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Morning Headlines: First Year Cleveland Receives $4.8M; Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Bullying Case

Ohio 10-year map of infant mortality
Ohio Department of Health
Map of Ohio's infant mortality rates by county over the last 10 years.

Here are your morning headlines:

  • First Year Cleveland receives $4.8 million;
  • Ohio Supreme Court to hear case over bullying;
  • Ex-Ohio lawmaker sentenced on fraud charge eyes Trump pardon;
  • Ohio sheriff asked to investigate Portage County Jail;
  • Four people arrested for running alleged marijuana grow operation;
  • Ohio selects rape kit tracking system created by Idaho;

First Year Cleveland receives $4.8 million
An organization that works to reduce infant mortality in Cleveland is getting $4.8 million from the Ohio Department of Medicaid and other state agencies. Cleveland.com reports First Year Cleveland will use the money to address the gap in death rates between children born from African-American women and from white women. The money will also be used to support programs that increase the chances of healthy, full-term births for mothers. The same state agencies have also awarded Summit County Public Health more than $2 million to support programs that help reduce infant mortality.

Ohio Supreme Court to hear case over bullying
The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case over whether educators were reckless in failing to prevent an injury to a student even though they had been notified she was being bullied by a fellow kindergartner. The court will consider whether teachers and principals can be sued when a student is bullied under their supervision. In this case, one girl reportedly punctured another girl’s cheek with a pencil at a Toledo elementary school several years ago. A Lucas County court concluded a teacher and two principals were protected from the resulting lawsuit by statutory immunity. But a 2-1 ruling by a state appeals court panel resurrected the lawsuit on the recklessness issue. State law makes educators immune from liability unless they act with “malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.”

Ex-Ohio lawmaker sentenced on fraud charge eyes Trump pardon
A former Ohio lawmaker headed to prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud says he did nothing wrong and will seek a presidential pardon. Democratic ex-state Rep. Clayton Luckie, who is black, told the Dayton Daily Newspardoning him would be a good way for President Donald Trump to show he cares about the minority community. Luckie was sentenced Nov. 15 to four months in prison. Authorities said Luckie offered his firm as a front for another company to win work intended for disadvantaged businesses and submitted false invoices for thousands of dollars to the city of Dayton. Luckie left prison in 2016 after serving three years for convictions on charges that included election falsification.

Ohio sheriff asked to investigate Portage County Jail
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Portage County Jail amid allegations of abuse and misconduct from former inmates. The Record-Courier reportsPortage County Sheriff David Doak asked the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association to appoint investigators to look into the allegations. Inmates allege they’ve been left naked in a cell from days to weeks at a time, didn’t receive medical care and accuse corrections officers of skipping meals. One former inmate filed a civil lawsuit against the jail in federal court. Another inmate filed a retaliation complaint to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Four people arrested for running allegd marijuana grow operation
Four people have been arrested after police found an illegal marijuana grow operation Friday near Slavic Village in Cleveland. Cleveland.com reportspolice seized around 75 plants and arrested the four people at the scene. The bomb squad was also notified. 

Ohio selects rape kit tracking system created by Idaho
Ohio plans to use a system developed in Idaho that lets sexual assault survivors anonymously track the processing and testing of rape kits collected as evidence. Cleveland.com reportsOhio legislators last year approved the use of a tracking system. The law requires use by medical facilities, law enforcement, and labs once a system is operational. Ohio officials haven’t specified what information will be available to victims and haven’t provided a timeline. Ohio analyzed nearly 14,000 previously untested rape kits in 2018. An Ohio law went into effect in 2015 requiring newly collected rape kits be turned over for testing within 30 days after authorities determine a crime was committed.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to indicate First Year Cleveland received $4.8 million to help its efforts to reduce infant mortality. 

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