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Morning Headlines: Racism a Public Health Crisis in Akron; No Fall and Winter Sports at Tri-C

photo of Dan Horrigan, Charles Brown
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, center, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Charles Brown participated in a protest over the weekend. Akron Council has adopted new measures to keep police accountable.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 9:

  • Akron City Council adopts police accountability measures
  • Racism declared a public health crisis in Akron 
  • Canton Mayor endorses national '8 Can't Wait' campaign
  • Restaurants sue over coronavirus restrictions 
  • Cleveland area teen charged with inciting violence at protest
  • Northern Ohio Congresswoman decries proposal to restart nuclear weapons testing
  • State legislators want school reopenings under local control
  • Tri-C cancels fall and winter sports 
  • Popular attractions announce reopening plans 
  • Another local library launches curbside service
  • Legendary TV weatherman has COVID-19

Akron City Council bans police use of chokeholds, adopts police accountability measures
Akron City Council has voted to ban the use of chokeholds by police. The legislation also says officers can be charged with a crime for failing to intervene or report illegal uses of force and prohibits retaliation against officers who report incidents. City spokeswoman Ellen Lander Nischt tells The Beacon Journal that officers are not trained on chokeholds. But there’s no law or policy that prohibits using it. Council also approved a resolution urging the Akron Police Department to continue its policies and training that promote officer accountability. 

Racism declared a public health crisis in Akron
The city of Akron has formally declared racism a public health crisis. City council approved the measure on Monday and will now create a task force, with a chair selected by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda. The five year plan will be presented to officials by June of 2021. Meanwhile, Summit County Council is expected to vote on similar legislationnext Monday. Cleveland City Council voted to declare racism a public health threat last week. The Akron School Board also passed a resolution on Monday declaring racism a public health crisis that directly affects students.

Canton Mayor endorses national '8 Can't Wait' campaign
Canton’s mayor has signed a pledge to reform police use of force policies and endorsed the national “8 Can’t Wait” campaign. Among other things, the campaign from My Brother’s Keeper Alliance requires officers to first try de-escalation tactics, prohibits chokeholds and shooting at a moving vehicle. Most of the policies police currently follow. The Canton Repository reports Mayor Thomas Bernabei promised to review use of force policies with community input, report findings to the public and reform the policies. He’s meeting with local pastors tomorrow.

Restaurants sue over coronavirus restrictions 
A group of Ohio bars and restaurants is suing to try to prevent social distance guidelines enacted by Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration. Cleveland.com reports the eight businesses include Harry Buffalo and TownHall in Cleveland, and Park Street Cantina in Columbus, which have already received notices for violating regulations. The lawsuit filed in Lake County claims requiring patrons to remain seated at tables and keep at least six feet apart is unconstitutionally vague and potentially opens them up to lawsuits from customers. The lawsuit asks Lake County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell to issue a preliminary injunction for four reasons.

Teen charged with inciting violence during Floyd protest in Cleveland
A Northeast Ohio teen is denying charges that he was involved in a riot in downtown Cleveland after a protest of the police killing of George Floyd. The Olmstead Falls 17-year-old has denied juvenile charges including aggravated riot and inciting violence. He’s been ordered to home detention with a GPS monitor until his next court appearance. He was arrested over the weekend after police released photos of a person who was jumping on a police cruiser during the May 30 incident.

Kaptur blasts Trump proposal to restart nuclear weapons testing
Northern Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9) joined other senior House Democrats in blasting the Trump administration for proposing to restart testing of nuclear weapons. Kaptur, along with the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter Monday to Defense Secretary Mark Esper calling such a move ‘unfathomable’, short-sighted, and dangerous. The Washington Post last month first reported that the U.S. was considering breaking a decades long moratorium on nuclear testing. The Trump administration claims Russia and China have resumed testing, which has not been independently confirmed. The U.S. in 2018’s Nuclear Posture review vowed not to resume testing ‘unless necessary’ for the upkeep of the nuclear arsenal. The letter, signed by Kaptur, says restarting the nuclear arms race would make ‘Americans less safe,’ and encouraged the U.S. to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Senate bill puts local school boards in charge of fall reopening 
Legislation in the Ohio Senate to keep state-level officials out of reopening schools is picking up steam with 17 of the 33 Senators signing on as sponsors of the bill introduced Monday. It would leave the task of reopening schools amid the pandemic to local school boardsand leaders of charter and private schools. The Ohio Department of Education is working on guidelines for schools for the fall that would likely require safety measures and could also include a blend of in-person and virtual classes.

Tri-C cancels fall and winter sports
Cuyahoga Community College is the first in the region to cancel fall and winter sports because of the pandemic. Tri-C says in a statementthat it would be challenging -- if not impossible to implement the precautions needed to ensure a safe environment for practice and competition for its six teams -- including men’s and women’s basketball.  Two other schools in its conference, Owens and Sinclair Community Colleges, have made the same decision. Tri-C says it will fulfill its athletic scholarships.

Stan Hywet, Cleveland Museum of Natural History announce reopening dates
Two more Northeast Ohio attractions have announced reopening dates amid the pandemic.Stan Hywet Hall in Akron will open for members on Friday and to the general public on Tuesday. All tours, including the Manor House, will be self-guided with capacity limits. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History will reopen July 1, after more than three months. The museum plans to use a directional flow throughout the building and gardens. Other safety measures include temperature checks and timed passes. Some interactive exhibits will be limited in touch points, and some areas of the museum will remain closed, including the planetarium.

Cleveland Public Library launches curbside, walk-up service
The Cleveland Public Library is back in businesses. The library is now allowing curbside and walk-up services at its downtown location and five other branches. All other library branches will remain closed, but reference services are available by phone. The library system has done away with all fines.

Dick Goddard fighting COVID-19
Legendary Cleveland TV weatherman Dick Goddard is battling COVID-19, according to his daughter. Kimberly Goddard posted on Facebookthat her 89-year-old father has tested positive for the virus. She previously stated he’s been ill and close to death.

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