Cuyahoga County

Cuyahoga County Council took a deeper look Monday into the $23 million plan to fund drug treatment, a new drug court, a jail diversion center and other with the first wave of money paid out by drug companies to settle lawsuits over the opioid crisis.

A Cuyahoga County corrections officer accused of assaulting and unlawfully restraining an inmate pleaded guilty Friday to his role in the incident, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Idris-Farid Clark pleaded guilty to attempted assault and extortion, both third-degree felonies, as well as unlawful restraint. Clark was accused of pepper spraying Cuyahoga County Jail inmate Chantelle Glass in the face while she was restrained in a chair in 2018.

Cuyahoga County is taking steps to protect adults with disabilities from abuse or neglect. The Guardian Partner Program aims to assess the care being provided to nearly 7,000 wards of the county.

Guardians currently provide a report every two years on any changes in diagnosis, care plan or living arrangements for adult wards, said Probate Court Magistrate and Deputy Court Administrator Jennifer Alexander. But the court doesn’t usually interact with the adults themselves outside of an initial hearing or service, she said.

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.

One free book, every month, until a child's fifth birthday — that's what Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is promising Cuyahoga County children with the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library Program, announced Monday morning at the Warrensville Heights library. 

Every child under the age of 5 in Cuyahoga County can be enrolled in the program. There are about 75,000 eligible children in Cuyahoga County.

"It brings me a lot of joy to think that these kids are going to really have the gift of books and all of the things that that means for them," DeWine said. 

Zoning practices around Cuyahoga County are contributing to housing inequality and racial segregation, according to a study by the nonprofit advocacy group Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research.

The analysis of zoning ordinances in all but one of the county’s municipalities and townships found cities with a larger white population and higher average income often had more single-family homes.

The number of people housed in the Cuyahoga County Jail continues to go down as improvements to the bail system across the county are implemented, according to members of the Criminal Justice Council.

But advocates for bail reform and improved jail conditions say there’s still work to be done.

Shoppers in Cuyahoga County will need to find an alternative to single-use plastic bags, as some stores have already removed the option.

The county’s bag ban goes into effect this week.

Though businesses won’t be fined for providing plastic bags for the first six months, many stores have already started pushing their customers toward alternatives.

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.

Cuyahoga County Council officially passed a grace period for the ban on plastic bags at a special meeting Thursday morning.

Only violations that occur on or after July 1 will be subject to penalty, which is a $100 fine after a warning and a $500 fine for a second infraction.

Mark Urycki / ideastream

The tree canopy in Cuyahoga County shrank by more than 6% in six years, according to a new report.

Updated: 4:27 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019

Attorneys representing the estate of a man who was found hanging in his cell at the Cuyahoga County Jail last year filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county Thursday.

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.

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