed by, before the incident (which occurred late in the school day).

"He came up behind me, dumped water on me, pulled me down the bleachers, grabbed the flag off my neck, beat me with it and choked and hit me a few times. He also used a slur once or twice," added Torrez. "When I went to school with the flag, I thought I might hear a slur or two, but I didn't think I would get beat up for bringing as something as innocent as a flag to school."

Torrez suffered a bruised collarbone and scraped ankle, and had a headache as well following the incident.

Brianne Torrez, Tristen's mother, explained she didn't learn about the incident until Tristen came home and told her he was "roughened up at school."

"When Tristen came home from school, he told me he had been 'roughened up at school,' those were his words, and I asked him, 'What?' said Brianne. "That's when he proceeded to tell me he was pulled down the bleachers, had water thrown on him, was choked, and at that time, he didn't tell me about the pride flag. I immediately called his school to find out why I hadn't been contacted about it.

"When I talked to the people at the school, they said the police were involved, I was told there was a video, and then I saw exactly what happened," added Brianne. "I was pretty upset that not only wasn't I contacted, but that he had to ride the bus home from school. What if something else had happened on the bus? It's definitely a very unfortunate situation."

As of Friday morning, Brianne shared she has yet to speak with a police officer about the incident, but she was told someone from the department would speak with her today (Friday).

When contacted, Defiance Police Chief, Todd Shafer, explained inquiries about the incident were to go through the office of Defiance County Prosecuting Attorney, Morris Murray.

A message left with Murray was not returned.

Bob Morton, Defiance City Schools superintendent, released a statement to parents, guardians, students and the community on social media about the incident which read:

"Some of you are aware of an incident that took place at a middle school event yesterday. This incident has received social media attention. We wish to let everyone know this incident was dealt with swiftly by the middle school administration and local law enforcement. Due to student privacy laws, we are unable to share any other information. Please know, this type of behavior is not and will not be tolerated at Defiance City Schools."

Tristen admitted he was scared someone else might do something to him following the incident, however, he's happy he brought the flag to school.

"I was concerned that someone might try to do something or finish up, so I ran off with some friends and went into the girls bathroom," said Tristen. "(The reason I brought the flag), I was hoping to make it more official, I was out to a bunch of people, but I wanted to make it official and let everyone know I'm gay. I thought if I could do it, other people might have the confidence to do it, too.

"During the day, I heard some people say some slurs to me, but a lot of people told me I was brave and they were proud of me, and some people gave me hugs," continued Tristen. "For the most part I felt very supported, and I'm glad I did it."

Both Tristen and Brianne hope that justice will be served for those who had any part in what happened Thursday afternoon.

"I'm hoping something gets done in a proper way, and I just wish that instead of getting beat up, they would have just talked to me about it," said Tristen. "I'm hoping some form of action gets taken, so that other people can feel comfortable about who they are and not get beat up because of it."

Said Brianne: "I guess the police are working to figure out who was all involved, and I think everyone behind the cameras needs to be held accountable, too. We've known for a few years that Tristen is gay, and we know how hard it was for him to come out, and this is what we've been scared would happen. I hope that it doesn't get worse, I hope this will get better.

"So many people from the community, and even local businesses, have reached out to us in support ... it's been overwhelming," added Brianne. "One business has discussed having a pride parade next month, and has asked Tristen to be on a committee to plan it. It's sad that something like this has to happen, but we are so appreciative of all the support Tristen has received since it happened."

Defiance Crescent News
Published 8 months ago

Frenchman killed after stabbing, shooting 3 police officers


France Police Attacked French gendarmes and firemen stand near helicopters in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, France, Friday, May 28, 2021. An unidentified assailant stabbed a police officer at her station Friday in western France then shot two other officers before being killed in a shootout with police, authorities said. (AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni) (Laetitia Notarianni)

May 28, 2021 at 12:14 pm EDT

PARIS — (AP) — A man with severe schizophrenia who had been on a watch list for Islamic radicalism stabbed a police officer at her station Friday in western France and shot two other officers before police killed him, authorities said.

