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The iOpener: Cleveland to Close, Consolidate, Elementary Schools; Dems Walk Out of Nuke Bill Hearing

Willow Elementary School is one of the recommended schools to close as a part of CMSD's updated building facility plan. The Board of Education will consider the plan next month. [Cleveland Metropolitan School District]
Willow Elementary School is one of the recommended schools to close as a part of CMSD's updated building facility plan. The Board of Education will consider the plan next month.

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Cleveland’s school district plans to close four elementary schools and relocate five others as part of a restructuring plan. Cleveland Metropolitan School District said the affected schools are either in older buildings, have low enrollment or have received low academic ratings from the state. The school district plans to renovate or build five new buildings for seven schools. The plan must be approved by the Board of Education. If passed, it would take effect in the 2020-2021 school year.

House Democrats walked out of a committee hearing on a controversial clean energy bill after the Republican chairman failed to recognize a question from one of their members.  Republican Rep. Nino Vitale had allowed questions from two of his fellow Republicans but bypassed Democratic Rep. Kristin Boggs. He said he didn’t see her. Democrats returned an hour later, after a talk with Vitale. The bill would replace the state’s current renewable energy standards with a so-called “clean air fund” that would provide money for Ohio’s struggling nuclear power plants.  

A proposal to build wind turbines in Lake Erie cleared another hurdle. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation announced it has reached an agreement with the staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board over the regulations that will govern the project. LEEDCo must now get approval for a permit from the siting board before it can begin construction. The company wants to build six wind turbines 8 to 10 miles off the shore of Cleveland. 

One practice appears to be enough for Odell Beckham Jr. The star wide receiver was not at the Browns' voluntary workout after showing up Tuesday following a monthlong absence. Head Coach Freddie Kitchens said he wants 100 percent participation, but said the workouts are voluntary. 

Browns running back Kareem Hunt knows only his actions will help him outrun a violent past. Hunt spoke Wednesday for the first time since the NFL suspended him in March for violating its personal conduct policy in off-field incidents that included a violent altercation with a woman at a downtown Cleveland hotel in February 2018. Hunt said he's changed and vowed to be "a better person" while hoping to earn back the trust of teammates and fans.

Weather forecast: Mostly sunny, high 73.  Tonight, cloudy, with the chance of showers increasing into the early morning hours. A passing cold front could stir up severe thunderstorms, with damaging winds and large hail. Low 60. Tomorrow, showers and thunderstorms likely before 2 pm. Cloudy, high 64.

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