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The iOpener: County Jail Improvements, More Time to Sue UH Fertility Clinic, Akron's New Tire Plant

The Huntington Bank Tower in Cleveland shrouded in the fog. [Tim Evanson / Flickr]
The Huntington Bank Tower in Cleveland shrouded in the fog.

Good morning on this foggy Thursday.  Feb. 7, 2019.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Sheriff Clifford Pinkney say overcrowding conditions have eased at the county jail.  They said it's one of several moves they've made to address what a recent report called "inhumane conditions." In an interview with Cleveland.com, they said inmates are now getting hearings in disciplinary cases, addressing constitutional due process violations that U.S Marshals had found in last year's scathing review of the jail.  Budish also said he's creating a separate facility to treat inmates with mental health and addiction issues.  Cuyahoga County Administrative Judge John Russo was surprised to learn of the plan, saying earlier talks about such a diversionary treatment unit with Budish had stalled a year ago.  

University Hospitals has reached a deal with attorneys for patients who lost thousands of eggs and embryos in a freezer malfunction at its fertility clinic to extend the statute of limitations for patients to sue.  The Plain Dealer reports they've asked a Cuyahoga County judge to approve the agreement.  A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 14th.  About 900 patients were affected by the malfunction.

Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic won't challenge Mayor Dan Horrigan in the Democratic primary. But he told WAKR he may run as an independent. He said he wanted to make up for the mistakes he made during the 28 years he served as Akron's mayor.  

Akron is getting a new tire factory, the first in generations.  Bridgestone Americas announced it will begin building a new Firestone plant this summer to make tires for IndyCar open wheel racing.  The factory will eventually replace race tire operations at the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center nearby.  It's located in the former Firestone complex, which is being turned into a city park. A local historian told the Akron Beacon Journal it's the first new tire plant since at least World War II. 

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was named Cleveland's top professional athlete at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards ceremony. Lakewood soccer player and former Ivory Coast refugee Malvin Gblah was Male High School Athlete of the Year.  Check out ideas host Rick Jackson's profile of the young soccer star.

Weather forecast: First, fog.  Then, flood.  A dense fog advisory lifts at 7:00 a.m. while a flood watch goes into effect at 10:00 a.m. and remains through late tonight.  Cloudy, warming to 62.  But a strong cold front moves in, bringing possibly heavy rain and gusting winds.  Soil already saturated by rain will mean flooding in low-lying areas.  River flooding is likely.  The temperature drops to a low of 23.  

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