The slain suspect was a Frenchman in his 40s who had been on a watch list for Islamic radicalism because of his “rigorous” religious practices, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said. The assailant had recently been released from prison and was under monitoring by psychiatric services, he said.

The three officers were wounded but none is in life-threatening condition, the minister said.

The motive for the violence in the Nantes suburb of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre was unclear, but Darmanin told reporters at the scene that the man “clearly wanted to attack police.”

The attacker was born in France and did not have any past convictions for terrorism-related crimes, Darmanin said.

The assailant, who lived in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, entered the police station Friday morning saying he had a car problem, Mayor Fabrice Roussel said.

He then stabbed the first police officer inside the station, apparently took her gun and fled, Darmanin said. The officer was wounded in the leg and hand.

French police deployed helicopters, search dogs and more than 200 officers to find the suspect, and closed nearby schools and stores. When he was located, he fired on officers trying to arrest him, Darmanin said.

The suspect was gravely wounded in an ensuing shootout, and died Friday afternoon of his injuries, according to a police official. The official, who was not authorized to be publicly named, said authorities are not searching for any accomplices.

French President Emmanuel Macron, on a visit to South Africa, called for “all efforts to clarify the circumstances” of the attack and to better protect France.

Police and ambulances blocked roads in the normally quiet, residential area after the stabbing.

Domestic security and attacks on police are a big political issue ahead of regional elections next month and France's presidential election next year.

Two police employees have been killed in France in recent weeks. One was an administrative official stabbed to death inside her police station near Paris in what authorities are investigating as an Islamic extremist attack. The other was a drug squad officer shot to death in the southern city of Avignon.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

WHIO 1290 AM/95.7 FM
Published 8 months ago

Why Ohio State football’s Mark Pantoni thinks June will be ‘by far’ the roughest recruiting month of his career

Ohio State's Mark Pantoni, director of recruiting, walks the sidelines with his children, Hayden and Madison, during the Spring Game, April13, 2019, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

By Stephen Means,

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State football program is about to embark on the craziest 30-day stretch it’s ever seen during a recruiting period.

On Tuesday, the recruiting dead period will end. Players will once again visit campus and be evaluated by college coaches as schools continue building their 2022 classes while getting things started in 2023 and 2024. Director of player personnel Mark Pantoni isn’t expected to get much sleep this month, and neither is is Director of On-Campus Recruiting Erin Dunston.

“We’re just trying to take it day by day right now,” Pantoni said. “Obviously, that first weekend, we have a lot, but starting next Tuesday, it’s on. We just gotta go day by day and win that day and have a great plan that week. It’s all hands on deck, and we’re going to do everything we can to make it as smooth as possible.”

Dunston was hired in March, replacing Tori Magers. In her short time, she’s already observed the recruiting machine that is Ohio State -- a machine that has already led to a dozen 2022 commits for the current No. 2 class in the country.

There’s a reason things are running so smoothly in the Ryan Day era. They’ve taken a more personal approach, in part because of the pandemic when coaches at times probably knew more about a player’s personality than their actual play.

“All coaches are involved with every recruit,” Dunston said. “It’s not just the position coach. It could be the area coach that’s also involved in recruiting and cater building that relationship. We focus heavily on the families as well, which I think is very, I’m not gonna say, unique, but it’s very different from what I’m used to.”

That’s going to change next week. About 150-200 players are expected to take unofficial visits and attend camps over the next month, along with 51 players already scheduled to take official visits during the weekends.

The first will be June 4, when OSU hosts the Buckeye Bash 2.0.

The first weekend in June will host all but two members of Ohio State’s 2022 class along with a handful of other players headline by five-stars Zach Rice, an offensive tackle from Virginia, and Omari Abor, a defensive lineman from Texas. Those are two of the top remaining targets on the Buckeyes’ board for the class, which is why it was so important that they came on this date. The players will always be a program’s best recruiters, and having committed Buckeyes from the class like quarterback Quinn Ewers and linebacker C.J. Hicks in their ear all weekend will go a long way.

