Another snowstorm keeps Clevelanders indoors and plows on the streets
Here are some of the stories from this week's Reporters Roundtable.
The sidewalk shovelers and the snow plow drivers are being put to the test once again as Northeast Ohio is just now emerging from another big snow storm, just one week after Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb released his new snow removal plan. Some parts of the region got more than six inches of snow between Thursday night and Friday morning. And thousands in the region dealt with power outages with two different electric utility companies just as the storm was starting.
Bibb's also released his $1.8 billion budget proposal -- his first budget proposal as mayor. The budget includes millions of federal coronavirus relief dollars and the implementation of Issue 24, which increases civilian oversight of police. Bibb said the city will take a hit, he doesn't know how big yet, because suburban commuters who normally work downtown are now working remotely and may not have to pay income taxes to Cleveland.
Cleveland tech entrepreneur and high-end car dealer Bernie Moreno dropped out of Ohio's senate race late last night. He was one of nine republicans seeking the party's nomination. Moreno just filed petitions to run Wednesday, but after speaking privately with former President Donald Trump, Moreno said the two agreed there were too many GOP candidates and that he should suspend his campaign.
Mayor Bibb has been busy. Snow storms, big budgets and a new push to increase the percentage of city residents vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. Less than half of Cleveland residents are vaccinated. Bibb announced this week a push to get to a 60% vaccination rate by the end of year. He is getting an assist from the National Basketball Association. With the NBA All-Star game in town in a few weeks, the league is offering current and former players to run a vaccine public education campaign, which includes an incentive program where fans can get merchandise and even Cavs tickets. The league and the city will also run pop-up vaccine clinics in neighborhoods with low vaccination rates and high transmission of the virus.
The roundtable also discussed new plans for the Global Center for Health Innovation in Downtown Cleveland, Sea World offering to buy Cedar Fair, the company that owns Cedar Point, the success of Cleveland's legislation that guaranteed low-income tenants with children free legal help in eviction cases, and more.
- Nick Castele, Senior Reporter, WCPN, Ideastream Public Media
- Kabir Bhatia, Senior Reporter, WKSU, Ideasream Public Media
- Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Burea Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV
- Gabriel Kramer, Reporter/Producer, Ideastream Public Media