It was a shock when Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon announced last week that he’s stepping down after 11 years at its helm. And it was clear at his final State of the Schools address Wednesday – where he received bookend standing ovations — that he remains zealously committed to the district’s scholars, parents and teachers.
So we’ve all been wondering about the backstory behind the announcement.
Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Browns beat the Steelers 29-17 to dump that nasty Jets loss right in the lake
Guardians at Chicago White Sox: Cleveland sweeps White Sox, 4-2, moves closer to AL Central championship
Northeast Ohio weekend weather forecast: Cooler weather continues
Eric Gordon: The board of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District was ready in April to extend CEO Eric Gordon’s contract – months before he announced he will step down at the end of the school year, reports Courtney Astolfi. The board never followed through because Ohio law requires the board and mayor to agree on the pick for CEO, and at the time, Mayor Justin Bibb hadn’t yet met with Gordon.
MetroHealth CEO: Airica Steed, executive vice president of Sinai Chicago Health System, will lead Cuyahoga County’s public MetroHealth System. Julie Washington reports Steed, whose health system is devoted to caring for the poor and disenfranchised, succeeds Dr. Akram Boutros, who since 2013 at MetroHealth added staff, boosted the number of patients served each year, and increased annual revenues from $785 million to nearly $1.5 billion.
Dublin direct: Cleveland City Council is poised to contribute up to $600,000 to an incentive package that will bring Irish airline Aer Lingus to Cleveland, with nonstop service to Dublin. Susan Glaser reports the flights are expected to start in May, the first nonstop service to Europe since 2018 when two Icelandic carriers flew from Cleveland.
Today in Ohio: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport ranks at the very bottom among midsized airports in the U.S., according to a recent national survey of customers by J.D. Power. We’re talking about the crowded terminal, expensive food, dirty bathrooms and shortage of parking at Cleveland’s aging airport on Today in Ohio, cleveland.com’s daily half-hour news podcast.
Abortion rights: Democratic nominee for governor Nan Whaley is attempting to make abortion access the top issue in her race against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. But Jeremy Pelzer reports that contrary to what some Republicans have been saying, Whaley supports some limits on abortion rights in Ohio – specifically, the limits that were in place prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24.
Cleveland’s Promise: Few students in a fourth-grade class at Almira Elementary School knew the difference between physical and mental well-being, reports Hannah Drown. The school is committed to teaching social-emotional learning, including a lesson on empathy.
Jail costs: Cuyahoga County may soon be reevaluating Cleveland’s continued use of a shared jail after losing millions of dollars in what is being described as an “unbalanced” deal to house their inmates. Kaitlin Durbin reports the sheriff’s office estimates that the county has lost roughly $5 million housing the city’s inmates since 2019.
Jail tax: Cuyahoga County Council generally seems to support plans to build a new jail but on Thursday wrestled over how best to pay for it and what impact it might have on future projects, like building a new courthouse. Executive Armond Budish has proposed permanently extending the quarter-percent sales tax to pay a now estimated $2 billion total debt service on a new jail over the next 40 years – up to $750 million on construction and $1.2 billion in interest, Kaitlin Durbin reports. But council is seeking options for a shorter repayment period and an expiration date on sales tax collections once the jail is paid off.
Air pollution: Ground-level ozone has gotten worse in Cleveland as evidenced by the Ohio EPA’s recent reclassification of the city’s compliance status. Peter Krouse reports the city was downgraded from marginal non-attainment to moderate non-attainment after it was determined by the Ohio EPA that the city still is not in compliance with 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone.
Monarch milkweed: The monarch butterfly population in Ohio has declined by an estimated 80% over the past 30 years. Peter Krouse reports the Soil and Water Conservation District aims to reverse the trend by promoting the growth of native milkweed and is collecting common milkwood seed pods from the public through Nov. 15.
Top Nurses: Kathleen Kerber, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for cleveland.com’s Top Nurses, has spent most of her 44-year career at MetroHealth System. Julie Washington reports Kerber’s colleagues laud her abilities. “If any nurses have problems, who do they call? Kathy Kerber. Who rescues them? Kathy Kerber. She’s good at everything.”
Honoring nurses: Nurses, those dedicated workers who help families and patients through their worst moments, were celebrated Thursday during cleveland.com & The Plain Dealer Top Nurses Awards presented by Cleveland Clinic. Julie Washington reports about 100 honorees and their supporters attended the awards brunch at the Music Box Supper Club in the Flats.
Gaming Classic: It started with a couple of friends playing Tecmo Bowl. Now the Cleveland Gaming Classic is Ohio’s largest gaming convention and it’s coming to the I-X Center for the first time, filled with retro video games, arcade cabinets, pinball machines, cosplay, collectibles and special guests, Sean McDonnell reports.
Weekly cases: The weekly number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio decreased sharply this week, from 20,552 cases last week to 14,536 this week, the third week in a row that weekly cases dropped, reports Julie Washington.
Bridgeworks: The Cleveland Landmarks Commission split its vote Thursday to sign off on revisions for plans for a high-rise apartment/hotel building overlooking the Flats from the west end of the Veterans Memorial (Detroit-Superior) Bridge. Megan Sims reports the 16-story, 88,306-square-foot building will feature a luxury restaurant on the 11th floor, with a balcony.
Consent decree: The court-appointed team monitoring Cleveland police reform found the department struggled in conducting proper investigations into deadly police shootings and showed pro-police bias in its examinations of the cases and from supervisors who reviewed the probes. Adam Ferrise reports the monitoring team report showed dozens of areas where the department isn’t yet fully compliant, and, in some cases, it hasn’t even begun to implement changes required by the settlement between the city and U.S. Department of Justice to ensure constitutional policing in Cleveland.
Armed robberies: Federal agents on Thursday accused a Garfield Heights man of robbing 10 Cleveland-area stores at gunpoint in three weeks, reports Adam Ferrise. Court records say Lawrence Sturdivant, 32, robbed stores and pharmacies in Shaker Heights and Cleveland by acting like he was buying candy before pulling out a gun and taking cash from the registers.
Tallmadge shooting: Two men and a woman were shot Wednesday night near Tallmadge’s Town Square, reports Kaylee Remington. The three were treated for non-life threatening injuries in the shooting that happened about 9:30 p.m. at a rental facility on West Avenue.
Browns TV: After all the offseason turmoil and Deshaun Watson drama, people in Cleveland are still tuning in to watch the Browns. Troy Smith reports the local television ratings are in for the Browns’ Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers and 459,461 households in Northeast Ohio watched.
Smoky Mountains: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park, but Susan Glaser writes that she’d make the eight-hour drive again because of the tremendous variety of activities and the biological diversity. Where to stay? Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are side-by-side sister cities but not identical twins.
Jann Wenner: Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner was the chairman, gatekeeper, the center of every conspiracy theory who rubbed elbows with Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and the gang. Then he walked away from it all. And, Troy Smith reports, he wrote a book, in which Wenner waxes nostalgic about everything from founding the magazine and managing Hunter S. Thompson to hitting the campaign trails with presidential candidates and watching the rock stars he adored come and go.
To do: As the weather begins to cool, more events start to head indoors, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t plenty to do outside! Mike Rose lists 18 things to do, including IngenuityFest.
Thanks for joining us this week in our redesigned Wake Up format. We appreciate the feedback you provided about our new look. Don’t forget, you can always find the latest Cleveland news by visiting cleveland.com. If you value the hard work of Cleveland journalists, consider becoming an cleveland.com subscriber.
— Curated by Laura Johnston with contributions by Cliff Pinckard
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