But it was equally important to get Hicks, Ewers and everyone else around each other. The 12 commits already have a strong relationship and communicate daily. But that bond can only be but so strong when all of your conversations are through a phone or social media. Unless you live in the same state as another commit, chances are you’ve never met in person.

“We discussed that as a staff, and we just felt like since they’ve been so loyal to us, we wanted to them to get here that first weekend just because they deserve it,” Pantoni said. “They deserve to all be here together (to) get to know each other. They are our best recruiters -- them along with our current players. So I know more some of the local guys I’m sure will come back other weekends and help. It was our decision to get them all here that first weekend if they could.”

Cornerbacks Jaheim Singletary and Ryan Turner will be the only two commits not at the Buckeye Bash. Turner will come to Columbus the following week, while Singletary will visit June 25. Those weekends don’t have a theme, but the visitors’ list is growing equally as long.

That will keep Pantoni, Dunston and the rest of the recruiting staff — which is still replacing some vital members such as media director Zach Swartz — plenty busy on the weekend. Then there are the six one-day camps taking place onTuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month starting Wednesday.

Those will focus on the distant future than the 2022 class. OSU has offered only 49 players in the 2023 class and has yet to offer anyone in 2024. That’s mostly because the bulk of those players either haven’t been seen in person by a coach, haven’t played varsity high school football yet or both.

Those camps will be a chance for those players to be evaluated as the Buckeyes start the early stages of those classes.

“What we’ve tried to encourage is trying to get the 2023s during the week rather on with the official visits on the weekends,” Pantoni said. “So a lot of those kids are going to come during the week come for camps to where we’ll have a great plan for them and get great evaluations and show them a great visit.”

Camps will be in pods of 25. Ohio State is not required to administer COVID-19 tests but will follow all university protocols.

COVID-19 has prevented the 2023 class from being at the same stage the previous two classes were heading into the summer.

By June 2019, the 2021 class already had its five-star defensive end and quarterback. The following summer, the 2022 class had already landed Jyaire Brown, C.J. Hicks and Tegra Tshabola by this point. The top targets of 2023 have been identified, and the candidates to be its leads are well-known, but getting guys on campus will be vital.

Ohio State is in a good spot with its 2022 class. The Buckeyes identified the best players in-state early while also locking down some of the nation’s top players at significant positions. Now the real work begins as the programs across the country look to make up for a lost year of recruiting.

“It is by far going, in my career, to be a rough one,” Pantoni said. “The month of July, my phone’s probably gonna be turned off, and nobody’s gonna be able to track me down.”

OSU emails, texts reveal reaction to Big Ten football cancellation

Kickoff times set for Maryland, Minnesota, Tulsa games

Which position group will make the biggest jump in 2021? Hey, Buckeye Talk

How badly does OSU need to land five-star OT in 2022?

How does proposed NIL legislation actually impact football recruiting? Hey, Stephen

Should OSU change how it recruits now that transfer freedom has arrived? Podcast

Keith Sampson, 2023 DT target, eager to see OSU’s ‘high intensity,’ values in June visit

OSU announces program to help athletes maximize NIL opportunities

Ohio bill legalizing NIL income for college athletes offers OSU security

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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published 8 months ago

Inside Lindsay Gottlieb’s decision to leave Cleveland Cavaliers: Choosing between a dream job or an incredible opportunity

Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb left her mark on the organization.

By Chris Fedor,

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Lindsay Gottlieb wasn’t looking to leave.

April 21 was a typical gameday. Morning shootaround. Back home. Drive to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It was everything she had been doing for two years as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As Gottlieb sat in the coaches locker room next to assistants Dan Geriot, Dan Vincent and J.J. Outlaw, discussing her scouting report for that evening’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls, she scrolled through her phone. She saw a social media notification about Southern California women’s basketball coach Mark Trakh retiring.

“This is interesting,” she uttered out loud.

