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The iOpener: Strict Abortion Ban Awaits DeWine; Spike in Infant Deaths; CBJ Wins NHL Playoff Opener

Dueling protests outside the Ohio House, as lawmakers passed what's been called the "Heartbeat Bill" six-week abortion ban. [Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau]
Dueling protests outside the Ohio House, as lawmakers passed what's been called the "Heartbeat Bill" six-week abortion ban.

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Thursday, April 11, 2019. Back in 1961, a young folk singer, Bob Dylan, performed for the first time in New York City on this day. He wasn't a headliner but the opening act for blues legend John Lee Hooker.  We hope your day is a free-wheelin' one.

A bill that both opponents and supporters say provides the toughest abortion ban in the nation awaits Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature. Protests erupted as the Senate approved the “heartbeat bill” in an 18-13 vote that came shortly after the House passed it, 56-39. Two previous attempts to get a similar ban into law were vetoed by then-Gov. John Kasich, but DeWine has promised to sign the bill.

Cuyahoga County health officials are reporting a spike in infant deaths. In the first three months of 2019, the infant mortality rate rose to 10 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to a rate of 8.5 for 2018.  Most of the babies were born prematurely and most of them were African American.  Health care officials are examining whether this is an anomaly or part of a larger, troubling trend.

The father of Aniya Day-Garrett has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services and two Euclid daycare centers for failing to protect his daughter. In his lawsuit, Mickhal Garrett says DCFS received at least six reports via its tip hotline alleging the girl’s mother was physically abusing Aniya. Garrett also claims day care workers failed to report bruises, scrapes and other signs that the 4-year-old was being abused. Aniya’s mother and her boyfriend were both sentenced to life in prison in March for the girl’s murder.

Baldwin-Wallace University is considering dropping its affiliation with the United Methodist Church, following the church's vote last month to reaffirm its existing ban on LGBTQ clergy and gay marriages. The ban puts the church at odds with the university's commitment to support its LGBT students, faculty and staff.  The board of trustees will discuss disaffiliation when it meets later this month.

The Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from an 0-3 deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in Game 1 of the teams’ first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.  Seth Jones scored the go-ahead goal on a power play.

The Indians fell to the Detroit Tigers, 4-1. Trevor Bauer’s early season dominance slipped; he gave up four runs, including solo homers for Niko Goodrum and John Hicks, and ten hits in 5 2/3 innings.  He had allowed one run and one hit in his first two starts. 

Weather forecast: Partly sunny and breezy today, with an east wind gusting as high as 32 mph.  High 61.  Sustained winds of 13 to 22 mph will create a seiche – a standing oscillating wave– in Lake Erie that will result in rising water levels. The National Weather Service has a lakeshore flood watch in effect now through this evening. Tonight, mostly cloudy and breezy, low 60.

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