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Morning Headlines: Akron Children's Opens Transgender Care Center, Prisons Look Into Tattoo Removal

photo of Akron Children's Hospital
Akron Children's Hospital

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, July 29:

  • Akron Children's opens transgender care center;
  • Prison might offer tattoo removal services;
  • Toxic algal bloom advisory in effect for Springfield Lake;
  • Canton councilman resigns;
  • Suspect arrested in connected with Cleveland Public Library shooting;
  • Fire kills 1, displaces 100 people in Parma Heights;
  • Cleveland zoo awaits rare flower bloom;

Akron Children's opens transgender care center
Akron Children's Hospital has launched the new Children's Center for Gender Affirming Medicine. The Beacon Journal reports gender affirming medicine is a field that incorporates medical consultation and social work in care for transgender patients “seeking characteristics more aligned with their gender identity.” The center sees patients seven years of age or older providing wellness checks, mental healthcare and supportive care for patient families. Sex-reassignment surgery is not offered at the center, but in some cases, treatment such as hormone or puberty suppression medicine is prescribed. The Beacon reports there are other gender affirming medicine clinics in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Prison might offer tattoo removal services
State prison officials said inmates in Ohio prisons may soon be offered tattoo removal services. The Dayton Daily News reports that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said the state is researching costs and logistics of removing tattoos on prisoners' faces, necks and hands. Officials said tattoos can hurt inmates' job prospects once they are released. Funding could come from the department's medical budget or from fees collected from inmates when they buy items from prison commissaries. The state will seek proposals from those who provide removal services. Department rules bar inmates from having tattooing equipment and from getting tattoos inside prisons. The use of non-sterile equipment for tattooing can cause infections and spread diseases. Tattoos also can signal gang membership.

Toxic algal bloom advisory in effect for Springfield Lake
A health advisory has been issued for a harmful algal bloom in Springfield Lake near Akron. The Beacon Journal reports the villages of Lakemore and Springfield Township have told residents to avoid contact with Springfield Lake water. The advisory was issued Wednesday, but will remain in effect until further notice. The Summit County Public Health department said activities like fishing and boating are generally considered safe. Residents are also urged to keep pets out of the water.

Canton councilman resigns
Canton City Councilman Nate Chester has announced he's resigning. The Canton Repository reports the Ward 2 councilman is resigning to focus on helping the city's youth. Chester, who was appointed in 2017, said he wouldn't be able to give his constituents the support they need. This week, local Democrats plan to appoint a replacement for Chester for the rest of the year and on the general election ballot. Chester said he plans to work with inner-city boys and may run for city council again in a few years.

Suspect arrested in connected with Cleveland Public Library shooting
Cleveland police said they've arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a man at a Cleveland Public Library branch last week. Cleveland.com reports police arrested an 18-year-old man Sunday night in connection with the shooting at the South Brooklyn library. Brandon Cutnoe, 19, was shot and killed inside a bathroom at the library last Tuesday.

Fire kills 1, displaces 100 people in Parma Heights
Authorities said a 75-year-old woman has died and more than 100 residents have been displaced in a fire at an apartment complex in Parma Heights. Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at the complex around 10:30 p.m. Friday and found a fourth-floor apartment in flames. The fire appears to have started in the apartment of the woman who died. No other residents were reported to have been injured. Officials said 70 apartments were damaged from fire, smoke or water. The Red Cross is helping displaced residents. A cause for the fire hasn't been determined.

Cleveland zoo awaits rare flower bloom
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is awaiting the odiferous bloom of what's known as the corpse flower for just the fourth time in the last 25 years. WEWS-TV reports the rare titan arum flower stinks for around 24 hours when it blooms and can grow to a height of 10 feet. At the other end of the state, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden officials are anticipating the bloom of their newly acquired corpse flower named "Morticia." They describe the odor it emits as a combination of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting flesh and smelly feet. Titan arum is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.