In the release, USC athletic director Mike Bohn asserted a new financial commitment to women’s basketball -- a noteworthy proclamation in what is typically a mundane announcement.

Having been the women’s coach at California-Berkeley before coming to Cleveland, Gottlieb was intimately familiar with the routine of hirings and firings. All too often schools acted as if wins came simply with the right personality. As if they were a result of one person’s individual will.

She knew better than that.

When calls came this past offseason from interested college programs -- men’s and women’s -- Gottlieb’s answer was always the same: Thanks, but no thanks.

Cleveland is where she wanted to be. This hadn’t been about being a trailblazer as much as fulfilling a childhood dream as real to a little girl as it had been for any player on the roster. She negotiated an NBA out clause in her Cal contract -- just in case.

Two years in, she welcomed the pressure attached to the upcoming 2021-22 season. She coveted the chance to guide Cleveland’s kids -- Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and Jarrett Allen -- while they grew up.

But that USC opening -- a public declaration to do what must be done to revive a dormant program -- clearly had her attention.

This was interesting.

Vincent, Geriot and Outlaw all asked the same follow-up question. Is that a good job?

“I think it could be a really good job,’” she answered.

How does one turn down a job with everything?

The next day, following a 121-105 win that snapped a three-game losing skid, the Cavs left on a five-day, three-city trip beginning in Charlotte. On the road, Gottlieb often had her own locker room. A little more than an hour before tip versus the Hornets, a close friend with college connections asked whether Gottlieb had any interest in USC. She was focused on the Hornets. She wanted to sleep on it.

When she returned to the locker room following the loss, Gottlieb had a text message from Bohn. No agent. No search firm. No media leaks. He introduced himself and asked to have a longer, informal conversation at some point over the weekend.

The next day, inside the Georgetown Four Seasons, Gottlieb spoke over the phone with Bohn, USC President Carol Folt and another top aide for about 25 minutes. Bohn, clearly impressed by Gottlieb’s resume, pitched his vision.

“I said, ‘I didn’t come to the NBA to turn right around. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I feel like I’m part of something,’” Gottlieb recalled. “‘However, I do feel I want to be a head coach again, whether that’s men’s college basketball, women’s college basketball, the WNBA.’

“I understand what USC can be and it’s intriguing to me to have a conversation. I got off the phone after 25 minutes and I didn’t feel too strong either way.”

But Bohn did. She moved to the top of USC’s wish list.

Bohn didn’t relent. The next conversation focused on the Trojans’ newfound commitment to women’s basketball. She heard rumors about Bohn’s willingness to pay the next coach a salary that would rank in the top-third of the conference. As Gottlieb had breakfast with J.B. Bickerstaff, she wanted to be transparent, filling him in on the talks.

USC tugged, making a “ridiculous offer” with the kind of financial security the NBA doesn’t typically provide and a longer contract than what was remaining in Cleveland. Gottlieb declined.

She wasn’t ready to leave the NBA. This had never been a stepping stone to her. It was the life she always wanted.

Bohn kept pushing. He provided a blank check for assistant coaches. Told her she could run the program in her vision. Gottlieb had contemplated one day joining an NBA front office. But now, USC wasn’t just about money or years. She would be the coach and GM. How many people get everything from a potential employer?

On May 6, the Cavs left for Dallas. Gottlieb didn’t go, asking Cavaliers GM Koby Altman for extra time to focus on the potential life-altering decision. There was a lot to consider. Gottlieb hadn’t sought out USC, yet was being asked to leave a lifelong dream for an astonishing opportunity.

She chose the NBA.

Spending the weekend reflecting, she was content with the final decision. USC would have to move on. But the Trojans were smitten. She received another text message from Bohn to call immediately. More years. More money. More assurances. More to ponder.

“He said, ‘You are our coach. We think you can do exactly what we want, what we need here,’” Gottlieb remembered. “They said ‘be the GM and head coach of USC women’s basketball. You get to construct it. Tell us what positions we need. Tell us how to run this thing.’

“Then I was sort of like, ‘What am I doing?’”

