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The iOpener: House to Vote on Abortion Ban; County Plastic Bag Ban Proposed; Cavs Lose, Indians Win

Close up on person buyer hold groceries in bags. [Arimag / Shutterstock.com]
Close up on person buyer hold groceries in bags.

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Wednesday, April 10, 2019. If you love your animals, then this is a red letter day. The ASPCA was founded 153 years ago. Henry Bergh had served as a diplomat to Russia during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. There, he was horrified to see farm workers violently beat their horses. Inspired by a meeting with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in London, he returned to the U.S. determined to found a similar group here. 

Okay, hold your horses, here are your headlines:

The “heartbeat bill” is headed to the Republican-controlled Ohio House today for a vote, after the House Health Committee passed the latest version. It includes tougher penalties for doctors who violate the legislation and perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.  Committee Democrats had proposed several amendments, including one allowing an exemption for fetal abnormalities, but the amendments failed mostly along party lines.

Cuyahoga County Council introduced legislation banning disposable plastic bags. The bill’s sponsors, Dale Miller and Sunny Simon, say the bill would cut down on “the polluting effects of and accompanying blight caused by disposable bags.”  Last year, an ordinance that would have imposed a fee on plastic bags failed to advance.

New state figures show only 40 percent of patients registered to get medical marijuana have purchased it. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program’s latest data show how limited the program still is.  Many cultivators, processors and dispensaries are not yet certified for operation. 

The U.S. EPA says the Gorge Dam near Cuyahoga Falls could be removed in 2023. Federal officials described the timeline and more details about the removal of contaminated silt behind the dam at a packed public meeting Tuesday night.  Environmental advocates and Cuyahoga River enthusiasts say the dam is a major impediment to the health of the river, blocking migratory fish and allowing oxygen-depriving algae to form.   

Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger will miss at least six weeks with an upper back muscle strain. Manager Terry Francona described the injury as "fairly significant," saying it will be six to eight weeks before Clevinger can even consider picking up a ball.

The Cavaliers ended their first season without LeBron James with a loss to the playoff-hungry Charlotte Hornets, 124-97It was the Cavs’ tenth straight defeat.

The Indians beat the Detroit Tigers, 8-2.  Corey Kluber got his first win of the season in his third start. The Tribe offensive came alive; Leonys Martin, Brad Miller, Roberto Perez and Jake Bauers all entered with sub-.200 batting averages before hitting their first homers of the season.

Weather: We are heading towards a cloudy high of 45. Tonight, there is a slight chance of rain with a low of 37. Thursday, we will have sun and a high of 63.  

Expertise: Hosting live radio, writing and producing newscasts, Downtown Cleveland, reporting on abortion, fibersheds, New York City subway system, coffee