Nick Castele

Cuyahoga County may make it easier for employees to report whistleblower complaints within county government.

County council gave a first reading to revised reporting safeguards Monday evening.

Councilman Dale Miller, a Democrat who introduced the measure, said it grew out of talks with county Inspector General Mark Griffin. The changes are intended to give potential whistleblowers more comfort in coming forward with complaints, Miller said.

Northeast Ohio communities hope no one goes uncounted in the 2020 Census.

Complete count committees, local groups made up of area government and community leaders, will spend the next few months promoting the decennial count.

Legal battles over the opioid crisis will carry on into 2020, as several more cases begin to move toward trial in federal courts around the country.

After overseeing thousands of opioid lawsuits from his Cleveland courtroom for the past two years, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster has begun sending cases to other federal judges. Polster has recommended that suits brought by the Cherokee Nation, city of Chicago and San Francisco be moved to federal courts in Oklahoma, Illinois and California.

Experts say local governments and entrepreneurs still have to answer many questions about proposed Hyperloops that promise to whiz passengers hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes though vacuum tubes.

The foremost of those questions: Will Hyperloop actually work?

“There’s a big difference between theory and reality,” said Harvey Miller, the director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Ohio State University. “Even if it works on a test track in Nevada, will it scale to inter-city distances?”

Cuyahoga County’s ban on plastic bags could go forward next year without the county’s largest city on board.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley introduced legislation Monday night that would delay the ban in the city while a working group discusses prohibitions on disposable bags. The working group would propose a city-wide ban by 2021, with plans to implement it by 2022.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster has added a new opioid trial to the calendar, this one litigating Cuyahoga and Summit counties’ claims against pharmacy chains.

Polster, who is overseeing the thousands of opioid-related lawsuits, set a trial date of Oct. 13, 2020 in an order issued Tuesday.

The two counties are amending their lawsuits to accuse pharmacies of failing to look out for suspicious prescriptions for opioid painkillers, with the judge’s approval.

The nationwide opioid lawsuits are far from over.

After last month’s settlement with drug makers and distributors, lawyers for Cuyahoga and Summit counties are focusing on the next set of defendants: pharmacies.

At the start of this month, attorneys for the two counties asked the court permission to add new claims against pharmacies to their lawsuits. The claims accuse pharmacy chains of failing to look out for suspicious opioid prescriptions.

At MetroHealth Medical Center, Christopher Hall offers patients struggling with addiction something unique: common ground.

Hall is a certified peer supporter with Thrive Peer Support, an Ohio recovery organization. He’s part of a team of people at MetroHealth who have been through the rigors of addiction recovery themselves. They help patients facing addiction find treatment when it is time to leave the hospital.

Cuyahoga and Summit County leaders say they plan to spend the tens of millions already awarded in opioid settlements on drug treatment and prevention programs.

Both counties released plans for the settlement money Thursday, less than two weeks before they both take their claims against the drug industry to trial in federal court in Cleveland. The two counties will be the first among thousands of plaintiffs to make their case before a jury in the massive case.

Drug companies may try to turn the tables on Cuyahoga County in the coming federal opioid trial, presenting evidence on the troubled the county jail and in the department of children and family services in an effort to minimize the role of their drugs in local problems.

With jury selection scheduled to begin next week and opening statements set for Oct. 21, attorneys for both sides are disputing which evidence and witnesses should be presented at trial.

This month, attorneys representing Cuyahoga and Summit counties will try to convince a jury to hold the drug industry responsible for the opioid crisis.

The neighboring Northeast Ohio counties are among the more than 2,000 local governments, Native American tribes and other groups suing opioid manufacturers and distributors in federal court.

A group of drug companies is pushing for U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to recuse himself from the wide-reaching array of local government lawsuits over the opioid crisis, objecting to the judge’s push for settlements. 

Attorneys for Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and other drug makers and distributors filed the motion Saturday morning in federal court in Cleveland. 

Updated: 9:36 a.m., Sept. 13, 2019

Sherwin-Williams Company, the paint giant that has called Cleveland home for more than 150 years, is searching for a new headquarters.

The company announced in a news release Thursday morning that it would consider sites “in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and several other states” for a global headquarters and research and development facility.

A three-year, $13.2 million federal grant will help the Cuyahoga County Board of Health collect better data on opioid overdoses, health officials announced this week.

The county will get $4.4 million annually through 2021 to help the board gather and share numbers on suspected drug overdoses.

Drug maker Mallinckrodt has reached a $30 million settlement with two Northeast Ohio counties in a federal lawsuit over the opioid crisis.

Mallinckrodt has agreed in principle to pay $24 million in cash to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, plus $6 million in product, Cuyahoga County officials said Friday.

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