After that came another important family conversation between Gottlieb, her husband, Patrick, and son, Jordan. Returning to California would be better for Patrick, who is still working remotely out of there. Jordan enjoyed his school and plans were already in place for him to attend summer camp in Cleveland.

But finally, it was obvious. Taking over at USC was the best decision for everyone.

“I felt like I was being a little selfish,” Gottlieb said. “Yes, I want to stay in the NBA, but ‘Lindsay, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’

“There is part of me that’s like, ‘Did I tap out too soon?’ Who knows what could have happened here in Cleveland? Some part of me feels guilty for going back to women’s basketball. I don’t think anyone else sees it this way, but even though it’s this unbelievable opportunity, it’s as if I’m letting down this sort of fight for someone who could potentially be good and make headway in the league.”

Nothing around the NBA or the Cavaliers is a given. Chairman Dan Gilbert is unpredictable. Altman’s future is uncertain. None of Gilbert’s GMs have lasted more than five years. If Altman makes it through next season, that will be the magical benchmark. Bickerstaff is the fourth head coach since LeBron James left in 2018. His multi-year extension signed last March doesn’t guarantee anything.

The NBA, in general, is synonymous with variability. Same goes for the Cavs, who finished 22-50 this past season. What if the organization doesn’t move forward? What if Gilbert gets antsy once again and makes changes? Where would that leave Gottlieb? She didn’t talk with Gilbert before making her decision. But she did speak with Bickerstaff and Altman multiple times.

Bickerstaff told her she would have a job for as long as he remains with the Cavaliers. He also offered advice.

“That job was too good to turn down,” Bickerstaff told

Altman told her she was a beloved and valued member of the organization. Still, no one speaks with certainty in the NBA. Coaches don’t get six-year deals, let alone assistants. Plus, this wasn’t 2019 when she had a three-year contract with a team option in Year 4. Gottlieb was entering the final guaranteed year.

She believed in Bickerstaff, Altman and the Cavaliers’ plan. She also believed she had to ponder all possibilities.

“There was no time at all in the two years that I was feeling antsy,” she said. “When you’re an assistant in college for a long time and kind of know you are ready to be a head coach, you start to get a little bit like, ‘OK, I’m ready to be the one.’ You’re still a loyal assistant, but you’re ready to be the one. I had zero feelings of that in the two years. Not under (John) Beilein. Not under J.B. I was enjoying not being a head coach. I was enjoying learning and not having the pressure of having to make every decision.

“But if someone says, ‘Lindsay, what’s next for you?’ My gut was more, ‘Hey I think I want to be a head coach again.’ After two years, I was feeling like that was most likely to happen in the WNBA or women’s college basketball. When someone is dangling this spectacular job ... and be the CEO, GM and head coach, what are you supposed to do?

“This situation is what I’ve worked for -- to have the trust from an AD that’s the same way I think a GM wants trust from an owner to essentially say you have this blank canvas to make USC women’s basketball the type of program you want.”

Lindsay Gottlieb 2.0

In a way, this is a chance for Gottlieb -- who ascended near the top of Cal’s leaders in wins, helping the program to the most wins in a single season and its first Final Four trip -- to reinvent herself.

“I talked to J.B. and he said, ‘Lindsay, I think the most important part of this is creating something special,’” she said. “He was like, ‘I hope we’re doing that here and you’re a part of it, but also if you have a chance to create something special -- NBA, college, WNBA, whatever -- it’s all basketball and a chance to do something special in a way that hasn’t been done.’

“I’m slightly sad. I think I had more to learn in the NBA. At the same time, you can’t control time.”

Others asked whether she truly wanted to jump back into college basketball, where student-athletes are gaining more power. That part excites her.

“We should allow the players to profit and let the players have the autonomy to do what they want,” she said. “Then I started thinking, ‘Can I be the spearhead for what the modern NCAA looks like?’ Where I do a model of it that’s really good for everybody -- still build team culture but also take care of players? Then I got excited thinking can I be Lindsay Gottlieb 2.0 as a coach and take all the things that I’ve learned already and be this way better version of what I was?

“I can be this linchpin between men’s and women’s basketball, pro and college, and be unique in this world. The sadness of leaving a little bit too soon turned into excitement. That’s where we focus less on what I’m going to miss and more of what I can be, do and who I can impact.”

Lindsay Gottlieb watched film with Collin Sexton before games. NBAE via Getty Images

Lessons learned

Given a unique platform two years ago, Gottlieb was treated the same as every other assistant coach in Cleveland. Just the way she liked -- and wanted -- it.

One of eight women assistant coaches in the league in 2020-21, she talked about personnel decisions with the front office. She worked on the draft -- critical area for a rebuilding team. Broke down film. Compiled scouting reports. Oversaw the development of young players. She was involved in high-level conversations about the team’s future.

This season, she even moved to the front of the bench where she helped keep the feisty Bickerstaff calm.

“He became my guy -- an NBA lifer who took me under his wing as a colleague and friend and taught me the ins and outs of the NBA,” Gottlieb said. “Once he was promoted to head coach, he advocated for me, he moved me into the front of the bench and gave me a close-up view to his leadership style and his brilliant mind.”

In two NBA seasons, Gottlieb experienced plenty. A coaching change, with Beilein stepping down midway through his maiden voyage. Losing streaks. Pandemic. Off-court drama.

“The two years were wild. There was nothing typical,” Gottlieb said. “The way I was embraced by the players and organization was unbelievable and changed my life. It wasn’t without its hard things. It was hard to be going from everything I knew in college to the pros. It’s hard to be the only one who was different in the ways I was different. That’s life. It was hard to navigate being away from my kid as much as you have to in the NBA. There were challenges.”

Gottlieb still remembers one of the first things she was told by her fellow assistants. Well, aside from where to live and which winter coat to purchase. They all told her eventually she would get sick of being around the same people on a daily basis, especially on those lengthy road trips.

She never did.

“I guess I didn’t think about it like that,” Gottlieb said with a chuckle. “I learned different things about the nuances of basketball and my mind was going, ‘OK, would I do it this way? What would I incorporate into my own thing relative to spacing and what we’re running here?’”

A lasting impact

In Year 3 of a grueling post-LeBron rebuild, the Cavs had one of the league’s youngest teams. They needed structure, accountability and tutoring -- all areas where Gottlieb excelled.

Dean Wade, 24, was one of the players who grew close to Gottlieb. He still remembers the day she told him he would be making the first start of his career.

“She’s an unbelievable person,” he said. “She’s one of the top basketball minds I’ve ever been around. She brings you to the side and talks to you. Outside of basketball, she’s an amazing person. I’m sad she’s leaving us but for her and her family, it’s an unbelievable opportunity and I’m very happy for them. I have to become a USC women’s basketball fan.”

Gottlieb was part of a culture change in Cleveland. She will try to do the same with the Trojans. The NBA is a people business. She learned that early on. Her ability to connect to players -- any background, any age -- is a rare gift.

“You have to start there with her as a human being because that’s where she’s most impactful,” Bickerstaff said. “How she cares about other people, how she opens your eyes to different scenarios and things that are going on in the world. It’s every single day that you see it. You see how she embraces people. You see how people welcome her. All those things that make it difficult in our business, she excelled at.

“It wasn’t transactional for her, which sometimes in professional sports it can get to be. She genuinely cared for each individual and loved to work with each individual and got to know them and built relationships with them. ... She’ll definitely be missed.

“Our guys are grateful, and we’re all grateful, for having time with her and learning from her, and being a part of her basketball journey.”

Part of Gottlieb’s gameday routine consisted of watching film with Sexton.

“I know I can go to her and talk to her just about real situations that are off the court, some things that I’m going through on the court,” he said. “At the end of the day, she’s not going to sugarcoat anything. If she feels like I’m not playing up to my potential, she’ll let me know. That relationship is not going to go anywhere. I want her to know that I’m very excited and very proud of her.”

Drafted fifth in 2020, Okoro didn’t get the usual rookie adjustment period. No summer league or offseason workouts. Gottlieb was one of the first people he met.

“She always brought a smile every single day,” Okoro said. “Always lightening up the mood. You know me, I always come with my straight face, not like one to smile, but every time I see her, and she’s always in a good mood, it just brightens up the whole practice. I’m going to miss her, but I know it’s a better opportunity.”

“Always part of Cavaliers family”

Gottlieb was officially announced as USC’s head coach on May 10 -- the new leader for a lifeless program with one NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006. Gottlieb flew to L.A. for an introductory press conference and campus tour the next day. Then, she traveled back for Cleveland’s home finale.

“This has been literally the craziest three weeks of my life,” Gottlieb said. “I include childbirth, I include coming to Cleveland and different moves I’ve had, this has been hard -- and really, really crazy.”

During that May 12 game against the Boston Celtics, Gottlieb received a heartfelt video tribute. She got a hug from Tristan Thompson, one of her old players -- and a Bratenahl neighbor.

The next day, before leaving for her last NBA road trip, the Cavs took a team photo at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Gottlieb stood surrounded by her hoops family, all clad in red USC T-shirts holding up two fingers -- an homage to the school’s traditional celebration. Even Kevin Love, who went to UCLA, joined in the farewell photo.

“She will always be part of the Cavaliers family,” Altman said.

Gottlieb plans to go back and forth this summer, not wanting to uproot her family immediately. Once USC basketball summer school is over around Aug. 10, she’ll again call California her permanent home.

This time, she will bring two years of NBA knowledge and pieces of Cleveland along.

“Once you’re in the bubble of it, it’s just normal people with normal joys and problems trying to accomplish collective goals and individual goals,” she said. “I think being part of that -- fraternity is the wrong word, right? Because I was in it. But this idea of being part of the NBA family and our team family was incredible.

“I love the NBA. I wish I could be in two places at once. Two years seems a little too short. But I think I’ve formed relationships around it to keep being part of it in various ways.

“It was crazy to me that I was in that world.”

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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published 8 months ago

Krista Bowden, Emily Lees receive Teacher of the Year awards from Akron Public Schools

Krista Bowden, left, and Emily Lees were both named 2021 Teacher of the Year at Akron Public Schools. It’s the second time in the 30-year history of the award that two recipients were selected.

By Megan Becka, special to

AKRON, Ohio – Two Akron Public Schools educators were named Teacher of the Year in a livestream ceremony held May 21: Krista Bowden, a science teacher at Firestone CLC, and Emily Lees, an English language arts teacher from Ellet CLC.

It’s the second time in the 30-year history of the award that two recipients were selected.

The process for determining winners is rigorous. First, teachers are nominated by staff members. Then, each building selects finalists. After that, teaching and learning staff hold interviews with nominees to select eight district finalists. Lastly, previous Teacher of the Year recipients interview the district finalists to select a winner.

Bowden has taught in the district for 10 years. In addition to teaching science, she also teaches biology for the freshman academy. Recent awards she has received include the Conrad Ott Scholarship and the Governor’s Award.

“When I was named building teacher of the year it was a surreal feeling, because I do this job not for the recognition, but for my passion for it,” Bowden said. “So it meant so much to me to know that my coworkers entrusted me with what I do for the building. It meant a lot to me because I work with a wonderful group of people, and just to know that what I have done has qualified me to represent them as a building was a phenomenal feeling.”

Lees has been an educator with the Akron Public Schools for 16 years. She is an English language arts teacher for grades 9-12 at Ellet CLC. She has been nominated as Building Teacher of the Year more than five times. She has also been recognized as Project Learn Tutor of the Month and Tutor of the Year.

Being selected for the award was humbling, Lees said, because she has seen many teachers go above and beyond for their students during the pandemic.

“For me, I’m basically just representing what so many teachers in Akron Public Schools are doing, I just get to be the person to represent all of them and their hard work, so that’s important to me and an honor to me to do that,” Lees said.

Lees recently received a $1,000 Donors Choose grant, which she used to help students who were struggling with remote learning and being home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lees sent an online survey form to find out what students needed. Students responded with requests for food, school supplies, books and art supplies, which Lees was able to provide because of the grant.

“Honestly sometimes the focus is on the teachers, but we have amazing students at our schools too,” Lees said. “And I would love for the public to know how wonderful teens are. They really are so creative, hard-working, resilient, open minded and grateful for what we do for them.”

Akron Public Schools Teacher of the Year finalists were:

Minni Connalley, kindergarten teacher, Schumacher CLC

Kelly Lutz, pre-k teacher, Early Learning Program

Megan Meyer, music teacher, East CLC

Rachel Miller, kindergarten teacher, Windemere CLC

Chelsea Nicolino, science teacher, NIHF-STEM Middle School

Jennifer Spradlin, fourth-grade teacher, Helen Arnold CLC

In addition to the Teacher of the Year awards, several other honors were presented during the event. Julienne Hogarth of Firestone CLC was selected for the Marilyn Parks Achievement Award. Teachers are nominated by their peers for the award. To be considered, educators must must be longtime Akron Public Schools educators, serve as ambassadors for the district to other Ohio schools, create community partnerships, inspire students and more.

Lashawna Grimes, a computer programming and software development instructor at Buchtel CLC, was selected to receive the David W. James award. The new award recognizes the work of first-year teachers and is named after district Superintendent David W. James.

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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published 8 months ago

This Kentucky HBCU Has Paid Every Students’ Tuition Since Last Spring

“To get a letter saying that the next semester is paid in full, that is amazing,” Simmons College senior Paulette Johnson told WLKY. “It’s a testament of the stability of the college and the community and where we are headed.”

Simmons College of Kentucky, an HBCU in Louisville, has paid the tuition of its enrolled students since the spring of 2020. The school was able to provide the financial awards through $2.76 million in federal funding, using more than $400,000 to cover tuition for students, which has been a huge relief.

“Knowing that your main needs are taken care of gives you an opportunity not only to study but to be creative, to step outside of your comfort zone, to try harder, and to do more,” Johnson said.

Founded in 1879, Simmons College is the nation’s 107th historically Black college. The College’s 13th President, Dr. Kevin Cosby took the helm of the school in 2005 and helped move the school forward following years of setbacks stemming from the Great Depression. Under his leadership, the school regained its accreditation, and reacquired its original land.

In addition to paying students’ tuition, Simmons leaders say the funds will be used to upgrade the school’s HVAC system and it will be offering four additional majors starting next fall.

Notable Simmons College alumni include singer and Broadway actor Leon Bibb, as well as Artishia Gilbert, who, in the late 1890s, became Kentucky’s first Black woman to be licensed to practice medicine.

Photo: Getty Images

WYTS 1230 (Columbus)
Published 8 months ago

Green City Council approves electric charging stations at City Hall

The Repository

Green City Council

Tuesday meeting

KEY ACTION: Approved the purchase and installation of two Level 2 EV charging stations from EV United, to be installed at the Green Central Administration building.

DISCUSSION: Councilwoman Barbara Babbitt explained that the city will be paying “between $13,000 and $14,000” for the charging stations after receiving a $22,500 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund Program grant and a $16,429 NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) grant toward the $52,805 project.


Approved modifications to the city’s 2021 appropriations, including the city’s fire/paramedic fund for salary, insurance and vacation payouts to former city of Green dispatchers who will become employees of the newly formed Council of Governments with the city of New Franklin for fire and police dispatching services.

Announced the city’s Memorial Day parade at 10 a.m. May 31, from Green High School, 1474 Boettler Road, and proceeding along Boettler, Massillon, and Steese roads. A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Green Veterans Memorial Park, 1900 Steese Road, at noon.

UP NEXT: Meets at 7 p.m. June 8 at Green City Hall, 1755 Town Park Blvd. and via livestream broadcast at

— Brian Lisik

Canton Repository
Published 8 months ago